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Asatte no Hōkō 1: Episodes 1-2

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Shōko and Karada in the Prologue
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 2
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Added 11/14/2010
Updated 5/21/2018
Each episode begins with a little “cold open,” sometimes a flashback to the end of the previous episode, sometimes a peek ahead at the episode to come. Then the OP sequence proper begins, always with this symbolic set of images. It suggests a stream of sand falling from the top of an hourglass. Here, sand falls out of the cupped hands of Shōko on the left, and into the hands of Karada on the right.

Meanwhile, their characters’ voices intone a riddle that acts as a kind of moral for the series:

You reach for it, but cannot touch it.
It flies from your hand, far, far away.
Everyone searches for it,
And soon they themselves are lost.
This, then, is our "summer story."

This is an iconic image for the entire series, the more so as it was based directly on an image from the manga.

The manga is much more philosophical than the anime (which is not to say that it is better – I find the anime’s more direct forward motion preferable). But it does deserve reading and reflecting on, as it is somewhat darker than the anime. One indication is the title, which always appears beside a bold arrow pointing down.

The title of the English release, “Living for the Day after Tomorrow,” is, in fact, something of a evasion. The Japanese title actually means “This way to the day after tomorrow [big arrow pointing down].” The implication is that time’s arrow points only one way, and that is the direction of decay and demise. Trying to reach for it, as the Biblical skeptic Ecclesiastes says, is like trying to hold on to the wind, which goes where it pleases. But the anime suggests an alternative: one should appreciate it and learn to work with it, rather than against it.

This is a studio-made photocopy of the Ep. 1 genga that I got with the Ep. 12 version. (Like the closing animation, that version is subtly different from the version used in the other 11 episodes, showing a childlike Shōko on the left and a grown-up Karada on the right.) The photocopy is clear enough to feature on its own.

In the thumbnail, I've added another interesting photocopy that I got with my Ep. 12 gengas: an artboard of the space in front of the wishing shrine that was used for reference in the Ep. 12 flashback to Ep. 1, cut 10. An identical photocopy came with the sketches for the previous cuts (10, 12).

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    Previous: Karada at the Wishing Shrine Next: Toko twits Shoko about her relationship with Hiro    

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