The Government Has Funded An Aussie Esports Anime

The Government Has Funded An Aussie Esports Anime
GIF: Meta Runner

Early Tuesday morning, Screen Australia announced the most recent round of production funding for feature films, children’s TV and online shows. One of them is a local anime about esports, one that’s also co-funded by AMD and Epic Games.

The project is called Meta Runner, which Glitch Production (the team behind the SMG4 YouTube channel) has been developing since at least 2017. The series is about a cyborg called Tari, a competitor in a city called Silica City where speedrunning and esports is the most predominant sport and form of entertainment.

But the Screen Australia release also notes that Epic Games and AMD have financed the series, along with some completion funding from the government body.

Meta Runner: A 10 x 12-minute animated series for YouTube set in a future where video games are everything, and technologically-enhanced e-sports competitors known as Meta Runners reign supreme. The series follows Tari, a young Meta Runner, as she weaves her way through this high-stakes and sometimes dangerous world where everyone wants to be number one. It is presented by writer/director Luke Lerdwichagul and writer/producer Kevin Lerdwichagul, creators of the highly popular YouTube channel SMG4. Meta Runner has received completion funding from Screen Australia and is financed with support from Epic Games and AMD.

Two things come to mind here: hey, Screen Australia is funding local anime. And on top of that, so are Epic Games and … AMD?

It’s a weird combination, but good news for local producers. On the downside, it does also mean that all three companies have paid for the creation of a character that wears socks with thongs:

The Government Has Funded An Aussie Esports Anime

Season one of Meta Runner launches on YouTube on July 25.


  • I’ll be honest, I’m not a super big fan of those character designs, but otherwise this seems cool.

  • Its always wired seeing Aussie shows with Aussie voices… That, and this is super cheezy from the trailer. Might be decent, but it also might bomb hard.

  • I’d prefer they fund actual e-sports instead of an ‘anime’ (which it’s not), which nearly no one’s going to watch.

    As a 26 year old e-sports and anime fan… I have zero idea who the target market even is for this. Is it aimed at kids?

    • Screen Australia doesn’t put funding towards sports, so that’s not really an option for them to be fair.

    • I mean, it’s a web series so it might not get as many viewers as a regular cartoon on CN or Nick. At the same time, they have over a million subs on YT as well as a couple of Organizations behind their back but idk how adverts works but there’s that. To answer your last question, the SMG4 fandom is filled around kids that are ~12-16 so I think this show might be bit darker than what the trailer shows. Besides how the models fall almost around uncanny valley, I’m very interested in what this show has to offer.

    • “which nearly no one’s going to watch.”
      Yeah, tell that to his over 3 million subscribers on youtube. Also, this definetly isn’t aimed at kids as the videos on his channel are WAY too adult for kids. They have guns, death, nude mario, etc. This mainly started out as a fun series to add to his channel for his fans to watch, so technically it’s being marketed towards his fans, aka 13+.

  • There’s two types of Australian cartoons.

    One is the cheesy and cringeworthy stuff produced to fill the Australian children’s programming quotas.

    The other one is Bluey.

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