Malaysian anime series based in Penang


Anime and manga are media that bring together people from all over the world, including Malaysians. And just because anime is usually produced in Japan, that doesn’t mean it always has to convey only Japanese culture.

This local animator understood the flexibility of the media and decided, why not make a Malaysian anime? “We believe that anime is a great medium to connect with an international audience because anime has such a large number of followers around the world,” said CK, director and project manager. Dream Catcher Project !! explained.

So he and his team in Yore Productions came up with an anime series based in Penang, starring 7 local characters.

Meet the team / Image credit: Project Dreamcatcher !!

Penang, anime style

When asked why they chose Penang from all other places in Malaysia to base their characters, CK explained that they think Penang is very famous in the world for its culture, heritage sites, food, picturesque coastline, etc. it’s a good springboard to start their anime project.

Without procrastinating too much, the plot revolves around schoolgirls trying to draw attention to the issue of demolishing their entire neighborhood for the development of a new city. If this were allowed, many old family businesses and cultural facilities would be destroyed.

Therefore, the group decides to go to social networks to raise awareness of what is happening and embark on the path of idols full of rivalry, hidden plans, conflicts and more.

Re-introduction of the legendary “apron” uniform Malaysians have a relationship of love and hate with / Image Credit: Project Dreamcatcher !!

“Although the story is fictional, we tried to incorporate local experiences and culture as much as we could, such as durian food and drinks pulled out tea, “Shared by JY, Assistant Director of Project Dreamcatcher !!. Although they appear to be ambiguous races (as is the case with most anime characters), the characters wear a Malaysian uniform and have Chinese names.

Interestingly, we wondered why it seemed that anime would use Japanese voice actors (VA) instead of hiring local ones. CK explained that he believes their characters would be more placed on the international scene in the anime scene if they were Japanese in sync.

According to him, it was also difficult to find local talents who have experience in expressing anime characters and who can sing and speak Japanese fluently at the same time. Given that, their characters plan to be named in English and Mandarin later in the future.

Mixing 3D and 2D

The whole animation team is behind the Dreamcatcher project !! come from a 3D background. This meant challenges as they tried to create a project in 2D hand-drawn style.

“We need to come up with creative methods to solve this project using the benefits of 3D animation, mixed with 2D hand-drawn backgrounds to try to simulate the traditional 2D hand-drawn anime style,” CK explained.

For JY, one of his biggest difficulties was with the shadows and the flat shape because in 2D the shape is flat, while the shadows are drawn creatively and without tilt. Meanwhile, as a 3D artist, he was familiar with software designed to track the real behavior of light – wherever the light source is, there will be shadow.

To overcome these challenges, the team did many anime studies and manual processing through 3D software and subsequent editing. WFH brought a few problems with miscommunication and problems transferring files online, but mostly daily and weekly updates helped them overcome them.

From 3D to 2D / Pictures of merit: Project Dreamcatcher !!

Realistic initial strategy

“Dream Catcher Project !! revolves around the topic of culture and heritage preservation, so we hope that with the help of this medium we will create fun and interesting ways to draw people’s attention to difficult topics like this “, explained the Central Committee.

They hope that the anime will first target the Malaysian market, and then expand to Southeast Asia and Japan and the United States. They later hope to be recognized globally.

The capital for the project was difficult, because it is a passionate project from a small indie studio. The team has not yet raised enough funds to create a full anime series, so they are actually still in the market testing phase.

Because of their marketing strategies, they are working on two projects at the same time: music video and comics on the go. The latter will serve as an introduction for their audience to know the Dream Catcher Project !! the world better before the video.

“In the short term, we want to put more content on YouTube and make money from it. We also plan to launch an online store of goods and a group financing campaign in the future, ”CK Vulcan told Post.

Meanwhile, they are also working to build a strong community of supporters in hopes of eventually attracting clients or collaborating with agencies or the government. “We target anime fans, so people like artists, cosplayers, fans of anime idols, VTubers (virtual YouTubers) and singers of anime songs.”

Opening a new field

A quick Google search does not show any past Malaysian anime projects that have been explicitly marked as such, despite all the offerings of our rather diverse animation industry.

Furthermore, although Malaysia and its elements are mentioned in foreign anime, we still do not have one that is entirely located in Malaysia with famous sights and experiences.

Fans of idol animations would immediately be attracted by the sweet, sparkling style / Image Credit: Project Dreamcatcher !!

So you could say that Yore Productions is going into unfamiliar territory, as there is no data to provide them with realistic goal projections. However, their current market testing should give them a better idea of ​​expected admission.

With the growing popularity of idol-oriented anime, games, and careers (virtual idols or VTubers, for example), you could say that the team has embarked on a consumer-friendly path that should benefit them.

There is no official release date for the anime yet, but the team is actively updating fans and followers about the development via social media, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll soon be able to see something more significant.

  • You can find out more about the Dreamcatcher project !! halso.
  • You can read about several Malaysian startups we have covered here.

Featured Image: Yore Productions, Studio for Project Dreamcatcher !!

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