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First Black-Owned Anime Studio Based in Japan Deserves Your Attention!

Image courtesy D'Art Shtajio

Have you heard of D’art Shtajio yet, the first black-owned anime studio? Well thanks to this piece over at ComicBookResources we just did and holy crap! They’re doing some beautiful thing. But don’t just take our word for it, check out this commercial reel they uploaded to their youtube channel.

Founded in 2016 by brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom and their friend Henry Thurlow they’ve been working in the background to bring some of our favorite stories to life. Stories like Castlevania, One Piece, Seven Deadly Sins and many others listed on AnimeNewsNetwork as well as their own projects like Sound and Fury which you can watch right now on Netflix or their short Indigo Ignited shown below.

As reported by CBR, Arthell has worked on big titles like Bleach, Gintama, Black Butler, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and Naruto with animation studio Ogura Kobo. But thanks to his years of well established work and with such a sweet portfolio, he created his own pilot for a potential anime called XOGenaSYS which is based on a manga written by a star of the NBA, Johnny O’Bryant, drawn by Nikolas A. Draper-Ivey, and originally written by Tre McIntosh. Just check out this synopsis:

The future has grown into a decadent, overcrowded gang-ridden cesspool. If you’re not living uptown, you might as well be dead. Such is the case of Darius Smith, an artistic youth living in the hood, doing his best to avoid trouble and live life. Unfortunately, Darius has a hidden talent – he’s an explosive fighter! This makes him the target of many gangs and pits him in many brawls, landing him in the sight of the honorable Timothy Mustafa, a powerful prince, and owner of one of the most successful XOGeneSYS teams in the country. XOGenaSYS is a successful gladiator sport fought with powered exoskeletons, and Mustafa wants Darius to become the next new fighter! Can Darius become the next champion or will he fall like so many before him?

Here's a brief background and summation of the D'Art Shtajio from the CEO Arthell Isom.

Their work speaks for itself, with such stunning visuals and animation. Plan on seeing more from them in the months to come! If you know of any other Black-owned animators, studios, voice actors or other such entertainers that you think we should be aware of, let us know in the comments below.

Mike Wynne Co-singer/songwriter for I Can’t Even, father of the ConfectioNerds and all around lover of all things Japan and gaming. IG:


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