Combined Episodes of 'Kyoko: Epic Delivery Girl (エピック！クーリエ女子)'
Bright Partnerships approached me to execute an anime-style miniseries for DHL in the lead up to Rugby World Cup™ of 2019 in Japan, highlighting DHL's work as the Official Logistics Partner as a part of their 'Epic' campaign.
Across the four episodes, we follow our avid rugby enthusiast Kyoko as she lands a job at DHL and finds herself closer to her heroes than she ever expected.
Story & Script
Bright Partnership's brief included an outline of all four episodes. I worked with the client to introduce a narrative arc for Kyoko, whose growing confidence is put to the test when she meets her rugby idol Kenta, a character introduced to push the emotional stakes of the series.
Remaining sensitive to Japanese culture was essential, so the client worked with DHL Japan to ensure the accuracy of the series.
Through iteration alongside the client I arrived at a visual style for the characters, defined the colour scheme, and created model sheets for each major character to retain consistency through the animation stage.
Initial Style Explorations
Approved Character Designs and Style Frame
Final Character Sheets
Storyboards & Animatic
With the characters and script locked down, I created a very rough 'animatic' for all four episodes, to decide on the pacing, angles and editing of each.
This stage is crucial, as I was able to take on board feedback from the client and adjust rapidly before beginning the final animation, where making changes becomes time consuming.
Animatic for Episode 1
Starting from the storyboards, I digitally painted the environments. As the project needed an anime aesthetic I worked to a high degree of realism, using several anime 'tropes' such as the shining rays of light to help cement them in that style.
Animation & Compositing
Given that anime is very 'traditional', it was clear that I needed to use a hand-drawn approach to the animation (using a digital drawing tablet).
Given the project's length, I decided to lean into anime tropes that favoured held frames and limited animation, and came up with a lighting style that would be quicker to implement than hand-drawing shadows for every frame of animation.
Music and Audio Effects
In the Animatic phase, I sourced music tracks to fit the mood and tone of each episode, and edited them to fit the episode lengths.
As each episode's animation was completed and approved, I worked with Ivey Audio to add sound effects, providing specific anime references for accuracy.
I also directed Holly Berry as the 'voice' of Kyoko and her young friend Yuki. With a global audience in mind there are no voice lines, but plenty of 'exertion' effects throughout.
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