Karmachakra is a 2D animated Indian series inspired by Japanese Anime. As a result of the ever-growing fandom of Anime in India, the idea of ‘Karmachakra’, India’s very own anime was conceived in the year 2016. Which led to the creation of Studio Durga.
About Karmachakra’s Studio Durga
Studio Durga is the first Indian Animation studio to create anime-style 2D hand-drawn animation in the country. Studio Durga was formed in 2017 and is working wholly independent of any foreign collaborations. They aim at creating original homegrown content for teens and young adults. And to deliver amazing stories through the medium of animation. “We believe in telling powerful stories through the medium of animation, and design original entertainment that can be enjoyed by teens and young adults” is what Studio Durga’s website says. A challenge that was never taken before in the country when it comes to Indian original animation series.
The Two Years Disappearance
Karmachakra was supposed to be released in 2018. But Studio Durga suddenly disappeared until it made an appearance again in 2019. The reason was that Studio Durga struggled to find good animators and voice actors for the production of this series. In India, there is a lack of skills for frame by frame animation required for manga art-style which is used in Animes. Very few rose to the challenge of facing the difficulties to come while producing an Anime. Today they have managed to form a team of avid animators to do justice to Indian Anime Community.
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Karmachakra began as an amateur production by a team of 3 members which was dubbed with the help of friends. Later it was recognized by some renowned Bengali film stars who saw potential in this new type of content. These stars have offered to dub the movie and have shown support for the Indian Anime Community.
Quick Review of Karmachakra
Karmachakra is a fictional mystery drama set in present-day India. It draws inspiration from psychology, cyber-technology and Hindu mythology.
It follows the story of an orphaned girl named Ganga who tries to solve the mysteries revolving around her past and her present. She is now a college student excelling in her studies and preparing for her future. That is when she receives mail about the funeral of her childhood friend Rick. This takes her back to the orphanage she grew up in and find out the reason behind Rick’s sudden death. Just when she thought she had lost any chance of contacting her friend again, she receives a text from Rick. A text that leaves her wondering whose funeral had she attended.
The original production is in the Bengali language but we can hope for it getting dubbed in other languages in the future. The cast working on Karmachakra is Swastika Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Mir Afsar Ali, Parno Mittra, Swaroopa Ghosh, Tanusree Shankar, Santu Mukherjee, Anik Dutta, Alaknanda Roy, Shantilal Mukherjee, Barun Chanda, and Shamik Sinha. And it is directed by Rajorshi Basu.
When Studio Durga released the Opening and Ending Theme song on YouTube, it instantly caught the attention of all fans. It has the style of Anime or J-pop music and songs but performed in an Indian language. The music composition, performance, and production are beautifully done by Rajorshi Basu.
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The opening theme song is named Chawa in Bengali and Chaahat in Hindi meaning ‘to seek’ or ‘to desire’. The song lyrics are by Sohini Basu and is sung by Tanisha Ganguli.
The ending theme is Akankha which is a soft melodious song. The lyrics are again by Sohini Basu and vocals by Rupankar Bagchi, Tanisha Ganguli, and Disha Sinha.
Recognition Received by Karmachakra
When the first trailer for Karmachakra was released two years ago, it had many people excited for India’s first own anime. The trailer was played at Delhi Comic Con 2017 and also ended up headlining in Anima Sao Festival 2017.
Karmachakra was also selected for Independent Short Awards Los Angeles, Feb 2020. It won Platinum, which is, the first place for Best Animation Short category. And received Honorable Mention for Best Web-series/ T.V. Pilot and Best Original Score.
When is the Release Date of Karmachakra: Episode Zero?
Karmachakra: Episode Zero is currently under production. It is going to be an 80 minutes long movie to mark the beginning of the series. They have also released few scenes of the movie as mini-series on their YouTube channel.
They also made a pilot episode of 20 minutes duration which was asked by OTT services broadcasting in India. This pilot episode is also available on Studio Durga’s YouTube channel.
The production of the movie is estimated to be complete by mid-2020. We might not get to watch the movie soon after its completion. But if everything goes well we can expect the movie to release at the end of 2020 or at least in the year 2021.
Struggles Faced For The Movie Release
Studio Durga spent over 6 months talking with agents from major OTT platforms in India. And so, the 20-minute pilot episode was made, to show them what kind of movie it is going to be. The OTT platforms have loved it and have shown interest in the series. The movie may be released on these OTT services, but there is still no guarantee. As stated on Studio Durga’s website, the OTT services said that they are struggling with less number of actual paying customers in India. To make an impact on the Indian market, they feel the need to release content that appeals to a mass audience, even if that content is unnecessarily edgy.
Karmachakra is Counting on Your Support!
Whether Karmachakra will be screened or not depends on the support it receives from Indian anime fans. Due to the massive efforts of anime fans in India, we saw the day when Dragon Ball Super: Brolly and Tenki no Ko (Weathering with You/ Child of Weather) was released in Indian theatres. It will take even greater effort to be able to bring a movie from a newly established studio on the big screen. It’s time for the Indian anime community to once again come together and show the number of eager audiences the country has for such content.
If Karmachakra becomes successful in India, it might lead to a change in the whole Indian Animation Industry in the long run.