Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai has been in the news quite a bit over the past few months as his peers, publisher and fans have raised money to help him out of a dire financial situation. Plus, it's Usagi's 30th anniversary.

So far, the efforts seem to have gone pretty well, and there seems to be more good news on the horizon: An animated, direct-to-DVD feature film starring the rabbit ronin, whose exploits are currently published by Dark Horse Comics.

The animators at Lintika Films produced a rough proof-of-concept short titled, "The Last Request" and delivered it to Sakai as a way of asking permission for the rights for a feature. They got them.

As for the short, it's still a work in progress. According to the YouTube description, it's about 90% complete, with some sound mixing left to do. It's clearly a bit rough, but it's a nice little story, and the mix of stop-motion animation and traditional, hand-drawn animation is really cool. It'll be really neat to see how it turns out with a feature length and a bigger budget.

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