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Hyper Police Cels 0: OP and ED


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OP: Natsuki
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A1 END
Oversize, 14W x 9.5H
Opening Cel

No Background

Added 6/4/2017
Updated 9/5/2017


It is the 22nd year of the new Holy Era . . . says a narrator at the start of the opening animation. With the fall of the previous age brought about by human folly, lawlessness runs rampant and disorder rules the world. At this point this image of a single blue eye, flanked by human-like hair locks but too round and too intense to be human, slides quickly into view. In time we learn that the eye (the magickal left one, as usual in “eyeball zooms”) belongs to Natsuki, the half-human, half nekomata bounty-hunter and protagonist of the series.



This grandly oversized pan cel is one of the iconic images of the OP and came into my collection with its companion, a pan cel of her fellow bounty-hunter and would-be romantic partner, the werewolf Batanan. Both are A1 END images, with one side painted a deep black. Natsuki slides in from the left, while Batanan, in the next cut, slides in from the right, with the lighting on the cel becoming brighter as the image centers on the screen. (The screen cap, spliced together from three grabs, reflects this quick brightening.)

Though the cut is very quick, you can see that the cel was designed to suggest a third dimension. See how the colored trace lines at the shadow line continue Natsuki’s hair strands into the darkness, and that airbrushing is used to suggest the human ears that she inherits from her human father (as well as cat ears from her mother). The highlights on her face and in the eyes are also artfully airbrushed to suggest that they are shining in the bright light placed on her face. (The cel came with a blank top layer intended to protect this delicate work on the front surface.)


SENSEI CHECK!

Natsuki was voiced by Yūko Miyamura [宮村 優子], who does justice both to her flustered, random side and her dangerously effective "all business" side. Miyamura also created Asuka Langley Soryu in the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, as well as the annoying alien child NieA_7 in the series of that name. She has released several albums as a J-pop singer and worked extensively in video games. Perhaps her most distinguished role has been as Chun-Li, the first influential female martial arts playable videogame hero, in the Street Fighter series.

The conflict between Natsuki’s human and feline natures forms an important theme throughout the manga and anime. This element draws from the rich Japanese folklore concerning nekomata (two-tailed cats) and bakeneko (shapeshifting cats). Natsuki’s uncontrollable desire to attack and eat certain foods or food-like objects is one element of this conflict, which appears also in the anime series Gegege no Kitarō, relating to Neko Musume or “Cat Girl,” Kitarō’s female sidekick. For more on this topic, with examples from Japanese traditions, see Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.


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Next: OP: Series Title Card    
 

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