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Tenshi ni Narumon 01: OP sequence

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Noelle Glomps Yuusuke: E1/F1
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 2
Cel Number: E1/F1
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Opening Cel

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Added 1/26/2012
Updated 4/22/2017
After this cut, we see the two together, in about the same positions. Then Noelle makes a lightning-quick pounce on her “husband,” putting her arms around his neck. Then, rather than embracing him, she hurdles over his left shoulder, and acrobatically rotates 360-degrees around his neck, returning to the front. She then brings her head and body to a halt while her legs continue to swing around between her and Yuusuke’s middle.

Finally, once they come out to her right, she pulls powerfully up on the unlucky lad’s neck, makes one last swing, and kicks her heels up over his shoulders. Instinctively, Yuusuke puts out his arms, and she ends up comfortably cradled in them.

This astonishing cut must have taken an amazing amount of experimentation and careful planning to make it both funny and anatomically credible. One imagines the studio hiring two models and having them try this trick, over and over, while the animators took notes and shot amateur video. (I recall that the classic Hollywood animators used to go out onto the studio parking lot and act out their bits while someone took home movies.)

The cut contained a complete run of sketches, starting with the E1/F1 pose featured here.

After separate E2 and F2 poses (Yuusuke is slow in reacting to Noelle’s “brace” for the glomp), they then run together from F3 to F16. (Why “F” and not “A” or “B”? Because the rest of Noelle’s family ends the cut by jumping down into the background on independent A-D layers.) All of these were done on the back of blank studio layout paper, and accompanied by shuusei or correction sketches on light yellow paper. These are clearly the ones on which the final version was based, so I’ve featured them on top, giving a selection of the gengas in the thumbnails.

This sketch set was an unexpected and much-welcomed Christmas/Birthday present from my good friend Vampyreshoujo, source of many of the fine animations visible in this gallery.


The style of these sketches is the same as other impressive shuusei genga from this series, which I think now are the work of one of the junior animation directors on the team, Hideki Hashimoto. This artist has been much in demand as a gengaman for a wide range of series, notably for opening and closing animation sequences. He has worked on over a dozen OPs for various shows, including Samurai 7, a series for which he also did character design and episode animation direction.

Animators each have a distinctive way of putting individual pencil lines onto paper. Some are very smooth, others rough in outlines in a “chicken-scratch” way, drawing many faint parallel lines together. This artist has an unusual “sawtooth” style that suggests that he (or she) moved the pencil very gently and slowly while defining boundaries and contours. While this detail can only been seen by looking very closely at the sketches in good light, and isn’t visible in the scans in this gallery, it also shows up in this shuusei of Yuusuke climbing up a wire from Step 25 and this shuusei of the same character welcoming Natsumi to the series wrap party in Step 26. (Kato and Hashimoto were credited as animation directors in both episodes.)

In all these cases, the artwork shows a realistic approach to the wrinkles and folds of clothing. They are also very good in the posing of Yuusuke’s hands. Notice – fingernails! Whoever the artist was, Hashimoto or (less likely) Hiromi Kato, the artwork in this series also shows an impressive talent for physical comedy.

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