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Watch This: "Emara: Emirates' Hero"

One of the joys of surfing the internet for animation is that you occasionally stumble on animation projects (teasers, shorts, pilots, mini-series, etc) that come from every corner of the globe. Location, cultural background and creativity can play a big role in giving an animation a certain spice that you can't find anywhere else. Giving the project an identity that helps it to stand out from the crowd.

One such trendsetter is "Emara: Emirates' Hero" created by Fatma Almhairi and her creative team Eating Stars Studios.

SYNOPSIS: The show follows titular superheroine, Emara. The alter ego of a young Emirati girl named Moza who harnesses a special power to fight crime in the busy bustling streets of Dubai - not knowing in doing so she starts to gain the attention of even more dangerous people.

One thing you notice right away about this mini-series is how it presents its heroine and its setting. Though there clearly are a few classic anime influences (a few visual homages as well) there is clearly a concentrated effort to make sure Emara is recognized as a UAE (United Arabic Emirates) production. This is primarily due to the creators' interest in creating an animated series inspired by the shows they grew up watching. Over the course of its development, this series has gained quite a large following online. Large enough to create a substantial petition urging Netflix to air Emara on their streaming service. Though this did not come to pass, the series creators have chosen to air the entire first season (releasing it as a mini-series) on their Youtube channel.

Emara's road forward has been long, but after watching all five episodes I have to say that the excitement building around this charming animated series is well worth taking the time to watch. Though I confess to being a born and bred Caucasian American with little to no knowledge of what "Emirates" meant until I took the time to learn it, I'm glad Emara inspired me to find out. Even when you separate the story of Emara from the culture that shaped it, it is just a fun superhero story. With a likable heroine (who is tough without sacrificing her femininity), fluid action, humor and an overarching mystery to keep viewers coming back episode after episode.

If you haven't already, give it a watch. If you like what you see, please support this production the talented team of Eating Stars Studios.

- All episodes are available on the Emara Youtube Channel in English, Formal and Informal Arabic.
- Support the series by following Emara on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.