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Falling getween Yoshitoshi ABe's two masterpieces, Serial Experiments Lain (1998) and Haibane Renmei (2002) this interesting 13-episode series, made in 2000, is based on a short manga by the same artist. It combines a slice-of-life approach with ABe's whimsical fantasy humor by combining two stories. One focuses on Chigasaki Mayuko, an empoverished student struggling in a painfully realistic way to earn money for rent and tuition, and the other deals with NieA_7 ("Knee-ya under seven"), an lower-caste alien child from a crashed UFO who has taken up residence in Mayuko's closet. The two are incompatible in every way, and yet they develop an awkward friendship.

Production art seems very scarce for this early CGI series: among other RS galleries, I located other NieA galleries in Just a few cels and in Cenbe's Cel & Sketch Gallery (at present the largest and most comprehensive). There are also individual sketches and sets in Doug’s Cels and in Hoodies and Raindrops Cel Gallery. Most interesting, however, are the three production backgrounds from the series owned by The Lonely Mountain, including the crater formed when NieA's UFO crashed.

 Ep. 2: NieA all tired out from doing nothing

 Ep. 4: Mayuko and Chie: B1/C1

 Mayuko and Chie: B2/C3

 Mayuko and Chie: B3 END

 Mayuko Portrait: rough and layout

 Mayuko Portrait: A1

 Mayuko Portrait: A2

 Mayuko kicks NieA’s UFO

 Mayuko kicks NieA’s UFO: B4

 Mayuko kicks NieA’s UFO: Reanimation

 Ep. 7: Chiaki invites Mayuko to the Go-Con: Chiaki

 Ep. 7: Chiaki invites Mayuko to the Go-Con: Mayuko

 Ep. 7: Chiaki invites Mayuko to the Go-Con: Reanimation

 Ep. 8: Mayuko on the bus: Layout and roughs

 Mayuko on the bus: Genga and Douga

 Disgruntled Mayuko: “Leave Me Alone!”

 Disgruntled Mayuko: Slow Burn

 Ep. 9: Mayuko Thanks Genzo B1

 Mayuko Thanks Genzo B2

 Mayuko Thanks Genzo B3

 Mayuko Thanks Genzo B4

 Mayuko Looking at a Rainbow: A1 Rough and Genga

 Mayuko Looking at a Rainbow: A2 Genga and Layout

 Mayuko Looking at a Rainbow: A3 Genga and Layout
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.80/10   Collection 9.45/10   Overall 9.02/10   Votes 81 votes
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