While the budget of Chinese dramas have shot through the roof in the past decade, Chinese animations for the most part have remained at the Pleasant Goat level. The highly anticipated Big Fish has been stuck forever in the post-production stage due to lack of funding. One group of young animators used the Internet to be both its funding and stage. Coastline Animation Studio begun to crowdfund its multi-season project Nanocore 纳米核心 online with a preview, and reached its target of 1 million RMB in less than week . The show is released for free online via major Internet streaming websites. So far, six episodes have been released.
Set on planet Birthingin, Nanocore focuses on an unlikely group of friends – humans, mutants, Asars (genetically modified humans) – as they’re caught between a war for control of technology that could determine the fate their world.
The graphics are quite impressive. The plot is a bit slow to get to the point, but so far the pace has been interesting enough to make up for that.
Watch episode 1 below and subbed here. Character profiles and world set-up below the cut.
Male, Aesir / Age: 15
A mysterious Aesir, Ray has the ability to control the unbelievably powerful nano armor. He lacks social skills and is curious to everything he sees, but his innocence makes it easy for him to become friends with others.
Tangxin/Bing Suixin (糖心/冰绥新)
Female, Human / Age:17
Long-lost daughter of the Bing family, the owners of Dawn Conglomerate, the largest corporation on Birthingin. She was adopted by the mercenaries of The Storm Chasers as a child. Strong-willed and highly skilled, she’s quick to make decisions but also a bit klutzy.
Miya Fentis (米娅)
Female, Mutant / Age: 13
Most people’s first impression of Miya is different from who she really is. In many aspects Miya is much more mature than her brother Nova. Miya’s ability is not as easily seen as other mutants’. Not even her brother understands what she is capable of doing. For some unknown reason, she had disappeared for a long time and came back to her brother as if nothing had happened.
Nova Fentis (诺瓦)
Male, Mutant / Age: 17
Nova lives in the purple fog area with his sister Miya and other mutants. His daily duty is to protect village from attacks of Gailos. Probably because of his power to control fire, Nova is especially fond of getting people’s attention and sometimes a little ill-tempered and reckless.
Luo Zu/Lozo (罗阻)
Male, Human / Age: 19
Lozo is recognized as the best sniper in Shark squadron. One can always find Lozo alone by himself, somewhere away from the crowd, as if he is concerned to nothing around him. It is not surprising why some call him lone ranger.
Mike Lingon (迈克)
Male, Human / Age: 20
Mike is an engineer from Shark squadron. His humorous, positive personality and easy-going attitude has made him very popular in League of Firethorn. No one would believe he grew up as an orphan of war. As for his talent in engineering, Mike claims it is in his family’s blood.
The Asars are a genetically modified race originally created by humans for their own purposes, but has since then developed a society of their own by the third generation. They are called 亚人 (sub-human)
Male, Asar/ Age:280
Second-generation Asar who heads the White Wolf Special Patrol dispatched to monitor Ray. Greada is the general of the protected region. He is not ambitious, but holds his duties as a soldier seriously.
Heyar Adas (赫雅·埃达斯）
Female, Asar / Age: 183
Executer and chief scientist of the Nano Scout Project. A third-generation Asar herself, she grew up under an Asar system that has already been detached from human society. While working on NSP, Heyar studied human society and trained Ray under a human belief system.
Torris Lage (托瑞斯·莱格)
Male, Asar / Age:120
Third-generation Asar desperate to prove himself. Corporal of the White Wolf Patrol. Does not allow for failures.
The Gold Viper
A mafia of sorts that rules the Commercial Capital. The Viper Army’s troops consist of four types, each named after one of the Four Signs of Chinese constelleation – the Azure Dragon, (Qing Long) of the East, the Vermilion Bird (Zhu Que) of the South, the White Tiger (Bai Hu) of the West, and the Black Turtle (Xuan Wu) of the North.
Luo Xia/Roxa (罗夏）
Male, Human /Age:22
Son of the Golden Viper. Because of Lozo’s excellence, Roxa’s childhood was lived under the shadow of his elder brother. To overtake Lozo, Roxa joined the Shadow Coalition to train. Although older, Roxa acts more childish and impulsive. Underneath his jests at Lozo, Roxa actually cares a lot about his non-blood-related brother.
Lan Que (蓝雀)
Female, Human /Age:34
Sole scientist, machinist of the Golden Viper. Uninterested in anything other than machines. She’s trying to create her own version of the Nano Scout Program Project.
Luo Lie (罗烈)
Male, Human / Age:45
The Gold Viper that rules the Commercial Capital. Luo Lie has two sons, biological son Luo Xia (Roxa) and adopted son Luo Zu (Lozo). Unsatisfied with his current power, Luo Lie is trying to create his own army, and is looking for ways to use the Nano Scout Program and Etero Crystallization to his own advantage.