NFT Artist Pplpleasr’s New Project ‘Shibuya’ Brings Long-Form Animation to Web 3

It’s Kickstarter meets Netflix, but on the blockchain. The pilot episode for Shibuya’s inaugural “White Rabbit” series drops on Wednesday.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2022 at 10:31 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:07 p.m. UTC
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NFT artist Pplpleasr is bringing long-form animation to Web 3 through a new venture, Shibuya, which went live with its beta version on Tuesday.

Shibuya will crowdfund production of long-form visual content – such as short films, movies or television series – by selling non-fungible tokens (NFT) called “producer passes,” disrupting the traditional studio-driven methods that now dominate the industry.

Unveiled at the Ethereum Conference in Denver on Feb. 18, Shibuya is the latest brainchild of Pplpleasr, an NFT artist who first gained mainstream attention after her Fortune magazine NFT cover raised $1.3 million. Now, she’s pushing the boundaries of NFT use cases.

Shibuya is, in Pplpleasr’s own words, “a Web 3 experiment where long-form content is free to watch but monetized on the blockchain to allow viewer participation on the creative process and also shared ownership.”

The first Shibuya project will be an anime called “White Rabbit,” an interactive Web 3 series centered around a protagonist who goes down the crypto rabbit hole.

It’s like “anime meets ‘Black Mirror’ meets crypto,” said Pplpleasr (aka Emily Yang) at the project’s unveiling talk at ETHDenver last month.

While the series will be free to watch, viewers who hold the producer passes will be able to stake the NFTs to vote for one of two alternate endings to the first episode. The option that receives the most votes will determine the main character’s plot line in the next episode.

In the pilot episode, the main character will come across two doors. Behind each door is an alternate ending to the episode. (CoinDesk screenshot/Shibuya)
In the pilot episode, the main character will come across two doors. Behind each door is an alternate ending to the episode. (CoinDesk screenshot/Shibuya)

Additionally, the funds raised at mint will also go toward the film’s production. Each episode of “White Rabbit” will have its own unique producer pass NFT.

Pplpleasr told CoinDesk the inaugural mint of producer passes will be capped at 5,000 and priced at 0.08 ETH each (about $240 in current prices), first accessible only to a whitelist, or a pre-approved list of wallet addresses, on March 1. A second public mint is scheduled to go live Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET.

“The design of producer passes was inspired by movie ticket stubs,” explained Pplpleasr. “They can be a paper trail of all the episodes you watched.”

The art of the producer passes are inspired by traditional Japanese wood block prints. (CoinDesk screenshot/Shibuya)
The art of the producer passes are inspired by traditional Japanese wood block prints. (CoinDesk screenshot/Shibuya)

Viewers who vote by staking their producer passes will also earn WRAB, an ERC-20 token representing fractional ownership of the “White Rabbit” series. There is a fixed supply of WRAB tokens that will be distributed to the community as the series progresses.

“When the series completes, the whole thing is going to be minted as an NFT,” Pplplaesr told CoinDesk in an interview. “The token holders are essentially DAO members that can vote on the show’s future. Whether that’s getting involved with a bigger production company, going to another streaming platform, that’s up to the token holders.”

Pplpleasr’s first major crypto-based fundraising event came last July, when she partnered with the Ethereum Foundation to raise 1,036 ETH (around $3.1 million) for “The Infinite Garden,” a documentary about Ethereum.

Anime roots

The name Shibuya is a homage to a famously busy crosswalk in Japan that bears the same name.

Pplpleasr called Shibuya a “decentralized Hollywood” where “cultures and ideas meet in one eclectic and inspiring place.”

The project’s road map also includes a collaboration with crypto wallet application DegenScore.

The DegenScore collaboration would create gated Telegram chats whereby only holders of the producer passes could discuss the episode or write in the channel.

Eventually, the thinking goes, each Shibuya series would spawn its own token-gated community, similar to a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

Eli Tan contributed reporting.

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Tracy Wang

Tracy was the deputy managing editor at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS and some NFTs.


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