Today on August 7, Studio Trigger’s Kickstarter for Little Witch Academia 2 ended with $625,518 in total pledges. The campaign originally started last month with a goal of reaching $150,000, which was quickly reached within mere hours after the page went live. A stretch goal of $500,000 was then announced to add an audio documentary and a “making-of” documentary to the eventual DVD and Blu-Ray release, which was finally met last week.
The original Little Witch Academia was originally produced as a part of Anime Mirai 2013, where young and upcoming animators were selected and received funding to produce a short anime film. The short attracted a lot of attention shortly after it was posted on Studio Trigger’s official youtube channel with subtitles. At Anime Expo this year, they announced their intention to produce a 20 minute sequel through Kickstarter. With the extra funding however, they are now planning on extending the sequel to 40 minutes.
You can watch the original Little Witch Academia short below:
Just back in June, Studio Rikka also had similar success when they opened up a Kickstarter campaign to bring their excellent film Time of Eve to an international audience by releasing a new Blu-Ray and DVD with subtitles. Their original goal of $18,000 was broken within 24 hours. Further stretch goals were similarly smashed, which then added a Dub, additional subtitles, bonus material, a translated fanbook, as well as allowing the studio to include Mizu no Kotoba (Aquatic Language) and Pale Cocoon, director Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s previous two works. The final tally was $215,433, an astounding success for such a small animation studio. It seems like Kickstarter is proving to be a great way for smaller anime studios to receive funding for their original works while allowing the audience to feel closer to the studios in a way that wasn’t possible before.
Little Witch Academia 2 is expected to be completed by Winter 2014. The original short will be released in North America in a Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray release by the end of summer. Time of Eve is expected to be released early 2014.