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AnimEigo licenses Gunsmith Cats [Kickstarter]

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  • #61

    May 5 2018

    Post-Campaign Production Progress Report

    Dear Backers,

    It has been almost two weeks since the campaign ended, and so it is time for our first production progress report.

    Topics we will cover today:
    • Preproduction Status
    • Bonus Stretch Goal Prioritization
    • Extra Goodies Discussion
    Preproduction Status

    We actually started preproduction on Gunsmith Cats several months before the campaign launched. Because we were 99% sure that it would meet the basic goal, it made sense to work on the project whenever we had some spare time.

    Currently, our status is:
    • Episode subtitles have gone through several passes and are mostly in the final review stages. This includes SDH captions for the english dub.
    • Japanese commentaries have been recorded and are being timed and translated.
    • Cleanup work on color artwork and settei are well underway.
    • The original english commentary has been timed and captioned.
    • The original english featurette has been timed and is being retranslated.
    • New english commentaries and updated featurette are in early preproduction.
    • Mr. Sonoda's drawing how-to video has been recorded (in which he created the illustrations show above).
    • Initial extra goodies are in the design stage.
    Clearly, there's a ton of work still to do, but we've made a good start. Bonus Stretch Goal Prioritization

    Because the campaign busted through the final $300k stretch goal, we have some extra money we can budget towards improving the set.

    We have developed 4 feasible ways to use this extra budget, and so now it's time for you to prioritize them. Please note that these items are not necessarily mutually-exclusive; depending on how you rank them and how many late signups we get over the next few months, we may be able to implement several of them!

    The items are:

    License additional Peter Erskine Music

    Mr. Erskine has selected a previously created composition that is in the same style as Gunsmith Cats. It would be used as menu music and/or music video music on the Blu-ray. You can preview it on Amazon Music.

    Add More Dojinshi Pages

    More manga for the artbook (would also be available digitally). Speaking of the dojinshi, Mr. Sonoda has told us that KOTOBUKI Tukasa (Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN), UEDA Hajime (FLCL), and TADANO Kazuko (Sailor Moon) will be creating pages for it.

    Include Gunsmith Cats Rubber Straps

    Each blu-ray would also include a pair of Rally/May rubber phone straps, using the new Chibi artwork Mr. Sonoda just drew.

    Upgraded Packaging

    For example, add holofoil to the amaray insert and premium chipboard case.

    To register your priorities, please use this Google Survey (you will have to log into a google account; if this is a problem, you can email your rankings to us at crowdfunding@animeigo.com)

    Extra Goodies Discussion

    We would like to hear additional ideas for bonus goodies in the comments section of this update. In a few weeks we'll run a survey to determine which new goodies are wanted enough to make them worth making.

    Ideas that we already want to explore include:
    • Gunsmith Cats logo t-shirt.
    • Rubber straps (if selected as a stretch goal item above, extras will automatically be available as a goodie)
    The best goodies are things that are light, small and flat, because shipping cost is often the dominant expense.


    • #62
      Gunsmith Cats Explosive Edition Music Video: https://vimeo.com/268308769


      • #63
        Missed out on the kickstarter? No problems! Late signups for the #GunsmithCats Explosive Edition Blu-ray are now open!



        • #64

          Update #18

          June Update

          Subtitle Sausages

          For the last month we've been grinding out translations and subtitles. We've got second-pass subtitles completed for the main program, and first-pass titles done for the original production featurette, the original English commentary and Mr. Sonoda's Drawing Tips. We're also completing initial translations on the two Japanese commentaries.


          A big part of the artbook is on hold pending receipt of new original art from Mr. Sonoda and his Dōjinshi artist friends. However, we've done the graphic cleanup on most of the ~150 pages of settei and translated all the artists notes. So when the final artwork does become available, it'll mostly be a matter of slotting it in the right places.


          Based on the feedback from the goodies poll, we are planning to add both a pair of rubber straps and a logo t-shirt to the list of goodies. We are already in the process of getting samples of the rubber straps made, and they should be arriving in a few weeks.

          We are also working on initial designs for the t-shirt, coin, keychain, pin, squishy grenade and patches. We'll be running those by you in the coming weeks.

          We've decided not to run the Kickstarter Backer Survey until after the designs for the goodies are mostly finalized. This is because you'll be able to make your initial goodie choices as part of the survey, and while you'll be able to change your mind at any time, it'll mean less work for us doing it this way. Same goes with address updates- the later we do the survey, the fewer people will move by the time we ship.

          That's all for this time!

          Robert & Natsumi


          • #65

            Hi Everyone,

            Time for another update. Today's topic is the design of the ?Grenade Pin? goodie.

            We've settled on a basic design for the pin, as follows:

            ::: see post :::


            • #66
              no more updates ?


              • #67

                Jul 17 2018

                July Update - Sausage Scrutinizers Wanted

                Dear Backers,

                We are happy to report that preproduction is proceeding at a steady pace. The main episode translations (english, japanese, and japanese caption-style) have passed through all of our internal reviews, and other translations such as the japanese commentaries are at various stages in the pipeline.

                But no matter how many times we check the subtitles, there's always a chance that we'll miss something -- either an obvious mistake or a potential improvement. So it's always a good idea to run the final product past some fresh eyeballs before locking it down.

                If you think you have what it takes to sniff out mistakes in the output of the AnimEigo Subtitle Sausage Factory, send us an email at crowdfunding@animeigo.com. We need 4-6 volunteers - particularly people with deep knowledge of relevant topics (such as music, cars, weapons, animation production, etc.). We'd also like at least one proofreader with non-standard color vision, and another who is deaf or hearing-impaired.

                Before you do, however, consider the pros and cons:

                • Get to see things ahead of everyone else.
                • Get a production credit on the disc.
                • May have to watch something one time more than you really wanted to.
                • Faith in competence of AnimEigo staff will almost certainly be shattered.
                Please note that you will have to sign a standard non-disclosure agreement in order to be a proofreader.


                Robert & Natsumi


                • #68

                  Aug 1 2018

                  Kneel before your Supervillain!

                  Dear Backers,

                  As you know, the highest backing level on this project is Supervillain. The Supervillain gets some original Sonoda artwork based on their design suggestions.

                  This artwork has been completed and The Clandestine Czar of Chicago has deemed that it meets their standards. Accordingly, they have forwarded to Mr. Sonoda the instructions on how to remove the “performance inducement device” that was attached to him in his sleep earlier this summer.

                  However, The Lawless Lord of the Loop also gets to decide whether to keep the artwork for themselves or share it with everyone. And as you might expect, someone who has achieved such exquisite heights of criminality is not just going to give it away for nothing!

                  And since they have already attained wealth and power far beyond that of everyone reading this, mere money matters naught to them. No, the only currency that has any meaning anymore is the submission of the masses.

                  Therefore, Kneel before your Supervillain!

                  Grovel at their feet! In the comments, beg them in the most obsequious way to release the artwork for use in the project!

                  If your fawning blandishments are sufficient in both quantity and quality, they might – just might, mind you – deign to share the artwork with you. And as an extra inducement, the finest flatterer will be rewarded with a special bonus.

                  To inspire your truckling, here is an extremely small segment of the artwork...

                  ::: see post :::


                  • #69

                    Aug 12 2018

                    All Praise the Supervillain!

                    Joyous news, oh backers. The Supervillain has read your pleas, and deemed you worthy of gazing upon the exclusive Sonoda artwork. Here it is!

                    ::: see post :::

                    By their command, an extra bonus goody will be bestowed upon James O. and FlamingFirewire for "long, good, and rapidly deployed grovelling" and Jason Paul Moon for "his commitment to Zod".
                    Last edited by WTK; 08-22-2018, 06:46 PM. Reason: typo


                    • #70

                      Patchwork Progress

                      We have completed the design of the embroidered patches, and are currently having test samples made; these become the "team patches" that members of the production team receive.

                      Assuming everything works well, the final production patches will be identical except that the text color will be different.

                      Production Report

                      The proofreading team is working hard tweaking all the subtitles. We're particularly happy with the results, because every team member has a special skill or two that has already paid off in ways we didn't fully anticipate.

                      Blu-ray menu design is underway; we expect to use a similar style as we have in our other 4:3 Blu-ray discs.

                      The team at DidYouKnowAnime have delivered the rough-cut of their HD version of the production documentary, and they really went the extra mile! In addition to all the HD updates, they did additional research, shot new footage of Radinov's Mercedes, recorded a new interview with series composer Peter Erskine, and Mr. Erskine has kindly provided some home video of the original recording session for use in the documentary!

                      That's all for this month. Thanks again for your support.

                      Robert & Natsumi


                      • #71

                        Oct 4 2018

                        October Update

                        Dear Backers,

                        As you may have heard, we had a spot of bother due to Hurricane Florence. We evacuated inland for a week and were able to return around the time power was restored to our neighborhood.

                        We were very lucky and just lost a lot of trees, with only minor damage to our house. Others were much less fortunate and the cleanup will take many months.

                        Project Status

                        We have completed all of the translation, subtitling, and captioning, and are into final proofreading, aka "Punctuation Wars." Design of the artbook is mostly complete, although we are still waiting for final artwork from Japan. All commentaries have been recorded, and production is complete on the new HD production documentary.

                        During the production of the new documentary, we had to replicate some "felt marker" colored versions of the settei. We think they turned out pretty nicely, and we're probably going to also include them in the artbook. Here's a few samples...

                        Going Forward

                        Natsumi and I are off to Japan in a few weeks for our usual pilgrimage to TIFFCOM. Once we get back in November, we hopefully should have all the materials, and disc authoring will begin!


                        • #72

                          Oct 21 2018

                          Report from an Undisclosed Location

                          Dear Backers,

                          As mentioned in our last update, Natsumi and I are currently in Japan on business.

                          One of the items on our to-do list was to travel to the top-secret Sonoda-Sanctum so that Mr. Sonoda could prepare the endpapers that will be bound into the special hardcover artbooks that the Signature and Inscribed backers will be receiving.

                          This arduous task took the sensei over 5 hours to complete - and every endpaper will have a little something extra to make them particularly unique.

                          ::: see post :::

                          "Carpal Tunnel, my old friend..."

                          While we were there, Mr. Sonoda gave us a sneak preview of the final bit of original artwork he is creating for the Explosive Edition...

                          ::: see post :::

                          ...and delivered some of the pages of the dojinshi...

                          ::: see post :::

                          Finally, as a special bonus, he has digitally created a new version of the original artwork that was the inspiration for Gunsmith Cats, based on a scan of the original line art!

                          ::: see post :::

                          The artbook just got a little bigger...

                          That's all for this quick update! As always, thanks for your support of the project!


                          • #73

                            December Update

                            Happy Non-denominational Gift-getting Season to you all!

                            We're overdue for a project progress update (sorry about that!), and there's a fair amount to report!

                            Blu-Ray Authoring

                            All materials have been assembled and authoring is underway. We expect to get a first test disc in early January. A few elements, such as the backer's list, are placeholders that will get updated just before replication, and of course we'll be obsessively proofreading right up until the last moment, but for all intents and purposes the hard work has been done. As is usual on these projects, we expect to go through a couple of rounds of test discs.

                            New Materials

                            All new artwork has been received, with one exception -- the new original manga. As most of you know, Mr. Sonoda is being stretched thin these days; he has to juggle working on this project, manage his family candy store, and work on his new Bean Bandit project. This means we're having to wait a bit longer than we expected for the manga.

                            We've discussed this internally and come up with what we think is an interesting way to minimize project schedule risk due to these circumstances. Originally, we were planning to include the new dojinshi and the manga in the small “amaray sized” artbook that fits into the box set. However, we realized that if we print the dojinshi + manga as a separate B5-sized book, we can finalize and proof the artbooks and the packaging now (since the box depends on the size of the artbook). Then as soon as we get the manga art, we can finish the dojinshi+manga booklet much more quickly.

                            This is a little more expensive for printing and also shipping (larger boxes), but we think it is a prudent thing to do, and it adds value to the release. And as a side effect, we'll be able to offer extra copies of the booklet as an additional goodie!

                            This cunning plan is not yet set in stone, so if you have comments and suggestions, please let us know!

                            Currently the small artbook contains 180 pages, and the 8.5x11" large artbook variant has 54. If you want to take a sneak peek at the contents of the small artbook, you can see it here...

                            Goodie Goodness

                            The design of all the goodies are pretty much locked, and we are in the process of getting production samples made for approval. We expect that to be done early in January, at which point we'll run the backer surveys. We've waited on this because as part of the survey you'll be able to make your goodie selections (if you've chosen goodies as part of your reward).

                            Here's what we've come up with.

                            Stuck On You

                            First up isn't actually a goodie, it's the sticker sheet that will be included with every Blu-ray.

                            The stickers will be printed on a transparent backing suitable for use on phones and laptops. To give you an idea of the scale, Rally will be about 4" tall.

                            Silver Medals

                            The coin/keychain will be 1.75" in diameter and the two sides look like this:

                            The base color will be antique silver, and the figures will be sculpted 3D embossing.

                            Patchwork Girls

                            We've already produced a set of test patches; everyone who worked on the project will get a pair of these. The final production patches will be identical except that we'll tweak the text color so eagle-eyed fans can tell them apart.

                            A Dynamite Pin

                            The pin design hasn't changed since we first showed it in an earlier update.

                            Rubber Goods

                            One big change we've made is with the rubber straps. We showed the first design in an earlier update, but after getting a sample made, we realized that we needed to revise the design to fit the constraints of the manufacturing process; in particular, the details were too small. Based on guidance from Mr. Sonoda, Sasha reworked things extensively to make them more "deformed".

                            The Rally strap will be ~70mm high (a little less than 3"). One thing that is a bit misleading about these mockups is that in the final figures, Rally's dark hair should contrast with the dark grey background much more that you might expect because of the 2-layer nature of the straps. And if we don't like the results, we can always adjust the color of the dark background base layer until we find something that works.

                            Well, that's all for this report. As always, we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

                            -- Robert & Natsumi


                            • #74

                              Feb 3 2019

                              February Update

                              Dear Backers, time for another project update.

                              First, alas, we must start with a little bit of bad news. Mr. Sonoda has confirmed that he will not be able to finish the new Gunsmith Cats manga until mid-to-late March because he underestimated the amount of time required for his family business and the Riding Bean project.

                              As mentioned in the previous update, we were concerned that this might happen, and made a series of adjustments in order to minimize the disruption this delay would cause. We are combining the manga with the dojinshi and printing them separate from the artbooks, so that we can have as much as possible locked by the time the manga is delivered.

                              In addition, we're using the delay to continue to tweak and improve the set. If you have to wait a little longer to get Gunsmith Cats, you should get a better Gunsmith Cats.

                              With that in mind, here's what we've been up to.

                              ::: see post :::
                              Work-in-progress menu

                              Blu-ray Authoring

                              We have completed our review of the first test disc. We found a few bugs and glitches which are being tweaked, but the biggest consequence of the review was that we've decided to redo the main menu. Our original design turned out to have some usability issues. The rough draft of the new design (above) will have a logo bar (not shown) on the right quarter of the screen, and the menu loop video (4:3) will be shifted over to the left. When you "pull the trigger" on a main option a bullet hole will appear with the suboptions.

                              We are also using the extra time to continue to review the subtitles. While we have all agreed that it is appropriate to use the Chicago Manual of Style on this project, there is now heated debate about whether we should use the current edition or the one that was current for the time-period of the OVAs. : )


                              The contents of the artbooks are locked other than the dedications and the covers. This will happen within the next couple of weeks. You can preview the current contents of the small artbook here. Let us know if you find any mistakes so we can both fix them and berate ourselves unmercifully.

                              ::: see post :::
                              Final design


                              Based on consultations with the printer, we revised the design of the sticker sheet (and slightly enlarged it). We got the samples a couple of weeks ago and they look great!

                              ::: see post :::

                              In fact, we liked the results so much that we doubled the size of the order - and each set will now come with two sets of stickers, not just one!

                              ::: see post :::
                              Initial samples

                              Rubber Straps

                              We had samples straps made and they turned out fairly nicely, but we want to make some design improvements, in particular regarding the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows. We may also slightly increase the size of the figures.

                              The design rules for the straps are really interesting, and are driven by the mechanical limitations of the moldmaking. I ended up making a diagram that both explains the limitations and also why I am not a graphic artist.

                              ::: see post :::
                              Pining for the fjords?

                              We should have another set of samples in a few weeks.

                              ::: see post :::


                              We had samples made of the coins, but have decided that the 3D embossed style doesn't work as well as we'd hoped. As with the straps, the main issue is with the eyes. We're doing a redesign that uses the painted "cel" style we used in the original Bubblegum Crisis coins.

                              One of the things I really like about these projects is that they allow us to experiment with new ideas, but sometimes those ideas don't work. And worst case, if something doesn't work, at least it provides a little tidbit for the project updates.

                              For Certain Values of "Fun"

                              I think this tweet pretty much sums up what it's like to work on these projects.

                              ::: see post :::

                              If you see Sasha at a convention and want to make her shudder, just sneak up behind her and whisper "toolpaths" into her ear.

                              Until next time, we remain your humble and obedient servants,

                              Robert, Natsumi, and the rest of the production team.


                              • #75

                                Judging A Book By Its Cover

                                Dear Backers,

                                Over the weekend, we triggered the Kickstarter surveys. By now all Kickstarter backers should have gotten an alert to complete the survey. If you didn't, you can try logging out of Kickstarter and then back in again; several backers have reported that this magically made the survey appear.

                                We've created a help page -- https://www.animeigo.com/gsc-survey -- to help with the survey process. It also has a FAQ that details how to add-on extra goodies to your pledge as well as order buttons. Non-kickstarter backers may also find it useful.

                                Several people also requested a way to get extra sets of the stickers, so we added a 10-pack as a new goodie option.

                                Natsumi and I are heading off today on a long-planned trip. When we get back, in about 2 weeks, we'll import the surveys and send out individual status emails. That will give you a chance to let us know about any mistakes, and in particular, confirm the spelling of your name for the listing on the Blu-ray.
                                • We will be going beyond the borders of civilization (ie: no internet access) so we won't be able to reply to project-related questions as fast as we normally do.

                                In the meantime, here are some project updates for you.

                                Judging A Book By Its Cover

                                Here are our initial designs for the regular and large artbooks, designed by the esteemed Sasha.

                                ::: see post :::

                                Chipboard Box Redesign

                                Based on feedback in a previous update, we've come up with several alternative designs for the Premium set chipboard box.

                                ::: see post :::


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