Earlier this month, Pied Piper Inc. kicked off its latest crowdfunding campaign for the anime series, “Skip Beat!,” and as we make our way into April, the success of the campaign could mean a lot towards the success of shojo anime series in North America.
Before we go into the details of the Kickstarter campaign, here is a little bit of information about “Skip Beat!” The twenty-five-episode anime series was produced in 2008-2009 by Hal Film Maker, and is adapted from the popular manga series by Yoshiki Nakamura, published in North America by Viz Media.
The series follows Kyoko Mogami, a young woman who has her heart broken when she is used and betrayed by Shotaro, her pop star childhood friend. Angry, Kyoko decides that her best revenge, will be to make it in show business herself, and outshine the pop star. As Kyoko works her way up the showbiz ladder however, she will find a new drive and goals beyond revenge, while also meeting new friends, that along the way, will grow as people, just as much as she does.
Despite being a series with a good following, “Skip Beat!” has never had an official North America release on home video, although it is available with subtitles digitally on Crunchyroll. One of the main reasons for this, is that TV Tokyo made an English dub a requirement for release, believing it would be needed for the series to reach the largest possible audience. While this may be true, some in the anime industry don’t feel that fans would support a dub for a shojo series, which means that the “Skip Beat!” Kickstarter’s outcome, could play a bigger part in showing publishers that there is a market for it.
Not everyone may like English dubs for anime, but the dub is a must for the series to be released in North America. That doesn’t mean that those of you who would prefer the original Japanese audio will miss out though. Should the campaign succeed, it will include both versions, along with subtitles.
With the halfway point reached, it is set to end on Apr. 16, 2016, “Skip Beat!” has currently raised $94,480 (at the time of this post) of its $155,000 goal, thanks to 718 backers (including myself). Backer tiers range from $1 to $5,000, with a copy of the anime on DVD for $65 (a pledge of $60, plus $5 for shipping), which is about what you would typically pay for an anime set with few episodes. The Blu-ray version will unlock, should the campaign reach a stretch goal of $185,000.
In the most recent update, Pied Piper teased that when the campaign reaches the $100,000 mark, they will unveil the first member of the dub cast, the voice actress who will be taking on the role of Kanae Kotonami, Kyoko calls her Moko-san, a talented actress and the first show business friend that Kyoko makes. If you would like to support the “Skip Beat!” campaign, you can visit the Kickstarter Page and pledge. It is a series well worth seeing published in North America finally, and we certainly hope that it does make its goal.