Otter Media’s Ellation is launching Ellation Studios, a new division devoted to original content.
Margaret Dean has been named head of studio for the new division, which will create content for Ellation’s Crunchyroll and VRV brands. Dean previously had been general manager of Stoopid Buddy Studios and is president of Women in Animation.
Otter Media was acquired by AT&T and is part of AT&T WarnerMedia content unit.
The first item on Ellation Studios’ slate is High Guardian Spice, an anime-inspired series under the new Crunchyroll Originals banner.
“Crunchyroll Originals aims to elevate animation as a medium for storytelling, as most animated series in western culture is geared towards kids or comedy," said Kun Gao, founder and general manager of Crunchyroll. "Our fans grew up watching anime, and today anime inspires creators from around the world and influences so much of broader pop culture. We look to tell distinct, impactful stories best executed in the medium of animation from a global creative community who is inspired by anime. With this in mind, we are excited to introduce more shows and announce the rest of our slate in the coming weeks.”
Ellation will have production facilities in Burbank and Tokyo.
Previously, Ellation had been programming its brands by licensing and co-producing content for Crunchyroll and VRV. Crunchyroll has co-produced more than 50 series.
“With Crunchyroll Originals, we’re looking to showcase animation as an art form, delivering meaningful original content that draws from our strengths as a truly international service dedicated to super-serving anime fans,” said Dean. “The art style of High Guardian Spice combines anime influence with an untold story and unique perspective. Raye’s team has been inspiring to work with, and we’re can’t wait for fans to see what we have in store for them.”
The High Guardian Spice creative team will appear at this year’s Crunchyroll Expo, a convention celebrating Japanese animation and pop culture.
The panel, taking place Saturday in San Jose, will feature Dean, series creator Raye Rodriguez, supervising director Audu Paden, and story editor Amalia Levari.