During Anime Expo 2015, Comcept CEO Keiji Inafune and STUDIO4℃ president Eiko Tanaka had a panel. What did a video game designer and anime producer have to talk about? Simple – the RED ASH project. Now that Keiji Inafune has finished up development on Mighty No. 9, he has decided to pull a team full of industry veterans together to start up a new, open world action RPG. Although they never explicitly state it is a successor to Mega Man Legends, many of the team members are the same, not to mention a pretty obvious reference in the video (emphasis mine):
“I believe that we were a little ahead of our time when we first attempted this concept [an open world anime-inspired RPG]. Unfortunately, the project did not see the success or conclusion it deserved.”
As fans will know, Mega Man Legends 3 was unceremoniously canceled during development by Capcom. So, RED ASH – The Indelible Legend is an upcoming game which focuses on three characters who explore the world, fight enemies, and collect awesome loot. Because this project is so early, however, we can only get a taste of the animation storyboards and concept art. Those curious about how it will play may want to revisit Mega Man Legends 1 or 2. Of course, with Inafune’s name attached the Kickstarter should easily succeed over its $800,000 goal. It’s worth noting the fact that this campaign is not for the full game! It is just for the prologue chapter titled “The KalKanon Incident.”
Now, if and when RED ASH – The Indelible Legend succeeds, Comcept will have to decide where to go from there (land a publisher, seek more crowdfunding assistance, etc). Even the stretch goals which have been revealed thus far just focus on expanding The KalKanon Incident prologue chapter. Most episodic Kickstarters tend to offer future chapters via this section, instead. Heck, even releases outside of PC are spurned via the FAQ! Their entire focus right now is creating the prologue pure and simple, without expending funds on other aspects. Perhaps that’s a lesson learned from Mighty No. 9’s development?
So what is STUDIO4℃’s involvement? They are actually making an anime for RED ASH, known as Red Ash THE ANIMATION – Magicicada –. This is actually the animation studio’s first time on Kickstarter despite being an established and well known company in the anime scene. One of the most interesting aspects about these two RED ASH projects is that, while they both include the same characters, they will explore different worlds. This means that the animation is not simply replicating what happens in the game, or vice versa.
At the $150,000 goal, they will make a 5 minute episode. Past each stretch goal they will add a few more minutes. This might seem ridiculously expensive, but consider that high quality animation is expensive to produce. If Red Ash THE ANIMATION – Magicicada – can attain the ultimate goal of $2,480,000 then RED ASH will have itself a feature film. So far, both campaigns should have no issue reaching their base goals. It’s just a matter of seeing exactly how far they will be able to take it, and if fans will favor one project over the other or not.
Track the progress of the RED ASH Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.