Anime News Network's coverage of Anime Expo 2019 is sponsored by Yen Press.
Singapore-based company BlockPunk is offering director syo5's short anime film "Vevara in Your Dream" on its platform in collaboration with independent anime studio Arch. Anime Expo hosted the United States premiere of the anime short on Saturday.
syo5 self-produced the short at Tokyo University of the Arts, and the partnership between BlockPunk and Arch is distributing the work. BlockPunk is offering the film for purchase via blockchain tokens. A total of 500 tokens are available for US$15 each or the equivalent in Ether cryptocurrency. The video tokens additionally grant access to extra features such as commentary and production artwork. After the tokens sell out, buyers will be able to trade them through BlockPunk, and a percentage will go back to the creator.
BlockPunk CEO and founder Julian Lai-Hung noted that when people purchase home videos of anime, "only a tiny percentage actually goes back to the creator." In contrast, he said that "the majority will go back to the source" with BlockPunk's platform. BlockPunk stated that offering works exclusively through blockchain tokens also helps to protect creators' rights and prevent the creation of pirated copies. The company aims to "uncover new anime voices and talent in the future" and distribute more works worldwide through its blockchain model.
Lai-Hung discussed the new anime distribution platform and the "world's first tokenized anime film" at a panel at Anime Expo on Saturday. MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka, MAPPA chief producer Makoto Kimura, Studio Arch CEO and founder Nao Hirasawa, and anime director Syo5 appeared at the panel.
BlockPunk announced on Friday that it is releasing the "world's first collectible anime blockchain art prints." The company is collaborating with its investor Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) to offer anime art prints. BlockPunk's DNP Primo Art prints feature characters from MAPPA's Zombie Land Saga anime. Wedding dress designs of Sakura Minamoto, Ai Mizuno, and Junko Konno are available for pre-order now. Other creators will be able to use BlockPunk's blockchain system to offer limited-edition items in the future.
BlockPunk announced in June 2018 that it rebranded its CryptoAnime initiative under the name BlockStudios. The company announced at that time that it had signed content distribution deals with Kazuto Nakazawa (Kill Bill Chapter 3: The Origin of O-Ren) and Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On/The Grudge director). BlockPunk launched CryptoAnime in April 2018 to allow users to buy and sell digital artwork.
Sources: Email correspondence, press release, Anime Expo's website