Foot Locker, in partnership with Asics shoes, decided to go down the anime route to promote its “Welcome to the Dojo” apparel and footwear collection.

The company commissioned global ad agency BBDO to create a mini-episodic animation series called The Sun and the Snake that was inspired by Asics’ Japanese heritage. The collection tells the story of two dojos: rising sun dojo, which inspires fear in the hearts of all who hear its name, and snake dojo, revered as a respected institution where many have started the arduous trial to become a samurai.

The five mini-shorts, launched last month on Youtube and Instagram, have been compiled together into a short film, which can be viewed below. The animation was produced at London-based studio Shotopop, with a team led by director Dipankar Sengupta.

The project features the voices of urban influencers Luka Sabbat (Sneaker Samurai), Princess Nokia (Kiku), and YFN Lucci (Ghost Samurai). Says Sabbat, “As the voice behind the character, Sneaker Samurai, I’m able to combine two of my personal interests – style and anime. I’ve always had an affinity for fashion and personal expression, and I think it’s dope that Foot Locker and Asics were able to bring those together in such a lit way for the launch of the ‘Welcome to the Dojo’ Pack.”

Key creative credits
Produced by Shotopop
Directed by Dipankar Sengupta at Shotopop
Editing: Richard Payne
Creative Directors: Casper Franken, Carin Standford
AE Animation & Compositing: Richard Payne, Ionut Lupu
2d animation: Giulia Frixione, Hannah Lau-Walker, Marylou Mao, Diana Buzea, Kirill Blumenkrants, Arman Alipour, Dipankar Sengupta
2d animation coloring & detailing: Alison Oxborrow, Beidi Guo
3d animation: Ionut Lupu
Character Design: Samantha Friend, Dipankar Sengupta
Illustration: Samantha Friend, Tony Sekyere, Carin Standford, Cat Finnie, Kalyanjyoti Mohan, Margherita Bertellini
Storyboard: Dipankar Sengupta
Animatics: Richard Payne
Agency: BBDO NYC
Music and sound effects: Mixed Tape Club

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