Ellation, the AT&T-Time Warner brand that offers subscription services like Crunchyroll and VRV, has launch two new studios, one in Burbank and one in Tokyo, to produce original content.

The first production out of the new Ellation Studios will be the Crunchyroll original series High Guardian Spice. Slated to premiere in 2019, the show is created by Raye Rodriguez, who has previously worked as a production artist and animator on Fox’s Animation Domination Hi-Def.

High Guardian Spice follows the story of four girls – Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Parsley – who are learning to become heroes at High Guardian Academy. Throughout the series, the foursome will “form allegiances and comical kinships, uncover legacies and betrayals, and discover their true identities while preparing to protect the world from an ominous unknown threat.”

"High Guardian Spice" concept art. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.
“High Guardian Spice” concept art. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.

Unique among animated productions, the show has an all-female writing room, with the rest of the production staffed approximately 50-50 male and female. Veteran animation director and producer Audu Paden (Animaniacs) is the show’s supervising director, and Amalia Levari (Harvey Beaks, Over the Garden Wall) is story editor.

Ellation also announced that its new head of studio for animation is veteran executive Marge Dean, former GM of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and current president of Women in Animation. Dean is tasked with developing original productions for both Crunchyroll and VRV, and will oversee production on High Guardian Spice.

"High Guardian Spice" concept art. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.
“High Guardian Spice” concept art. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.

“With Crunchyroll Originals, we’re looking to showcase animation as an art form, delivering meaningful original content that draws from our strengths as a truly international service dedicated to super-serving anime fans,” says Dean. “The art style of High Guardian Spice combines anime influence with an untold story and unique perspective.”

Crunchyroll founder Kun Gao says that more original series will be announced in the coming weeks.

"High Guardian Spice" poster. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.
“High Guardian Spice” poster. Courtesy: Ellation Studios.

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