From August 5 to August 7, Crunchyroll held its Virtual Crunchyroll Expo (V-CRX), an online rendition of its annual anime convention, and revealed its upcoming original and exclusive content heading to its platform.
At V-CRX, Crunchyroll showed a never-before-seen clip of its new upcoming series, Fena: Pirate Princess. The series is a joint project with the production company Adult Swim and it premieres Saturday, August 14 on both platforms. Fena won’t broadcast in Japan until October 2021, a rare occurrence of an anime series airing overseas first.
Alternate Pirate History
Fena: Pirate Princess is being created by famed anime studio, Production I.G., and directed by Kazuto Nakazawa who is best known for directing Parasite Doll, the anime sequence in Kill Bill: Volume 1, and was the character designer on Samurai Champloo. The anime tells the story of Fena Houtman, an orphan girl who lives in a fantasy version of the 18th Century.
Fena works as a servant in a brothel but manages to escape her captors to an island of pirates where she learns the truth about her heritage. She takes her place as captain of a crew of samurai pirates and goes on a high-seas adventure to find treasure.
From the snippets available, Fena: Pirate Princess sounds like a great series with a fast-paced dynamic animation and an epic story to boot.
Spicy High Fantasy
Alongside Fena is High Guardian Spice, an upcoming series that was supposed to be Crunchyroll’s first-ever original content and meant to be released in early 2019, but production issues caused the series to be delayed. It even missed its new 2020 deadline.
A new trailer was released at V-CRX that revealed much of what the show is about and we can see the series wearing its magical girl and Steven Universe inspirations on its sleeve.
The show is about four young girls who go to High Guardian Academy, training to become guardians of the city and having to do with a looming unknown threat.
A release date still hasn’t been given but it will premiere on Crunchyroll soon.
The rest of the series on Crunchyroll’s itinerary will be exclusives to the service.
The first is The Faraway Paladin, a story about a boy who was raised by three undead beings in the woods. He goes on a journey to become a paladin and solve the mysteries about the land he lives on. Next is an adaptation of the long-running visual novel series, Muv Luv Alternative, a mecha anime about mankind facing extinction at the hands of an alien race known as the BETA. Both of these series come to Crunchyroll later in the fall.
2022 will see the release of more exclusives starting with an adaptation of the light novel series, The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest, which is about the world’s most powerful sage who is reincarnated and must prove himself again in his new life.
— Crunchyroll @ #VCRX! 🔥 (@Crunchyroll) August 6, 2021
Love of Kill is an adaptation of the romance manga series about a pair of assassins on the run from a bounty hunter. They must work together to overcome impending death and confront their pasts.
Skeleton Knight In Another World – English Key Visual!
The anime is coming soon to Crunchyroll. pic.twitter.com/VGPUzf8oMr
— Anime Trending (@AniTrendz) August 7, 2021
And then there’s Skeleton Knight in Another World, an isekai about a gamer who wakes up to find himself to be in the body of his character and goes from town to town helping people alongside his dark elf partner, Ariana.
It seems to me that Crunchyroll has seen Netflix’s success with their own original content and exclusive anime series, and is trying to capitalize on that. Judging from these trailers, the service is well on its way to reaching that goal.
Do any or all of these appeal to your taste in anime?