Every now and then there’s a website that really shows the power of the internet. And there’s no better summary to be made than what’s written by Broken Saints’ creators: In June 2000, “storyteller Brooke Burgess unites with talented wunderkinds Ian Kirby and Andrew West. Their goal? To use available online technology – up ‘til then reserved for hollow corporate schilling or jerk-off toiletfests – to show the world that compelling narratives can exist on the World Wide Web.”
The anti-corporate, anime-influenced, online animated series has progressed past its humble beginnings into a remastered DVD released by 20th Century Fox, but this original Flash site has been kept intact for its loyal fan base and new viewers to peruse.
With a mix of Eastern and Western philosophy and comic book culture similar to Neil Gaiman, the 12-hour Flash graphic novel focuses on a band of culturally varied protagonists who uncover a diabolical corporate conspiracy. The quality increases from episode to episode, beginning with a childish simplicity but progressing into a more deft and dynamic use of Flash’s capabilities. The first 24 episodes are all available to watch for free on the original site. Episodes are separated into 1 to 3 parts, each one lasting anywhere from 7 to 22 minutes. Games, printable PDF posters, free soundtrack mp3s, screensavers, banner links, and all kinds of other techie treats are available for downloading. Detailed character bios are there to help keep the story straight for the confused. There’s also a comprehensive FAQ, press clippings, and a section for the creators to sound off their day-to-day rants. While the website has not been updated since April 2003, the creators still frequent their newsletters and forums, which are as active as ever.
With all the intricate character and plot development and increasing animation quality, this isn’t the type of series where you can point to one particular show to watch. Just set aside a very large chunk of time and watch from the beginning.