Next Generation anime to begin and begin and begin

On the heels of their latest successful season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyoto Animation has announced a joint project with Paramount Pictures to create an all-new season of Star Trek: The Next Generation -- in anime.

"This is an unprecedented collaboration," said company president Hideaki Hatta. "Never before have East and West combined their powers and relaunched a beloved franchise in anime form. Well, okay, it's not quite unprecedented. But we don't like to talk about the whole Super Panty-Shot Mary Tyler Moore X thing, and nobody noticed that RahXephon was a remake of Bonanza, so for practical purposes this is the first."

The new series, tentatively titled Star Trek: Neon Generation, will not be a continuation of the Enterprise-D's voyages; rather, it will take place during the live-action show's run. "We're going back to the good old days," explained Paramount spokesman Frederick D. Huntsberry. "This is your father's Star Trek. Trying to fit new stories between or after the movies would have been complicated, and we didn't want to confuse the audience. That's J. J. Abrams' job now and he's doing it perfectly well."

Mr. Hatta provided further details about the upcoming series. "The idea that drew us to this project was revisiting a single episode whose potential was never fully tapped," explained Mr. Hatta. "We at KyoAni are all fans of 'Cause and Effect', the episode in which the Enterprise gets caught in a temporal loop. It's a classic that inspired us in our work on Haruhi. But there's one big problem with the episode -- we only see five iterations of the time loop! How much more interesting would it have been if we had seen them all?

"That's the plan behind our new series. Each episode will chronicle one pass through the time loop, beginning with the poker game and ending with the starship crash. Each loop will be subtly different from the last. Very subtly. Actually, we're thinking of running a contest where viewers who spot the tiny difference in each new episode win a prize."

When the press conference resumed after roughly ten minutes of flabbergasted silence, Mr. Hatta responded to some misgivings about the concept. "Boring? It won't be boring at all! What could be more interesting than watching the same story again each week, enjoying the same scenes from different camera angles and trying to find some small element of difference? We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think it would make mo-- er, make the viewers happy."

"Besides," added Mr. Hatta, "this is hardly an [story continues on page 2]

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Copyright 2009, Colin Hayman. A product of This Just Inc. All rights reserved.