BURAAQ Animated Series Episode 4: "I am here to help."
The last episode ended at a cliffhanger, and this one wasted no time getting right to the point. This was the most action-packed episode of the series. Qasim and Abdul Karim were about to teleport when they heard the sound of the drones. Karim told him they were Stryker drones sent by the man himself. They agreed on running in the opposite direction to buy more time. Soon a drone almost caught up with Qasim, and he jumped right on it to shake its balance. He then jumped off from there, landing safely while the drone crashed. In the meantime, Karim also came and told him he got rid of his drone as well. After this, their gadget showed a tremendous magnetic field towards the west of the cave. As they were about to run, they saw another big drone on their head, making them realize they couldn't run anymore. While the boys were ready for it to attack them, BURAAQ appeared and destroyed it.
BURAAQ Is Back
After the first episode, this was the second time BURAAQ appeared. This episode didn't have many dialogues as it was mainly them running from the Stryker drones. Background sound was one applaudable factor, significantly when Qasim jumped on the drone. The background music complemented the action perfectly. The series doesn't rely heavily on background scores much, but here it was much needed.
The next episode will give a much clear insight into the connection of Karim, Qasim, and BURAAQ. From what we have seen so far, it can easily be predicted their dialogues will be great as they will focus on their fight for what's right. Throughout the series, all the characters had shown a calm demeanor, even when Stryker drones were at their heads. This may look like a small detail, but it is extremely significant, especially considering that Muslim men are shown to be loud and aggressive in foreign movies. Their whole energy is depicted as unfavorable, but the characters have never been angry or fighting in the series. Even when Qasim was talking to Night Stryker, his tone wasn't loud at all, neither was he shown angry.
Support For Cultural Impact
It is commendable that SplitMoonArts are trying to create something that has the potential to become huge. In just four concise episodes, they have shown that it is a much-needed superhero series. Their research is thorough, and most importantly, their vision is clear. These mini-episodes are enough to show how much we need a Muslim superhero to have some sort of cultural impact. Marvel and DC got big because of superheroes that were around for decades. It's about time we as Muslims start introducing someone too. BURAAQ is a series built to show the power of faith, and this is something that the young generation needs to learn. Suppose a series like Ertgrul can have such a huge impact. In that case, a superhero series will also help in furthering this narrative.
BURAAQ Episode #3: Abdul Karim
The third episode of the BURAAQ series is the most emotionally charged yet. It opened with Qasim being teleported to a cave where he is supposed to meet someone. Soon enough, a person entered, and Qasim recognized him to be "Abdul Karim." He met Karim after a long time and told him that he has successfully retrieved the samples. Karim got happy to hear that, but then Qasim said to him that a person in a black mask almost caught him, and he might still be on his trail.
Upon hearing this, Karim told him that guy's name is "Night Stryker," and he is the right-hand man of the main villain. Qasim inquired how did he know so much about him when Karim told him something devastating. Night Stryker was responsible for killing Karim's wife and their children. Qasim was shocked to hear this and tried to sympathize with him by saying someday he'll join them in the great heavens. While Karim agreed with his thought, he was still adamant about seeking revenge. Qasim then reminded him their priority was to get the samples to Dr.Troy [Head of the Truth Seekers], who would then analyze the samples to see their side effects on the human body and mind. As soon as they were about to teleport from there, they heard something in the background. Karim immediately recognized the sound and told Qasim they were Stryker drones that were headed their way.
The Underwhelming Aspect
Unlike the last two episodes, this one ended at an exciting cliffhanger. Although the animation somewhat lags in this episode, it still makes for a good watch. The dialogues gave a much clear idea about Qasim and Karim and what they were fighting for. The plotline of family members dying and then the surviving member taking revenge is nothing new. But once again, Islamic faith was added into the conversation when Qasim assured him that this world wouldn't end and he'd meet them in a better place.
A Conscious Effort
This is possibly the best aspect of the BURAAQ series in that they don't try to forcefully add anything in the narrative. The way they talk like actual Muslims do is something that needs to be highlighted more. Whether BURAAQ says "SubhanAllah" or Qasim saying Allah will not let them fail, it adds more to the narrative.
Western media has never shown how Muslims really talk. They only try to associate our beautiful daily expressions with something negative, like how terrorists speak. We can bring purity back in our everyday language through our Islamic verses and phrases. Today kids are learning vulgar expressions just because they are so commonly used in the trendy series. To eradicate its effect, we need series like BURAAQ. They use good words so that children can develop the habit of saying those more regularly than the bad ones. Not only will this let kids learn beautiful phrases, but it will also show the world the authentic Muslim culture.
BURAAQ Episode #2: The Vaccine
In the first episode of the series, SplitMoonArts just gave us enough sneak peek about what to expect from BURAAQ. The story actually starts in the second episode, where we met two new characters. We met Qasim, a member of the group Truth Seekers and a nameless, black mask-wearing villain. Qasim stood at the roof of a lab from where he had taken the vaccines. He called someone and informed them about completing the task successfully. As soon as his call ended, a mask-wearing villain came right in front of him to get the stolen item back.
It is later revealed that the vaccine he escaped with would be used to brainwash people into accepting the coming of the evil master (who is still not revealed) as their supreme leader. While the character in the black suit tried to scare Qasim by threatening him, the truth seeker stood his ground and showed his unshakeable faith in God. Before the bad guy could do something, Qasim was out of his sight, but that only aggravated him, and he ended by saying that he won't back down.
Continuing The Celebration Of Faith
Even in this episode of BURAAQ, the creators didn't deter from the original message, showing that a good person and a good Muslim aren't two different things. If one person is a good Muslim, there is no way he won't be a good person. Keeping true to its theme, just like BURAAQ, Qasim also derived his strength from faith. He didn't confront the villain by saying he is more powerful than him. Instead, he said his Creator won't let him fail. If there is one significant difference between western superhero cartoons and BURAAQ it is the treatment of faith.
Marvel and DC productions don't show any religious affiliation. It is hardly a subject of any importance for them. It is something non-existence in their movies. But in BURAAQ the central theme is the celebration of the Islamic faith. Muslim children around the world can identify with it and learn from it. American superheroes like Batman, Spiderman, and Superman need their gadgets to defeat the big bad guy, but in BURAAQ, it all starts with courage.
Support For All The Right Reasons
The term "Vaccine" is very relevant in today's time. It won't be a shocker if a big Hollywood production creates a movie about getting misused by evil forces next year. SplitMoonArts have already incorporated this into their story, but due to lack of funds, it just isn't promoted on a level that could reach a large audience. This is an excellent example of how western media is not always the pioneer. They often do something better due to the availability of high-budget, and the world only gets to see their version. Like Riz Ahmed said, if you want to end the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims, then it's high time to invest in them as creators. BURAAQ has the potential to become the next big superhero franchise. All it needs is attention from the right people.
BURAAQ Episode 1: Introduction of A True Muslim Superhero
Superhero movies always show a hero that is impossible to follow. Still, SplitMoonArts have created a perfect solution to this problem. They have introduced a character that checks all the superhero boxes and represents one of the significant faiths in the world. Today, Islam is the fastest-growing religion globally, with more than 1.2 billion people practicing it actively. But even with such staggering numbers, Hollywood has failed to represent this community accurately.
Even in big budgets DC/Marvel movies, the villain was shown to be Muslim (remember Iron Man?). However, the concept of a Muslim superhero is still too wild for many. Recently, Hollywood portraying superheroes is riddled with confusion, family problems, and deliberately focusing on promoting their dark side. In contrast, SplitMoonArts has made its mission to highlight innate goodness, solid morals, and balanced life as the key to being a superhero. The success of the Ertugrul series has proven that you can have a massive hit without forcing negative and secular agendas down the audience's throats. A real personality like Ertugrul became an instant idol for millions of Muslim kids worldwide.
More Than Just A Fantasy Genre
Fantasy is a genre that targets young impressionable minds mainly because they can believe in the impossible. When these children start admiring a hero, they often try to imitate everything about them. If the hero is only shown good via their powers, then there isn't much left for children to try as they can never have those powers. But now SplitMoonArts have taken the initiative to create a superhero with extraordinary abilities and mandatory costumes. Still, in addition to this, he'll be a man of faith.
BURAAQ isn't just a superhero. He could become the first Muslim superhero that can influence millions around the world. The first episode of the web series made for a strong introduction of the lead. Yusuf Abdullah, aka BURAAQ, works with an NGO whose goal is to help youth Muslim youth. The NGO team and some teenagers were camping in the beautiful place where Yusuf praised Allah's creation. Soon he felt something different in the air, and instinctively he looked up at the sky. There he saw a fireball being formed and ready to target the area where everyone was sleeping. Like a true superhero, he transformed before flying directly towards the fireball. He somehow managed to take the energy out of it. Even after successfully stopping it, he felt this was just the beginning of something terrible.
The series makers are well aware that Muslims don't commonly share the same language, so they have gone the extra mile to translate it adequately into multiple languages. Although the project is being developed on a much smaller scale than DC and Marvel, the animation is still of the highest quality. This episode was just to show the actual person behind BURAAQ, and it served its purpose entirely.
BURAAQ - The Muslim Superhero We Need
In the last two decades, we have seen an indescribable boom in the superhero genre. Marvel and DC became the biggest sources for providing this content to consumers. As a result, today, every child can name their characters. On the other hand, one thing which these movies lack is diversity. The movies never seem to represent or uplift any minority, guiding children to be more respectful towards every ethnicity and religion. Since 2001 Muslims are the most targeted community globally, it could have taken only one superhero movie to change the whole narrative, but sadly this didn't happen.
Our Humble Effort
We are just 2 brothers trying to make a positive impact by introducing the world to a superhero that genuinely shows the world what Islam is all about. BURAAQ, an animated micro-series, uses common Muslim phrases which translate only as Allah's blessing. When you see these phrases being used in Hollywood movies, they are often said to the villains. These small things are the ones that create the most impact, and BURAAQ shows that. The series has everything a comic fanatic will find interesting: a superhero who is all about courage and justice, a big bad villain who has every evil intention, and some fantastic animation even when the budget is nothing compared to the big banner movies.
Share And Make It Bigger
In today's time, there is no tolerance for Muslim traditions and practices. This micro-series can do wonders in making people see things rationally. You may wonder why we are putting so much of their effort and money into this. It is because this is what underrepresented people do. They create their own resources to tell the stories about their community. Anyone who has the skills or funds to make this project even bigger should collaborate with us so that millions of Muslim children worldwide can have a great idol to look up to and call it their own.
COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us, and we thank Allah (SWT) for giving us the courage and determination to carry on. Most of us are staying at home, spending time with our kids, and finding new ways to entertain them. Our youth has easy access to thousands of hours of online content. It's hard to monitor and control what they watch, and believe us, most of it is questionable. On the other hand, we have shows like Ertugrul and Usman that gives Muslims around the globe some hope. We have people of all ages glued to the screen watching Ertugrul and binging episodes. Most importantly, we see families coming together, learning about history, and taking pride in their Muslim identities.
Now is the time to re-introduce BURAAQ. A superhero with a strong Muslim identity who is confident in his faith. An alternative for our youth-obsessed with the Marvel superhero universe that promotes values that in most cases contradicts Islamic values. Today, we are pleased to announce the 2021 schedule for BURAAQ animated series launching March 2021 in sha Allah. Our youth deserves to watch high-quality, clean, entertaining, engaging, inspiring content, which ultimately brings them closer to their deen.
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It's been a long time coming. A show that is entertaining and counters the notion that any Islamic mainstream content is not commercially viable. Since I started watching "Ertugrul," I instantly got hooked. I finished the entire season, yes, all episodes (not in one sitting, of course). The characters, storyline, casting, and script really rejuvenates your Islamic heart by promoting the real essence and capturing the true spirit of Islam.
When growing up in Pakistan, we were never exposed to the history of the Ottoman empire. This series enlighted us with the region's glorious past and how they build their empire based on solid Islamic values. Even though the majority of it is fictional storytelling, but I love it. If we can watch Game of Thrones, why not Ertugrul.
For us as Muslims, this is a huge success. Finally, we have a show that we can watch with our family and kids. With Ertugrul, we can get inspired, take pride in our Muslim identity, and counter Islamophobia by owning the narrative. They have proven this model by breaking records worldwide. It has given birth to new market opportunities for upcoming artists and content producers. Now, you can create entertaining, engaging, and inspiring content with confidence and make money without compromising your Islamic values.
Hollywood is notorious for typecasting and stereotyping actors. We see Muslim actors/actresses struggle to land meaningful roles besides playing terrorist #3 or an Arab character in a negative role. I believe shows like Ertugrul will help break the perception that you have to rely on Hollywood to succeed in this industry. Muslim countries should invest in their entertainment industry, build institutions, animation studios, production houses, theatres, and art schools to promote and cultivate young talent.
We hope with BURAAQ, we can achieve the same level of success in sha Allah. As our goal and mission are the same, to promote universal values of Islam through entertaining, engaging, and inspiring content. In the current world climate, the message of tolerance, justice, and the truth is overshadowed by hate and has given rise to Islamophobia. We need to collectively tackle this head-on.
Great article in Tribune.pk on how Marvel superhero movies are influencing viewers around the world, especially in Pakistan. You have to be mindful when watching these movies, sure they are highly entertaining with amazing visual effects, strong storyline and interesting characters. But you have to be a little cautious and read between the lines. These movies project their way of life, thinking, culture and in many cases questionable hidden agenda. It is a must read!
"One of the primary reasons why Pakistan is so susceptible to being influenced by the soft power of other countries such as India in terms of cinema is that our film industry does not provide a suitable alternative for audiences."
BURAAQ the new animated micro-series will provide that alternative in sha Allah!
Trends are changing in Hollywood. Diversity and Inclusion are becoming driving forces for this change. Now more than ever, It is time for Hollywood to create more content that accurately represents people from all cultures, race, nationalities, and religions. It is the right thing to do, and makes business sense.
BURAAQ micro-series hopes to set an example by introducing characters from different backgrounds, promote collaboration, increase awareness and connect with its diverse and growing fanbase.
We have finally started our new chapter, an animated web-series coming soon to our YouTube channel. We know many of you have been with us since the beginning, continuously being patient, and most of all, believing in our mission. It is a journey filled with challenges and learning experiences. We are committed to making this happen (In Sha Allah). After releasing our animated promo video a few years back, we needed to take a step back and reassess our strategy and execution plan. We had to look at the market place and analyze how the new generation of viewers consume online content. How on-demand content companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are catering to this audience and disrupting the entire entertainment industry. They are providing to the “instant gratification” generation. They know exactly what to watch and when to view their favorite TV shows, with the option to see them on their mobile devices, tablets or smart TV, anytime and anywhere. Those days are long gone when people use to wait patiently every week, at a particular time to watch their favorite TV show, welcome to the world of bingeing.
Based on this analysis, developing a web-series in a new format, also known as micro-series made a lot of sense. These clips will be short, impactful, full of action, engaging and entertaining. It will feel like you are watching the best parts of an action movie, without all the talking. When we were kids, we use to watch our favorite superhero movie almost every day and fast forward to the best actions scenes, and watch them over and over again. We want our viewers to have the same experience, and enjoy every second of it, then watch it over and over again!
We decided to go with YouTube as our choice for the launch because it is the best in class video platform, and is freely accessible globally to anyone who has an internet access. We will augment this series with our existing comic books, which are currently available to download for free. This will allow our viewers to connect with the main characters and understand the storyline better. The next time they watch our series, they will enjoy it even more.
The series is under development, and we plan to release episode #1 in Summer of 2019. We will be posting update videos and sneak peeks soon, so do subscribe to our YouTube channel and do not forget to click on the bell icon.
Thank you for following and believing in us.
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