If you grew up watching Sunday morning anime on local TV channels and drawing Dragon Ball characters on your Canson sketch pad, you might have once dreamed of becoming a mangaka, or even an animator. At the time, it seemed that all you needed was some elbow grease and a few PSICOM-published How to Draw Manga books (remember those?) and you’d be down the path to becoming a best-selling creator for Shonen Jump.
It was one of many pipe dreams that some of us had as kids, but just like any pipe dream, it only took some growing up to realize how implausible it was. Breaking into an almost entirely Japan-based industry as a foreigner is tough enough as it is, but making great manga and anime also requires some top-tier talent and work ethic. In such a fiercely competitive industry where even Japanese creators have a hard time staying afloat and making a name for themselves, it’s hard to even imagine getting to work alongside them when you’re a foreigner.
That is, until D’ART Shtajio came into the spotlight as the first American and Black-owned anime studio in Japan. Rejoice, fighting dreamers, because the dream isn’t dead. Let’s take a look at how D’ART Shtajio is breaking new ground in the Japanese animation industry.
D’ART Shtajio was established in 2016 by twin brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom and animator Henry Thurlow. Prior to founding the studio, the three had already been working as professionals in their respective fields. Darnell Isom worked as a concept artist and visual effects artist on films like Pacific Rim, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while his twin brother Arthell worked in the field of anime as a background artist for shows like Naruto, Bleach, and Black Butler. Henry Thurlow, who completes the trio, also worked in the field of anime as an animator for some of our favorite shows, including One Piece, Attack on Titan, and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Those with a grasp of basic Japanese vocabulary might have taken notice of the “Shtajio” part of the studio’s name, as the word “studio” in Japanese is actually romanized as “sutajio” (スタジオ), but “Shtajio” is actually a portmanteau of the word “studio” and the phrase “Shitaji ga daiji” (下地が大事), which means “The foundation (or groundwork) is important”. Anime background artists also use the word “shitaji” to refer to their underpaintings. D’ART Shtajio’s unique naming convention reflects its core motto: to place great importance on the most fundamental levels of the creative process.
The fact that an American and Black-owned anime studio has found its place in Japan matters to us because they represent the millions of anime fans around the world who’ve always wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of the screen. Anime has long inspired artists of every kind, but the medium itself felt irreplicable and out of reach to those outside of Japan. Recently, with the practice of outsourcing becoming more common among Japanese anime studios, more foreign artists have been able to contribute to the creation of anime, but doing outsourced work just isn’t the same as making an anime that’s distinctly your own.
The team at D’ART Shtajio are bravely going where very few, if any at all, have gone before, and they’re helping make anime a more globalized medium. Who knows, maybe following their example could be the start to getting some Japan-made Pinoy anime of our own, we already have a good start in Barangay 143, after all.
You can find more information on D’ART Shtajio on their official website, and you can follow their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well as their YouTube channel for updates and vlogs.
Our Privacy Commitment
TV5 Network Inc. values and respects your privacy. We are committed to safeguarding your personal data in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Why do we collect your personal information (as applicable)?
We may collect and maintain basic information about you as site user of TV5 sites for the following purposes:
Where do we get your personal information?
There are several ways we collect your personal information.
Information that you personally provided.
Most of the personal information we have are those that you have provided us when you:
Information we collect during your engagement with us
We also collect information as you use our products and services, like:
Information we collect from other sources
Other means of collection of information may be through:
When do we disclose personal information?
There may be instances when we are required to share the information you provided us. In such cases, we ensure that your personal information will be disclosed on a confidential manner, through secure channels and in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and other privacy laws.
In some instances, we may be required to disclose your personal information to our agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and other third-party agencies and service providers as part of our regular business operations and for the provision of our programs and services. This means we might share your information with our service providers, contractors, and professional advisers who help us provide our services.
How we protect your personal information
The integrity, confidentiality, and security of your information is important to us. We have implemented technical, organizational, and physical security measures that are designed to protect your information from unauthorized or fraudulent access, alteration, disclosure, misuse, and other unlawful activities.
We also put in effect the following safeguards:
TV5 will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those identified in this Commitment, your Service Agreement or our Terms of Service, and any other purpose that you may have given your consent for.
What are your choices?
We make sure that we have your consent to continue to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes that we have identified. We want you to know that you may object or withdraw your consent and/or edit your consent preferences at any time.
If you wish to have access to the personal information in our custody or if you think that the personal information you provided is incomplete, or otherwise inaccurate, you may get in touch with our Data Protection Officer through the contact details provided below. In some instances, we may request for supporting documents or proof before we effect requested changes.
Data Protection Officer
TV5 Network Inc.
Reliance corner Sheridan Streets
What happens when there are changes in our Policy?
You will be provided notices if the changes are significant and, if we are required by law, we will obtain your updated consent.