Aiko is an animated series which blends the bygone time of samurais with fantasy and monsters. It was created by multi-award winning animation director Evan Viera and award winning writer Charley Pope.
As an inhuman army of unknown origin rips apart her homeland, a young girl discovers within herself a well of mystical power that she neither wants nor understands. Together with her sister and an old sage, she strikes out across the war-torn countryside, searching for the truth behind an ancient family secret that could save the world from annihilation.
The concept for Aiko was born one night in 2012 when Viera and Pope were bouncing ideas for possible collaborations. They talked about their shared love for epic fantasy stories and themes that they wished were better represented in mainstream media.
Aiko would sit on the shelf until late 2014 when producer and writer Jeremy Morris reached out to the creative duo. Acting as a mentor, he helped the pair to shape the project’s development.
After several months, the small team created a story bible and began pitching the animated series around Los Angeles. Though studios were enthusiastic, they felt uneasy about the idea of developing dramatic animated content.
In 2015, Evan Viera and Tommy Wooh formed production studio ROYGBIV. Aiko was the first project they invested in. The teaser was made by a total of nine people. The core team comprised Evan Viera, Charles Badiller, Eva Lusbaronian, and Felice Wong. They worked for four months at ROYGBIV’s studio. Evan Viera along with Tuna Bora and Paul Kim worked on character design. Jay Jackson, a veteran traditional animator, oversaw the animation.
Viera has said an entire season’s worth of episodes has already been planned, however, Aiko does not have a distributor or broadcaster attached to it yet. With the teaser getting favourable attention, let’s hope the project finds the funding it needs and a full series comes to fruition.
You can find out more about Aiko here.
Created by: Evan Viera, Charley Pope
Director: Evan Viera
Writer: Charley Pope
Executive Producer: Tommy Wooh
Producer: Jeremy Morris
Animation Supervisor: Jay Jackson
Lead Animation: Charles Badiller, Eva Lusbaronian
Animation & Clean-Up: Cassandra Larson, Johan Ravit, Felice Wong
Character Artist: Tuna Bora, Paul Kim
3D Artist: Yates Holley
Composer: Austin Wintory
Sound & Mix: Owen Granich-Young, Sam Plattner
Voiceover: Erin Mulvey
Recording Engineer: Dylan Eiland