Total views for “Awakening”, a new sci-fi-horror animated series from Chinastreamed on Tencent Video,have already exceeded 580 million since its launch on May 24th.
The show’s early traction demonstrates the growing and largely untapped market for adult-skewing animation in China, a departure from the child-friendly content that has dominated to date.
Awakening offers a unique take on the evergreen zombie genre,tapping in to contemporary real-world fears about the catastrophic potential of Artificial Intelligence developing beyond the control of its human creators.
Set in the near future on Earth, when scientists attempt to open up a “zero-dimensional space” of consciousness using a quantum supercomputer, the machine rebels and instead manifests a black hole that sucks away their consciousness, leaving zombie-likecreatures ravenous for human minds to devour. As the apocalypse spreads, Ma San and his assorted crew of scientists, soldiers and civilians traverse the ravaged, barren landscape, in search of survivors and solutions, battling not only the terrifying, unconscious hordes, but the darkest recesses of human nature.
The showis co-fundedand co-produced byTencent Penguin Pictures (TPP), the Internet giant’s content development division, and Beijing-based animation design and production company, Oriental Creative Color (OCC). The production budget was a modest RMB1.5m (USD$229k) per episode.
Awakeningis based on an original IP created in-house at Oriental Creative Color by Qu Yi, Zou Yan, Hao Chao, Bai Hong.The first season was written by Qu Yi and Hao Chao and directed by Qu Yi. The studio’s 100-strong team handled the entire production, from script and design through animation and postproduction. Founded in 2012, OCCis best known for its creative work on the popular animated children’s series, Deep Sea Ranger.
The first season, 26 x 15-minute episodes, is released weekly exclusively on Tencent Video and free to watch, with paid subscribers given early access to each newinstallment.
The show is the first product of Tencent Penguin Pictures’ so-called “100-Show Plan”, an extensive animation development slate announced last July. There are 4 seasons of Awakening planned, with the second currently in pre-production and set for release in 2019.
The rise of domestic VOD services like Tencent Video is freeing Chinese content creators to experiment with new and alternative forms of content, particularly animated shows aimed at adult audiences.
Awakening is among the first shows to capitalize on the opportunity, becoming the first homegrown animated horror series available in China. Avoiding Chinese mythology or fantasy, common themes for domestic animation, Awakening is a contemporary story inspired by the recent surge in demand for Chinese sci-fi content and reflecting the country’srecent R&D and tech boom.Though Awakening is not yet distributed internationally, it is intended to be accessible for a global audience, with a cosmopolitan cast of characters inhabiting a world adorned with both Eastern and Western-influenced architecture and cultural landmarks.
Company Name: Oriental Creative Color (OCC)
Contact Person: Lee Lu
Email: Send Email
Phone: +86 17611590818
Address:Floor 1, You Nong Center, No. 233 Chaowan Street, Chaoyang District