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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Saturday, January 13, 2007

02:02:24 pm , 558 words, 1700 views     Categories: Animation, Denno Coil, TV

Denno Coil this Spring

There has been a spate of new updates on the Denno Coil front, so here is a summary. The first came in this month's issue of Animage with a two-page fold out of an intriguing new drawing, presumably by Mitsuo Iso, depicting the four girl protagonists and hinting at the 'virtual reality' aspect of the show. Perhaps even more importantly, there was an interview with Tokuma Shoten producer Sanae Mitsuki. The interview provides insight into how the project came about. It turns out that the project does not date back six years, as I had guessed based on the dates indicated in the previously published drawings. It dates back fourteen years. (at least) The producer was working on I can Hear the Sea in 1993 when he was introduced to Iso, who at the time was working as one of the animators on the film, by the film's animation director, Katsuya Kondo. Iso had already assembled a portfolio for the project, with image boards and a basic story outline, which he showed to Mitsuki. One look at the portfolio was enough, and Mitsuki agreed to do the project on the spot. Over the next few years Mitsuki went around showing the portfolio to various other producers to drum up support, including, notably, famed Bandai Visual producer Shigeru Watanabe, most of whom apparently had the same reaction as Mitsuki: instant capitulation. Most of the drawings that have been published seem to post-date this, so it would be interesting to see Iso's original image boards, considering the impact they had on everyone who saw them. All of this indicates how much of a behind-the-scenes buildup of major support there has been over a span of more than a decade for this project. It wasn't born yesterday.

The next item came with a new official site update revealing the names of a large number of the participating staff. It seems relatively unusual for episode animation directors and storyboarders to be revealed before a show is aired, so it seems pretty obvious that this is a generous little pre-gift to fans, who have been clamoring to know who is involved. Iso mentioned on his site that he himself wanted to reveal more information, but was prevented by the project's policy of secrecy. Takeshi Honda is finally confirmed as the (animation) character designer, and Inoue's involvement is also confirmed. Most interesting is to see that both are credited as "animation chief", suggesting they are either deeply involved as animators throughout the show or else deeply involved supervising the animation. It's a credit I've never seen before, so it's hard to decypher without learning more about the production method, but perhaps it's been coined because they're trying out a new approach to maintaining the quality of the animation. Whatever the case, with two of the undisputed best animators in Japan heading the animation for the project, I can say for certain that we're in for some truly high class animation.

In addition, the site finally states when the show is going to be broadcast: this spring. The site had only revealed the station up until now - NHK - although most speculation pointed towards a spring broadcast. Which means only a few months left until what may become a defining moment in TV anime.

About Mitsuo Iso | Filmography | Interview | Iso Fun Pack | Denno Coil posts

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