Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms Project inspires full-fledged anime and manga series

Key visual for the upcoming anime Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms.
A key visual for the upcoming Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms anime, focusing on Hikaru and his robot Alma. Pic credit: @natalie.mu

On September 14, 2022, Japanese publishing company Pony Canyon announced that Sae Okamoto’s Mecha-Ude Project is inspiring an anime TV series and a manga adaptation.

A key visual for the upcoming anime series has been released and can be seen here:

Key visual for the upcoming anime series Mecha Ude: Mechanical Arms.
A key visual for the upcoming anime series Mecha Ude: Mechanical Arms, featuring host/wielder Hikaru, his Mecha-Ude Alma, and his bodyguard Aki (the girl with the orange hair). Pic credit: @natalie.mu

Yoshino Koyoka, known for the Aria the Scarlet Ammo manga, will be in charge of the Mecha Ude manga adaptation, which will be launched on LINE Manga and ebookjapan services. On September 15, 2022, three free chapters will be made available. The manga will be updated every other week.

A key visual for the manga adaptation of Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms has been released and can be seen here:

Key visual for the manga adaptation of Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms, featuring Hikaru, his Mecha-Ude Alma, his bodyguard Aki and his first enemy.
A key visual for the upcoming Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms manga adaptation, featuring Hikaru, his Mecha-Ude Alma, his bodyguard Aki and his first enemy. Pic credit: @natalie.mu

Okamoto’s TriF Studio (an independent and crowd-funded animation studio) has released a documentary video on YouTube, which gives a sneak peak at the incredible upcoming anime. If you’re a fan of mecha and sci-fi, this innovative series is definitely for you!

You can watch the documentary here:

【メカウデ 本格アニメ化決定!】TriFスタジオ紹介ムービー「オリジナルアニメへの挑戦」
Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms documentary.

How did Okamoto come up with the idea?

Animation creator and illustrator Sae Okamoto didn’t just decide she wanted to create an anime. She was drawing an illustration with a mechanical arm coming out of a boy’s back for fun and started to do some more concept art. When TriF Studio CEO and producer Shuichi Asou was talking to Okamoto and she showed him what she was currently working on, he was impressed by the Mecha Ude concept art on her cell phone.

What especially caught his eye was the concept art for the heroine who had two mechanical arms emerging from her lower back. He immediately suggested then and there that they should try coming up with a story revolving around the Mecha arms and animate it. 

“I would like to thank everyone who supported us through crowd-funding and everyone else who has supported us. It was with our fans’ support that we were able to continue the story of the characters in the pilot version and animate the end of their story, too. New Mecha Ude Mechanical Lifeforms and their Wielders will appear in the upcoming anime series!”

Sae Okamoto commented at Comic Natalie
Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms manga page, featuring Hikaru and the Mecha-Ude Mechanical Lifeform Alma.
A Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms manga page, featuring Hikaru and the Mecha-Ude Mechanical Lifeform Alma. Pic credit: @natalie.mu

What is the plot of Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms?

The story centers on a Japanese middle school student named Hikaru, who is living a rather boring and ordinary school life. His life gets turned upside down, however, when he comes into contact with an A.I. robot arm, also known as a Mecha-Ude Mechanical Lifeform, named Alma. When Alma attaches himself to Hikaru, he becomes “activated” and exhibits extraordinary powers. All of a sudden, Hikaru’s life is filled with battles, adventures and even romance.

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When a girl named Aki, who wields dual Mecha-Uda mechanical arms, encounters Alma, she believes it is possible he’s the legendary “Trigger Arm” and is assigned to be Hikaru’s bodyguard. However, the people in the organization that Aki works for aren’t the only ones who are interested in finding the “Trigger Arm” and Hikaru is forced to fight people who wield Mecha-Ude of their own, in order to stop Alma from falling into the wrong hands.

“Okamoto has a rare talent. I will never forget the Mecha Ude concept art illustration that she casually showed me at the Udon Restaurant that day. What started as just an idea has now become an anime series. Thanks to everyone’s support from the first pilot version, we were able to come this far. TriF Studio is working hard to bring Okamoto’s vision to life.”

Shuuichi Asou commented at Comic Natalie
Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms manga page, featuring Aki, the girl who is assigned to be Hikaru and Alma's bodyguard, and who wields dual Mecha-Ude.
A Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms manga page, featuring Aki, the girl who is assigned to be Hikaru and Alma’s bodyguard, and who wields dual Mecha-Ude. Pic credit: @natalie.mu

Who are the production team members?

The Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms production team members include:

  • Director — Sae Okamoto (Sushi Police, Danchi Tomoo, and Tenkai Knights animation)
  • Animation — TriF Studio (made up of animation students and volunteers from Fukuoka)
  • Animation Producers — Shuuichi Asou and Tetsuya Kinoshita (Pony Canyon)
  • Co-producer — Masayoshi Oishi (Monthy Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Overlord)
  • General Supervisor — Hiroshi Matsuyama
  • Character Designer — Terumi Nishii 

“After watching the pilot for Mecha Ude I understood its potential and wanted to see more. That’s why I’ve decided to participate in the Mecha Ude Project. When Okamoto told me about the project in more detail I could truly envision a world where Mecha Arms play a key role.”

Tetsuya Kinoshita (Pony Canyon) commented at Comic Natalie

In May 2019, TriF Studio released a pilot episode in Japanese and an English dub version quickly followed. The opening theme song “Ambivalent” is performed by singer-songwriter and Vocaloid producer Eve (Dororo, Jujutsu Kaisen). The ending theme song “Alone” is performed by AZLiGHTZ.

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You can watch the English dub pilot here:

MECHA UDE Full Episode English Dub
Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms pilot episode, English dub.

From October to November 2016, the original Kickstarter campaign raised 67,918 USD. Later, during a Campfire crowd-funding campaign in Japan with an initial goal of 2 million yen (18,700 USD), they managed to raise 4,849,500 yen (44,000 USD). The campaign ended on March 10, 2018.

Are you looking forward to the full-fledged anime series Mecha Ude: Mechanical Arms? Let us know in the comment section below!

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