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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Thursday, November 11, 2004

05:00:24 pm , 484 words, 9487 views     Categories: Animation, OVA

Little Twins

July 1992: 25 min. movie (end of summer)
July 1992-Oct. 1993: 12 direct-to-video/rental episodes
Sept.-Dec. 1993: All 13 episodes broadcast on TV Tokyo

Little Twins is a short series that was produced ten years ago by Oh Production, the studio that produced Gauche the Cellist ten years before that. Oh Pro was one of the main animation supports of the World Masterpiece Theater for the first few years of its existence, when Takahata and Miyazaki were working there, and then focused on work for Ghibli after T & M made that their base of operations. Between the two they took several years to create their own self-produced Gauche as the studio's calling card.

This series is essentially inspired from the Gnomes world, with little people with pointy hats and realistically portrayed animals. Many of the same staff who were involved in Gauche were involved in this series, including veteran animation director and Oh Pro co-founder Kazuo Komatsubara (Nausicaa, Galaxy Express 999), here the character designer, who helped see the earlier project to completion; and Toshitsugu Saida, Oh Pro's most famous animator, here the animation director, who was the character designer and main animator of the earlier classic. This series shares with Gauche the same soft, etched look and calm, storybook atmosphere. It's one of the studio's most distinctive productions. Numerous interesting figures were involved, including art director Tsuchida Isamu, who was previously involved in another similar show with Komatsubara, Memol in the Pointed Cap; Takashi Nakamura, who animated the op/ed; and Manabu Ohashi, who in the movie provided "special animation" similar in style to that he provided for Junkers Come Here immediately afterwards, plus a nice sequence in the first winter episode. Apparently it was technically a Toei production, because Kimio Yabuki, who thirty years earlier was assistant director on Little Prince & the 8-Headed Dragon, was here as the producer. The movie even boasts a truly spectacular bit of animation at the climax, a strangely out-of-place, ultra-detailed portrayal of a house falling apart, which was probably animated either by the studio's representative, Koichi Murata, or by Masahiro Ando or Shigeto Tsuji, two of the studio's main animators.

There are 3 episodes for each season, plus the movie between summer and fall. The order seems arbitrary: The OVA version started with summer; the rental version started with winter; and the TV broadcast started with spring.

Creator/Supervisor: Isamu Tsuchida 土田勇
Chief Producer: Kimio Yabuki 矢吹公郎
Chief Director: Toshio Hirata 平田敏夫
Character Design/Chief Animation Director: Kazuo Komatsubara 小松原一男
Key Animation Supervisor: Toshitsugu Saida 才田俊次
Opening/Ending Animation: Takashi Nakamura なかむらたかし
Art Director: Mariko Kadono 門野真理子

MOVIE
Storyboard: Jun'ichi Sato 佐藤順一
Director: Yorifusa Yamaguchi 山口頼房
Special Animation: Manabu Ohashi 大橋学
Key Animation: Koichi Murata, Kin'ichiro Suzuki, Masahiro Ando, Eiichiro Nishiyama, Junko Ikeda, Kazutaka Ozaki, Eiko Miyamoto, Toshiaki Komura, Shigeto Tsuji
村田耕一 鈴木欽一郎 安藤正浩 西山英一郎 池田淳子 尾崎和孝 宮本英子 小村敏明 辻繁人

WINTER-1
Storyboard/Director: Toshio Hirata 平田敏夫
Key Animation: Kin'ichiro Suzuki, Manabu Ohashi, Ikuko Ito, Eiko Miyamoto, Satoshi Nishimura
鈴木欣一郎 大橋学 伊藤郁子 宮本英子 西村智

WINTER-2
Storyboard/Director: Osamu Inoue 井上修
Key Animation: Ikuo Ayaki, Takao Yamazaki, Tadao Yamazaki
礼木幾夫 山崎隆男 山崎唯文

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5 comments

Tyler
Tyler [Visitor]

Ben, I found all this info on “Little Twins” to be very interesting and I submitted the anime to the encyclopedia over at AnimeNewsNetwork since they didn’t seem to have any idea it existed. I also just found
this
and am wondering if it could possibly be an english version of this rare series?

I’m going to keep looking, and anymore information you may have on this series would be great to hear.

Take care, Tyler.

11/23/06 @ 22:06
Ben [Member]  

I don’t know that much else about it, apart from the story for the two episodes I’ve seen, and it’s really hard to tell whether that is a release of the Japanese series based on that horrible cover drawing. In case anyone has seen this or decides to test it, here is the cover of one of the VHS tapes of the Japanese version, which has some screenshots that will help with identification.

11/24/06 @ 18:29
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

Tyler > Wow, thanks for the information. According to Nausicaa.net, it seems to be the japanese series :

http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/kiki/impressions2.html

“Miyazaki isn’t the only Japanese animator represented on the Disney label. Also new from the company is “The Little Twins,” a 13-part series about the adventures of young twins”

You can also compare with the japanese tv-opening, available on my website :
http://www.catsuka.com/focuson_anim.php?id=nakamura_takashi&page=2

11/25/06 @ 07:10
Tyler
Tyler [Visitor]

Well that’s awesome news that it’s indeed the original japanese tv series. Disney also released some of hte series on VHS in 98

The first vhs says “movie". But from what I can see from cover art and such this is the tv series? These obscure anime always get so confusing lol!

11/25/06 @ 12:28
insight spinner
insight spinner [Visitor]

Wow! thanks! I was beginning to believe the full set of this show was a dream. I own the english episodes (4 altogether, released as 2 VHS tapes originally). I have twin daughters who were around 2 when this came out and it was one of the few television programs they watched at that age.

I used to search the internet high and low for signs of more of these and would love the full Japanese set, even though my daughters are now 10.

Is there a way to get the Japanese vids?

01/09/07 @ 21:55