Production I.G., the Japanese animation company behind the lengthy anime sequence featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1, partnered with VH1 creative forces to craft a show opener for VH1 Divas. The special premieres live on Sunday, April 18, at 9 p.m. and features performances by Patti LaBelle, Jessica Simpson, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, Joss Stone, Gladys Knight, Eve and Ashanti.
The VH1 creative team felt the powerful images found in Japanese anime was perfect for capturing the notion of fierce femininity associated with the word "diva." According to Phil Delbourgo, VP of brand and creative for VH1, Production I.G. first came to their attention by way of Kill Bill Vol. 1. He notes, "One other incentive to work with them was a part of our continual effort to keep the graphics interesting and different on VH1. Going to these extremes involves a certain amount of creative risk and keeps us fresh as a channel.”
The show opener, which took about three months to produce, features anime-style super heroine divas descending upon the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and illuminating the entire city with their “diva magic.”
Since its founding in 1987, Production I.G has rapidly developed into one of Japan’s leading animation companies, having created 13 feature films, 25 direct-to-video films, 19 television series, and 13 video games. In addition, I.G has recently begun to produce its own original material including such titles as Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Blood: The Last Vampire, Vampiyan Kids and Kaidomaru.