Remember Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio Future? The games that practically bled cool with rocket-powered roller blades, gorgeous graffiti and hulking boomboxes far as the eye could see? Upcoming animated series Urbance claims them as big influences, and it looks stylish as fuck.
Urbance's plot — which centres around a city in which sex is illegal because of a deadly genetic virus — sounds a little silly, but the stories within it could well be worth telling. Here's an overview of what it's all about:
"In the crumbling inner city, sex kills. The urban landscape is split in two — men on one side, women on the other — opposing each other. COEVO seems to be the only hope: a government medical treatment developed to cure every single boy and girl except that those wearables haven't produced the expected results yet..."
"Born among this lost generation of frustrated gangs, Kenzell and Lesya live each day as their last, defying anyone who stands in the way of their union. Like modern avatars of Romeo and Juliet, they will have to choose between love or their kind, Passion VS Reason, Deadly Eves VS Neo Blasterz... In their flamboyant relationship lies the premises of a revolution against the authorities, the vicious Mediators and their separatist laws. Rebels can change the world..."
It sounds completely ridiculous and a little juvenile, but sometimes ridiculous and juvenile are good. I mean, watch that trailer. This series wants to go over the top, raise the top even higher like some kind of reverse limbo bar, go beyond it again, and then invite all its friends over for a sick rave up there. It's not trying for restraint or subtlety.
And of course, that art. Urbance looks crazy cool, with a high-speed collision of influences ranging from hip-hop to electronic music to cyberpunk informing it. Its story could turn out to be complete nonsense, but those sounds and visuals would still be utterly intoxicating. It's on Kickstarter right now attempting to drum up $US189,000 for a pilot episode and, eventually, a full series. Its creators would like to go transmedia with it as well, including — wait for it — a video game. And thus we come full circle.
But yeah, for now we could get a TV series that's a mix of Jet Set Radio and The Warriors. I'm on board. Like what you see?