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Hyper Police Sketches: Natsuki (and Sakura)

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Natsuki hears the koi bells
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A4, A5
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Added 3/15/2017
Updated 4/30/2017
Episode 18: An Era of Cohabitation, cut 62. In one of the haunting moments of this episode, as Natsuki is walking with Batanan to his home, she suddenly pauses and looks over her shoulder, transfixed by an unfamiliar sound.

I’ve featured a nearly-complete shuusei genga by the episode’s animation director (see below), with the A5 genga it corrected in the first thumb. I scanned the shuusei against the genga, so you can see the original faintly through the thin yellow paper: notice how the sakkan raised the level of Natsuki’s eyes and mouth slightly and made her nose smaller. That has the effect of making her surprise more obvious, and in the shuusei she seems to be looking more directly at the viewer. In the second thumb I added the A4 genga, showing Natsuki’s head quickly coming around in the direction of the bell sound.


Possibly the finest of the HP episodes, this pivotal story brings the romance between the catgirl Natsuki and the werewolf Batanan to a turning point, and it is referenced again and again in the remaining stories. It is no surprise that this was one of the seven episodes in this series that Studio Pierrot outsourced to the newly founded Kyoto Animation studio. This episode was directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, later a major force in Japanese animation. With a group of regular associates (notably the Ikeda sisters. Shouko and Kazumi), he worked on many episodes of Inuyasha, and then created the highly regarded AIR, Clannad, Kanon, and Haruhi Suzumiya projects.

Featured above is a fine correction sketch (shuusei) of the Natsuki layer by Episode 18’s animation director, Yasuhiro Takemoto [武本 康弘], who performed the same task for Episodes 2 and 10 as well. Takemoto later compiled a strong record of work for the major KyoAni projects, doing storyboards, key animation, and the occasional episode animation direction for AIR, Clannad, Kanon, and Haruhi Suzumiya. He quickly graduated to the role of overall episode director and then to series director and become much more visible, thanks to his supervision of several major series, including Full Metal Panic (Fumoffu and Second Raid), Lucky Star, and, most recently, the 2014 success Amagi Brilliant Park.

As usual with KyoAni art, all the original sketches are extremely faint, and the scans have been somewhat darkened to make them easier to view.

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