Disney announced on Wednesday that a new original anime series titled “Project Battle/Battle” created by Sung Hoo Park will stream on Disney+. The series has been a decade in the making and will be animated by Park’s animation studio, E&H production, in collaboration with GAGA. There has been no official announcement when Project Bullet/Bullet will be released or if it will be a worldwide Disney+ release. Park recently became a must-know name in the anime industry after his incredible work as the director for the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen and the recently released film Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
Park’s animation studio is basically brand new. The company was founded in March of 2021 with the “E” and “H” standing for both “Entertainment” and “Human”. The company site describes its mission as the following: We believe that enjoying what we are creating is the best way to connect with our audience and make them enjoy our productions. Bringing together creative and dedicated people across borders, we aim to make engaging animation for the whole world.
According to the website, the series has only been involved in two works as of now that include collaboration work on the ending (ED) of the fantasy anime series Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Season 2 and the animation production for the LittleTwinStars Summer Night Fantasy meets Kiki & Lala exhibition (watch both below). Project Battle/Battle will be the studio’s first official series after a decade in the making, rivaling something similar to Wit Studio’s original sci-fi anime series Moonrise, which will officially be released in 2024.
Sung Hoo Park’s Rise Through The Industry
Based out of South Korea, Park made a name for himself over the past year as the director for both Jujutsu Kaisen and The God of High School anime series. After briefly studying animation in South Korea, Park moved to Japan to further his studying of the industry. “To make that dream [of becoming an animation director] come true I focused on studying art in middle and high school,” said Park. “I got into a university in Korea that had an animation department, but I decided to study abroad instead for the chance to broaden my horizons more. I had trouble deciding whether to go to America, where Pixar was located, or Japan, where Macross was made, but I ended up deciding to study in Japan based on the strength of its hand-drawn animation.” [interview with Crunchyroll]
In 2004, Park began to work with Studio Comet, the studio best known for its series such as Initial D First Stage and School Rumble. Park’s first works for the studio included in-between animation for the series Onegai My Melody and School Rumble: Extra Class, both of which were released in 2005. It wasn’t until later that year that Park began to work on his own key animations for the series Capeta.
Park would work on key animations for the Studio Comet series for the next four years until he was finally brought on to be an assistant animation director for two episodes (21, 31) for Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood in 2009. Park also had plenty of key animation work in the iconic series across episodes 3-4, 9, 15, 42, 51, 59, and even the fifth opening for the series. That same year, Park was brought on as an animation director for an episode (26) of the hit series Fairy Tail. Park would then go on to have key animation work in bigger series such as Space Dandy, Guilty Crown, and even the film One Piece Film Z. But in 2016 is when Park’s career took off.
After working on key animation and the storyboard for episode 11 of Punch Line (series by studio MAPPA) in 2015, Park made his directing debut under MAPPA for the series Garo: Vanishing Line in 2017, which ran for a total of 24 episodes that finished in 2018. And from then on, Park has become a godsend for MAPPA. In 2018, Park worked on key animation in both episode 10 and the second opening (OP) of one of MAPPA’s highly regarded series Banana Fish. That same year, Park was given the task to direct and storyboard the opening (OP) Zombieland Saga. (You can watch both openings below).
Two years later in 2020, Park directed The God of High School, which received a vast amount of praise for its mind-boggling fighting choreography and beautiful animation. In an interview with Crunchyroll, Park described how he got the gig as the series director: “[Manabu] Otsuka-san, the president of MAPPA, gave me a proposal,” said Park. “I was familiar with the name The God of High School, but I hadn’t read the series, so I read the entire thing right after that. The action was incredible, and I knew right away that I wanted to animate that with my own hands. Also, as a Korean myself, I was deeply intrigued by the concept of animating a Korean WEBTOON series, so I considered it a great opportunity.”
Many fans criticized the series for skipping over a ton of material in the anime series that was originally part of the WEBTOON by Yongje Park. But (Sung Hoo) Park mentioned that he actually researched many of the different martial art styles from the series on Youtube. “I studied taekwondo techniques on YouTube, then reproduced their motions in hand-drawn keyframes,” said Park. “I incorporated my own style of camerawork to create highly intense images that give the impression of great speed.”
Then, of course, after God of High School came the critically acclaimed series Jujutsu Kaisen (2020) and the movie that follow Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021), which recently became the 6ht highest-grossing anime film of all time surpassing the Weathering With You. And since then, Park has become a household name in the anime community. Project Bullet/Bullet is Park’s only known work after Jujutsu Kaisen 0. No announcement has been made as of yet on whether or not Park will return to direct Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 in 2023. But one thing is for sure–if you see the name “Sung Hoo Park” next to “director” you’re going to be in for a wild ride. And if Project Battle/Battle has been a decade in the making, that means Park has been working on this project of his since his time as a key animator on One Piece Film Z.
Project Bullet/Bullet is an original anime series created by Sung Hoo Park. The series is animated by his animation studio E & H Production along with production company/distributor GAGA.
Source: Comic Natalie