Kenneth Bright Jr. is a man of many gifts and talents–a self-taught writer, producer, director, actor, and CEO of his own company, Fantasy Soft Entertainment. He’s a young entrepreneur whose goal is to produce the very best in Faith-based entertainment for Christians and non-Christians alike.
Kenneth’s most ambitious project is his anime-styled Prince Adventures series–a franchise wherein three princes, the Trinity, battle against Lord Satan with the help of the Creator’s power. If the people of Orion remain faithful to God, Satan will be banished for a time, but if Satan succeeds in winning the world over to his ideology within seven years time, then he will be given governance of the earth.
Geeks Under Grace sat down with Kenneth Bright Jr. to hear about his testimony and mission, as well as learn more about his ground-breaking, upcoming anime series, Prince Adventures.
Q. When we first spoke, you said “because of God you could make a documentary about me.” Could you tell us a bit about your spiritual journey and how you came to know God, as well as how this led to your creating the Christian-centric anime series, Prince Adventures?
I came to know my Lord and Savior before I could talk. (laughs) I have a spirit-filled mom who led my brother and I to Christ at a early age. We were the few kids who didn’t believe in Santa Claus. (laughs)
Kenneth Bright Jr – creator of Prince Adventures
Growing up I wanted to be many things. I wanted to be a tornado chaser and even a WWE wrestler. It wasn’t until around High School when God told me, “No, you’re going to be a great producer.” Before that, I wondered why there was a lack of quality Christian entertainment. This really frustrated me. I saw what Hollywood was producing and then I saw what Christians were producing. I was confused. (laughs) I knew then what I know now: that there are MILLIONS of dollars in the church. Where’s our Toy Story? Where’s our The Matrix? Soon, God downloaded Prince Adventures to me. He told me that this series would be the next big thing. Since then, I’ve been developing that and other stories. God told me that I’m going to be a great producer. He told me that I would be the next Disney, but for Him. That’s a big responsibility.
God is good! I started Fantasy Soft Entertainment in High School and since then I’ve worked on my stories. With no college degree or anything, I’m now executive producing my first show! That’s rare for someone new like me entering Hollywood! From High School to that! Nothing’s impossible with God!
Q. When did you first get into anime? What are some of your favorite anime series and how have they influenced Prince Adventures?
Like most of my generation I first got into anime through Dragon Ball Z. My top 5 anime are Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Claymore, Kill la Kill, and Attack on Titan. (laughs)
Well, Dragon Ball Z influenced Prince Adventures so much it was a Dragon Ball Z clone, but that changed, of course. I love action. So that is reflected in PA, but not only that. PA has a great story with great characters. Remember, I’ve been working on PA for over 10 years. This series is going to blow people away.
Q. Prince Adventures is an anime series with a Christian basis and Christian themes. What inspired you to make an anime series that reflects your faith? Also, why did you choose the anime medium of storytelling, specifically?
Jesus Christ told His disciples to go out and preach to the nations, so that’s what I’m doing. Prince Adventures will do the same.
A lot of people will tell you that if it didn’t come from Japan it ain’t anime. (laughs) That’s just not true. Even Japanese animators and such know this. “Anime” is short for “animation” and is a Japanese cartoon, and they’re awesome! I think it’s the perfect style for Prince Adventures.
Q. Could you summarize the plot of Prince Adventures and tell us a bit about the main characters?
Han is the righteous, noble, brother. He is the future king of Great Goshen. Akil is mute. He’s very loyal, respectful, and obedient. Nai… pray for him. (laughs) He’s the rebel. He does his own thing. He does things he really shouldn’t do.
Q. Many of the characters in Prince Adventures have animal-like traits. Why did you decide to make your characters anthropomorphic instead of giving them more traditionally human appearances?
You have humals (half man/half animal) and humans that exist in this world. I simply chose to create humals because I think humans are boring. (laughs) No disrespect to God. (laughs)
Q. What is your long-term vision for Prince Adventures as a franchise? Also, do you have plans to spin it off into other mediums of entertainment, such as video games or action figures?
At first I want Prince Adventures to be an animated series. I also want video games, live action movies, the works!
Q. What do you hope that viewers and fans will take away from Prince Adventures? Do you think that non-Christian viewers will get as much from Prince Adventures as Christian viewers will?
Like every creator, I want people to love my work, to love Prince Adventures. I want them to enjoy a unique story filled with unique and awesome characters, characters that go through real world stuff. That’s why PA is a bit mature. Even though this is a Faith-based, Christian series, non-Christians can enjoy it too. You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy a great story.
Q. In Christian circles, anime is often demonized and stigmatized. What would you say to Christians who are hesitant about watching anime or allowing their children to do so?
I know it’s a cliché, but I would say don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because it’s foreign to you doesn’t mean it’s bad. A lot of what Jesus did and said in his time was foreign, but if it’s not for you it’s not for you, and that’s okay.
Q. What do you think sets Prince Adventures apart from any other anime series currently available?
Prince Adventures is very unique because it’s a faith based, Christian series. There’s not that many out there. (laughs)
Q. Prince Adventures features some rather famous voice acting talent. Could you tell us about the cast members and the roles they play, as well as how you were able to get so many of anime’s renowned voice talents involved with the project?
Having all these great actors, companies, producers and others involved is more proof that God has great plans for Prince Adventures. The first actor I contacted was Vic Mignogna who voices Prince Nai Tehuti. He was very excited about the project when I contacted him about it. After that, I got in touch with Chuck Huber who voices Prince Han Tehuti. He soon became Prince Adventures’ second producer. It pretty much snowballed after that. I would pray and God would deliver. I just think The Lord deserves the best, so he’s going to get it from me. I have so many ideas. I can’t wait to have the great Gonzo (Afro Samurai) and STUDIO4℃ (Tekkonkinkreet) animate my stories. I can’t wait to help my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ produce quality work for The Lord. It’s gonna be great!
Q. What has been the most difficult or trying part of developing Prince Adventures? How has God helped you through these difficulties?
Waiting. It’s crazy. God has given me pretty much everything I’ve asked for to produce Prince Adventures, but it’s the waiting that has been the most difficult part of developing PA. Years ago, I wanted PA to come out, but it wasn’t ready. I wanted to produce movies and video games. I tried to raise money and everything, but I, Prince Adventures, wasn’t ready. It was very frustrating, but God knows best. His timing is way better. He kept reminding me of his promises.
Q. Which character from Prince Adventures do you think you are most like? Why?
Wow. Great question. There are so many characters. Prince Adventures may have more characters than Naruto. (laughs) I’m sprinkled over a lot of characters. (laughs) I think I’m like Prince Kazi Nereida the most. He’s Nai’s best friend who’s prince of the underwater kingdom, Masika. He’s very innocent and shy. Very happy go lucky.
Q. In addition to being the CEO of Fantasy Soft Entertainment, you also write, direct, produce, and act in Prince Adventures. What’s the secret to wearing and managing so many creative hats?
God. (laughs) Through God I can do all things. I guess I was just built for this. He has a purpose and plan for all of us. He’ll give us the tools needed to perform our job.
Q. What’s the story behind the Fantasy Soft Entertainment logo? What does it symbolize?
I wanted a cool, simple logo so I chose the triangle. It stands for strength. I found out later that, to Christians, it often represents the Trinity. That’s crazy. (laughs)
Q. There have been some Christian-based films, video games, etc. released in the last few years, but many of these have met with criticism and done poor commercially. In your opinion, what do Christian developers and creators need to do in order to be successful—while still getting their message across—in the entertainment industry?
They need to have great actors, writers, producers, etc. When you bake a cake you don’t want it to be sloppy, right? Bake a great cake. I don’t mean to belittle these works, especially if they’re spreading the word of God, but it’s 2015. We can do so much better. Jesus said to go and preach to the nations, not just your congregation. Produce entertainment that looks awesome and is sprinkled with the scriptures, not just for us but for everyone. Could you imagine the impact The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Assassin’s Creed and others would have if their focus was spreading the good news?
Q. What’s your favorite Bible verse?
Q. What advice or encouragement would you offer to those, like yourself, who seek to incorporate their faith into their creativity, perhaps creating their own anime, comic, or video game series?
God did not give you the spirit of fear. If God said jump you ask how high. In other words, if God put something in your heart to do, do it with no fear and never give up. God gave me Prince Adventures 10+ years ago which just recently got picked up. God keeps his promises. Keep going.
Q. At Geeks Under Grace, we always like to ask our interviewees about their favorite “geeky” media. Aside from your favorite anime series, do you have any favorite video games, movies, comics, or other geeky hobbies?
Favorite Cartoons:Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, SpongeBob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, CatDog, Rugrats, Gargoyles, Animaniacs, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends
Favorite Comic Book Publisher: DC Comics
Favorite Superhero: Batman
Favorite Music: Pretty much all genres.
Favorite Movies:Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The Matrix Trilogy, The Lion King, Toy Story Trilogy
Favorite Video Games:The Matrix: Path of Neo, Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, Assassins Creed video games, Batman: Arkham video games
Is that good? (laughs)
Q. Lastly, is there a tentative release date for the Prince Adventures series, and where will it be available to watch?
Prince Adventures just got picked up by Global Genesis Group. A lot of things need to happen before we go into production. Once we know, the world will know. Until then you can enjoy the short that helped get us a series.
Q. Where can readers learn more about you and the Prince Adventures franchise?
Geeks Under Grace extends its thanks to Kenneth Bright Jr. for taking the time to discuss his upcoming anime series with us. If you want to follow Prince Adventures or learn more about this new series, check out the links below:
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