How many of you have heard of the Boondocks? Almost all of us right? That art style was more anime influenced than other cartoons on TV. One of the artists recently created a short series based on his art style. LeSean Thomas has brought us (the people), the “Children of Ether” anime. “Children of Ether follows Rhonda, a woman with a dark past and a mysterious power, as she is pursued by an unknown assailant after the death of her father. Aided only by her wits and a pair of orphans, Rhonda journeys through a decaying, dystopian metropolis populated by raiders, gangs, and the supernatural. As she struggles to survive in this harsh urban tangle, she meets both friends and enemies, and searches for answers about this power, “The Ether”, awakening within her.”
Perfect synopsis of an anime isn’t it? I’ve only seen one episode of it and I believe the episodes come out every Tuesday morning but don’t quote me on that yet. What makes this an anime that I’m excited about is the fact the artist is black and so are the main characters. As I said before, representation matters and as much as I love watching anime, not seeing characters that look like me does get frustrating but it is perfectly understandable as to why I don’t see us. I’ve also said that we have the skills, drive and some of us have the means to put out anime content that represents us and still have all the anime elements we love to see. Now from the one episode of “Children of Ether” I watched, you can tell that this will be a work in progress. That’s not a knock to Lesean in anyway. Visually, this reminds me a little of Cowboy Bebop mixed with a little Avatar art style. The characters haven’t been fully fleshed out yet but I can see that there will be growth in the main character and the orphan children. You can kind of see the story-line going a certain way but like I said, I’m only one episode in so I can’t give a full review.
What makes this special to me is that this was picked up (and funded I believe) by Crunchyroll which is known for it’s extensive anime library. That makes this anime available to everyone that has a Crunchyroll subscription which is A LOT of people. Now before people start going into a frenzy, this may not be considered a TRUE anime but anime inspired. I think this is great for the West to have their own anime inspired cartoons (Avatar was definitely one) to call their own. And even better that one is directed and drawn by a black artist.
So take a chance and check out “Children of Ether”. I’m excited to see where this series goes. I really hope this lasts a while and gets a second season. If you’ve seen the first episode, let me know what you thought about in the comments! I believe the simulcast is 12:00am PDT on Crunchyroll (literally just looked it up). Until next time, Nerd Out!