D’ART Shtajio Founders on How Current Events Helped Bring Attention to Their Studio

Arthell and Darnell Isom, founders of D'ART Shtajio -- the first Black-owned anime studio in Japan -- discussed their journey into the world of anime, what it means to be Black in Japan and the importance of inclusivity in the world of anime.

During an appearance on STEVE on Watch, the brothers were asked by Steve Harvey why they think there seems to be so much buzz around D'ART Shtajio now. "I think now there’s just so much going on, I think there’s just like this perfect storm that is the culmination of many things," Arthell said. "One...there’s just this huge boom with anime becoming popular, just the culture of anime, in general, is starting to be popular all over the world. Then the second thing I think also contributes to it is that there’s this major focus on diversity or shining a spotlight on voices that we haven’t been hearing, both with race and minorities...as well as y’know different genders. I think the world has kind of got to this point where we want to hear everyone’s voices."

Founded in 2016, D'ART Shtajio may not be a household name, but the studio has been involved in a number of high-profile animated projects over the last decade, including Netflix's Castlevania series as well as popular anime such as Attack on Titan, Fire Force and One Piece.

Most recently, D'ART Shtajio created and directed an anime-style music video for "Snowchild" by The Weeknd, which portrays the artist's feeling towards the trappings of the music industry and its vices, including money, sex and drugs. The Weeknd is even depicted as a classic Shonen protagonist at one point, fighting off a pair of Were-Panthers with glowing pink energy batons before transforming into a cauldron of bats and flying away.

Source: Facebook

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