As a fan of videogames and optical illusions, the Nintendo 3DS has had a magnetic pull on me ever since its release. So when the price dropped last summer AND a 3DS Dead or Alive game was released I could no longer resist and bought one.
But there's lots of functionality in the 3DS I was unaware of. As a persistent single-player gamer it was only after several months that I configured the little thing to go on-line, but whoa! I wasn't just able to play games on-line, but could also download demos and view short films as well. Nintendo has an on-line free VOD channel which stores 4 short 3D-films each week. You can only watch them for a week and then they disappear, some return in that roster, some don't. Many are just adverts and trailers, but some are quite nifty, like several of the Dutch 3D animations which played at the IFFR last year, or the 3D (ultra)short "Shaun the Sheep"
films. I was pleasantly surprised when I could watch some of these on my handheld. In 3D with no glasses even! Damn...
Now for the last few weeks Nintendo has been running a series of short 3D-films on Kid Icarus, to pimp their new game "Kid Icarus: Uprising"
. These shorts are all animated by "famous anime studios", according to what Nintendo said last month.
So far they are not lying: for the past three weeks the Dutch Nintendo videoplayer showed a 3D CGI fest made by Production I.G. which saw Kid Icarus battling death god Thanatos in a huge flying Trojan Horse. This week a new story started which, while still 3D, looks far more traditionally animated. And this time it's Studio 4C doing the honors. While the film from Production I.G. exactly matched the zany atmosphere (and banter) from the game, the new short titled "Medusa's Revenge"
is far darker and gloomy.
The third effort will be from anime studio Shaft Inc., responsible for titles as "Bakemonogatari"
. Not a bad line-up in all. In fact so far these shorts haven't been a punishment to watch, as the talent involved is pretty much apparent.
I have tried to see if these will be released in any form that you can actually own, but no statements have been made about this so far by Nintendo or any of the studios involved. There are some amateur filmed-screen versions on YouTube for the time being but those look pretty damn terrible.
But if you own a 3DS and like anime, I recommend that you take the effort to watch them while they're available. More information on the US site.
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