Studio GAINAX and Saudi Arabian media group AriNAT (Arab Innovative Arts and Technologies) have shared a first look at their collaboration anime, Desert Knight. The three-minute trailer, which you can watch below in Japanese and Arabic, was first screened at Abu Dhabi’s ANI:ME festival, held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates at the end of October.
ARiNAT, who focus on producing and distributing animations, comics and video games, started streaming the trailer on Tuesday. More surprising than the fact we’re seeing the old Evangelion and Gurren Lagann studio active again, is the existence and context of the project itself. Although, with the language barriers and without proper context, many have misunderstood the preview’s violent content, ARiNAT describe Desert Knight as follows:
A movie featuring the Japanese anime style that takes place in the Arabian Peninsula and concerns an ambitious young man who decides to challenge the tyranny and the rule of the law of the jungle and bandits to build a world filled with peace and love.
ARiNAT CEO Essam Bukhary said, “We hope that we will not only transmit knowledge of animations and video games from Japan to Saudi Arabia but also deliver something new from Saudi Arabia to the world.” And GAINAX co-founder Hiroyuki Yamaga added, “We are very excited to collaborate with the Middle East at the forefront in the field of animation and contents production. We hope that we will create new works by new work processes and new ideas through the partnership.”
These words express more than the sum of its marketing platitudes. Anime has the power to convey messages of friendship and togetherness that cross cultural barriers. Conflicts like those taking place in the Middle East must be tackled directly in conversations for their resolution, and with any hope, Desert Knight‘s message of love and peace will reach minds, and comfort the suffering.