Under Armour Stephen Curry 3 Zero Men's Basketball Shoes | Under Armour BEAT Chips in as Iwájú Offers an Animated Alternative in an Anime Driven Era

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Anime controls the screen time of people of all ages. The CrunchyRoll App has seen explosive growth since 2021. The Anime streaming service, according to Statista, is at 13 million subscribers. Anime is no longer a niche, subgenre in the shadows of the Pixar, Disney and Imagination machines. This has contributed to a decrease in viewership of traditional animation. Disney has had to resort to relaunching more action driven animated series like the reboot of X-Men. Animators cap break in to the medium with an alternative to anime find it hard to gain ground. Black and African American animators have always had to push against the tenis, but in recent years a couple of very cool Black shows broken through. Young Love on Max performed well and Kid Cudi’s Entergalactic was a revelation… driven by anime qualities.

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With Anime becoming such a prevalent factor in the day to day viewership of young people, and adults, finding animation which provides people with an opportunity to see themselves are an approximation of their culture and appearance is important. Enter Iwaju by Kugali Media. Disney signed the team and the outcome has been an amazing blend of AfroFuturism, social commentary and beautiful imagery. Screen Rant interviewed the team behind the show, Iwájú director Olufikayo “Ziki” Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim, and cultural consultant Tolu Olowofoyeku. In the interview they, “discussed extrapolating from daily life in Lagos, Nigeria to create the science fiction reality of their new show, and what their future plans are for Kugali Media.”

Since arch is rooted in sneaker culture, a cool aspect of the film is the collaboration between Disney and Under Armour. Check out the video below:

I’ve often spoken about Under Armour’s shortcomings in creating culture. Many of the criticisms are not of the teams within the brand, but those who manage the company. The BEAT Team at Under Armour continues to create awe-inspiring work, but in keeping with the missteps if you type in Iwaju on the UA website, nothing shows up. Under Armour has a unique opportunity to expand their demographics with this project, but I’m sure those reading this had no idea UA had connected with Disney on this compelling animated show.

I finished watching this first season and there is an opportunity for a variety of discussions on how trafficking is a problem in countries like Nigeria and in all communities. If you have time to check out the show, do it. It’s well worth it.

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