Hey! Here’s the first original short with FULL CREDITS listed under the cut!
Last year the fine folks at Cartoon Network gave us the chance to create shorts to get the word out about the OK K.O.! Game! We get to do original shorts based on a game?! What!!!! Cartoon Network fully believes in the game and the idea so doing a cartoon for it was a no-brainer!
The idea for this short came from the development process between us and the game developers at Double Stallion.
We all felt super good about the controls, the punching, the throwing and the ground-pounding all felt great. The team had the brilliant idea to add slide kicks to KO’s moveset which was awesome! I collaborated with the games’ Art Director Eric Angelillo on the ingame animation:
Slide-kicking eventually became so fun that I was doing it all the time in the game, which influenced the story for this short! (Storyboarded by Toby Jones and Stu Livingston)
In a chance of a lifetime, I got to work with one of my FAVORITE studios, Science SARU on the creation of this short. The studio is headed by Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi who are both huge inspirations for me. I got the chance to visit the studio during my visit to Japan last year and they are doing some amazing, next-level stuff. I’m completely humbled that they wanted to work with us and I really enjoy the energetic direction of this short which was thanks to Abel Gongora and Juan Manuel Laguna. We used several of the elements from the old pilot, but as you can see, Science SARU gave the look a distinctive twist!
Don’t think for a second that when the album drops I won’t come back at this and look at it again in context, but shit, son. I can’t just not say anything about this. I have SO MANY FEELINGS OKAY, here we go.
HARRY. FUCK. Harry has taken on the Zayn role and hot damn is the boy stepping up. He sounds like fucking Adam Lambert in the chorus. (Have I said that before? I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before about Harry’s higher register. I’m fucking gone at the knees for that sound.)
Louis. I’m dying. He just swoops in and does the thing, he just does that thing, and then I’m finished. This song opens with a perfect one-two Harry-Louis and that’s it, bell, KO. And there is still THE REST OF THE SONG. But really, every interjection Louis has is so perfect.
That’s really a consistent thing on this track, actually: the vocal distribution is perfect. I’m going to be really interested to see what happens with their vocal style as a whole now that they no longer have an embarrassment of vocal riches and have to actually be thoughtful about how they deploy. This is also pretty harmony-light, which is a pretty major departure from the last album’s focus. I hope they’ll put some tightly harmonised tracks on the new record because I believe they still can and should pull it off, but that’s not what this track is about, and I respect that.
But back to individuals. LEEYUM. Casually singing octaves with himself in the pre-chorus, and then Niall just arrowing in on the repeat and completely flipping the focus. FuckinG, this is one thing this band has always been good at, switching things up on the repeats to intensify things. Giving Niall the repeat of the verse, and then giving Louis’ line to Harry, completely alters the sonic landscape and builds tension and it’s fabulous.
Also I think it might be written into their contracts that Niall provides all the laughter that’s used in the background of 1D’s tracks. I swear it’s him every time. Find me a laugh that isn’t Niall and I will crown you monarch of caring about minor shit to an unhealthy degree. I could definitely stand to abdicate.
Okay, in terms of structure this is a really conventional dance track, but one thing 1D’s been doing really well lately is archetypes. By this I mean that they take a genre they like, mine its essence, and then produce a song that is very close to an ideal specimen of that genre (e.g. LBD, WDBHG). This is very close to being another archetype, combining the current standard techno build with, what the actual fuck, a deconstructed funk layer that you really see exposed in the chorus. This is a jam. Somehow, in among the electronica, it manages to be cool as hell. Part of this is about the bass and the funk rhythm, part is just that they kept the 70s-flavoured rhythm guitar they started implementing last album. I really want to know who arranged this.
I also love the spacey build of the intro just landing on the bass and dropping into the momentum of it immediately. It’s a perfect forerunner to the prechorus-to-chorus situation.
Okay, listen, first things first, we need to talk about the reversal of the lights metaphor from Don’t Let Me Go, like, “all of a sudden these lights are blinding me” vs. “all these lights, they can’t blind me” TELL ME HARRY WROTE ON THIS SINGLE PLEASE (do we have writing credits yet? help a sister out)
I also adore, idk, EVERY SINGLE METAPHOR HERE. Fire for a heart, a river for a soul & you’re a boat, these metaphors are basically so far up my alley they’re living in my back yard. The river/boat/”nobody can drag me down” business is especially resonant because [LARRIE ALERT] let’s be real, guys, nautical metaphors have kind of been a staple of the symbolism we’ve been consuming for years, and here we are with an intense song about how the person you love keeps you afloat, like, what kind of jokers are these guys, please.
ALSO: I’M NOT SCARED OF THE DARK vs. ALL THESE LIGHTS, THEY CAN’T BLIND ME I just, come on.
In conclusion, this song is really good and I’m not scared for OT4 anymore. They’ve totally got this.
A shift toward androgyny has been building over the past two years with big names like Hedi Slimane and Riccardo Tisci who favor traditional feminine elements such as capes, skirts, and tights in their menswear runway collections. Now brands like Baja East and Gucci address this issue by creating androgynous clothing.
Runways don’t care of your gender. They blend it all and mixed them up together. It’s okay for men wearing make up and dress all feminine. The same way it is okay for women to be all androgyny with the pantsuit and the super short pixie hair.
Androgyny, gender blurring, unisex clothing, cross-dressing or however you refer to it is by no means a new movement, but it is definitely having a moment now and it’s here to stay.
44, Francis Montesinos, Givenchy, Hibu, Hood by Air, João Pimenta, Ronaldo Fraga, Rynshu, Schet-Ko & Vivienne Westwood.
I visited Japan recently with some friends, and we got to have dinner with the awesome Ko Takeuchi! I drew this as a gift for him. I have a lot of fond memories playing Wario Ware, and Ko’s character designs are some of my favorite ever.