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Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne Ep 37: A Boy with a Demon's Heart




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Akuma no shinzo o motsu shonen is a canonical episode exploring the darker side of the KKJ story. It focuses on the situation of a child with a congenital heart disease, whom the devil agrees to keep alive artificially in return for his agreeing to give up all feelings of love or kindness (and, of course, his soul when he dies). (You can see how many filler episodes Toei devised when you realize that this adventure takes place in volume 4 of the manga.)

Abandoned by Fin, estranged from Chiaki, and stalked by the sinister Hijiri-sensei, Maron faces an impossible dilemma. If she accepts the challenge and exorcises the demon, the boy dies and goes to hell, but if she leaves the boy alone, he lives on as a bitter and unloving person, unable to fulfill any of his dreams, and so he gets damned good and proper at the end of his life anyhow.

Atsuhoshi Umezawa is credited for directing this intense and well-paced episode, as well as being overall series director. His first name was transliterated “Atsunobu” by Anime News Network, creating a minor mystery, as KKJ is the only series for whom an “Atsunobu Umezawa” receives credit.

But careful reading of the teeny print in the sidebars of Tanemura’s manga unraveled the mystery. She was very dubious about allowing her story to be adapted to anime, she explains at one point. But the enthusiasm of the would-be director “Umezawa-san” changed her mind. He told her, “I’m aiming for an anime that’s never been done before, a story about a beautiful young girl that busts all the clichés we know about the genre” (v. 2, p. 59). Later, she adds that the Toei director has a daughter who was a great fan of the manga. “I’m sure that Umezawa-san, a real gentleman, is going to put everything he’s got into the anime to satisfy his daughter as well as everyone else,” she concluded, adding (aha!) “He directed the popular anime, Neighborhood Tales” (v. 2, p. 65).

This has to be the 1995-96 Toei light romantic series Gokinjo Monogatari [usually rendered Neighborhood Stories], directed by Atsutoshi Umezawa, a Toei regular. This Umezawa-san was an episode director for Dragon Ball Z, Fist of the North Star, Boys over Flowers, Marmalade Boy, and various installments of the Precure franchise. In addition to Gokinjo Monogatari, he also served as series director for Ghost Sweeper Mikami (1993-94) and has more recently been involved in planning for some of the One Piece movies.

The animation director for this episode was Yoshihiro Sugai, who had previously done key animation for Neon Genesis Evangelion, several Lupin III movies, One Piece, and Miyuki-chan in Wonderland. He also was animation director for two episodes of Serial Experiments Lain, and more recently has served as episode director for several installments of Naruto. Sugai’s work can be seen in several roughs for this episode (as well as in one for Episode 21, which he also directed). He has one of the most distinctive and immediately recognizable sketching styles among the KKJ artists, using a flurry of very fine, faint pencil lines to build up the characters’ outlines and expressions.

CAUTION! CONTAINS IMPORTANT SPOILERS IN DESCRIPTIONS


 Chiaki is not happy

 Conflicted Zen

 Hijiri-sensei sees something important

 Maron realizes that her secret identity is found out

 Maron realizes that her secret identity is found out: Animated dougas

 Hijiri-sensei takes Maron for a ride

 Maron in the car

 Hijiri Thinks He’s Won

 Chiaki Intervenes: Rough and Layout

 Chiaki Intervenes: Genga and Douga

 Hijiri warns Chiaki to be on his guard

 Zen sees Jeanne appear

 Zen awe-struck

 Jeanne encounters bad, bad Claude Noin

 Noin confronts Jeanne

 Noin catches Jeanne’s magic ribbon

 Noin catches Jeanne’s magic ribbon: Reanimation
 

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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