Julian Lai-Hung
Aug 22 · 19 min read

World-first! BlockPunk announces a new way of supporting anime creators at Anime Expo. Written by Tadashi Sudo.

2019年7月6日(現地時間)、ブロックパンクは米国ロサンゼルスにて、アニメシーンのトレンドを変える新しい試みを明らかにした。北米最大のアニメイベント「Anime Expo 2019」内で、パネルイベント「BlockPunk x Studio Mappa x Studio Arch announce the world’s first Blockchain Anime Studio!」を開催した。

On July 6th, 2019 BlockPunk announced a new platform poised to start a new trend in the Anime scene. At North America’s largest anime fan convention Anime Expo 2019 in Los Angeles, BlockPunk held a panel talk event called “BlockPunk x Studio Mappa x Studio Arch announce the world’s first Blockchain Anime Studio” to a room of 2000 fans.


会場は「Anime Expo 2019」のなかでも有数の大きさを誇るPetree Hall。これまでにない試みとあって、ここに多くのファンが集まった。

BlockPunk in partnership with leading Japanese anime studios MAPPA and Arch announced a new platform that combines the latest Web 3 Internet technologies together with content for a new digital distribution platform.



First up on the panel, BlockPunk CEO and Founder Julian Lai-Hung talked about the evolution of distribution from DVD/BluRay, linear TV to streaming and the need for more options for independent creators. BlockPunk’s service offers a combination of streaming video and smart merchandise to create a new ecosystem between creators and fans. In the panel, they introduced 2 examples: smart print-on-demand merchandise that comes with a digital certificate of authenticity and the world’s first tokenised anime film. Both offerings leverage blockchain technology.


The panel was in 2 parts. In the first part, MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka and Chief Producer Makoto Kimura took the stage. They were joined by the director of MAPPA’s smash hit title “Zombie Land Saga” Munehisa Sakai along with Maki Kawase the voice actress who played the character Junko Konno. The MAPPA team clearly enjoyed discussing bringing this original musical comedy to life.

https://blockpunk.net/en/profile/studiomappa (English)

https://blockpunk.net/jp/profile/studiomappa (日本語)

Kimura-san Chief Producer Mappa, Otsuka-san CEO Mappa, Julian Lai-Hung CEO BlockPunk, Evan Minto moderator



The focus on Zombie Land Saga became clear when MAPPA announced that the series character designer Akemi Hayashi had created exclusive new character designs for BlockPunk re-imagining each of the 7 members of the Zombie idol group FranChouChou! Each illustration would be printed on-demand by Dai Nippon Printing (Japan’s largest printing company and one of BlockPunk’s investors) and shipped to fans worldwide through the BlockPunk website blockpunk.net. Each print comes with an NFC chip embedded on the back of the print that when scanned links to a digital certificate of authenticity that shows your ownership of the print in addition to details about the creator and title. Digital extras such as video, ebooks and digital artwork can also be bundled into the item, in addition to showing the transaction history.




Sakai-san director of Zombie Land Saga handing over a signed Smart Art Print to a lucky winner

The new character designs were worthy of a new product launch with each zombie character re-imagined in wedding dresses. The Sakura Minamoto character is depicted holding a bold bouquet of red roses in the centre. With Ai Mizuno in a blue dress and Junko Konno in a pure white dress the illustrations were incredibly detailed and finely drawn. Maki Kawase commented that “Since her character Junko had died in the series she never imagined that she could get married so it was quite emotional to see the wedding dress” At the end of the panel, there was a surprise when Kawase-san pulled a raffle ticket out of a hat and gave away signed samples of the prints and an autographed ‘shikishi’ from Kawase-san herself. Excited fans with the winning raffle tickets came up to the stage to receive the prizes in person from the Sakai-san and Kawase-san.


(L-R) Hirasawa-san CEO/Founder of anime studio Arch, Julian Lai-Hung CEO/Founder BlockPunk, Evan Minto Ani-gamers podcast, Moderator

The second half of the panel showcased new independent studio Arch. Founder and CEO Hirasawa-san took the stage with new anime director syo5 (“Shogo”) Arch announced that syo5’s debut short anime movie “Vevara in Your Dream” would start streaming on the BlockPunk platform.

https://blockpunk.net/en/collection/vevara-in-your-dream (English)

https://blockpunk.net/jp/collection/vevara-in-your-dream (日本語)




“Vevara in Your Dream” was self-produced by syo5 as part of his final year project at Tokyo University of the Arts the leading art school in Japan. The story’s young heroine Sana enters a dream world to confront her internal struggles in a short but quite deep piece. “I tried to recreate that dream state you enter when you sleep where your inner thoughts and fears appear” explained syo5. “Yuri Norstein’s ‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ was one of my inspirations” Although syo5 is just embarking on his career clearly he is one of the young hopes for the future of the industry. “We definitely want to keep working with syo5 and continue to showcase his talent”



To watch the movie on blockpunk.net, first you buy a video token for $15. The token allows you access to stream the video, no time limit. In this case, the creator has ‘minted’ a limited edition run of 500 tokens. Once all 500 tokens have been sold and the creator has reached his revenue target the token owner can resell his or her token. Every time the token gets resold a percentage goes back to the creator. According to Hirasawa-san, “Driven by technology, we are at a turning point in the anime industry that comes once every 20 years. We are very excited to partner with BlockPunk to expand the audience for anime and explore new business models”


パネルでは『微睡みのヴェヴァラ』全編がサプライズで上映された。人の心の奥を表現したような深みのある作品は、エンタテイメント色が強い「Anime Expo」の雰囲気とは少し異なる。しかし上映が始まると会場全体が作品に引き込まれた様子だった。上映後のQ&Aコーナーでは、「あの作品の主人公は私そのものです」と感動あまり泣き出す女性ファンの姿も。作品は予想以上に多くのファンの心を捉えたようだった。

US Premiere of ‘Vevara In Your Dream’ at Anime Expo 2019

Of course, a new business model is not enough, you need quality content. With “Vevara In Your Dream” clearly they ticked that box. The movie was given a surprise premiere at the panel. In contrast to many of the outwardly commercial offerings at AX, the movie was a completely different tone and evidently touched the hearts of many fans in the room. At the Q/A session after the movie, one lady in tears came up to the stage to tell syo5 that “I am Sana” The director and the panel were clearly moved by the impact the film had.

新しいアニメグッズの届けかたと、新しい映像の届けかた。ブロックパンクはアニメシーンに大きな可能性を投じた。しかしその挑戦はまだ始まったばかり、今後の展開も期待される「Anime Expo 2019」でのイベントだった。

A new kind of merch, and a new kind of video streaming. BlockPunk opened the door to a world of possibilities for anime. Although still a young startup, this Anime Expo event created a lot of expectation for things to come.

Written By Tadashi Sudo

Tadashi Sudo, Anime Journalist

Tadashi Sudo is a journalist in the field of Japanese and international animation industry.

After working in a securities firm, he launched daily web magazine “Anime!Anime!” and “Anime!Anime! biz” in 2004, served as editor-in-chief. In July 2016 he left “Anime! Anime!” and worked independently.

His major writing works include “Who makes the future of Anime Business?” (Seikaisha Shinsyo, 2017)., and also he is the co-author of “Digital contents white paper” ”(Digital Content Association of Japan) and “Animation Industry Report”. (The Association of Japanese Animations)

数土 直志



メキシコ生まれ、横浜育ち。国内外のアニメーションに関する取材・報道・執筆をする。証券会社を経て、2004年に情報サイト「アニメ!アニメ!」を設立、国内有数のサイトに育てた。2016年7月に「アニメ! アニメ!」を離れる。代表的な仕事に「デジタルコンテンツ白書」アニメーションパート、「アニメ産業レポート」の執筆など。主著に『誰がこれからのアニメをつくるのか? 中国資本とネット配信が起こす静かな革命』(星海社新書)。


The p2p anime studio. https://blockpunk.net/ Made with love in Singapore and Tokyo.

Julian Lai-Hung

Written by

I used to run anime and Japan content at Netflix, now buidling a p2p anime studio at blockpunk.net



The p2p anime studio. https://blockpunk.net/ Made with love in Singapore and Tokyo.

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