Rocket Jump studios is responsible for some of the best content on YouTube post 2011. Their team of creatives broke new ground by bringing video game concept into real life scenarios. The trope has become commonplace these days in many viral videos, but Freddie Wong and his crew do it with such reverence to the source material that their content feels not only enjoyable but also like it is deserving to be considered cannon in some meta world.
The studio started off with shorter form concepts like the Call of Duty-esque Flower Warfare shorts and their riff of Portal, “Real Life Portal Gun.” The strength in their content is their ability to use VFX to explore loved concepts in ways that have yet to be commented on.
FreddieW started to explore longer form content with the series “Video Game High School” that ran 3 seasons and featured a breakout performance by “Tusk” actor Harley Morenstein as the Dean of the high school.
Then Rocket Jump teamed with Crunchyroll to make Anime Crimes Division, which so far has gone two seasons.
Crimes Division takes Otaku culture to a realm that celebrates its very existence while it’s story surfs anime motifs with an astounding cast. “Detective Pikachu” immediately comes to mind as a film that tried to imitate the balance of love and cannon that flows through ACD effortlessly. But in comparison it ends up looking a lot like a Charmander next to a Ditto, an exposed fake.
The series stars voice actor Sungwon Cho as Joe Furuya, a police officer in a world filled with anime concepts set on a grander scale. Cho’s performance is notable because his vocal tones and micro expressions bring you deeply into this extra ordinary world and push you not only to believe it, but want to be part of it.
Same as with FreddieW and Rocket Jump’s earlier work, reference is the key with Anime Crimes Division. It doesn’t mock or exploit the culture it’s referencing, the content hold it up in a way to say “we love this stuff and want to make it better.”
All of the projects mentioned in this article are available on YouTube. Anime Crimes Division is also available Crunchyroll.