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Inuyasha Ep. 100-167 2: Others

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Sango Possessed: A16 cel
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A16
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Added 6/7/2020
Updated 6/7/2020
The possessed Sango, seeing Miroku’s attention distracted for a second, hunkers down and launches a deadly attack.

The douga that came with this cel is added in the first thumbnail. The second adds the nice but unmatching laser-printed background that came with the cel.

But there is an obvious issue with this cel’s authenticity. By episode 132 (broadcast in November 2003) Inuyasha was well into its CGI-based stage. Surely there could not be authentic cels from this episode?

Could there? If you are a serious IY collector, descend with me into . . .

Caution! Fussy Notes

Three years ago, I picked up an interesting clutch of material, sold in three lots, from this scene in Episode 132. One was unquestionably genuine, even coming with a Sunrise cut bag with initials by production directors and animators. The other two were of trickier provenance, being apparently rough drafts made at the inbetweener stage. When this item came up for sale, I recognized it as matching one of these rough sketches, the “16” from the previous set. This cel and its douga are labeled “A16,” an exact match.

And it seems odd that a forger would choose this particular frame, which as you can see from the capture is only partially shown on the screen. And what dim-witted collector would be likely to purchase such a fake? ^_^

Or maybe for some reason this particular scene really was cel-based, just as Disney’s Aladdin very obviously keeps alternating cel-based and CGI-based animation?

Well, one way to check: flicker the visible portion of the image on the screen cap with a scan of the cel.

OK, that nails one matter: this cel was not used to make the episode. Notice especially how the gaps between Sango’s hairlocks above her right eye [on our left] see-saw back and forth. While there are always some differences between the scans and the screen caps due to differences in projection, there should not actual changes in the lengths of these gaps. Flickering the cel with the douga that came with it showed no differences. So that too can’t have been used, even by scanning, to make the episode.

So: a forgery? That too is hard to conclude. Given the partial nature of the screen cap, it’s hard to imagine how the douga could have been fabricated, except by a lot of hard work for a very modest payoff. And flickering the “16” rough with the cel (not imaged) shows an overall close match, notably in the hairlocks. There too I found differences, but this is to be expected if “16” was a rough draft polished up at a later stage.

So I don’t know what this cel is. I did seem in some intangible way “odd” as a cel, less heavily painted on the back side, though a close inspection showed that it had normal-looking trace lines under the paint, along with the usual touch-up trace in black and other colors on the front. The sequence number is a normal one -- and it fits the number in the “rough drafts” of this cut that I got three years before.

My guess is that it’s a test cel. This particular action series seems to have given the animation team trouble, and the original concept shown in the rough sequence may have been their first thoughts. To see if it “worked,” they ran a series of cels and scanned them to see how it looked. And (as shown by the screen cap) they didn’t like it. Sango’s face was imaged somewhat larger and farther right in the frame, and that was the version that went to CAMERA (i.e., the CGI team) for use in the final version.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting pendant to the previous set of sketches and an attractive homage to the fierce ninja Sango, so I’m happy to have her regardless of provenance.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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