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Asatte no Hōkō 3: Episode 7

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A Talk about the Past: layouts
Source: TV
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Cel Number: A1 B1 C2 D1 E2
Oversize, 11.75W x 12.75H

No Background

Added 11/14/2010
Updated 8/24/2018
Cut 100. In Shōko’s apartment, Karada is helping unpack some of her belongings. Finding a copy of a book in English (appropriately enough, it’s Hawthorne’s Wonder Tales), Karada asks about her partner’s study in the United States.

A little weary, Shōko comes and sits down behind Karada and rests her back against hers, while beginning her story. She’d gone to a university in the Boston area, she explains. There was a lot to learn, she tells her, and not just about books. “You meet guys and ...” but here she breaks off and slowly gets up, for the conversation is moving onto dangerous ground.

In fact, as the flashbacks tell viewers, it was there that she lived with Karada’s not-really-her-big-brother Hiro. That’s a part of the situation that she’s not ready to explain to the little-girl-grown-mature, whom we’ve just seen trying on some of Shōko’s nice clothes and earrings. In fact, this part of Shōko’s past is the secret that stands between them, however close they have come to be, thanks to their exchanging ages.

This episode is very cleverly told, as the “moment between them” goes well in many ways. But the audience senses that it is actually an unstable calm before a crisis, and even as the events that happen are charming and smile-provoking, we know that Karada’s situation is becoming less and less tenable.

Featured here is the well executed layout that shows the whole scene, with the less detailed D4 layout for the continuation in the thumbnail.

Caution! Fussy Notes

The entire set, generously oversized (295 x 320), shows unusual attention to detail. It included these layouts, plus two others (D2 and D3) showing how Shōko gets up. The set also contained a genzu on pink paper working out some details of Karada’s complicated posture: sitting back-to-back with her partner, she still tries to lean around and watch her. As Shōko gets up and keeps speaking, Karada shifts her posture a little, a move that caused the animators more trouble than you’d think.

The set included two roughs on light-salmon paper and two shuusei roughs (both partial) on light-green, five gengas (two of both characters, two more of Karada getting to her feet, and a mouth layer), and a set of shuusei gengas on light-salmon, and two “shuusei no shuusei” gengas on light green. All the light-green sketches carry the distinctive cursive kanji for “shuusei” (looking a bit like “T⅔”) that chief animation director Ikuko Ito placed on similar sketches for Episode 5. (Ito was assigned this role for all the odd-numbered episodes.)

So the salmon-colored roughs and shuuseis must be the work of Masahiro Fujii [藤井 昌宏], the animation director for this episode. A further indication that this attribution is correct is that the artist had the distinctive habit of jotting “よろしくお願いします” [Yoroshiko onegaishimasu, roughly, “I hope you like my work.”] on one of the roughs. In my sketch sets for Episode 12, there are several sketches that are similar in style and with the same polite expression jotted on them; Fujii is the only animator who worked on both Episodes 7 and 12, so he must be the artist of these sketches.

As Fujii was an experienced hand, Ito’s shuusei roughs are often less extensive than those in Ep. 5. Nevertheless, the more distinguished animator always felt the need to improve Fujii’s already pretty good images. One issue that caused some trouble in this particular scenet was whether Shōko would look serious, as in the layout, or smile a little as she recalled her days in college. In the items ahead I’ve tried to show this little solemn-or-jolly debate between the two artists.

This sketchwork led to a fat pack of oversized dougas: A1 (the book on the table), two alternate sets of B1-B6 (Karada edging around to listen to Shōko) plus base layers for her legs and the shadow it casts, C1-C2 (Shōko’s mouth layer sitting down), D1-D12 (Shōko standing up), and E1-E4 (Shōko’s mouth layer standing up).

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Next: A Talk about the Past: B1/D1    

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