Under the Dog represents the latest in a growing trend of anime being funded in alternative ways like Kickstarter or Netflix and represents a break from the traditional financing method of animation production committees. Over the course of its development, it had its fair share of problems from to trouble in delivering its stretch goals to creative splits to swapping out animation studios but the first OVA has now finally arrived to disappointing results.
Initially, Under the Dog has an interesting premise where monsters exists, governments try to contain an outbreak and a third faction has an odd interest in recruiting special people that can have the power to destroy or save humanity. Unfortunately, that is squattered on the two high school characters that end up being inconsequential to the narrative as they end up dying before the episode’s end. Anthea, the character that the trailer hyped up, shows up near the end and doesn’t add much other than showing off her boobs and muttering a couple of lines. I also didn’t really end up learning about the history or the basic mechanisms even though terms like “flowers” and “light of humanity” were being dropped left and center. It reminded of how the first movie of Kara no Kyoukai thrusts its viewers in the middle of a perplexing alternative nasuverse before returning to the beginning and building its characters and mystery up. At the very least, I enjoyed the US military squaring off the monster and the high school chick as the action was decent enough with the infantry displaying a decent amount of realism in their tactics.
As this is animated by Kinema Citrus, a studio who isn’t known for their consistent quality or smash anime hits, the results are disappointing when compared to the promise of the original trailer. Everything looks rather bland in both colour scheme and in the details of its world and character while maintaining a jerky animation style that seems to be missing a couple frames. Even more bizarre is the omission almost all of the footage that was shown in the original reveal trailer where the cool motorcycle and the smooth fighting scenes are nowhere to be found and the new footage from the OVA didn’t come close to what the this Kickstarter project promised.
If this was a regular TV anime and not an OVA funded through Kickstarter and had a badass reveal trailer, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to it. However, the final product is a far cry from its promise and goes to show that it is not where the money comes from ,but rather the creative process and talent that enables how well it turns out in the end. Under the Dog is less of Kick-Heart or Little Witch Academia and more of a Mighty No. 9.