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NieA_7: Episode 01-08

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Chie settles down: A1
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A1
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Added 11/28/2018
Episode: 4 (Alien and a Beginner Waitress Bath), Cut 265. This set of sketches comes from a very simple cut toward the end of this episode. Chie, upset with the remarks the alien Karna has made about their restaurant, runs out into the night to be alone. Mayuko, dressed in her cleaning apron, finds her, settles her down, and walks her back to the restaurant.

Here Chie is sitting in a junked car in the landfill near the restaurant. While Karna was obviously being snotty and offensive, she realizes that there was some truth in her comments: the town is down on its luck, and the restaurant, despite her and her father’s efforts, is nothing special. In private, she unloads some of her private frustrations to Mayuko. Even Chie, her name, is unexciting, she begins.

Featured is the A1 genga, showing Chie seated in the car from Mayuko’s perspective. Unexpectedly, she looks calm and even pleased with herself for having stood up to the impertinent alien. The autograph layout (first thumb) shows a quite different image of the girl, with a deeper blush and a more disturbed expression. The set came with a second layout (a photocopy, but a good one, second thumb) that shows the move toward this calmer, more self-satisfied expression. (Oddly, though, it suggests that she is seated in the doorway of an abandoned house rather than the junked car in the final scene.) The perspective now matches the genga, and in fact the two images are virtually identical, showing that the original must have been a layout correction by animation director Takata.

It is a surprising way to render this edgy scene, but appropriate for both the precocious girl and her cram-school friend, both of whom have learned to bear with their lot in life with a generous dose of serenity. Indeed, being able to share part of her psychological burdens does seem to cheer Chie up, and one of the impressive parts of the scene is that witnessing the nasty spat also seems to cheer Mayuko up. At least they have made a stand.

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