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Magic Knight Rayearth: OVA cels

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Directors: Toshihiro Hirano and Keitaro Motonaga
Script: Manabu Nakamura
Character Design: Megumi Kadonosono

After the success of the MKR TV series, Toshihiro Hirano created Rayearth, an alternative OVA retelling of the story. This was released in three 45-minute episodes in 1997. This remix considerably darkens the story and revises the character design ala Vampire Princess Miyu, which Hirano was directing for AIC at the same time. Motonaga had been one of the more active episode directors of the TV MKR series under Hirano and subsequently had a wide-ranging career as overall series director. Among others, he received credit for senior director of the Kikaider OVA (2001), Getbackers (2002-03), and Yumeria (2004).

In this version, the conflict takes place in this world, not in Cephiro, and the girls unite more promptly with their mashins. Nakamura’s script places considerably more emphasis on mecha battles and kabooms than on schoolgirl friendships and romances, as could be expected from his experience with projects like the Macross II movie (1992), the second Silent Moebius movie (1992), and The Big O (1999-2000). Without giving away too much, the three normal Japanese schoolgirls gain power enough to lay waste to great swaths of Tokyo, aided and abetted by Ascot, Alcyone, and Ferio. One can almost see King Kong, Godzilla, and Carrie cheering them on from the sidelines.

Even though the plot is murky, it is thankfully secondary to the animation and art, which is unfailingly striking and often really lovely. This is due to strong work by character designer Megumi Kadonosono, who had worked on the second MKR TV series, but who was simultaneously hitting her prime as character designer for the Vampire Princess Miyu remake (also directed by Hirano). She had previously handled character design for Martian Successor Nadeshiko (1996-97) and later served as character designer/chief animation director for Kiddy Grade (2002-03) and Uta-Kata (2004).

Kadonosono was assisted by a strong team of episode animation directors, including (1) Shinobu Nishioka (character designer, Devilman Lady), (2) Hisashi Saito (Director, Heaven’s Lost Property), and (3) a team led by Nishioka assisted by Kumiko Shishido and Masahiko Itojima (both of whom worked extensively on the Detective Conan/Case Closed franchise).

 Hikaru looks at her jewel

 Me? Destroy Tokyo??

 Hikaru Meets Umi and Fuu:A8

 Hikaru Meets Umi and Fuu:A14

 Hikaru calling on Lexus

 A Bedtime Worry

 Clef and Umi under Attack

 Clef and Umi under Attack (OVA): Production Background

 Umi Unites with Selece

 Umi/Selece Victorious

 Ferio Taunts Fuu

 Fuu in the corridors of Tokyo Dome

 Fuu Feels the Presence of Windom

 Fuu Unites with Windom

 Fuu united with the Windom mashin

 Ferio’s insect mashin

 The Windom mashin gives ground to Ferio: A2

 The Windom mashin gives ground to Ferio: A8
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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