As an inhuman army of unknown origin rips apart her homeland, a young girl discovers within herself a well of mystical power that she neither wants nor understands. Together with her sister and an old sage, she strikes out across the war-torn countryside, searching for the truth behind an ancient family secret that could save the world from annihilation.
Created by Evan Viera & Charley PopeDirector: Evan VieraWriter: Charley PopeExecutive Producer: Tommy WoohProducer: Jeremy MorrisComposer: Austin Wintory
a ROYGBIV production
AIKO was born through Evan and Charley's shared love for epic fantasy stories. One night, while discussing the kinds of ideas and themes that they wished were more thoroughly represented in mainstream media, the creative duo came up with an idea for an animated television show. Over the course of the next several years, the idea gripped both of them with inspiration—and at some point the story took on a life of its own, blossoming into a saga of ambitious proportions.
AIKO is more than an adventure story, or a fantasy epic, or a portrait of apocalyptic societal collapse. It is an animated series whose soul resides in the profound physical and emotional journey undertaken by its characters. A young woman is desperate to find belonging in an oppressive world; an old man seeks to carry out his liege lord's dying wish; an innocent child is confronted with the madness of violence and war. Intense struggle, overwhelming loss, and survival in a landscape overrun by monsters that hunger for living flesh. These are the kinds of things that make AIKO a story worth telling.
The series is set in a world inspired by our own—a reflection of a pivotal era in human development that sent us spinning like freewheeling tops onward into the twentieth century. Charley drew much inspiration from real-world history (working with PhD Historian JD Wyneken), weaving actual events into the fabric of the narrative—events that gain significance when the story eventually leaves Japan's shores and ventures out into the wider world.
In 2012, Evan and Charley sat down to concoct ideas for possible collaborations. AIKO was just one of many ideas to blossom from those late-night chats. In late 2014, Jeremy Morris reached out to the creative duo and offered to represent them. Jeremy helped coach and shape AIKO's development, challenging Evan and Charley to fully realize the project's potential.
Several months and many man-hours later—story bible in hand—the three began pitching AIKO around Los Angeles. While greeted with significant enthusiasm (for both the project and their team), the three soon discovered that US networks are still very uneasy about the idea of developing dramatic animated content. Feeling committed to the world and characters that they had come to love, they decided to develop a proof-of-concept—in the form of a two-minute animated teaser—and see if the idea had legs.
In 2015, Tommy Wooh and Evan Viera formed ROYGBIV with the intention of creating a studio that would develop narrative work for all platforms. AIKO was the first project they invested in. The teaser was made by a total of nine people (half of them intermittent). The core team was Evan Viera, Charles Badiller, Eva Lusbaronian, and Felice Wong. They worked for 4 months at ROYGBIV’s studio.
Jay Jackson, a veteran traditional animator, oversaw the animation, and Charles and Eva were the principal character animators (with Felice as their assistant). Cassandra Larson and Johan Ravit also contributed as animators on the project. Aside from directing, Evan contributed to the storyboards, design, backgrounds, compositing, and FX/environment animation. While the teaser was in production, Charley wrote the pilot script and season 1 episode outlines.
CREATIVE OBSTACLES (From dir. Evan Viera)
The most challenging creative obstacle was figuring out what scenes to include in the teaser. We wrote the season 1 episode outlines way before starting production, and we wanted each scene in the teaser to be an actual moment from the show. Finding the right pace, giving the right clues, and teasing at the important secrets were very difficult obstacles to work around. It's much easier to storyboard from a script. Trying to create momentum, structure, and progression from snapshots taken from 30 pages of outlines is like trying to narrow down a novel to a single paragraph. I storyboarded the project 10 times before arriving at the final result.
IS "AIKO" CURRENTLY WITH A NETWORK OR DISTRIBUTOR?No. As of right now, AIKO is only a property of its creators.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR DISTRIBUTION AND/OR PARTNERSHIP IN PRODUCTION?Yes and Yes.
WHAT MARKETS ARE YOU LOOKING INTO?Although the US is our primary target, we are also interested in starting internationally (Europe and/or Asia) with the hope of bringing it back home.
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?Teens through adults, but really anyone with an appetite for rich and dramatic stories told in the animated medium.
ARE THERE IMAGES, BIOS, AND PHOTOS TO USE IF WE WRITE AN ARTICLE ON "AIKO"?Yes! Please click the button "DOWNLOAD PRESSKIT". If you would like additional information, send us an email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WHAT IS "ROY·G·BIV"?ROYGBIV is a studio and production company founded by Tommy Wooh and Evan Viera in 2015. Our founding mission: to bring our projects to life with heart, focus, care, and purpose; to contribute to the evolution of modern storytelling; to share unique, compelling, and exceptional content with the world.
WHERE IS THE STUDIO BASED?ROYGBIV is located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, CA.