Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Archives for: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

07:50:00 pm , 79 words, 5164 views     Categories: Animation

Anipages on Twitter

I opened a Twitter account recently: https://twitter.com/Anipages. Originally I didn't intend to tweet; I just wanted to follow some people. But I decided I'll go ahead and use it to post quick links or news or blurbs that are too short for a full post on the blog. I'm honestly still unsure about the whole thing but I figure I should give it a shot. It's remarkable how many Japanese animators are on Twitter. (though it's mostly just chit-chat)

Monday, November 28, 2011

11:18:00 am , 739 words, 2056 views     Categories: Animation, OVA

Mikeneko Holmes

Not every AIC anime is about cute girls, mecha and guns. There's one exception: Mikeneko Holmes no Yuurei Joushu, a one-shot mystery OVA based on the novels of mystery legend Jiro Akagawa. No tentacles or lesbian aliens are to be found in this unostentatious and low-key outing. It's maybe the least AIC-looking of the OVAs from the golden age of AIC OVAs.

It's decent, but not undeservedly overlooked. The characters are competently drawn, if not particularly dynamic or exciting to watch. The mystery takes too long to arrive and isn't satisfying, and the directing is bland and lacking in spark, although you could say it's more watchable than many of their better produced outings because of that lightness and lack of fetishism. It's interesting perhaps most of all for being one of the earliest mystery anime, precursor of hit shows like Kindaichi and Conan. Once again, AIC was on the money in terms of sniffing out potential new formats.

This OVA was released in 1992, which is smack in the middle of one of my favorite periods in anime, the post-Akira period that produced OVAs like Crimson Wolf, Hakkenden and Sukeban Deka. The animation of this period gets my juices flowing like that of no other period in anime history. Like most AIC OVAs, this one has a smattering of good animation, and it's in the early 90s style that I love. Most of the animation in the film is not that exciting, but there are bits here and there in the first ten minutes that I really enjoyed.

The breakfast scene is perhaps the best. The acting in this scene is subtly nuanced and believable, but not lavish or flamboyant by any means. Take the shot where the protagonist reads the note while eating toast. Normally an animator would just have had the protagonist pick up the note and read it. But there's an added little touch here that makes it feel more real and life-like: he flips back the note to straighten it so that he can read it. It passes by so quickly it almost doesn't register. It's not flamboyant and in-your-face screaming "Sakugaaaaa!" Yet it feels really good as acting and as movement. Most of the time nowadays when you run across animation that is above average, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Not many animators are capable of this kind of subtle quality. I like animation like this that flies under the radar yet is very well done. The timing of the bit where the protagonist's buddy pats his chest at the front door is also exceptional. Have a look for yourself.

Animators in the credits include Tatsuya Tomaru, Jiro Kanai, Fumihide Sai and Osamu Tanabe. The breakfast scene is almost without a doubt the work of Osamu Tanabe, who I wrote a post about before. This was before he became famous for his work at Ghibli, right around the time he did such amazing but as-of-yet unrecognized work on miscellaneous shows like Hakkenden, Junkers Come Here, Lassie and Golden Boy. His work in all of these shows is also similarly notable for its subtle but realistic and believable acting.

There are some other spots during the first ten minutes that are also quite nice, like the dream scene at the beginning and the shot where the protagonist's buddy gets worked up after the play and the protagonist has to restrain him. The latter shot is quite nice and feels very 'post-Akira' in the style of the mouth and the exaggerated movement of the limbs. I like how the limbs and hands are very communicative in animation at this period.


三毛猫ホームズの幽霊城主 Mikeneko Holmes no Yuurei Joushu (1992, OVA, 45 mins, AIC)

Based on the novels by Jiro Akagawa
Produced by AIC
Director, Character Design: Nobuyuki Kitajima
Animation Directors: Noboru Furuse, Nobuyuki Kitajima
Assistant Animation Director: Atsushi Okuda
Art Director: Kenji Kamiyama
Script: Arii Emu
Music: Kentaro Haneda
Technical Director: Takeshi Aoki
Key animators:

Tatsuya TomaruJiro Kanai
Kado TomoakiOsamu Tanabe
Tomoo IkeuchiTadayuki Iwai
Fumihide SaiMasahiro Kase
Harumi IzawaKoichi Ishihara
Miko NakajimaKenichi Ogawa
Satomi TanakaKoichi Nakaya
Masashi YagishitaMasamitsu Outa
Keiji GotoNaoko Ozawa
Masahiro Tanaka

Here's a list of some of my favorite early 1990s OVAs (and one movie) where you can sample the style of animation that's unique to the immediate post-Akira period:

Gosenzosama Banbanzai (1989)
Explorer Woman Ray episode 1 (1989)
Hakkenden episode 1 (1990)
The Antique Shop (1991)
Sukeban Deka (1991)
Rojin Z (1991)
Green Legend Ran episode 1 (1992)
Ai Monogatari: Lion and Pelican (1993)
Crimson Wolf (1993)

Monday, November 21, 2011

06:38:00 am , 63 words, 3530 views     Categories: Animation, Indie, Short

Taku Furukawa turns 70

Tomoyoshi Joko and Hiroco Ichinose, who work together as the unit Decovocal, just put up a new short animation entitled Coffee Tadaiku on their Youtube channel in honor of their mentor Taku Furukawa, who turned 70 on September 25. Watch it here. The film is a lovingly crafted homage to what's perhaps Taku Furukawa's most iconic piece, Coffee Break from 1977.

Related posts:
Decovocal
Taku Furukawa

Thursday, November 17, 2011

08:48:00 am , 149 words, 1884 views     Categories: Animation

Yuzo Aoki's crazy Lupin movie

I'm on the road unable to post (anything long) right now, and will be for the next few days, so I just thought I'd point out that Aaron Long, who was the one who inspired me on all these Lupin posts with his post about episode 78 of the second TV series, just wrote a nice little piece about the Gold of Babylon movie that featured some of the best work by Yuzo Aoki in his whole career. The film is full of inspired posing and character animation. It's the culmination of his many years of working with the Lupin designs. Sadly, the movie has fallen into obscurity after all these years, buried under an avalanche of less interesting films and TV specials. It's basically the craziest, most slapstick and raucous Lupin ever made, with some of the most Monkey Punch-esque drawings. Check it out if you have a chance.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

05:02:00 pm , 862 words, 2856 views     Categories: Animation

Sadahiko Sakamaki's storyboards for Taiga Adventure

Sadahiko Sakamaki is an animator who's been active since the late 1970s. He appears frequently in the Tokyo Movie episodes of the second Lupin III series, having even done a few half-half episodes with Yuzo Aoki. In the ensuing years he worked as an animator on various shows like Belle and Sebastian and Cobra before moving to Nippon Animation, where he remained for many years, notably doing character designs for Spaceship Sagittarius and Jungle Book. Spaceship Sagittarius was a great show due to the script and Sakamaki's simple but appealing and out-there designs of the various aliens. He reportedly drew a lot of rough key animation in the show as well. His style comes through well in Jungle Book, with its simple and appealing animal character designs well-suited to creating active movement.

One of the last things Sakamaki did at Nippon Animation was a 24-episode show called Taiga Adventure that ran from October 1999 to April 2000. This show was unfortunately neglected due presumably to the fact that the producers made the greedy and unfortunate decision to attempt to associate the show with Hayao Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan by calling it Future Boy Conan II: Taiga Adventure instead of just Taiga Adventure, even though the show had absolutely nothing to do with Future Boy Conan. They just wanted to capitalize on one of their hottest properties. I myself dismissed the show out of hand because of that fact when it came out. I regret having done so now, because it looks like Sakamaki put a lot of sweat and tears into this project, and it doesn't look that bad, but the show is pretty much impossible to find now, having only been released on VHS many years back.

Sakamaki was the brain behind the whole show. He came up with the concept and the story, drew the character designs, and drew storyboards for almost every episode - not ekonte, but storyboards in the western sense of the word, as in a series of drawings to give a sense of the flow of the story, based upon which a proper ekonte was presumably drawn afterwards. The director of the show wasn't him but Keiji Hayakawa, who I wrote a post about before because of his excellent storyboarding work on Spaceship Sagittarius. The two had worked together even before Spaceship Sagittarius: Keiji Hayakawa was the chief director of Belle & Sebastian. They continue to work together even today. They recently teamed up on several episodes of The Galaxy Railways and Kyou Kara Maou, Hayakawa doing storyboard and directing and Sakamaki acting as sakkan.

Sakamaki has lately become active on the web, with his own web page. He's been kind enough to post a series of animatic-style footage of these storyboards on his Youtube page.

His storyboard videos are very nice to look at. At a basic level, it's just nice to savor his appealing rough drawings, as he's a master with the pencil, able to quickly sketch out all sorts of characters in all sorts of dynamic poses. But more than that, watching these animatics gave me a newfound appreciation for a side of Sadahiko Sakamaki I didn't know before - that of an all-powerful anime creator who can conceptualize a whole show from the ground up, including mapping out every shot in almost every episode. He's able to come up with, string together and convincingly draw so many characters and situations (I'm sure he could animate them too if he had time). Not many people have done that in anime except for Hayao Miyazaki. They make me want to see the actual show, although I suspect the actual show won't have the very nice flavor of Sakamaki's lively and skillful rough drawings.

Sadahiko Sakamaki also uploaded three 7-minute animatics for a new show he's working on called Go, Lesser!. The subject is interesting. It's about animals left behind by their owners after a nuclear disaster. It's inspired by true stories of such events that played in the news after the Fukushima disaster. I'm not quite sure whether he's doing this on the side, by himself, or whether this is a project that's actually under production somewhere.

It's a real pleasure to watch his animatics. I like his whole aesthetic and visual style. He feels like an emissary from an older time in anime, with his simply drawn but lively characters going on grand adventures. There's something in his work that reminds me of what it is that attracted me to anime in the first place, but that's been lost today. It does remind me of Future Boy Conan, but not because it mimics that style. It's because he seems one of the last living people able to create that kind of sprawling, fun, sci-fi action-adventure on a large scale.

Sadahiko Sakamaki is still active full-time as an animator and animation director. He now has his own small subcontractor production studio called Delta Peak Production, which has done the animation for episodes of many shows including Metal Fighter Miku, Ayakashi, The Galaxy Railways and Akikan. Sakamaki always acts as the sakkan for the episodes outsourced to his studio. Sakamaki even drew solo episodes in episode 2 and 8 of Akikan.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

11:34:00 pm , 1671 words, 2946 views     Categories: Animation, Movie, Lupin III

Lupin III: Bye Bye Liberty Crisis

Ever since the third TV series of 1984-1985, Lupin III has lived on mostly in yearly TV specials of uneven quality that were often disappointing despite frequently ambitious staff casting. The very first TV special was Bye Bye Liberty Crisis, directed by Osamu Dezaki and aired on April 1, 1989. Dezaki went on to direct the first few TV specials before they were handed on to a succession of different directors.

I just saw this film for the first time today, and I was impressed by it. I'm used to disappointment with these TV specials, but I'd easily rank Bye Bye Liberty Crisis as the best post-Fuma Clan Lupin III film I've seen.

It's clear why TMS turned to Osamu Dezaki when they wanted to revive the franchise in TV special form. He had the stylistic flair and directing prowess to make a Lupin III film that was satisfying as a film.

Dezaki's Bye Bye Liberty Crisis is cinematic in a way that most of the later TV specials I've seen aren't. It's adult in atmosphere without taking itself seriously, as Lupin III should be, and it segues between action sequences and drama in a way that's stylish and believable. Each of the main characters shine and communicate their unique personalities. Jigen and Goemon have their own vignettes, and you come away feeling like you understand their personalities and motivations. Goemon especially gets a lot of play and his character comes through very nicely. The atmosphere is romantic and moody in a classy way at the right moments, with jazz, cigarette smoke and city lights, while the action sequences are excitingly directed through clever and artistic staging despite not being fluidly animated and choreographed like the Telecom action sequences.

Dezaki was an auteur with brilliant instinct for how to string together scenes in a way that was both entertaining and full of artistic flair. Bye Bye Liberty Crisis is sprinkled here and there with personal trademarks that you can see in most of his productions like harmony, back-lighting and triple-takes, but it's more subtle and under wraps here than in many other productions. It doesn't feel like he's showing off stylistically. Harmony is the thing where an animated image suddenly turns into a painted image. You see this in almost every Dezaki production. It's done by sending the last cel in a shot to the art department and having them add painted touches directly onto the cel to give it a more hand-drawn and painterly feeling.


An example of Osamu Dezaki's 'harmony' effect

The action scene early on where the baddies kill Jigen's friend and then Jigen shoots one of them and he falls into the river is a textbook example of Dezaki's unique genius for directing of action sequences in a way that is visually beautiful as well as cleverly choreographed. During the climactic last few seconds, diegetic sound is replaced by the sound of a subway train passing in the background, and the bad guy with a bullet in his shoulder falls backwards in slow motion towards an image of the train passing that suddenly disappears with a splash as it turns out to have been the reflection of the train passing by above in the river. Dezaki's action sequences are exciting to watch because he always comes up with clever and artistic ways of presenting actions by a mix of unexpected cutting and framing, sound design and art, rather than just presenting a sequence of naturalistically staged shots.


Osamu Dezaki's creative visual presentation

The second Lupin III TV series established a trend for outlandishly improbable and unrealistic escapades and action sequences. While these were quite fun to watch, it felt like Lupin lite in a way. Without being grounded in reality, Lupin loses a lot of its impact. Bye Bye Liberty Crisis is nice because the action sequences all feel grounded. That in turn creates tension that makes the scenes exciting to watch. The recent special called The Last Job was extremely unpleasant to watch because its action sequences were so over-the-top and unbelievable. They completely ignored physics and turned the characters into meaningless symbols flying all over the screen. There was no sense of imminent danger. Lupin could do anything he wanted, when he wanted. The Lupin of Bye Bye Liberty Crisis is bounded by the rules of physics and gravity, and his action sequences have tension because of it.

It's not just the action sequences where realistic touches make the film more believable. Cars are arguably one of the most important elements of the Lupin III franchise. The defining trait of the show - what set it apart - was how they drew the cars realistically, based on actual models. That was completely abandoned in The Last Job, which was also unpleasant to see. Bye Bye Liberty Crisis is filled with beautifully drawn cars, including an awesome Cadillac Deville that's lovingly drawn in every shot. All of the shots of the cars in this film, even the ones that aren't moving, are a pleasure to watch.


 

What's Lupin III without some beautifully drawn cars?

One of my favorite parts in the whole film is the scene where the Cadillac Deville taxi drives through the Nevada desert, kicking up a cloud of dust as it swerves around in a 180. It's impressive how realistic the images are in this scene, from the rendering of the car to the camera lens to the dust cloud that obscures the image momentarily. The scene where the enemy cars parachute in later on and start attacking the Lupin gang with guns installed under the chassis is also really well drawn. There's one shot of Lupin running with the kid on his back mixed into this sequence that stands out as having a nice feeling in the timing. Jigen has an awesome moment when he shoots the missile and is blown back by the explosion. This whole sequence is well executed in terms of the animation and the directing. It's a great Lupin III action sequence. The early scene with Lupin driving around the snowplow is also well done. Even Jigen's magnum is lovingly drawn in many shots, down to the "Smith & Wesson" insignia.

The character drawings are also among my favorite in the whole franchise. Noboru Furuse is the character designer and animation director, and I think he did an excellent job putting his own spin on the characters while keeping true to the spirit of the original. The faces are long, the chins dimpled, the hands big and hairy, but it doesn't go as far as Yuzo Aoki in the third series. The characters remain cute and appealing. Best of all, their animation is very lively and supple. The many guest characters are all nicely designed and a pleasure to watch in movement. The slender-faced baddie character especially is nice to watch. It feels like Noboru Furuse's spin on the lanky character designs of Mystery of Mamo, which probably remains my favorite rendering of the characters in the franchise. The opening scene where Zenigata and Lupin wrestle in the elevator shows off the character designs well, with the well-timed animation as their lanky limbs tangle in the cramped space, and the way Lupin's face stretches impishly.

Even the women like Fujiko and Goemon's love interest are lovely and sexy in a way that's in the spirit of Lupin III - bodaceous and foxy in a classy, stylized way. The women in recent Lupin III aren't sultry and sexy the way they used to be, even though sometimes they're better drawn. I prefer the way the women were drawn in the old Lupin III shows because they were stylized in a way that was sexy and beautiful without trying to be pedantically realistic about it. Today's animators don't seem to be as good at appealing stylization as in the old days. Too many animators nowadays seem to default to the same homogeneous drawing style.

The film had a lot of talented animators working on it, which accounts for why so much of the movement and drawings throughout the film are such a pleasure to watch. Talented animators in the credits include Jiro Kanai, Hiroyuki Morita, Masatsugu Arakawa, Osamu Tanabe, Seiji Muta and Kazuyoshi Takeuchi. It's interesting to note the presence of Osamu Tanabe in particular, as he's not associated with this kind of material anymore. Also present is Takahiko Shobu of Studio Iruka, who did a lot of work on the third series a few years earlier.

There was one section in particular that I really liked in terms of the animation. It's the sequence where Zenigata steps off the train with the kid and sits on the bench. There's something about the drawings and movement here that's like none of the other sequences in the film. It's quite clear what it is: It's Akira-esque. It's got a Takashi Nakamura inflection. The shot where the guy gesticulates with his hands makes it obvious. The hands are clearly the product of working under Takashi Nakamura. You only see this kind of gesticulation animation in the years following Akira. Seiji Muta and Jiro Kanai are the two animators in the credits who worked on Akira, so I wonder if it was one of them. Seiji Muta went on to become a regular in the specials.

Whoever it was who animated this sequence appears to have inserted two animator cameos into it: Someone wearing Yasuo Otsuka's trademark driver cap steps off the train before Zenigata (I think it's tradition to have a Yasuo Otsuka reference in each film), and director Osamu Dezaki himself passes behind disguised Lupin as he's gesticulating. That's something I miss about the old days. Animators had more freedom to insert little jokes here and there into their sequences. Many anime nowadays are so straightlaced that they have no tolerance for this kind of playfulness. Animators used to play around and have fun drawing bystanders when they were given a crowd scene. Nowadays the faces in crowds are boring because they're so professionally lacking in idiosyncrasy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

05:39:00 pm , 1086 words, 2880 views     Categories: Animation, OVA, Masaaki Yuasa, Short

Masaaki Yuasa's The Squash Seller

Mind Game (2004) may be considered Masaaki Yuasa's debut as a feature film director, but in fact he had directed various short featurettes prior to that. Indeed, his first director credit came 12 years earlier in 1992 with a short film in an obscure little 6-volume direct-to-video series called Anime Rakugokan. Rakugo is a traditional Japanese live storytelling/comedy entertainment. Each volume in this series features a performance by a famous rakugo practitioner set to animation.

Back then Yuasa was at a studio called Ajia-do. Yuasa had joined the studio because it was run by two of his idols in animation - Tsutomu Shibayama and Osamu Kobayashi, who had been the figures behind some of the series that most influenced Yuasa over the years, namely the 1970s shows produced by Tokyo Movie with animation from A Production like Dokonjo Gaeru and Tensai Bakabon.

Yuasa directed the third volume of Anime Rakugokan in a style that was an intentional homage to the style of the masters who had influenced him. As a result, the film isn't immediately recognizable as Yuasa. It feels more A Pro than anything else he's since done. But the genius of the character design and animation are something only Yuasa could have created.

The video is currently up on Youtube. (search for かぼちゃ屋) Watch it while you can. Unfortunately it doesn't have subs so you won't be able to get the humor if you don't understand Japanese, but the fact is that every second of this film is a delight to watch just for the character animation, so it's well worth watching anyway.

I'd personally been looking for this film for years, and I just got the chance to see it today for the first time, and I was excited to discover how great a film it is. I've never seen this kind of character animation from Yuasa, but it's amazing. The character designs are great, and the way they're animated is constantly interesting. There isn't a single shot that I don't love in this film.

The character drawings in particular are really out there, but they work. The floating eyebrows on the squash seller are really something. I adore the way the hands are drawn with these big blocky forms. The hands are very emotive in this film. The faces are so supple and squishy. There's some new fun expression in almost every shot. There's even a tinge of caricature in the old man who hires the squash seller that reminds me of the great Japanese caricaturist Shoji Yamafuji. And the animation has a sense of split-second timing that's unique to Yuasa. The guy with the five o'clock shadow the squash seller pisses off in the street is the most obvious throwback to the A Pro style. He looks like he could have come straight out of Dokonjo Gaeru.

I even love the very flat, simple layouts of the film. The characters are right up there in your face, filling the screen in every shot. There's no pretense of realism or perspective or other mimetic fakery. It's a proudly cartoony film. At the same time, despite the simple layouts, more effort is put into the animation than many shows nowadays that consist mostly of close-ups of characters. Every character drawing is full of life and vitality. No two drawings of the characters are the same.

What's best about it is that its 'cartooniness' has nothing to do with western cartoons, which I have a hard time appreciating. It's a cartoon aesthetic that was essentially invented by the Japanese TV animators who forged their own approach to the medium in the 1960s and 1970s. It's inspired by the work of the A Pro animators, which itself was something truly new and unlike anything ever done before, but completely re-invented through Yuasa's pen.

The impressive thing about Yuasa is that even obscure shorts like Slime Adventures and the Nanchatte Vampiyan pilot that for years remained unseen and unobtainable turned out, when I finally saw them, to be great little films exploding with just the sort of incredible animation and visual creativity you'd expect of Yuasa. The same applies to The Squash Seller, in its own unique way.

Yuasa himself has said in an interview that he's embarrased about the film and wishes people wouldn't watch it, but that's just typical Yuasa humbleness. This is an awesome little gem that looks and moves like no other anime out there. The character style is obviously inspired by the classic A Pro shows, but Yuasa creates a look and feel that is uniquely his own. He learns from and surpasses the masters. I honestly wish he would do more stuff like this. We need an A Pro-style long-running slapstick comedy TV series directed by Masaaki Yuasa in the spirit of Tensai Bakabon or Dokonjo Gaeru.

This lost gem proves once again what a unique and multifaceted talent Masaaki Yuasa is. Thanks to Charles Brubaker for pointing this video out to me.

One of the other films in the series is also up on Youtube, but the contrast is instructive. It's the first volume, directed by Osamu Kobayashi. Kobayashi's character designs are appealingly oddball in a Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi-kind of way, but the animation is totally uninteresting compared with the electric and dynamic character animation of Yuasa's outing.

The other one I'm curious to see is the second episode, because it's animated by Masaya Fujimori, who is perhaps the best animator to emerge from Ajia-Do in the 1990s after Masaaki Yuasa. The second episode also features nicely stylized designs by Tsutomu Shibayama.

Bask in the delightful character drawings of Masaaki Yuasa's The Squash Seller:

















Anime Rakugokan アニメ落語館 staff list

Volume 1: Uma no Dengaku (16 mins, released June 5, 1991)
Structure and director: Osamu Kobayashi
Animation: Yuji Shigekuni, Masahiro Koyama
Art: Hideo Chiba

Volume 2: Okechimyaku (16 mins, released June 5, 1991)
Character design: Tsutomu Shibayama
Structure and director: Yumiko Suda
Animation: Masaya Fujimori
Art: Hideo Chiba

Volume 3: Kabochaya (21 mins, released July 5, 1992)
Character design, structure and director: Masaaki Yuasa
Animation: Masaaki Yuasa, Masayuki Sekine
Art: Seiki Tamura

Volume 4: Tenshiki (21 mins, released ?)
Structure and director: Yumiko Suda
Character design and animation director: Hideyuki Funagoshi
Animation: Yukio Omori, Yoshiaki Tsubata, Yuji Shigekuni, Masato Tamakawa, Hideyuki Funagoshi
Art: Hideo Chiba

Volume 5: Tarachine / Tsuru (8 mins each, released ?)
Tarachine
Director and animation: Hideo Kawauchi
Art: Atelier Roku
Tsuru
Director: Kazuki Okonogi
Animation director: Takeshi Shiki
Art: Atelier Roku

Volume 6: Hitomeagari / Kawarime (8 mins each, released ?)
Hitomeagari
Director: Kazuki Okonogi
Animation Director: Takeshi Shiki
Art: Atelier Roku
Kawarime
Director: Kazuki Okonogi
Animation director: Michishiro Yamada, Reiko Suzuki
Art: Atelier Roku

Thursday, November 10, 2011

03:41:00 pm , 322 words, 3399 views     Categories: Animation, Movie, Lupin III, Telecom

Telecom Lupin movie #5: The Eternal Mermaid

We've gotten a new Telecom Lupin III film roughly once per decade so far, but that rule is soon to be broken. After doing the 2007 Elusive Mist TV special, Telecom is back with a new TV special next month: Seal of Blood: The Eternal Mermaid.

This time Teiichi Takiguchi of Grampa's Lamp directs and Satoshi Hirayama is replaced as the character designer by ex-Nippon Animation animator (and Studio 4°C co-founder) Yoshiharu Sato.

I'm reassured to see Teiichi Takiguchi at the helm, as he did a good job with Grampa's Lamp, but I can't help but feel apprehensive about whether it won't be another disappointment. I don't know whether Telecom has it in them anymore to make good Lupin like the old days. I don't expect it to be as good as Plot of the Fuma Clan, but I wish they could at least come close. At least the character designer has changed, although I suppose you can't entirely blame Satoshi Hirayama for the lack of good movement in The Elusive Mist.

Personally I'd love to see Yuzo Aoki come back to the show and bring on a bunch of today's wild young animators to make another Lupin film in the spirit of Mystery of Mamo or Gold of Babylon. But I doubt the TV station or the sponsors would be willing to accept such looseness anymore.

This month marks 40 years since the first Lupin III series produced by A Production began airing. Eternal Mermaid is thus going to be the 40th anniversary film. It would be a nice touch if some of the staff who worked on the original Lupin III TV series could make an appearance in Eternal Mermaid, although Otsuka already made a cameo appearance in The Elusive Mist. Rumors are circulating of a possible new TV series being produced in conjunction with the 40th anniversary, so perhaps we will see even more Telecom Lupin in the months to come.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11:55:00 pm , 761 words, 3182 views     Categories: Animation, Movie, Lupin III, Telecom

Telecom Lupin movie #4: The Elusive Fog

30 years after Telecom worked on the second Lupin III TV series, they returned in 2007 with a TV special of their own production, with their own logo capping the end roll: The Elusive Fog. Dozens of TV specials and movies have been made in the intervening 30 years, but this was only Telecom's fourth Lupin film after Castle of Cagliostro (1979), Plot of the Fuma Clan (1987) and Farewell to Nostradamus (1995). This film harkens back to a character from the very first Lupin series: Mamo Kyosuke, the time-traveler who has it in for Lupin for some mysterious reason.

I'd like to say The Elusive Fog was a return to the standards of the early Telecom episodes of the second Lupin TV series, but it is unfortunately not. Everything here is too clean, too slow, too measured. There's no spark, no excitement. For one I don't like the excessively clean way the characters are drawn. There's no personality or spontaneity in the drawings the way there was in the second series. Here the drawings are all DOA. The ironic thing is that the shortage of schedule in the early Telecom Lupin productions may have contributed to producing good work. Here it looks like they had too much time to think about what they wanted to do.

Kazuhide Tomonaga and Yoshinobu Michihata tantalizingly occupy the two top spots in the key animator credits, so they clearly put their all into this. Tomonaga happily returned to drawing a car chase. He obviously did the car chase at the beginning. It was nice to see Lupin being chased by Zenigata in the old Fiat again, and there were a few nicely done shots in there, but it didn't have the tension of his early work. It wasn't choreographed in an exciting way, but more than that, it just felt slack and plain, without the little unexpected rapidfire movements that made the early chases so exciting to watch.

It would have been great if this throwback to the early Lupin work had been a harbinger of more of the same to come, but the rest didn't live up to the opening. With very few animators they were able to create some incredible episodes back then, but here they've got more than 50 key animators and yet there is nary an exciting action sequence in the whole film.

The character animation was also too tame. There were very few sections where the characters came alive and the movement had any kind of zip and good feeling in the timing. I assume Yoshinobu Michihata was responsible for those few moments, but overall the entire approach to character animation was lacking. The movement was just dull. What made those old Telecom productions so nice to watch is that the characters were fun to watch at every single solitary moment thanks to the fun the animators had in posing and moving the characters in all sorts of ways with split-second precision. Here it feels like the characters are encased in a character design that fits them like an excessively stiff suit.

Even the storytelling of Fuma Clan, which is weaker on the story and characterization front than Cagliostro for obvious reasons, felt stronger than the storytelling and character development and directing here. Even aside from the animation aspects, it didn't feel interesting to watch as a film. The pacing was sluggish, no developments were unexpected, no characters were believable.

This outing felt a little lighter overall than their previous Nostradamus outing, which had names like Atsuko Tanaka and Hiroyuki Aoyama involved, and had a big climactic section with a lot of nice animation. Unfortunately the latter two have now left Telecom, along with many others. Among the talented animators remaining are Kazuhide Tomonaga, Yoshinobu Michihata and Hisao Yokobori. But I don't know of any young names at Telecom with the same fire that those guys had at the beginning, so we might not see a new generation of Telecom animators with the same verve as that first generation. Times have changed. In a lot of productions there just isn't the sort of freedom to draw characters however you want the way there was in the old Lupin show.

Yasuo Otsuka, the patron saint of the Lupin anime franchise, made a guest appearance. Two, actually. He drew the 'eyecatch', which uses the same sound effect as the second TV series. Instead of Lupin tripping over his Benz, this time he brakes his Fiat too hard and the whole car flips forward and spits him out the sunroof. The second appearance... well, it's not hard to spot.

Monday, November 7, 2011

05:56:00 pm , 929 words, 2687 views     Categories: Animation, TV

Guilty Crown #4 / Idolm@ster #18

Ryotaro Makihara and Akitoshi Yokoyama, two of my favorite people in the anime industry right now, both played major parts in Masaaki Yuasa's last two TV series Kaiba and Tatami Galaxy. In the absence of a Masaaki Yuasa project to work on, they haven't been idle. They both just directed a TV episode for different studios that just happened to air right around the same time. Ryotaro Makihara directed episode 4 of I.G.'s Guilty Crown and Akitoshi Yokoyama directed episode 18 of Gainax's Idolm@ster.

Guilty Crown #4

Ryotaro Makihara's episode of Guilty Crown was pretty impressive. It's a nice show of force from an up-and-coming young director. This is only his third episode storyboarded/directed. He started out as an inbetweener in 2002, did his first key animation in 2004, debuted as a sakkan in 2008 on Kaiba episode 11, debuted as an enshutsu in 2009 on Umimonogatari #11, and debuted as a storyboarder/enshutsu on Tatami Galaxy episode 3. He also acted as sakkan once more on Tatami Galaxy episode 9. It was just earlier this year that he storyboarded/directed his second episode, Fractale #7. I also talked about his animation throughout both shows in my posts on Kaiba and Tatami Galaxy. Incidentally, Makihara started out at Telecom before going freelance, which perhaps in some small measure helps account for his unique approach.

Many parts of the preceding episodes were actually rather impressive as well, but in a more stiff and sanitized way. They were technically well made, with obviously a lot of work put into the visuals, but somehow they didn't really 'wow' me the way episode 4 does. It's hard to put your finger on what it is. Makihara just has a sense for how to create a great rhythm and flow, and you can sense his personal touch in the episode in various subtle ways, without it becoming distracting.

I like the way Makihara controls the flow of the action and the visuals. The layouts guide the eye effortlessly without being overly stylized or striving for effect. The lighting in the dark building is carefully handled in each shot to build a tense atmosphere, with the mixture of red and yellow emergency lighting. The acting is more convincing and intimate in Makihara's hands due to the way he stages and times the line delivery. The timing of the characters' reactions feels more 'right' than usual. The screen also has more depth than usual - for example, the people on the subway fade away in the distance. Even the stills that come on screen during the expository monologue about what happened in the past feel particularly nice for some reason.

The part that really blew me away is the climax, which is full of splendid animation and action choreography. The way the protagonist uses the clumps of water floating in the air to propel himself upwards was ingenious and exciting. The character animation where the protagonist plunges his hand into Kenji Kido's chest was convincing in the acting and timing, for example the way he at first stares in shock before yanking his head back with his eyes shut. I love the layout of the action of the shot where the protagonist shoots the gun for the first time and the recoil kicks him out of the fountain. The animation of the protagonist as he shoots the gun twice afterwards towards the oncoming mecha is really beautiful. The tension builds and builds until the moment when he steps on the floating globule of water and runs upwards. Quite an amazing sequence.

Animators in Guilty Crown episode 4 include: Natsuko Shimizu, Mamoru Kurosawa, Isao Hayashi, Itazu Yoshimi, Fumiaki Kota, Yasunori Miyazawa, and Ryotaro Makihara himself. Did Itazu Yoshimi perhaps do the part with Kenji Kido? It felt Denno Coil-ish.


Idolm@ster #18

Akitoshi Yokoyama's episode of Idolm@ster was well produced, but not really worth going out of your way to watch just for his work like Makihara's episode of Guilty Crown. I find other episodes showcase Yokoyama's prowess better (see the list below). I guess that's as it should be: This audience of this episode isn't Yokoyama fans; it's the viewers of this show.

I personally would prefer to see more personal work showcasing Yokoyama's unique vision as a director, but what I can say is that this episode showcases the consummate professional in Yokoyama. He can switch between radically different projects and deliver work that is not only true to the spirit and style of the project, but that one-ups everything else with its quality. That's simultaneously the good thing and the bad thing about Japanese anime professionals: they come in and do great work on even shows whose content isn't interesting to me. That's what I love about anime, but at the same time I can't help wishing more of them were a little more picky about what projects they did. If nobody cares what material they do, no wonder we don't see more ambitious projects. I guess putting food on your family comes first, especially when times are tough and interesting projects are few and far between.

Here's a list of episodes storyboarded and directed by Yokoyama. He also drew storyboards for many other episodes without directing them, but the ones he directed as well are the ones where his personality comes through the most so I'll just list those here. He debuted as an inbetweener at Studio Gallop in 1985, drew his first key animation in 1987, and drew his first storyboard on Turn A Gundam in 1999.

Episodes storyboarded and directed by Akitoshi Yokoyama

2002: Rahxephon 6, 12, 18, 24
2003: King Gainer 14
2004: Samurai Champloo 21
2006: Kemonozume 5
2007: Tenpo Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi 12
2007: Denno Coil 3
2008: Kaiba 2 3 7 9
2009: Naruto Shippuden 131
2010: Tatami Galaxy 2 4 9
2011: Deadman Wonderland 11
2011: Idolm@ster 18

Sunday, November 6, 2011

05:51:00 pm , 1362 words, 23987 views     Categories: Animation, OVA, Telecom

Grampa's lamp

I just wrote about Telecom's very early work on Lupin. Well, they're still very active as both a subcontractor doing animation work on other people's shows and producing their own projects. Their latest was one of the other four Project A films released in 2010: Grampa's Lamp.

Set in the early decades of Japan's period of modernization around 1900, Grampa's Lamp traces the advent of modernity to Japan during its so-called "bunmei kaika" period in the late 1800s. It does so through the story of a boy growing up during those times. He begins by embracing the flood of changes entering his country, only to soon find himself irresistibly overtaken by that same flood. With surprising subtlety it paints a picture of the double-edged sword of modernization: for every step towards the future, something else is irretrievably lost.

Historical anime for children of this ilk is often heavy-handed and reductive, presenting an anti-war or other message in a way that is lacking the complexity and subtlety of real life, but I found Grampa's Lamp did a better job than most other period anime in balancing narrative clarity and simplicity with moral ambiguity and psychological complexity. I enjoyed it and found its characters believable. My only disappointment is that the drama leading towards the climax felt forced and unnecessary. It's like they felt obliged to create a dramatic climax but couldn't figure out how to do it.

Grampa's Lamp is pretty much unrecognizable as Telecom if you're looking for the hallmarks of late 70s Telecom like high-energy car chases and exhiliratingly improbable character calisthenics. The studio itself has gone through much over the intervening years, and this project itself much more low-key and down-to-earth in its goals. The film is more Only Yesterday than Cagliostro.

But what hasn't changed is the studio's philosophy of creating rich character animation. Everything moves, and moves in an interesting or meaningful way. The characters act out their emotions and personalities, and the way they behave is more realistic and believable than in typical anime, where the animators often fall back on stock movements. They behave like people, not anime characters. The directing isn't geared towards creating pretty images, but rather towards bringing the characters to life in animation.

Crowd scenes actually have moving people, not just a single drawing. Kids playing cops and robbers zip around adopting all sorts of poses. The old lady running the shop moves differently from the way the middle-aged waitress moves. When the protagonist assembles a lamp, each component of the action is meticulously depicted - pouring the lamp oil through the sieve into the body, wiping off the sieve, replacing the ladle into its bin, screwing back on the lamp, twisting the knob to raise the thread. And he does all these things with an ease and fluidity that clearly is the product of many years of experience. That's what it means for animation to communicate personality.

Kazuhide Tomonaga, who after his work on the second Lupin series went on to become one of Telecom's most important members through the decades, was the "Acting Supervisor" in Grampa's Lamp. This is a role I've never before seen in anime, and the presence of this role goes a long way to accounting for the quality of the character animation.

Unlike in a typical production, prior to drawing the layout and the genga, each animator was first obliged to draw a thumbnail outline of the action they intended for a shot. Only after Tomonaga inspected the thumbnails and approved them was the key animator allowed to move ahead with drawing the actual key animation. It might seem at first sight like adding this extra step might slow down production, but it probably actually has the opposite effect. It also avoids waste by making sure there's no need for retakes after the key animator has begun drawing a more finalized key animation drawing. On top of that, it increases the overall quality of the movements by forcing the animators to think about the movement first, separate from the drawings.

Drawing thumbnails was one of the tasks the animators of Grampa's Lamp were assigned as a part of Project A. The idea of using thumbnails was apparently something recommended by Yasuo Otsuka. He finds that many young animators today are unable to create everyday character acting. People draw cool poses or drawings, but forget the bigger picture. He suggested using thumbnails as a way to train their skill at conceptualizing movement. Having a thumbnail sketch of a movement also makes it easy to get input from superiors or colleagues about how to improve an action.

The first person credited in the key animation credits is Hisao Yokobori, who is a veteran Telecom animator who has done much good work in recent years. Presumably many of the names under him are the new faces who were being trained on the project.

I also had a chance to watch Production I.G.'s outing, Wardrobe Dwellers, but it was excruciatingly boring and uninteresting. I was looking forward to it to see what Kazuchika Kise would do as a director, as he's a fine animator, but the material just wasn't interesting enough to support the slow pace.


Earlier this year it was announced that four more films in the series will be released together next year under the moniker "Anime Mirai". Luckily Telecom is back with another film next year, and I was surprised to find out which film it is they're producing:

Telecom: Buta (d. Kazuhide Tomonaga)
Production I.G.: Wasurenagumo (d. Toshihisa Kaiya)
Shirokumi: Feigned Ignorance (d. PON Kozutsumi)
Answer Studio: Juju of the South Seas (d. Hiroshi Kawamata)

Six years ago I wrote a post about a project called Buta headed by a Frenchman named Christophe Ferreira. It would appear that the project had a rough time getting off the ground, and sadly Christophe is only credited with "Created by" in this particular film, so it is not the vision that he had originally been working towards. But it is nonetheless Telecom, and directed by Kazuhide Tomonaga no less, so it looks like it will be an exciting and fun action piece going back to the roots of what made Telecom so great.

You can see some images from the episode up on the official page at animemirai.jp. Apparently the project is now called Anime Mirai (Anime Future).

It would be nice if this could lead to an ongoing project that would foster the production of more episodes in that vein of freewheeling action adventure. I find it hard to believe they'll be able to revive the brilliance of the early Telecom films, but it's great to see they're trying to go in that direction. Interesting to note is that this film is presumably serving as on-hands training for several younger animators - which is basically what the early New Lupin III Telecom episodes were.

Speaking of which, supposedly a new Lupin III series is in production, so with any luck we may be able to see some new Telecom Lupin III episodes.

I must say I'm also quite curious about the Shirokumi film. It looks very beautiful, with its pared down black-and-white sketchy aesthetic. It's the only film in the project so far that doesn't look like regular anime. I'm glad they're greenlighting more visually unorthodox and creative projects like this too. The director directed many episodes of Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi under his real name, Kazuaki Kozutsumi, so he's a good choice for this kind of visual material. I'd like to see more Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi OBs given the chance to do this kind of higher-quality production. More recently he did an amusing series of super-short animation inserts about a monk and his cat. I love what he's able to do with so little. Just a few drawings in three seconds and each one tells a little story.

I was hoping to see Kazuyoshi Takeuchi's name when I saw that Answer Studio had done one of the films, as I liked what he did in Flag, but he's not involved. I'm still quite looking forward to it. Production I.G.'s film looks the least interesting, though I'm sure it will be competently done.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

04:43:00 pm , 1448 words, 2627 views     Categories: Animation, OVA

Kizuna Ichigeki

Hyperkinetic action animation so fast it blurs the outlines of its characters into an abstract painting. You might expect to see this in one of the latest Street Fighter outings, not in a family show. But that's what makes Kizuna Ichigeki so unique. The tagline phrases it well: "Hard-boiled action comedy for the whole family".

This deceptively diminutive, densely packed little 25-minute gem is one of the films produced under the auspices of the so-called "Project A" or Young Animator Training Project being run by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Bunkacho. The Bunkacho has done much to support their native animation industry over the last decade or so, most notably running the Japan Media Arts Festival that has rewarded exceptional productions like Mind Game, Summer with Coo and most recently Tatami Galaxy.

The action is hard-boiled, and the family fun is quite soft and fuzzy. It sounds like a guaranteed disaster, but it actually works fairly well thanks to the two veterans helming this unique project: Director Mitsuru Hongo and Animation Director/Character Designer Yuichiro Sueyoshi.

The director does a good job of fleshing out each character as an individual and creating an appealing and fun atmosphere of a family that works together as a unit. The animation director meanwhile keeps the visuals interesting at all times with his creative approach to character designs, with heads and bodies drawn in all sorts of delightfully odd shapes.

The action scenes are truly thrilling to watch. They're intricately animated, full of interesting poses as the characters attack and parry, and the camera zooms around following the action. Fights never drag on to the point of self-indulgence, but always feel satisfying, without being gory or bloody. It's a clean, safe kind of action that's nonetheless extremely satisfying for action fans.

The film segues seamlessly between family drama and truly hardcore martial arts action as the little Kizuna has to participate in title fights to pay to keep the family together. A tiny little whisp of a girl, she deals out whoop-ass with an assurance and skill well beyond her years and size. The scenes where she stands off men three times her size (literally) are amazing for not being completely laughable. The magic of animation makes you believe she could do it. The show has an effortless and genuine atmosphere of whimsical fun.

Mitsuru Hongo was the one who made the Crayon Shin-chan film series into the long-running hit it's become. His Shin-chan films were suprisingly sophisticated packages of oddball fantasy, witty whimsy, exciting action and believably handled drama that attracted adults and children equally. The glue holding together this bizarre melange was the unexpected inventiveness and creativeness of the visuals and the animation, the product of the imagination of a brilliant animator and designer who would soon afterwards go on to make a name for himself: Masaaki Yuasa.

Yuichiro Sueyoshi started out as an animator in Shin-chan TV series and movies, and has in recent years been involved in several notable feature films: first Mind Game under the self-same Yuasa, and then in a very different turn, Summer with Coo under Shin-Ei compatriot Keiichi Hara. Keiichi Hara himself got his start under Mitsuru Hongo storyboarding Hongo's Shin-chan movies until finally graduating to directing them himself. Hongo is a remarkable director for not only his own work but also for his fostering of talent.

Kizuna Ichigeki's success comes in large part because it follows something of the same pattern of creative seeding as the early Shin-chan films. The visual concept is laid down by a talented animator, and Hongo then comes in and builds a drama around the visuals. Yuichiro Sueyoshi is credited with "gensaku", meaning "Created by Yuichiro Sueyoshi". Hence this project was his concept. It's a project created by a great animator, obviously intended to be a vehicle for producing interesting animation.

A one-off like this is nice, but what would be better would be if this would lead to a TV series. We need a TV series like this that creates a simple framework of a story and situation, and provides the animators with pliable and easy-to-animate designs that predispose towards more freedom and fun in the animation. You sense that different animators would have the freedom to do each episode in their own way without worrying too much about adhering to model or atmosphere. That's what makes this concept really interesting: It's carefully crafted to be open-ended and to inherently promote more exciting and adventurous animation. Providing such a platform on a long-term basis would be the best way of fostering the young animators of Japan.

Although of course Kizuna Ichigeki was intended to foster young animators, the key animation credits are headlined by three veteran animators: Masahiro Sato, Hideo Hariganeya and Nobuhiro Osugi. They are presumably there as the guiding spirits of the animation, the lead animators. The remaining six, who are credited separately, are presumably the young animators who were being 'trained' on the project. I don't know to what extent the veterans were involved in the training of the young animators, or whether they just did their own thing like usual and weren't actually involved in any training, which isn't their job normally anyway.

The three veterans have been involved in the Shin-chan movies over the years. Masahiro Sato in particular has come to prominence as one of the great action animators of our time. Masahiro Sato's section here is easily identifiable for its excellent draftsmanship, choreography and sense of assurance - the fight with the redhead. I'm not sure what the other two did, but there were two nice sections: the fight with the red-coated guy, and the amusing section where the grandfather tells stories that turn out to have nothing to do with Kizuna - one of them a clear parody of K-On and the other a parody of generic robot shows, with its dramatically anguished protagonist piloting a mobile suit against his will.

What's nice about this show is how each of these sections display a distinctly different approach to animation in terms of the timing and the choreography and even the drawings, yet they all blend together beautifully in the final product, and the heterogeneous styles even lend the film strength. Masahiro Sato's section isn't drawn all sketchy like the rest of the episode, and the animation is much more straight-through and fluid. The fight with the red-coated guy is quite different yet equally enjoyable - sparer and not as weighty, full of sprightly poses of Kizuna and more Yuasa-esque loose, angular character drawing. Hongo and Sueyoshi have created a framework in which animators can work freely in their own style, and it not only doesn't wreck the atmosphere, it fits in perfectly.

One of the things that jumps out at you about the animation is the sketchy style. It's kind of reminiscent of Tweeny Witches OVA 3 done by Yasuhiro Aoki, as well as Windy Tales, Kemonozume, and most recently Shoka. The finished animation is drawn in a way that deliberately looks unfinished and sketchy. Yet the drawings are strong and the characters are well drawn from all sorts of angles. I like the variety of the faces in the crowds. The crowd scenes were very fun to watch.

I like the cat character. That's something I think they did a good job in getting the audience to want to see more of. He looks and behaves very much like Kotetsu in Jarinko Chie. At certain moments he stands up on his hind legs and strikes some wicked-looking karate poses. I left the episode wanting to see more stories about the cat in action.

The production studio behind this film is a new kid on the block: Ascension. The producer heading the studio is one Hitoshi Shigeki. Although Sunrise was the studio that produced Keiichi Hara's latest film Colorful, the animation was actually outsourced to Ascension. They have two home-runs with their first two productions, let's hope they can keep that record up. They're a studio worth looking out for. They don't have an official home page yet, only a Twitter feed and a Facebook page.

You can see some cleaned up key animation alongside the finished image on the Janica page for Kizuna Ichigeki. It's quite interesting to compare the corrected keys with the finished picture. You can see what kind of work an inbetweener has to do in terms of cleaning up the lines, removing stray marks, etc.


Kizuna Ichigeki (25 minutes, 2010, Ascension)

Producer: Hitoshi Shigeki
Created by, Animation Director, Character Design: Yuichiro Sueyoshi
Written by, Storyboard, Director: Mitsuru Hongo

Key animators:
Masahiro Sato
Hideo Hariganeya
Nobuhiro Ohsugi

Ho Yeong Park, Keiko Tamaki
Hidekazu Ebina, Satohiko Sano
Ryota Sakaguchi, Norifumi Kugai

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

05:31:00 pm , 5691 words, 8755 views     Categories: Animation, TV, Lupin III, Telecom

The animation of the second Lupin III TV series

The second Lupin III TV series ran from October 3, 1977 to October 6, 1980 - a tremendous run of 155 episodes in 3 years. It can be hard to know where to dig into such a long show to find the quality episodes if you don't have time to sit through all 155 episodes, so I thought I'd provide a guide to the animation of the second Lupin III TV series. (this is an updated version of this old post)

Essentially, the animation of this show was provided mainly by four studios: Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Oh Production, Telecom, and Topcraft. There may have been some freelance staff or other misc studios involved.

Tokyo Movie Shinsha was the main studio producing the show; the others were subcontractors, although Telecom was closely affiliated with TMS, having been formed just prior to the start of this show by the owner of TMS as a branch of TMS. You can pretty much tell which episode is done by which studio by looking at the names in the key animation credits, to say nothing of the animation, which differs dramatically depending on the animator and studio. Here's a basic breakdown of which animators belonged to which studio.

Animators of the four main Lupin III Part 2 studios

Tokyo Movie: Junzaburo Takahata, Yokoyama Hiromi, Koichi Maruyama, Hitoshi Oda, Masayoshi Arai, Sachiko Kodama, Toyoaki Emura, and others.

Oh Pro: Koshin Yonekawa, Tomonaga Kazuhide, Tsukasa Tannai, Kenichi Okamoto, Higashi Numajiri, Toshio Yamauchi, and Joji Manabe.

Telecom: Koichi Maruyama, Atsuko Tanaka, Michihata Yoshinobu, Nobuo Tomizawa, Yoko Tsukada, Keiko Hara, Yasunao Aoki, Tomonaga Kazuhide, Toshio Yamauchi, Masako Shinohara, and others.

Topcraft: Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Hidemi Kubo, Masahiro Yoshida, Hidekazu Ohara, and Mitsuru Hosotani.

Basically the episodes to really seek out are the Oh Pro episodes with Kazuhide Tomonaga, the Telecom episodes, and the Yuzo Aoki episodes. I've also heard that Junzaburo Takahata did a lot of good work on the show, though I haven't explored his episodes yet. Here's a short overview of some nice bits in each group.

Lupin III Part 2 Oh Pro episodes

EpisodeKey animators
#4: ネッシーの唄が聞こえる
I can hear Nessie's song
Koshin Yonekawa, Kenichi Okamoto, Kazuhide Tomonaga
#8: ベネチア超特急
Venice super-express
Koshin Yonekawa, Kenichi Okamoto, Kazuhide Tomonaga
#13: サンフランシスコ大追跡
Great chase in San Francisco
Tsukasa Tannai
#14: カリブ海の大冒険
Adventure on the Carib sea
Kazuhide Tomonaga
#16: 二つの顔のルパン
The two faces of Lupin
Tannai Tsukasa
#20: 追いつめられたルパン
Lupin cornered
Kazuhide Tomonaga, Kenichi Okamoto
#25: 必殺鉄トカゲ見参
The killer iron lizards
Kazuhide Tomonaga, Kenichi Okamoto
#31: 白夜に向かって撃て
Shoot into the dark of the night
Kazuhide Tomonaga, Tsukasa Tannai, Kenichi Okamoto
#37: ジンギスカンの埋蔵金
Genghis Khan's buried treasure
Tannai Tsukasa, Kenichi Okamoto, Numajiri Higashi
#41: かぐや姫の宝を探せ
Find the treasure of Kaguya Hime
Tannai Tsukasa, Kenichi Okamoto, Numajiri Higashi
#45: 殺しはワインの匂い
Killing smells like wine (Yuzo Aoki storyboard)
Tannai Tsukasa, Kenichi Okamoto, Numajiri Higashi
#55: 花吹雪 謎の五人衆(前篇)
Snowstorm: The mysterious five (1/2)
Tannai Tsukasa, Kenichi Okamoto, Numajiri Higashi
#63: 罠には罠を!
A trap for a trap!
Tsukasa Tannai, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Higashi Numajiri, Toshio Yamauchi, Kenichi Okamoto
#67: ルパンの大西遊記
Lupin's great journey to the west
Tsukasa Tannai, Higashi Numajiri, Kenichi Okamoto, Toshio Yamauchi
#71: ルパン対新選組
Lupin vs. the New Shinsengumi
Tsukasa Tannai, Higashi Numajiri, Kenichi Okamoto, Toshio Yamauchi
#92: マダムと泥棒四重奏
Quartet for madam and thief
Toshio Yamauchi, Higashi Numajiri, Kenichi Okamoto, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Joji Manabe
#98: 父っつあんのいない日
A day without pops
Toshio Yamauchi, Higashi Numajiri, Kenichi Okamoto, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Joji Manabe

I wrote about Koshin Yonekawa and Murata Koichi's studio Oh Pro before. Oh Pro was heavily involved in the first half of the second Lupin III series as an animation subcontractor. There was one particular animator who was working at Oh Pro at the time who stood out from the pack. His presence made the Oh Pro episodes something to look forward to when they rolled around: Kazuhide Tomonaga.

Kazuhide Tomonaga: Oh Pro's rising star

Kazuhide Tomonaga was unmistakably the most flamboyant and exciting animator to work on the second Lupin III series. He did a large amount of animation on the show from Oh Production between episodes 4 and 98, virtually all of it very distinct and thrilling to watch. After a gap of a few dozen episodes he then returned with a little bit of work in the last few Telecom episodes. The Oh Pro episodes to look for are the ones with him in the credits.

Kazuhide Tomonaga is best known as the animator who created convincing animation of spaceships flying realistically in the original Yamato series as well as other Toei robot shows. He created the lavishly animated catastrophe scenes in Galaxy Express 999 movie. He was one of the pioneers of more realistic mecha and effects animation. Toshiyuki Inoue is among the many animators influenced by him. Yoshinori Kanada and Kazuhide Tomonaga were, surprisingly, kindred spirits in the 70s. They had a friendly rivalry going. The climactic catastrophe scene in the Galaxy Express 999 movie sees them doing a tag-team of incredible animation as one animates one shot and the other then animates the next shot, etc.

As if it weren't enough that he influenced many of his compatriots, he went on to do a lot of work in foreign co-productions like Winnie the Pooh, Batman, Animaniacs, Superman, etc. that was widely hailed in the west. A few years ago he returned to a Telecom TV show and did animation on Tide-Line Blue under the late Iida Umanosuke. He continues to be very active as an animator, although he is no longer the wild animator he once was. His early work is particularly delightful to re-visit because it is so playful and free and full of youthful vitality.

Tomonaga's work in this show reveals a side of him that might not be as well known. He creates hilarious and exciting character animation full of inventive posing. He uses very quick timing to pack short moves full of fun postures that make the movement exciting to watch and revealing to step through in slo-mo. At other times he creates minutely precise realistic mecha and effects animation that seems to foreshadow what would come in things like the Nemo pilot. He is one of those people like Yasuo Otsuka who has movement in his blood, who was born to be an animator.

Kazuhide Tomonaga episode highlights

Tomonaga did one solo episode in the show: episode 14. It's pretty low-key most of the time, but there are little bits here and there where the animation suddenly zips to life. He creates quick movements that are full of fun drawings and poses that pass by very quickly. The movements are fun to watch, and even more fun to step through in slo-mo to appreciate all the drawings he's packed in. Choice moments include the policeman choking on his cigar pictured below, the scene in the airport, Zenigata kicking down the door and trying to grab Lupin, Zenigata running into the cave entrance wall, and Lupin falling into the trap.

Incidentally, when Zenigata bangs his fist on the table and causes the policeman to choke on his cigar, his hand lands next to an inkpot labelled "OH". Why would a policeman have an ink pot on his desk? And why is it labelled "OH"? It's another little in-joke like the one pictured above. (The one pictured above is from episode 25.)

Episode 20 has a lot of funny drawings of the German soldiers and the Fuhrer character, but there isn't one particular section that screams out Tomonaga like in some of the other episodes. His work seems to peek through here and there. The shot where the soldiers attack the dummy Fujiko and Lupin is particularly nice, though I'm not exactly sure it's by Tomonaga. The timing of the animation where Zenigata hits the water after he's thrown out of the window by Lupin and Fujiko is great - he stops dead for a moment when he hits the surface, and only after a second slowly sinks down. Another nice part is the Charlie Chaplin Dictator homage sequence where the Fuhrer dances with the globe but winds up getting smacked in the face with it and knocked off the table. Tomonaga also may have done some of the tank action and explosions in the second half.

Episode 25 is also pretty low-key in terms of the animation, but there are still little bits here and there in the first half that have a nice feeling, like the part where the officer announces that Lupin has escaped. The part obviously screaming Tomonaga comes in the second half with some very nice animation of a boat. In particular, the shot of the boat jumping over the missiles chasing it shows off Tomonaga's genius for very quick timing the likes of which few people this side of Toshiyuki Inoue can achieve.

The dogfight in the next Tomonaga episode, episode 31, is another great mecha action sequence like the boat sequence that shows off Tomonaga's skill at very detailed and realistic animation. One shot in particular where a plane gets shot is amazing in the perfect timing of the animation. These two shows make you realize why Tomonaga was such an influence on people as a mecha/effects animator in the 1970s. He was one of the first people in Japan in the modern age to draw such detailed and realistic animation that at the same time was incredibly exciting to watch.

Tomonaga also seems to have done little bits here and there throughout the episode, such as the still shots of the vikings and the delightfully ludicrous animation of Zenigata riding the torpedo at the end of episode 31. There seem to be two animators in Tomonaga: an animator who creates crazy character antics full of hilarious poses, sort of in the vein of Yoshinori Kanada but more fluid and thought-through rather than pose-to-pose, and an animator who creates realistic effects and mecha animation. Kanada himself was also known for both his character and FX animation.

There are lots of other nice Tomonaga bits buried here and there in the Oh Pro episodes, but I won't go into too much detail save to mention that episode 8 has a considerable amount of good early Tomonaga character animation work, and the musical sequence at the very end of episode 63 is short but sweet.

Lupin III Part 2 Telecom episodes

EpisodeKey animators
#72: スケートボード殺人事件
The skateboard murder mystery
Yoko Saeki, Miwako Takagi Masami Ozaki, Keiko Shimazu, Atsuko Tanabe, Harumi Shibata
#77: 星占いでルパンを逮捕
Arrest Lupin using horoscope
Koichi Maruyama, Atsuko Tanaka, Keiko Hara, Yoko Tsukada, Yoshinobu Michihata
#82: 最後の差し入れはカップラーメン
I'll have cup ramen for my last meal
Tsukasa Tannai, Koichi Maruyama, Keiko Hara, Yoshinobu Michihata, Toshiyuki Biruma
#84: 復讐はルパンにまかせろ
Leave revenge to Lupin
Nobuo Tomizawa, Atsuko Tanaka, Yoko Tsukada, Yoshihiro Shida, Miwako Takagi
#99: 荒野に散ったコンバット・マグナム
Combat magnum scattered in the field
Nobuo Tomizawa, Koichi Maruyama, Atsuko Tanaka, Keiko Hara, Yoko Tsukada, Yoshinobu Michihata
#105: 怪奇鬼首島に女が消えた
A woman disappears on eerie Demon Head island
Yoshinobu Michihata, Yoko Tsukada, Toshiyuki Biruma, Yasunao Aoki, Yayoi Kobayashi
#143: マイアミ銀行襲撃記念日
Miami bank heist memorial
Nobuo Tomizawa, Koichi Maruyama, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Yayoi Kobayashi
#145: 死の翼アルバトロス
Albatross, wings of death
Nobuo Tomizawa, Koichi Maruyama, Eiko Hara, Junko Tsutsumi, Yayoi Kobayashi
#151: ルパン逮捕ハイウェイ作戦
Arrest Lupin Highway Plan
Kazuhide Tomonaga, Yoshinobu Michihata, Eiko Hara, Ryoko Kashiwada
#153: 神様のくれた札束
The god-given bills
Nobuo Tomizawa, Atsuko Tanaka, Masako Shinohara, Junko Tsutsumi
#155: さらば愛しきルパンよ
Farewell, dear Lupin
Kazuhide Tomonaga, Toshio Yamauchi, Yoshinobu Michihata, Masako Shinohara, Atsuko Tanaka, Ryoko Kashiwada

The best known of the Telecom episodes are the two late episodes directed by Miyazaki under the pen name "Terekomu" or Telecom: 145 and 155. These are indeed the crowning jewels of the show, but prior to these episodes Telecom produced some of the finest episodes in the show. Pretty much every Telecom episode is worth seeking out.

Background about Telecom's involvement

If you noticed some overlap between the animators of TMS, Oh Pro and Telecom, it's because there was a gradual migration of animator staff from TMS and Oh Pro (and Nippon Animation) to Telecom over the course of 1979 when Telecom started to work on the TV show. The reason why is because Telecom didn't have any good staff.

Telecom had been formed not long before, and when Yasuo Otuska arrived at Telecom at TMS head Yutaka Fujioka's invitation after finishing his work on Hayao Miyazaki's Conan to train the animators, he found that the 40 or so newly hired (amateur) animators were essentially useless. They'd been working on the Mamo movie until December 1978, when the movie was released, but they had made life a living hell for animation directors Yuzo Aoki and Yoshio Kabashima.

Otsuka decided the best way to train them in short order was not to give them lectures about animation, but to set them to work on an actual TV production. So he chose 6 of the animators and set them to the task of animating episode 72. The results were so execrable that Otsuka had to redraw most of the animation himself, and he maintains that it is the worst piece of animation he ever worked on in his career.

Obviously not wanting a repeat of that, Otsuka started to bring in outside staff one by one to bring up the level of things. (Incidentally, the six animators of that episode never show up in the credit rolls again.) The first of those were Atsuko Tanaka and Keiko Hara, who had left Shin-Ei for Telecom just prior to Otsuka's arrival. Koichi Maruyama, who had been working mostly alongside Junzaburo Takahata on the TMS episodes, appears in the Telecom episodes from this point onwards, though I don't know whether he was officially Telecom or worked from TMS. This team did their first Lupin work for Telecom on for episode 77.

More staff came in with each new episode, raising the quality gradually with each episode: Tannai Tsukasa joined from Oh Pro in episode 82. Toshio Yamauchi joined from Oh Pro later after first working on Cagliostro. Nobuo Tomizawa joined from Nippon Animation in episode 84. Nobuo Tomizawa had worked on almost every episode of Miyazaki's Conan alongside Masako Shinohara. Masako Shinohara stayed on to work on Takahata's Anne before finally also leaving for Telecom to work on Miyazaki's Cagliostro. She then worked on two of the remaining Telecom Lupin episodes.

The first six Telecom episodes (72, 77, 82, 84, 99, 105) were animated between January and June 1977 and aired between March and October 1977. After this there's a gap of several dozen episodes without any Telecom episodes as the team switched to animating the Cagliostro movie that had gotten OKed 3 days after the release of Mamo.

For Cagliostro, Otsuka set his best Telecom animators to the task of animating the movie. Kazuhide Tomonaga temporarily left Oh Pro to work on the film. Tomonaga had presumably caught the eye of Otsuka due to the remarkable work Tomonaga had done on the series from Oh Pro up until that point. Tomonaga wound up staying and he worked on the remaining Telecom episodes. By this time all the big animator stars of Telecom were there: Atsuko Tanaka, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Toshio Yamauchi, Michihata Yoshinobu, Masako Shinohara. These are the folks who make the late Telecom episodes so impressive.

Cagliostro was animated between July and October 1979 and released in December 1979. Afterwards the staff immediately set to work on more Lupin episodes. The Telecom episodes that follow the work on Cagliostro are heavily influenced by Miyazaki's work on the film in terms of the drawings, acting, layouts, and directing. Miyazaki himself returned to direct two of these episodes.

Telecom episode animation highlights

Most of the Telecom episodes are must-see in terms of the animation, though they get better towards the end, reaching a peak in the two Miyazaki-directed episodes. If you liked Cagliostro and Plot of the Fuma Clan and are clamoring to see more Telecom goodness, this is the place you want to be.

Thought it might not seem apparent from the finished product, episode 72 was nothing short of a disaster in Yasuo Otsuka's book. But honestly, it doesn't look that bad. It's clearly rough around the edges and the movement is lacking and ill-developed, because for one the great animators hadn't arrived at Telecom yet, and Otsuka had his hands full bringing the drawings up to par. But this episode is nonetheless a delight to watch because most of the drawings are Otsuka's. Episode 72 features the most Otsuka drawings in the whole series. In other episodes Otsuka helped out with the mecha like the cars and guns, but in this episode he did actual drawing correction. The ineptness of the animators of this episode may have been a burden to Otsuka, but it leaves us with one more episode of Otsuka drawings to savor. Otsuka had just finished working on Conan, and a lot of this episode looks like it could have come straight out of Conan. The Colombo-styled kid detective even looks like Conan and is voiced by the same voice-actor, adding to the impression.

Episode 77 features the first animation in Lupin by Atsuko Tanaka. Tanaka didn't have much experience by the time she worked on the Telecom episodes of Lupin, and she didn't work on nearly as many episodes as Tomonaga did - she only worked on 77, 84, 99, 153 and 155. I suspect she did part where Goemon tries to slice Lupin up in the second half of episode 77. It's short but sweet. You can sense that whoever did it, if it was her, has an instinct for animated movement.

Episode 84 features some animation by Atsuko Tanaka, but it's not an exciting action scene. The scenes with Zenigata guarding the jewel and falling asleep in episode 84 have a lot of fun facial expressions presumably by Atsuko Tanaka. If they're not by her, I don't know who could have done them. Yoshinobu Michihata turned into a great animator, but I don't know if he was drawing this kind of thing back then.

Episode 99 is probably the best of the six early Telecom episodes, the ones done before Cagliostro. The reason is partly because it's storyboarded and directed by Shigetsugu Yoshida, who would be the assistant director of Cagliostro and direct two of the post-Cagliostro episodes. The highlight of the episode is the closing scene where Jigen runs around collecting and re-assembling the pieces of his magnum while being fired upon by the baddie. It's one of the most exciting sequences in the series thanks to the fast-paced animation, quick cutting and the way Jigen is carefully depicted assembling each piece of the magnum back together. This section may have been animated by Nobuo Tomizawa. It's got a great feeling of tensions as an action scene should have. The Luger the baddie is firing is realistically rendered with equally maniacal detail, down to the unique toggle-joint action of the Luger.

After then doing episode 105, the Telecom team set to work on Cagliostro. The first episode of the TV series they did after coming back was episode 143, which is a neglected minor masterpiece of slapstick Telecom comedy action. It's got a great combination of writer-storyboarder-director-animation the likes of which only came around once in the series. It's scripted by Yoshio Urasawa, storyboarded by Yuzo Aoki, directed by Shigetsugu Yoshida, and animated by Telecom. More gag action masterpieces might have been born if this team worked together a few more times. It's funny how in the late Telecom episodes Fujiko looks and behaves completely differently; she's not the sexy backstabber of the rest of the show, she's just another member of the gang.

Most of all, it just moves like crazy. The first half of the episode alone feels like it used more animation drawings than most TV episodes. The Telecom episodes typically used more than 7000 drawings per episode. This episode in particular feels like it's moving all the time, and the movement is all interesting. The opening scene at the bank is hilarious, with the way something breaks unexpectedly every once in a while. The underwater chase with Zenigata on the beach is full of lively movement. And the rumpus in the bank in the second half is full of crazy animation. As is typical with Yuzo Aoki's storyboards, you have a scene that makes great use of space, with the people flying around, giving the animator freedom to have fun and pack the scene with lots of silly antics.

Kazuhide Tomonaga is involved, but pretty much all of the animation in the episode is fun and lively. I think the credits in the late Telecom episodes are listed in the order, rather than as usual by the amount of animation drawn, because of the way Telecom assigned their animation - each person had a big chunk of 50 or so shots. So you have one big section by Nobuo Tomizawa, followed by a big section by Koichi Maruyama, etc. Accordingly, and judging by the style, Tomonaga probably did the part in the bank where the money flies all over the place. You can identify him from the wild drawings of the faces and the hands, which look like the fingers are growing straight out of the wrist.

Episode 151 is an exciting episode full of great Telecom car chases and fine attention to detail in the directing and the acting. This episode feels very different from all the Lupin episodes that came before because the characters do things not dictated by the story. For example the way Lupin walks over to the pickup truck while waiting for Jigen to get it started and idly pokes it. The directing is just more convincing, the characters feel more alive and real. Unlike before, all of the animation in the episode has a nice feeling, be in the acting or the staging, even the quiet scenes. All of the staff had clearly been invigorated and inspired by the experience of working under Miyazaki, most notably the storyboarder and director, Shigetsugu Yoshida.

Tomonaga's section in the episode is a real delight. After Tomonaga worked on Cagliostro on the opening car chase sequence where the car famously climbs the cliff, and he somehow manages to make it look almost plausible thanks to his incredible animation, in episode 151 Tomonaga drew a kind of encore to this sequence, with a Lupin driving full-bore through fields, a river, over cliffs, etc. Tomonaga had this weird habit of drawing the humans really big in comparison with the vehicles. He did the same in Cagliostro, but it's more extreme here. Jigen and Lupin look like they barely fit into the car. The sequence where the car leaps over the cliff in particular is pure genius and one of my favorite Tomonaga bits.

You can also see little Yasuo Otsuka touches in this episode here and there, notably the loving detail lavished on the vehicles like the Fiat that Lupin drives and the old pickup truck that Jigen picks up. Anyone else would have drawn some generic pickup, but Otsuka, historical car buff that he is, took it as an opportunity to draw one of his favorite cars, the Bedford QLT military tractor-trailer.

Looking different from the rest of the show is something that can be said about all of the Telecom episodes, especially the Miyazaki-influenced later ones. The reason is supposedly that Otsuka requested that the show's animation directors not touch the Telecom episodes. I've heard rumors that the TV station airing the show even refused a few of the Telecom episodes at first when they saw them due to how different they looked before finally relenting, though I'm not sure if that's true or not. Shots like this from episode 151 could have come straight out of Cagliostro:

Episode 153 is the last of the four Telecom Lupin episodes storyboarded and directed by Shigetsugu Yoshida (82, 99, 151, 153). Where episode 143 is slapstick comedy and episode 151 is action, episode 153 is a more drama-oriented episode. It's not dramatic in the sense of high-drama. It's just more leisurely and low-key, without a big action scene or wild antics. The acting style of the characters feels close to the feeling of Miyazaki's interpretation of Lupin.

Attention to detail is one thing about this episode that makes it enjoyable to watch despite the fact that it's actually a little slow and tedious compared with the other more action-packed Telecom episodes. The beautiful backgrounds and gentle pacing make it one of the most watchable Lupin episodes. There's the way the money is all realistically depicted as different currencies, the way when the armored car is lifted by the helicopter the wheels shift down subtly as the weight of the car is taken off the wheels. Then there's the little things the characters do that are unrelated to the story or script that make them seem like living people, and make the scene fun to watch by filling it various behavior at all moments. For example, the way Goemon swats a mosquito as he's waiting, or the way Lupin tosses back popcorn and then looks at the empty bag, blows it up and pops it while he's talking to Jigen.

If you noticed the way the highlights in Lupin's eyes swish around in a circle once while he's giving the faux inspirational speech about building a church, that was something that was invented around this time. It's come to be a stock action in a lot of anime when a character is experiencing strong emotions. Tetsuya Takeuchi took it to the extreme in his Honey and Clover episode where the highlights swirl around like a whirlpool.

The animation highlight is the acting of Zenigata in the first half after he's given the laxative. There are a lot of really great expressions there. The animators do a great job of capturing Zenigata's anguish. For example, when he gets a sudden urge to go while talking to his superior, he doesn't just turn around and walk out the door, he bolts for the door, first smashes flat into it out of excess eagerness to get through the door before he's finally able to unlatch the bolt, and then he flies out. Telecom's animators were great at making their characters act out their feelings like this in a way that is fun to watch as animation.

Episode 145 and episode 155 were the two episodes directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I recommend watching these after you've watched everything else, because otherwise you'll be disappointed with everything else. These episodes did indeed set a new gold standard for the quality of a TV episode, which was perhaps only met by Miyazaki's own episodes of Sherlock Hound a few years later.

I won't bother describing these, as they're the two episodes of the second Lupin TV series that everybody has seen, but I'll just point out which spots were done by two of the star animators, Atsuko Tanaka and Kazuhide Tomonaga.

Episode 145 begins with the memorable sequence of the Lupin gang peacefully eating some sukiyaki when they're rudely interrupted by a passing gunfight. After doing the spaghetti scene in Cagliostro, Miyazaki decided that Atsuko Tanaka was his animator for eating scenes. He had her animate the sukiyaki scene at the beginning of episode 145, though for some reason she isn't credited. A few years later in the Jarinko Chie movie Takahata used her to animate the scene were the okonomiyaki cook starts sobbing while he's cooking and winds up dripping snot all over the okonomiyaki, which his unwitting customer scarfs down with gusto. In the climactic last episode, 155, in contrast, Tanaka animated the scene where the Lupin gang faces down their imitators.

Tomonaga Kazuhide seems to have been the one who animated the mid-air battle and Fujiko's fight in episode 145, even though he, too, isn't credited. In episode 155 he animated the scene at the beginning of the episode where the tank goes on a rampage in the middle of town chasing down the flying contraption. Both are among Tomonaga's best. It's baffling why both Tanaka and Tomonaga weren't credited in 145 even though they contributed some of the episode's best animation. Masako Shinohara also supposedly did uncredited work in episode 145.

Lupin III Part 2 Yuzo Aoki episodes

EpisodeKey animators
#20: 追いつめられたルパン
Lupin cornered
Uncredited key animation?
#30: モロッコの風は熱く
The wind in Morocco is hot
Key animation (first half)
#35: ゴリラギャングを追っかけろ
Chase after the gorilla gang
Key animation (second half)
#45: 殺しはワインの匂い
Killing smells like wine
Storyboard
#50: 私が愛したルパン(前編)
The Lupin I loved (1/2)
Storyboard
#51: 私が愛したルパン(後編)
The Lupin I loved (2/2)
Storyboard
#57: コンピューターかルパンか
Lupin or the computer?
Storyboard
#69: とっつあんの惚れた女
The woman pops fell for
Key animation (second half)
#74: 恐怖のカメレオン人間
The terror of the chameleon people
Key animation (only a little)
#78: ロボットの瞳にダイヤが光る
When diamonds sparkle in the robot's eyes
Storyboard
#96 ルパンのお料理天国
Lupin's cooking heaven
Key animation (second half)
#106: 君はネコぼくはカツオ節
You're a cat, I'm a dried fish
Storyboard
#107: 結婚指輪は呪いの罠
The wedding ring is a cursed trap
Storyboard
#117: チューインガム変装作戦
Chewing gum disguise plan
Storyboard
#124: 1999年ポップコーンの旅 1999
A Popcorn Odyssey
Storyboard
#128: 老婆とルパンの泥棒合戦
Thieving contest between Lupin and the old lady
Storyboard
#129: 次元に男心の優しさを見た
Jigen has a kind heart
Storyboard
#134: ルパン逮捕頂上作戦
Plan to arrest Lupin at the summit
Storyboard
#138: ポンペイの秘宝と毒蛇
Bombay's hidden treasure and poisonous snake
Storyboard
#143: マイアミ銀行襲撃記念日
Miami bank heist memorial
Storyboard
#146: ルパン華麗なる敗北
Lupin's lovely defeat
Storyboard
#149: ベールをはいだメッカの秘宝
Unveiling Mecca's hidden treasure
Storyboard

Yuzo Aoki the animator

Yuzo Aoki stands out in stark contrast from the style of the Telecom episodes. Aoki's work is highly stylized, abstract and cartoonish compared with the fluid action and sleek dramaturgy of the Telecom episodes. He uses a minimum of drawings to achieve his impact, rather than relying on fluid animation like Telecom, creating sometimes jarringly spare animation. Aoki is at his best when creating bizarre angular poses. He creates an irresistible rhythm with his strange, stuttering timing. His physical forms are angular, full of straight lines and unexpected symmetries. His layouts are also quite appealing and formalistic rather than naturalistic. He's one of the great representatives of the A Pro school, obviously strongly influenced by his mentor Tsutomu Shibayama, who created the highly stylized designs of the characters in Ganso Tensai Bakabon. As it happens, in a telling coincidence, Ganso Tensai Bakabon just happens to have been the show that preceded the second Lupin III series, which took over in exactly the same time slot on the same TV station, NTV.

Here are some of the best Aoki episodes. He supposedly drew episode 30 all by himself, but I think he only did the first half. The first half has a lot of great drawings of the Gadaffi lookalike and his mercenaries. The car chase at beginning of second half of episode 35 has some great layouts. The scene in the barn in the second half of episode 69 is one of his best scenes in the show. Everything about it is great - the drawings, the timing, the way the story ties into the animation. Classic Aoki. He drew some of the funny poses of the Lupin gang pretending they drank the poisoned water in the second half of episode 74. And he drew a lot of fun drawings of the crazy banquetgoers who want to eat Lupin in the second half of episode 96, which ends with a pie fight straight out of the Three Stooges.

Aoki also appears to have done little bits of animation uncredited here and there to help fill in the gaps. For example, the part in episode 20 after Lupin fishes the wig off the Fuhrer character during his speech where the Fuhrer hides under his podium and the soldiers shoot down the helicopter feels very much like Aoki.

Yuzo Aoki the storyboarder

Those are all episodes where you can sample Aoki's drawings. But Aoki's work in the latter half of the show is mostly storyboards. He did draw some uncredited animation here and there, but for the most part it's not quite as easy to sniff out the Aoki character in these episodes. What they do have in common is that they usually provide for a lot of crazy animation making extensive use of lots of character animation and physical space.

The aforementioned episode 99 was a Yoshio Urazawa script; his scripts are usually totally outlandish. There are several other Aoki-Urasawa pairings (78, 106, 117, 124, 128, 138, 143), and they're mostly all crazy slapstick episodes like this. The best one is undoubtedly 78, which features animation by Yoshio Kabashima. One of the craziest is episode 124, which features an inventor who invents a popcorn machine that launches itself into orbit. The animation by Topcraft is very active and exuberant, if sloppy and not particularly exciting per se. My mouth was agape at the insanity of what I was seeing during the secenes where the popcorn machine went out of control and rocketed into the sky, and where the popcorn machine goes berserk at the end, filling the building with popcorn. The music in this episode is also unique. They abruptly stick in clips from famous classical pieces at certain spots in a way that does a great job of heightening the absurdity of the whole situation.

Aoki Yuzo also storyboarded, directed and animated the fourth opening, which is a good place to get a starting sense of how to identify his style, with the interesting timing and more stylized forms. It's a big contrast with the much more fluid and movemented animation in the previous opening where Lupin jumps into the car and the camera does a 360 around his head. Aoki's opening is all about interesting forms and colors. It's stylized rather than realistic, with retro colors and shapes and a playful atmosphere. The shape of Goemon's oni mask is deliciously Aoki, as is the very squared shape of his body. Aoki's characters often have a very squared, blocky or angular appearance. I love the extremely limited timing and flat form of the car bomb explosion at the beginning.

Yuzo Aoki's roots with Lupin go deep. He was the animator of the very first scene in the first Lupin III series, the racing scene. At the age of 19 he was called a genius by Yasuo Otsuka, who remarks that Aoki was the only person other than himself able to draw Lupin's car in the show, the Mercedes Benz SSK. Prior to the second TV series Aoki was an animation director of the Mamo film alongside Yoshio Kabashima, helping to give that film its unique look with his lanky character drawings. Aoki went on to be heavily involved in the third Lupin III TV series aired 1984-1985. He set the tone for the show by bringing the characters closer to the original Monkey Punch designs than they'd ever been or ever would be again. He was also the character designer, animation director and storyboarder of the Babylon film produced as a companion-piece to the third TV series. He's one of the few people who were deeply involved in every one of the canonical early Lupin III productions.

Here's a selection of images from these episodes to give a sense of Aoki's visual style.


Lupin III Part 2 full key animator listing

Color codes: Oh Pro, Telecom, Yuzo Aoki


1横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
児玉兼嗣
Kenji Kodama
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
2田中享
Atsushi[?] Tanaka



3山崎猛
Takeshi Yamazaki
大宅幸男
Yukio Ohyake
一川孝久
Takahisa Ichikawa

4米川功真
Koshin Yonekawa
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga

5児玉兼嗣
Kenji Kodama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama

6横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata


7朝倉隆
Takashi Asakura
伊藤誠
Makoto Ito


8米川功真
Koshin Yonekawa
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga

9朝倉隆
Takashi Asakura
伊藤誠
Makoto Ito


10山崎猛
Takeshi Yamazaki
大宅幸男
Yukio Ohyake
一川孝久
Takahisa Ichikawa

11児玉兼嗣
Kenji Kodama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama

12横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata


13丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai



14友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga



15佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji


16丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai



17横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
18野沢和夫
Kazuo Nozawa
雨宮英雄
Hideo Amemiya
春山行雄
Yukio Haruyama

19佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji


20友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto


21山崎猛
Takeshi Yamazaki



22横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
23佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji


24小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
河田章子
Shoko Kawada


25友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto


26横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda

27佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji


28井口忠一
Chuichi Iguchi
田辺由憲
Yoshinori Tanabe


29小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正広
Masahiro Yoshida


30青木悠三
Yuzo Aoki
31友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto

32横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
33佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji


34小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
野田作樹
Saki Noda
横山準一
Junichi Yokoyama

35青木悠三
Yuzo Aoki
田辺由憲
Yoshinori Tanabe


36横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
37丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi

38辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

39正延宏三
Kozo Masanobu
野田作樹
Saki Noda


40横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
41丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi

42辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

43坂井文雄
Fumio Sakai



44正延宏三
Kozo Masanobu
野田作樹
Saki Noda


45丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi

46横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
47辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

48横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
49野田作樹
Saki Noda
高倉健夫
Takeo Takakura


50丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
51辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

52横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
松田重治
Shigeharu Matsuda

53横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai

54若原真吾
Shingo Wakahara
池上栄一
Eiichi Ikegami
林弘
Hiroshi Hayashi

55丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto

56辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

57若原真吾
Shingo Wakahara
池上栄一
Eiichi Ikegami
林弘
Hiroshi Hayashi

58藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi


59横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai

60尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura

61辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
佐々木正広
Masahiro Sasaki
木下ゆうき
Yuuki Kinoshita

62若原真吾
Shingo Wakahara
池上栄一
Eiichi Ikegami
林弘
Hiroshi Hayashi

63丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
64高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
65辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki

66横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama



67丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
68高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
69青木悠三
Yuzo Aoki
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki

70辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji



71丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
72佐伯洋子
Yoko Saeki
高木美和子
Miwako Takagi
尾崎真佐美
Masami Ozaki
島津佳子
Keiko Shimazu
田辺厚子
Atsuko Tanabe
柴田春美
Harumi Shibata
73高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
74横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
坂井文雄
Fumio Sakai
青木悠三
Yuzo Aoki
75藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信和
Nobukazu Sakuma
飯山嘉昌
Yoshiaki Iiyama

76辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji




77丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
田中敦子
Atsuko Tanaka
原恵子
Keiko Hara
塚田洋子
Yoko Tsukada
道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
78椛島義夫
Yoshio Kabashima
山崎タケル
Takeru Yamazaki
小野隆哉
Takaya Ono
大武正枝
Masae Ohtake
79高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
80横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
81山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto

82丹内司
Tsukasa Tannai
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
原恵子
Keiko Hara
道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
比留間敏之
Toshiyuki Biruma
83辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji



84富沢信雄
Nobuo Tomizawa
田中敦子
Atsuko Tanaka
塚田洋子
Yoko Tsukada
志田欣弘
Yoshihiro Shida
高木美和子
Miwako Takagi
85高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
86山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto

87横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
坂巻貞彦
Sadayoshi Sakamaki
88辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji



89高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
90横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
坂巻貞彦
Sadayoshi Sakamaki
91山崎猛
Takeshi Yamazaki
小野隆哉
Takaya Ono
大竹正枝
Masae Ohtake
宮林英子
92山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
真鍋譲二
Joji Manabe
93藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信和
Nobukazu Sakuma
飯山嘉昌
Yoshiaki Iiyama

94辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


95高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
96青木悠三
Yuzo Aoki
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki


97横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
98山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
沼尻東
Numajiri Higashi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
真鍋譲二
Joji Manabe
99富沢信雄
Nobuo Tomizawa
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
田中敦子
Atsuko Tanaka
原恵子
Keiko Hara
塚田洋子
Yoko Tsukada
道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
100辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji



101高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata



102横山広実
Hiromi Yokoyama



103辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji



104若原真吾
Shingo Wakahara
池上栄一
Eiichi Ikegami
林弘
Hiroshi Hayashi
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
105道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
塚田洋子
Yoko Tsukada
比留間敏之
Toshiyuki Biruma
青木康直
Yasunao Aoki
小林弥生
Yayoi Kobayashi
106高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
107辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


108横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
尾形重夫
Shigeo Ogata
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
109小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
窪秀己
Hidemi Kubo
佐々木よし子
Yoshiko Sasaki
吉田正広
Masahiro Yoshida
110高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
寺司重幸
Shigeyuki Teratsuka
荒井政良志
Masashi Arai
111坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
川筋豊
Toyoda Kawasuji


112藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信和
Nobukazu Sakuma
杉山京子
Kyoko Sugiyama
石山しげ子
Shigeko Ishiyama
113辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


114小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正広
Masahiro Yoshida
坂田筆男
Fudeo Sakata
金子紀男
Norio Kaneko
115横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima

116高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
117辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


118藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信和
Nobukazu Sakuma
杉山京子
Kyoko Sugiyama
石山しげ子
Shigeko Ishiyama
119窪秀己
Hidemi Kubo
小原秀一
Hidekazu Ohara
佐々木よし子
Yoshiko Sasaki
細谷満
Mitsuru Hosotani
120横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
寺司重幸
Satoshi Ohjima
121高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
122小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正広
Masahiro Yoshida
坂田筆男
Fudeo Sakata
金子紀男
Norio Kaneko
123辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


124窪秀巳
Hidemi Kubo
吉田忠勝
Tadakatsu Yoshida
小原秀一
Hidekazu Ohara
細谷満
Mitsuru Hosotani
125横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
寺司重幸
Satoshi Ohjima
126高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
127辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


128小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正広
Masahiro Yoshida
金子紀男
Norio Kaneko

129坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
岡本健一
Kenichi Okamoto

130辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


131窪秀己
Hidemi Kubo
小原秀一
Hidekazu Ohara
細谷満
Mitsuru Hosotani
佐々木よし子
Yoshiko Sasaki
132横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
寺司重幸
Satoshi Ohjima
133高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
荒井政良志
Masayoshi Arai
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
134小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正宏
Masahiro Yoshida
坂田筆雄
Fudeo Sakata
金子紀男
Norio Kaneko
135藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信計
Nobukazu Sakuma
秋本進
Susumu Akimoto
石山しげ子
Shigeko Ishiyama
136窪秀己
Hidemi Kubo
佐々木よし子
Yoshiko Sasaki
小原秀一
Hidekazu Ohara
細谷満
Mitsuru Hosotani
137辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki
138横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
寺司重幸
Satoshi Ohjima
139高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
江村豊秋
Toyoaki Emura
140小林一幸
Kazuyuki Kobayashi
吉田正宏
Masahiro Yoshida
坂田筆雄
Fudeo Sakata
金子紀男
Norio Kaneko
141辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
窪秀己
Hidemi Kubo
142藤岡正宣
Masanobu Fujioka
佐久間信計
Nobukazu Sakuma
秋本進
Susumu Akimoto

143富沢信雄
Nobuo Tomizawa
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
小林弥生
Yayoi Kobayashi
144辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野本温子
Atsuko Nomoto


145富沢信雄
Nobuo Tomizawa
丸山晃一
Koichi Maruyama
原恵子
Keiko Hara
堤純子
Junko Tsutsumi
小林弥生
Yayoi Kobayashi
146横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima
寺司重幸
Satoshi Ohjima
147高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
148辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


149高畑順三郎
Junzaburo Takahata
鈴木寿美
Sumi Suzuki
児玉幸子
Sachiko Kodama
坂巻貞彦
Sadahiko Sakamaki
150横山広美
Hiromi Yokoyama
小田仁
Hitoshi Oda
大島聡
Satoshi Ohjima

151友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
原恵子
Keiko Hara
柏田涼子
Ryoko Kashiwada
152知笛愛弓
Ayumi Tomobue
杉山京子
Kyoko Sugiyama
斉藤明美
Akemi Saito
門上洋子
Yoko Kadogami
153富沢信雄
Nobuo Tomizawa
田中敦子
Atsuko Tanaka
篠原征子
Masako Shinohara
堤純子
Junko Tsutsumi
154辻初樹
Hatsuki Tsuji
野崎温子
Atsuko Nozaki


155友永和秀
Kazuhide Tomonaga
山内昇寿郎
Toshio Yamauchi
道籏義宣
Yoshinobu Michihata
篠原征子
Masako Shinohara
田中敦子
Atsuko Tanaka
柏田涼子
Ryoko Kashiwada