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Mushishi: Episode 26 Art Boards

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The Sound of Footsteps on the Grass [Kusa o fumu oto]
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama (also series director and series composition)
Screenplay: Kinuko Kuwabata
Animation Director: Yoshihiko Umakoshi (character designer, chief animation director) with Takahiro Kagami

This gallery collects a large group of artboards from this impressive episode, the conclusion of the first series. These are the sheets on which the final form of the backgrounds are planned out. As most of these drawings, done in blue and orange pencil, intense black (marker?) ink, and a variety of highlighter colors, were done on top of high-quality color copies of the layouts, the results are often visually rich.

However, it's not easy from a scan to distinguish the original artwork from the copy (it really takes a loupe and a strong light in places). Visit the first entry for an introduction to the problems this hybrid art form presents. The notes also detail the extent to which the copies have been revised and elaborated by the studio artist.

CAUTION: SPOILERS IN DESCRIPTIONS! Really, though, this series is so laid back that in places it nearly has no plot but is all atmosphere and mood. This stand-alone episode, like many in the series, describes an isolated natural paradise, which is eventually destroyed through a combination of accident and poor decisions. At the end, though, the shaman Ginko provides a partial healing, and the episode concludes by affirming that something of the original power of the landscape survives.

A special treat is the sly performance of Ami Koshimizu as Isaza, the lad from the mysterious wandering band of strangers who becomes friends with the local boy. Experienced at playing both young male and female roles, Koshimizu later became much more celebrated as the voice of Holo in Spice and Wolf.

 Real or Ricoh?

 Cut 7: Taku's fishing pole

 Cut 31: The waterfall

 Cut 32: Haku casts his line

 Cut 33: A rustling in the grass

 Cut 35: A stranger appears

 Cut 37: The stranger takes his creel

 Cut 39: Taku is outraged

 Cut 40: "This is my mountain!"

 Cut 42: "The Master's Son"

 Cut 44: "Then these are yours"

 Cut 45: Taku accepts the offer

 Cut 46: Arigatou!"

 Cut 48: "My name is Isaza"

 Cut 73: Misunderstanding cleared up

 Cut 80: Isaza describes the real "Master"

 Cut 89: The power of the site

 Cut 90: A spirit channel

 Cut 91: A spirit channel

 Cut 95: "You've caught a fish!" first state

 Cut 95: "You've caught a fish!" revision

 Cut 100: Another request

 Cut 101: "Tell me normal stuff"

 Cut 105: Listening in
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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