Georgia Southern gets animated

Tom Barszcz

A new school year at Georgia Southern means a new year for ingenuity and the opportunity for our students to do something great. Sophomore business management major Jordan Walker and freshman information technology major Alex Knapp are seizing that opportunity. They are collaborating to create Georgia Southern’s first ever original anime series.

Anime, which means animation in Japanese, is a style of cartoon that originated in Japan. Stories typically take place in a fantasy world that’s made up of vibrant, whimsical creatures who can inhabit human traits.

The idea for the series, titled “Doppelganger”, came about when both Walker and Knapp were in high school.

“We sat next to each other in the same psychology class in high school and we started talking about our love for anime and would talk about the different clichés they have. We would joke about how we would make an anime different from the traditional sense,” Knapp said.

According to Knapp and Walker, their idea for creating an original anime was tabled until coming to GS when joining the film club provided better resources to bring the project to life. They needed more individuals talent and knowledge of anime which led them to contacting Georgia Southern’s anime club.

Walker presented the idea for the project to Vaughn Ellis, senior mechanical engineering major and president of the anime club, along with the club’s members.

“We’ve never had a time where someone came in and proposed to completely create an original anime. She [Walker] blew us away. It’s something completely new,” Ellis said.

The project consists of about 30 people including Walker and Knapp, who are the head directors. Over the course of the year, they will be working together to design the characters of the show, the characters’ fantasy world, record voice actors and record custom soundtracks for the show. The soundtracks will be played by Bullmoose, a local band.

Walker and Knapp decided to design the story so that it captivates all genres of the anime field: comedy, action, drama, fantasy, mystery but differs from other anime’s in its concentration on depth and character development.

Together they produced a brief synopsis of the story’s complex plot, explaining the characters and how the show will develop beyond season one.

The story starts on Earth, where a girl named Scarlet gets hit by a car. She wakes up from the accident in a world completely opposite of her own. There, she meets a disingenuous butler named Jarvis, a young military general named Cole, and Leila, the youngest princess of the Gemini kingdom.

Leila must share her body with Scarlet as they try to figure out how to send her back to Earth together. The girls must also avoid an all-out war between the powerful supernatural Gemini kingdom and the avant-garde Human kingdom.

The first season of “Doppelganger” is expected to premiere on free access websites such as Youtube, Vimeo and Daily Motion in the fall of 2017. In the meantime, Walker, Knapp, and their project team will continue to design and develop the anime throughout this school year.

They encourage any GS student to get involved if interested, whether it be by voice acting, drawing, designing or simply presenting ideas. Students can contact Walker or Knapp through the film club to audition for a role in the team.

Walker said, “It’s all about creating a new world where your creativity can go wild.”