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Asatte no Hōkō 4: Episodes 8-9

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“and this is your Onii-chan...”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A1 END
Oversize, 11.75W x 11H

No Background

Added 3/2/2011
Updated 6/11/2016
This, however, is the photo that is the most important and which appears the most prominently: Karada’s parents show her this shot of their son and explain that he is now her “onii-chan” (big brother) who’s in school far away in America. She is fascinated by the photo, and finds herself carefully planning exactly how she will introduce herself to him when they finally meet.

Actually, we see this photo very briefly at the very start of the “album” cut, as it’s the page just before the “cosplay” photo that quickly flips over top of it. Yet the photo keeps coming up on the screen again and again as Karada thinks about her absent “onii-chan.”

Its most dramatic use comes when Hiro, called home from America by the news of his parents’ sudden death, walks into the house where poor Karada has been left alone with the remnants of the funeral ceremony.

The little girl hears the stranger enter, turns to him, and then (as two shock cuts to the “photograph” image show) she suddenly realizes who he is.

In her nervousness, she messes up the little formal introduction she’d been rehearsing, and ends tearfully stammering “Onii-chan ... Onii-chan.” Hiro, for his part, is astonished and completely overcome with sympathy for the doubly-orphaned tyke that he’s meeting for the first time.

Golly, y’think the creators of this anime knew how to hit their audience right in their emotional centers? This is a powerful moment, one of the most memorable in the entire series. It not only communicates the depth of Karada’s attachment to Hiro, but its context also makes it clear that she is well aware that he’s not really her brother. Which of course is one of the unavoidable issues created by her sudden transformation into a sexually mature young woman.

Caution! Fussy Notes

This crucial image was given the most careful attention of the four. It was given two layouts, one on standard “letterbox” paper (11.75 x 8.25) that mostly works out the “photo album” format. The second layout (first thumb) was generously oversized at 14.5 x 11.0 inches. Unfortunately, that made it the biggest sheet in this mish-mosh of odd-shaped sketches, and so it was somewhat crumpled during storage and shipping, particularly on the right side where it stuck out from the rest of the pack.

The rough (AD Oki's work, second thumb) and the genga (featured image) were also much taller than other sketches in this set (11.0 in.) and suffered some modest damage at the top, luckily not to the part of the sheet that held the artwork. I’ve cropped both the genga and the rough to focus on the image of Hiro and minimize the damage.

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