Burning Rubber is an anime series that’ll blow your mind. The show is broken down into one-minute swag-filled episodes available for you on IG.
It is an anime twist on NYC public school culture. It all starts out with a kid named Duane Kasai who wants to get out the slums of Crooklyn and become the best handball player to ever walk the earth.
Peep Chapter 01 of Burning Rubber:
We caught up with Chris Fequiere, the man behind these powerful animations via email. Fequiere said that Burning Rubber was influenced by Eyeshield 21 and One Punch Man‘s animation artist Yusuke Murata, as well as growing up in the NYC public school system.
“The artist for One Punch Man (Yusuke Murata) is probably my biggest influence right now. He also created a pretty well-known sports anime called Eyeshield 21, seeing that kinda also influenced me to do Burning Rubber.”
“Growing up in the NYC public school system some type of wall ball was just part of the culture. Kids used to get dropped off real early because their parent had to go to work, so before school started you had about 30 kids slapping and pegging other kids with rubber balls… those were fond memories. As my interest in cartoons and anime grew I wanted to create something unique, very New York, and ‘for the Kulture.'”
The funny thing is, Fequiere was never interested in animation. He originally went to school for creating comics.
He didn’t fuck with the comic format so he bossed up and made his art come to life. From that moment he realized he liked seeing the movement of his art versus the static page.
Knee-deep in the game and stir crazy after coming off of the second season of Epic Rock Tales, he put in the work for Burning Rubber. Fequiere has transferred his work ethic into something really special.
He animates each frame of Burning Rubber in Adobe Animate where he spends up to 50 hours on one minute of animation, which is around 1,7800 frames.
That perfectionism is very understandable as every detail, including the characters’ outfits, is done with a notable precision. He dresses each character in the most fly urban apparel.
Like Kith’s Air Maestro II Highs sneakers…
Puma Tsugishinsei sneakers…
And Virgil Abloh’s Off-White clothing brand.
Sheesh! Could Burning Rubber get any more fly?
Fequiere took all of NYC’s boroughs and put his own twist on them, making an intricate world of his own. He calls Manhattan Empire City, Staten Island is Shaolin (shouts to the Wu), Brooklyn becomes Crooklyn, Queens is The Q, and the Bronx is known as the Boogie Down.
Besides the dope layout of his NYC wall ball world, the plot is also dope and includes an antagonist…
An overbearing sensei…
A captivating storyline that’ll have you coming back for more…
And the OG baddie!
We need more, Chris! So, what else can you give the people? Currently, he has two anime bullets that are going to hit hard in his creative chamber. A space odyssey series and another anime series about a video game shopkeeper.
“Recently I met LeSean Thomas (Boondocks, Black Dynamite, Avatar: Legend of Korra) at Anime NYC and he told me you should have 5 ideas in the chamber, right now… it’s just 2. I have a space odyssey that’s basically Cowboy Bebop meets Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress and then another about a video game shopkeeper.”
There is a lot ahead for Fequiere and more importantly a grip of Burning Rubber episodes to come. Hopefully, we will see his creativity come to life on TV someday.
Most likely we will as he shares his imagination with the world as soon as an idea comes to him. He hopes that aspiring animators and young artists will do the same, Fequiere said,
“Get it out of your mind and into the world ASAFP (as soon as fucking possible)”
Want to keep watching Burning Rubber? Keep up with the latest episodes here!