Anime Site Collaboration Project Vol. 18: Nippon Animation Part 2


With anime more popular than ever all over the world, we sat down with some of the people who actually produce it to hear some of their thoughts about the production process and a few behind the scenes stories too. This interview series is a collaborative project between Japanese language news site Anime! Anime!, Tokyo Otaku Mode which has over 2 million Facebook likes, and Chinese language sites Bahamut and Manrenzhi.

You can check out the rest of the interviews here.

Please check Part 1 here

Nippon Animation’s Representative Works: Chibi Maruko-chan, A Dog of Flanders, 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, Rascal the Raccoon, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Ukkari Pénélope, Tonde Burin, Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette, and Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern.

Rascal greets visitors at the entrance to Nippon Animation.
The wall to the conference room featured artwork from Hayao Miyazaki’s and another staff’s Anne of Green Gables.
The stairway landing was decorated with a map of the locations featured in the World Masterpiece Theater series that so many people watched as children.
A corner of the spacious break room featured an organized display of products.
Commemorative plates for the masterpieces A Dog of Flanders (1975) and Rascal the Raccoon (1977).
*Laura, the Prairie Girl* (1975) and Monarch: The Big Bear of Tallac (1977).
The next room featured the “World Masterpiece Theater Art Gallery,” a collection of artwork from the series specially framed for display at exhibitions. This piece is titled “World Masterpiece Theater All-Star Cast.”
The emotional climax scene of A Dog of Flanders that makes everyone cry.
Rascal the Raccoon is still a popular character even today. There are even LINE stamps themed after him.
The next room we visited was the Document Storage Room which contained scripts of past works from throughout the years collected and stored together.
Previously used film is stored in these kinds of film cans.
Inside the Paint Storage Room. Just as the name implies, this room is solely for paints used in cel animation.
The Production Materials Display Room is a spacious room in which desks are lined up in a row so that you can see the steps of the production process.
Background artwork covered one of the walls.
The coloring process is comprised of design, coordination, and finishing.
Color chips used for color design. Color management is one of the most important jobs.
Colors used to create cel illustrations. Up until the ‘90s before digital, cels were painted with colors like these using brushes.
Beautiful background art was created at this desk.
Looking at the steps involved in production, you can see how anime is completed through a creative and delicate process.
Project proposals are also stored in the production department.
A showa-era retro brown CRT TV. Kids of the Showa era used to watch Nippon Animation’s anime on TVs like these.
Storyboards for past works are preserved just as they were.
A photography stand larger than a person is safely stored behind a black curtain in the pleasantly chilly, semi-underground Photography Room.
Photography was done in pairs using a photographer and an assistant. Cel animations were laid atop background art and photographed using a film camera to be made into a complete anime.
We are grateful to Nippon Animation for the variety of valuable materials they showed to us during our visit.
© Sakura Production / Nippon Animation 
Chibi Maruko-chan 30th anniversary celebration

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