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This is itself the most Star Wars thing and presumably one of the major challenges when making any new Star Wars story, but the tonal whiplash in the latter seasons of the Clone Wars between what feel like backdoor pilot story arcs for a few different iterations of Star Wars: Babies spin-offs and much more grimdark portrayals of the fall of the Republic than anything you see onscreen in the actual prequel movies is pretty severe!


I cuss you bad
Star Wars Visions so far, no spoilers:

Episode 1: I love it with every fibre of my being
Episode 2: Somebody clearly adores Star Wars. Lots of neat references, not especially my thing but I love it exists
Episode 3: what in the effing eff is that
I watched the first two of these. I'm not that impressed. I've never been a fan of these kinds of outsourced, anthology anime collections. For starters, they're always very hit-and-miss. And the good ones, it's always a bummer because you know they'll never get followed up or expanded upon like you want, they'll forever remain a 12 min short that is just beginning to scrape at the potential of the ideas they're displaying. The other reason why I don't generally like these things is that we've got a pretty extensive track record at this point of Western media giants shoving money at Japanese animation houses to do this kind of stuff, and most of the time the studios put their B-Staff on the project, pocket the money, and put in a half-assed effort.

Episode 1: "The Duel"
The Studio: Kamikaze Douga - a small-time outfit that's relatively new, and that has historically only ever really done outsourced 3DCG stuff for other studios. Their big claims to fame was Ninja Batman, and the first 4 openings to the JoJo shows. (Parts 1-3)
Directed By: Takanobu Mizuno - I can't find anything about this person. As far as I can tell, they've never directed an anime project before, and the biggest thing on their resume that I can find is doing the animation direction for Ninja Batman.
Written By: Takashi Okazaki - Doesn't have an extensive track record here. Mostly has done character designs, not writing. Big claim to fame here is being the creator/writer of Afro Samurai.
How was it? - It was ok. This short was made with 3DCG disguised as very rough 2d sketchy animation. Think the first four JoJo openings, but even more sketchbook like. Mostly monochromatic with bright colors for neon lights, light sabers, and blaster shots. It was a Star Wars thing trying really hard to be a 50s jidaigeki, which is a really weird ouroboros when you think about it. I thought it looked great, but the "Star Wars but samurai" aesthetic was A Bit Much and there wasn't a lot of substance to the story here. Just a Ronin-Jedi doing his best Yojimbo impression.

Episode 2: "Tatooine Rhapsody"
The Studio: Studio Colorido - Another relatively small/new studio. They've made some commercials, and a series of largely unremarkable films. Their most recent productions that might ring a bell include "Penguin Highway" and "Burn the Witch".
Directed By: Taku Kimura - Literally has never directed any anime before this, and the only thing I can find credits for him is as a voice actor.
Written By: Yasumi Atarashi - Another nobody who I can't find any credits for besides a random Light Novel.
How was it? - Weird. It was a conventionally animated thing but with a pseudo-SD art style which I dunno the last time I watched any anime that looked like this. So that's novel. The scenario surrounded an outlaw rock band being chased by Boba Fett; the band included a member of the Hutt-Clan who ran away from home. It was a cute story, but there is only so much meat you can fit into something that's only 10 or so minutes long. I'm very weary of anime centering around bands/making music because a lot of my personal investment in such things depends on if the music is as good as the story wants you think it is. And in this case, the generic alt-rock was pretty meh/forgettable.

So far I'm enjoying the disparate tones, art styles, and inventive scenarios for a Star Wars thing. But the nature of this kind of anthology I think is just a big double edged sword. It would have been nice if these studios had gotten more than just a single 10-20 minute short episode to really begin developing some of these ideas in earnest. And it's weird because on the Western side of things, they brought in a lot of decently famous people to play a lot of these voice parts. Disney could have stood to spend a bit more on this on the Japanese side.