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Asatte no Hōkō 1: Episodes 1-2

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This J.C. Staff production, based on a 2005 manga by J-ta Yamada, ran in twelve episodes on TBS in October-December 2006. It is based on a magical premise: a grade-school girl named Karada Iokawa wishes she were an adult, while Shōko Nogami, a discouraged young adult, wishes she could return to her childhood. A wishing stone in a nearby shrine grants both their wishes, and they exchange ages.

Then (rather like the Tom Hanks film Big, which I'd guess was an influence on the creators) the script takes a straightforwardly realistic approach to showing how the two characters would need to adapt to the sudden change. Karada, now with an adult female body, has to grow up intellectually and emotionally in a hurry, while Shōko sheds several layers of cynicism and finds ways to start growing again inside. One of a number of series originally licenced by Animax in North America, it has recently become available in a DVD from Sentai Filmworks. This was received very favorably by an Anime News Network review.

The series was directed by Katsushi Sakurabi, whose credits included work on Love Hina, Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV and Movie), Rozen Maiden, and Tsukihime, Lunar Legend (overall director). Overall series composition was credited to Seishi Minakami, who had recently done the same job for Daphne in the Brilliant Blue and soon after took a higher-visibility task in collaborating with Satoshi Kon on the screenplay to the film Paprika. More recently, Minakami has handled series composition for high-context titles such as A Certain Scientific Railgun and Heaven's Memo Pad.

Character design was handled by Ikuko Itō (Sailor Moon, Princess Tutu), who shared overall animation direction with Shinya Hasegawa (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena [TV and Movie], and Sailor Moon [R, S, SuperS]). Itō took charge of the odd-numbered episodes, while Hasegawa oversaw the even-numbered ones. So this gallery starts by showcasing the work of Itō, who frequently responded to her junior partner with complete shuusei gengas that made major changes in design. Hasegawa gets his due in the second half; his shuuseis are nearly always partials but they make striking, elegant improvements to the episode animation directors' efforts.

For more Asatte no Hōkō art, visit Cenbe's Cel & Sketch Gallery and Doug's Cels. Silvrdrago's Cels also has a nice genga of Shōko and Hiro.

 Karada at the Wishing Shrine

 Karada at the Wishing Shrine

 Shōko and Karada in the Prologue

 Toko twits Shoko about her relationship with Hiro

 Toko twits Shōko about her relationship with Hiro

 Karada-chan hears a commotion

 Karada-chan hears a commotion: reanimation

 Shōko-san making a fuss: A1

 Shōko-san making a fuss: A2

 Shōko-san making a fuss: A3

 Shōko-san making a fuss: reanimation

 “I’ll explain it when you’re a little older...” A1

 “I’ll explain it when you’re a little older...” A3

 “I’ll explain it when you’re a little older...” Reanimation

 Karada-chan wants to be a little older NOW

 Shōko takes in Karada-chan’s reaction

 Hiro watching Karada-chan play

 Flashback: Karada-chan prays at the home altar

 Flashback: Karada-chan goes to school: B1

 Flashback: Karada-chan goes to school: B3

 Flashback: Karada-chan goes to school: reanimation

 Flashback: Karada-chan watches Hiro prepare supper

 Shōko sizes up the situation: layout and rough

 Shōko sizes up the situation: genga and genga shuusei
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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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