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Microid S Storyboards

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This series of interesting and scarce artifacts came to me in two series of auctions. Evidently an early cel collector who liked the character Mamezo recycled a stack of used storyboards to interleave between them, preventing them from sticking to each other. The cels, of course, stuck tight to the storyboards and damaged the images beneath, but they have been preserved in good enough shape to get a look at the early days of anime.

These sheets have been reproduced by mimeography, an early form of duplication that was soon after replaced by photocopying. The top heading shows that the format of such planning documents has remained mostly the same to the present day. In the top left corner is a box marked “No.” that must be the page number of the storyboard sheet. (Sadly, nothing survives to identify the episode numbers involved.)

Then on the left margin, next to the thumbnail image of the character, we see columns labeled “S.” and “C.” They record Toei Studio’s distinctive way of identifying scenes in the series that they did: by “Scene” and “Cut.” (Most other studios numbered by “Cut” only in a numerical series from 1 to around 300.)

To the right of the thumbnail, an “action” column briefly describes what happens, and a “dialog” column gives the lines or sound effects that go with each cut. The four thinner columns farther right include the “TIME” (which today is usually the last column), plus three others that are not as often included: “FOOT” (?? Maybe how much physical film footage to be used?) + “MUSIC” + “EFFECT.”

Without access to the actual broadcast episodes, it is difficult to give more annotation, but it is clear that my little collection contains storyboard pages from at least two episodes. Notice that in the "action" column you can find the camera direction “Follow” written in Romaji. This word is written quite differently by two distinct storyboard artists. I've thus assumed that the early collector used sheets from two different storyboards and grouped the pages I've obtained as "Storyboard 1" and "Storyboard 2." (It's possible, however, that these might come from more than two episodes.)

Otherwise, the Microid S cast is easy to identify, and the situations are fairly easy to figure out from the thumbnails.

 Storyboard 1, p. 12

 Storyboard 1, p. 31

 Storyboard 1, p. 38

 Storyboard 1, p. 40

 Storyboard 2, p. ??

 Storyboard 2, p. 9

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