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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« Lupin III: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine #10Lupin III: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine #9 »

Friday, June 22, 2012

11:58:00 pm , 3690 words, 4842 views     Categories: OVA, TV, Anime R, Dove, Toshifumi Takizawa

SPT Layzner

After Armor Trooper Votoms (1983-1984), Ryosuke Takahashi continued making robot shows at Sunrise, although from what I've seen none of them were quite the same as Votoms and tended to adhere more closely to the Sunrise robot template. The next show he did after Votoms was Panzer World Galient (1984-1985), which seems to mix fantasy with sci-fi. Then came SPT Layzner (1985-1986). I just had a chance to watch Layzner for the first time and enjoyed it, though it's very flawed and far from a classic like Votoms.

What Layzner has going for it is some tremendously strong animation from Anime R. Essentially, the animation of Lazyner was provided by three studios: Anime R, Dove and Bebow, in descending order of importance.

Anime R is by far the most important presence on the show. This is perhaps the show with the highest concentration of Anime R animation. 21 out of the show's 38 episodes were entirely (or mostly) animated by Anime R. The opening and ending were animated by Anime R animators Kazuaki Mouri, Toru Yoshida and Fumiko Kishi. The character designer was Anime R founder Moriyasu Taniguchi, who was invited back to design his own characters because of his great work as sakkan on Votoms. Taniguchi would also go on to be character designer of Mellowlink, in which Anime R provided about half of the animation. The other half was provided by Dove.

The story

Layzner is an odd show. I want to like it, but the story is too cliched and too much of a mess, largely due to circumstances beyond the control of the writers and director. When it works, it works well, and comes across as a more realistic version of the alien invasion story. The writing is fairly strong thanks to the sci-fi anime masters Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, Yoshitake Suzuki (AKA Fuyunori Gobu), Yasushi Hirano and Tsunehisa Ito. The characters feel individual and the urgency of the situation is convincing. The biggest problem is that it isn't consistent to the initial premise. To be more blunt, SPT Layzner jumps the shark big time. The last half of the show is a classic example of a show jumping the shark. It feels like two shows crammed into one, neither of them very happy about being forced to abide one another.

Part one begins as your typical Sunrise show: An alien army is coming to invade the earth, but a mixed alien-human named Eiji defects from the army to warn the earth of the impending danger. Along the way he saves a group of children visiting the Mars base, and enlists them to pilot giant robots and fight their way back to Earth. Sunrise was apparently so pleased with the setup of Round Vernian Vifam, in which a group of children visiting space one day suddenly find themselves caught in the middle of a war, that they decided to copy it almost verbatim in SPT Layzner. Anime advances by small variations on successful formulae.

The setup is hardly original, and it tested my patience for a while, but eventually I got into it on the strength of the animation and the fact that the story is told in a fairly hard-boiled and no-nonsense way. It proceeds very slowly, meticulously depicting each step of the way as the kids battle their way back to earth. By the time we get to episode 24, the story has gotten fairly interesting, taking on a bit of sociopolitical commentary. The protagonist Eiji is interrogated by a suspicious U.S. army rather than welcomed with open arms as he expected, and a lot of the drama comes across as an angry satire about the atmosphere of international suspicion during the Cold War. The writers do a good job with this material. I was starting to like the show by this point.

Then bam. Right when the story seems poised to finally start coming to a head after such an extended and even plodding setup, suddenly things do a 180. All of the many character interrelation and plot element threads that had been patiently built up and interwoven over the course of two dozen episodes are peremptorily dropped without any warning. Part two begins abruptly after a recap episode in episode 25. Suddenly all the characters are grown up and we're in a post-apocalyptic future in which the earth as been taken over by the aliens and everyone has big hair, shoulder pads and hockey masks straight out of Mad Max, or more relevantly, Fist of the North Star. Masked police go around burning books just like in Farenheit 451. (Oddly, some animator drew Katsuhiro Otomo's Highway Star as one of the books being burned. Otomo's influence apparently extends into the post-invasion future.)

Fist of the North Star is the appropriate comparison. It was airing simultaneously, and was likely copied intentionally. It seems that sales of the kind of toys the show was advertising had begun to drop across the industry, and so at midpoint into the series they decided to completely change the show's story and opt for the popular post-apocalyptic formula in a desperate attempt to increase ratings and hence boost toy sales. The story is now about Eiji leading a resistance against the occupying aliens. It's basically Fist of the North Star meets Gundam, without the exploding heads.

The change in tone and style is so radical and without warning that it's difficult to take the show seriously from this point on. And not long after they begin the second part, suddenly the show gets cancelled, and they have to rush the ending. Part 2 was probably planned as two seasons, but was reduced on short notice to one, so they had to suddenly skip ahead in episode 35 and jump right to the ending in episode 38, without explaining how we got there. The Ideon movie was famously released to complete the story after the TV series was unexpectedly canceled just short of completion. So it went with Layzner. After the show ended, two 60-minute recap OVAs were released (one for part one and one for part two) followed by an OVA telling what happened between episode 37 and 38. Many shows during the ensuing years did the same, but in the OVA rather than theatrical format, and Layzner was one of the first.

If anything, the show is an interesting case study of the way in which forces greater than the director and his staff have historically controlled the length and content of TV anime. Seasons are added and canceled capriciously and on short notice, causing the staff to scramble and come up with ad-hoc solutions. Ironically enough, this sometimes produces a happy ending. The final Ideon movie and final SPT Layzner OVA wound up bringing their stories to a conclusion in better quality than could have been expected within the originally anticipated TV schedule. But it should be remembered that both were made only at the insistence of their directors, who felt compelled to give their audience their rightful catharsis.

Episode 26: Hiroyuki Okiura

Anime R in SPT Layzner

If there's one reason to watch the show despite the story's flaws, it's because Layzner is in a way the summum opus of Anime R.

Moriyasu Taniguchi's characters have never gotten such a grand stage, and they've never been so appealing. Taniguchi's characters are pleasingly stylized, with elongated heads and angular features. This dude in episode 37 is the most extreme character design in the show, but gives a quick sense of his style. I like his designs far more than Norio Shioyama's, which seem bland and old-fashioned. Taniguchi had verve and his characters felt more cutting edge for the time, although he was clearly influenced by Tomonori Kogawa, and by Masami Suda of Fist of the North Star by the time of part 2.

The real star of the show, though, is of course the mecha and the mecha animators. Designed again by Kunio Okawara as in Votoms, the robots are brought alive with energy by the young animators of Anime R. Just about every episode of the show has some pleasing mecha animation, and a handful of the episodes have some of the best mecha animation of the entire period. Layzner is one of the feasts of mecha animation of the 1980s.

Basically the Anime R staff is the same as Votoms, except that everyone has been bumped up a notch in the hierarchy. Toru Yoshida is now a mecha sakkan and Hiroyuki Okiura is now a genga man.

The Anime R episodes of Layzner are split into three teams, each headed by a different animation director, to enable them to cover the whole show:

SakkanKey Animators
谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan:
吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura
野中幸 Koh Nonaka
小森高博 Takahiro Komori
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise
大島康広 Yasuhiro Ohjima

There is some variation in the arrangement early on, but this is the basic arrangement they settled into. There's one strong mecha animator in each group who was usually in charge of the mecha in their team's episodes, with the rest handling the characters: Hiroyuki Okiura under Moriyasu Taniguchi, Toru Yoshida under Fumiko Kishi, and Sawako Yamamoto under Hiromi Muranaka.

Note that, soon after this, the Hiromi Muranaka group split into a separate but affiliated sister studio called Studio Mu. At this point in time the Muranaka team is still credited as Anime R, but Studio Mu has shown up in the inbetweening credits.

Episode 17: Toru Yoshida

Toru Yoshida was involved in episodes 1, 6, 11, 17, 21, 28, 34, 38. He apparently did some of his best work on Galient between Votoms and SPT Layzner, but sadly I skipped over that one, so I'm missing an important piece in the evolution of his style, but I will get to that show eventually. Episode 17 with the unmanned robots attacking the kids on the moon is one of his best episode, with very stylish and exciting mecha drawings and effects. As impressive as Yoshida's work was on Votoms, you can see significant improvement here. The mecha animation is among the most powerful and detailed of the era. I like that by this point Yoshida has gone beyond his Kanada-school influence and developed his own style: more realistic but still extremely exciting and thrilling, with a focus on densely packing the screen with effects and movement.

Sawako Yamamoto was involved in episodes 7, 14, 19, 24, 29, 36. I wasn't familiar with this animator prior to watching Layzner, but she apparently went on to do a lot of mecha work later in her career, a rarity for a female animator. Sawako Yamamoto was the mentor of another of R's many alumni, Asako Nishita, who was one of the more prominent female animators of the 1990s and 2000s. Yamamoto was one of the mecha sakkans on Ryosuke Takahashi's recent Gasaraki, which was apparently his ultimate attempt to do a 'real robot' show and do it right. Episode 36 of Layzner in particular features some great mecha fighting in the streets presumably of Yamamoto's hand. Episode 29, meanwhile, doesn't feature any mecha animation and is all focused on character animation, showcasing what the Mu team was better known for.

Hiroyuki Okiura was involved in episodes 12, 16, 20, 26, 33, 38. He actually acted as mecha sakkan in his episodes from episode 20 onwards even though he is not credited as such. Okiura had similarly actually drawn key animation on Votoms (1983-1984) and Galient (1984-1985) even though he was still being credited with inbetweening. His official debut as a genga-man came on Bismark (1984-1985), in which he drew all of the mecha action scenes in the episodes in which he is credited. So technically Layzner is his sakkan debut, although his official sakkan debut only came with Black Magic M-66 a year later.

Okiura is the star mecha animator of Layzner. If you watch nothing else of the show, Okiura's scenes are worth seeking out on their own merits, especially episode 26. What made people sit up and pay attention still comes through loud and clear almost 30 years later. Even amidst all of the great work by Yoshida et al. on the show, there is something fundamentally different when Okiura's work comes on the screen. First of all, it just moves more. Okiura was inspired by Takashi Nakamura, and his goal was to create the richest and most dense animation he could. Due to the restrictions on the number of drawings (about 6000 in Layzner, still way more than the average episode today), Okiura had to work closely with his fellow animators to calculate the number of drawings in each shot. He had them use less drawings for the character scenes so that he could use more drawings on the mecha scenes. On top of this, the mecha animation feels more realistic in its movement. The movement is more detailed and weighty, and more precisely calculated. Whereas many mecha animators just threw their mecha about in whichever way - whatever looked coolest - Okiura had a patently more methodical way of moving his mecha. The camera angles feel more realistic and have more variety. You already sense that Okiura is one of those animators who animates like a director. Okiura had apparently convinced the director of Bismark to re-storyboard the last episode of Bismark so that it had more action scenes because Okiura felt it did not have enough action. He wanted to be challenged, not given an easy way out.

His work on episode 26 in particular is one of the classics for the ages. His scene starts from the point where Layzner comes out of the water. The maniacal level of detail in the fragments should immediately remind of his mob scene in Akira. I recommend watching some of the other mecha scenes first for comparison purposes so you can see how different Okiura's animation is, but even if you don't, I think it should still come through loud and clear how impressive Okiura's animation is. It was this episode that first revealed his true powers to the world and showed that he had some uncommon skills that surpassed even those of the many other great Anime R animators who inspired and taught him. Episode 33 is also notable for being the only episode with mecha action from start to end. The animation isn't as powerful as episode 26, but the sheer amount of movement packed into the episode is impressive.

The remarkable thing: he was aged only 19 when he worked on Lazyner. He turned 20 during Black Magic M-66. Anime had a lot of early bloomers, but Okiura is one of the most memorable.

Bebow

The other episodes are all decent, with some good animation here and there, but nothing that equals the best R episodes. Bebow's good work was mostly done in the character animation. Bebow handled episodes 23, 32 and 37. Notable names in their episodes include Akihiko Yamashita, Masahiro Yamane and Masanori Shino. Episode 32 was actually Masahiro Yamane's debut. He is one of the best mecha animators of the 1990s, during which time he did a lot of work with Masami Obari on Sunrise 'yuusha' shows, helping define their mecha animation as mecha designer and mecha sakkan. The best Bebow episode is probably episode 32, which features the bad guy you love to hate, Gostero, who seemed to die several times in the series only to keep coming back, hamming it up with a whole episode of his outrageous antics. The drawings all feel patently Bebow, and they show how good they are at drawing the body and face in various poses.

There is one oddball episode in the bunch: episode 15. It was sakkan'd by the Studio Z5 team of Hideyuki Motohashi and Chiharu Sato. It stands out for the more Kanada-style effects work and mecha posing and the way the characters are drawn in a more 'bikei' character style that is obviously the work of Hideyuki Motohashi.

On the directing side of things, the series features episode storyboarding/ directing work by Tetsuro Amino early in his career, prior to debuting as a series director. Other storyboarders/directors include Takashi Imanishi, who I mentioned in my post on Votoms, and Katsuyoshi Yatabe, who went on to direct many of the same Sunrise 'yuusha' shows I mentioned earlier. Toshifumi Takizawa pays a brief surprise visit in episodes 12 and 17 as storyboarder, and as usual, his episodes stand out for their more cinematic feeling. Episode 12 in particular is a very fine Takizawa episode, while in episode 17 the combination of Takizawa's storyboard and Toru Yoshida's fantastic mecha animation makes for riveting viewing. I think the series would have benefited from his more serious style of directing, but obviously he was busy with other projects.

The final OVA

The final OVA is a combination of footage from the last TV episode with new footage interspersed to flesh out the scenes that they had not had enough time to elaborate upon. The character animation appears to have been re-drawn, but the mecha animation was re-used.

For the new bits, there are some impressive mecha action sequences. Okiura surprisingly didn't animate any mecha scenes, although some of the footage he animated for the final TV episode (the part where Layzner is flying through space surrounded by a halo at the very end) was re-used in the OVA. He animated the fistfight in the cylinder. This is because he was too busy at the time working on Black Magic M-66. The mecha sequences were presumably animated primarily by Toru Yoshida, Sawako Yamamoto, Hiroshi Osaka and perhaps some others including Hiroshi Koizumi of Dove. Toru Yoshida is only credited as an animation director alongside Moriyasu Taniguchi and Kishi Fumiko, but this presumably means mecha sakkan.

I'll close by noting that you can see future director and producer Shinichiro Watanabe and Masahiko Minami here in the credits as animation runners. Both started out as runners at Sunrise before evolving in their respective directions.


Blue Comet SPT Layzner 蒼き流星SPTレイズナー (TV series, 38 eps, 1985-1986)

StoryboardDirectorSakkanKey Animators
1あかい星にてアニメ・アール Anime R
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
2彼の名はエイジスタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
高橋幸治 Koji Takahashi
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
3その瞳を信じて長崎重信 Shigenobu Nagasaki
布告文 Tsugefumi Nuno
杉山東夜美 Mayami Sugiyama
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase伊東誠 Makoto Ito
4心のこしての脱出谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
横山健次 Kenji Yokoyama

アド・コスモ Ad Cosmo
直井正博 Masahiro Naoi
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
5まもられても、なお…スタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
高橋幸治 Koji Takahashi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani

遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
6とり残されてアニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
7血はあかかったアニメ・アール Anime R
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
8彼の叫びに応えて寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
杉山東夜美 Mayami Sugiyama
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
9生きる道を求めて長崎重信 Shigenobu Nagasaki
遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
布告文 Tsugefumi Nuno
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe桜井美知代 Michiyo Sakurai
10エイジ!?と呼んだスタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
高橋幸治 Koji Takahashi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase
江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami
八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
11地球の艦が来た!アニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
12さよならの赤い星アニメ・アール Anime R
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa
滝沢敏文 Toshifumi Takizawa今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
13宇宙にむなしくスタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma
中野美佐緒 Misao Nakano
西村誠芳 Nobuyoshi Nishimura
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
14異星人に囚われてアニメ・アール Anime R
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
15蒼き流星となって遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
杉山東夜美 Mayami Sugiyama
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi本橋秀之 Hideyuki Motohashi
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
16月よ!こたえてアニメ・アール Anime R
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa

青鉢芳信 Yoshinobu Aohachi
長崎重信 Shigenobu Nagasaki
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
17群がる殺人機アニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura
滝沢敏文 Toshifumi Takizawa加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
18そして地球へスタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma
中野美佐緒 Misao Nakano
西村誠芳 Nobuyoshi Nishimura
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
19とどかぬ想いアニメ・アール Anime R
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise

遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
杉山東夜美 Mayami Sugiyama
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
20レイズナーの怒りアニメ・アール Anime R
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa

青鉢芳信 Yoshinobu Aohachi
寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
21我が名はフォロンアニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
岩村幸子 Sachiko Iwamura

長崎重信 Shigenobu Nagasaki
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
長谷川浩司 Hiroshi Hasegawa
加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
22フォロンとの対決スタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma
中野美佐緒 Misao Nakano
西村誠芳 Nobuyoshi Nishimura
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
23奇跡を求めてビーボォー Bebow
沢田正人 Masato Sawada
筱雅律 Masanori Shino
南伸一郎 Shinichiro Minami
山下明彦 Akihiko Yamashita
山本正文 Masafumi Yamamoto

遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe中村悟 Satoru Nakamura
24光になったエイジアニメ・アール Anime R
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise

スタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
25駆けぬけた宇宙
高橋良輔 Ryosuke Takahashi
26時は流れた!アニメ・アール Anime R
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa
加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
27華麗なるル・カインスタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
藁谷均 Hitoshi Waratani
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma
中野美佐緒 Misao Nakano
西村誠芳 Nobuyoshi Nishimura
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
28クスコの聖女アニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
野中幸 Ko Nonaka
今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
29再会・謎の招待状アニメ・アール Anime R
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise
大島康広 Yasuhiro Oshima
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
30ベイブル奪回作戦青鉢芳信 Yoshinobu Aohachi
遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi
佐藤千春 Chiharu Sato
杉山東夜美 Mayami Sugiyama
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino藤本義孝 Yoshitaka Fujimoto谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
31仕組まれた聖戦スタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma

宇津木勇 Isamu Utsuki
阿部和彦 Kazuhiko Abe
山田浩嗣 Hirotsugu Yamada
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
32ああ、ゴステロビーボォー Bebow
矢木正之 Masayuki Yaki
辻清光 Kiyomitsu Tsuji
筱雅律 Masanori Shino
河上裕 Yutaka Kawakami
山根理宏 Masahiro Yamane
山下明彦 Akihiko Yamashita
佐藤敬一 Keiichi Sato
小曽根正美 Masami Kosone
沢田正人 Masato Sawada
加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase沢田正人 Masato Sawada
33死鬼隊の挑戦アニメ・アール Anime R
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
34狙われたアンナアニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
加瀬政広 Masahiro Kase
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
野中幸 Ko Nonaka
小森高博 Takahiro Komori
知吹愛弓 Ayumi Tomobuki今西隆志 Takashi Imanishi貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi

Mecha sakkan: 吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
35グラドスの刻印スタジオ・ダブ Studio Dove
古泉浩司 Hiroshi Koizumi
佐久間信一 Shinichi Sakuma

遠藤栄一 Eiichi Endo
山内貴美子 Kimiko Yamauchi
臼田美夫 Yoshio Usuda
加藤義貴 Yoshitaka Kato
川手浩次 Hirotsugu Kawate藤本義孝 Yoshitaka Fujimoto八幡正 Tadashi Yahata
36敵V-MAX発動アニメ・アール Anime R
村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子 Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子 Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉 Kazuchika Kise
大島康広 Yasuhiro Oshima
網野哲郎 Tetsuro Amino加瀬充子 Nobuko Kase村中博美 Hiromi Muranaka
37エイジ対ル・カイン青鉢芳信 Yoshinobu Aohachi
寺東克己 Katsumi Terahigashi

ビーボォー Bebow
矢木正之 Masayuki Yaki
沢田正人 Masato Sawada
河上裕 Yutaka Kawakami
山根理宏 Masahiro Yamane
谷田部勝義 Katsuyoshi Yatabe谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi
38歪む宇宙アニメ・アール Anime R
貴志夫美子 Fumiko Kishi
吉田徹 Toru Yoshida
井上哲 Tetsu Inoue
逢坂浩司 Hiroshi Osaka
山田香 Kaoru Yamada
浜川修二郎 Shujiro Hamakawa
高橋良輔 Ryosuke Takahashi江上潔 Kiyoshi Ekami谷口守泰 Moriyasu Taniguchi

Mecha sakkan: 沖浦啓之 Hiroyuki Okiura

Blue Comet SPT Layzner ACT-III: The Seal 2000
蒼き流星SPTレイズナー ACT-III 刻印2000
(OVA, October 21, 1986)

Director:高橋良輔Ryosuke Takahashi
Character Design:谷口守泰Moriyasu Taniguchi
Mechanical Design:大河原邦男Kunio Okawara
Storyboard:網野哲郎Tetsuro Amino
加瀬充子Nobuko Kase
Technical Director:加瀬充子Nobuko Kase
Animation Directors:谷口守泰Moriyasu Taniguchi
吉田徹Toru Yoshida
貴志夫美子Fumiko Kishi
Key animators:山田香Kaoru Yamada
野中幸Ko Nonaka
沖浦啓之Hiroyuki Okiura
逢坂浩司Hiroshi Osaka
 
浜川修二郎Shujiro Hamakawa
井上哲Tetsu Inoue
糸島雅彦Masahiko Itojima
佐々木一浩Kazuhiro Sasaki
小森高博Takahiro Komori
 
村中博美Hiromi Muranaka
中島美子Miko Nakajima
山本佐和子Sawako Yamamoto
黄瀬和哉Kazuchika Kise
大島康広Yasuhiro Ohshima
 
古泉浩司Hiroshi Koizumi
西村誠芳Nobuyoshi Nishimura
中野美佐緒Misao Nakano
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6 comments

kraker2k
kraker2k [Member]

That was a great read, I do love this focus on Sunrise mecha shows you’ve been doing. The 80s were a period where Sunrise were really pushing the boundaries of Mecha anime on TV.

Even during the 90s when Sunrise made many kid focused robot shows like the Yuusha, Eldran or Wataru, they had some impressive talent being nurtured there. If I recall correctly, some of Yutaka Nakamura’s early genga gigs were on Yuusha Exkaiser and Fighbird. Along with people like Hirotoshi Takaya, Ken Otsuka and the Suzuki brothers Tatsuya and Takuya who went from being inbetweeners to gengamen on the Yuusha shows. Also the impressive Nobuyoshi Sasakado who seemingly did a ton of solo animation on every single Yuusha show for 8 years back to back, often doing 8-10 solo episodes per show, though I’m not quite sure just how good his animation is. He could very well be doing lots of low quality work at a fast rate :P.

From what I’ve read about Gasaraki, while it does focus on the very ‘real’ side of mecha, there are some story elements towards the end that dip into mythical side that brings the story down for some.

Do you plan on covering any more Sunrise mecha shows?

PS, sorry for being fussy, but I believe the female animator you mentioned in the middle is named ‘Asako Nishida’ rather than Nishita.

06/23/12 @ 06:57
Ben [Member]  

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. You seem to know quite a bit about the 90s shows, cool. I’m not very familiar with those, but I’m sure there must be a lot of good work in those too. Like the long-running Toei shows, Sunrise had a lot of otherwise generic template shows that nonetheless fostered a considerable amount of talent. As for Sasakado, I think it’s as you said - he does lots of low quality work. It’s not like Mihara’s solo episode. He was an asset to them because he could reliably get the episodes done in short order.

Thanks for the correction about Nishida.

Yes, I probably will be doing a few more 80s Sunrise (or other) robot shows… There are quite a few I want to explore. Galient for one. I love Toru Yoshida’s work and it’s supposed to be his biggest job. I’m also considering Bismark. Tobikage sounds nice too. Also Machine Robo. Gasaraki I will also probably have a look at as soon as I have a chance. Should be nice mecha work in there.

06/23/12 @ 12:02
kraker2k
kraker2k [Member]

The stuff I’ve learnt about the Yuusha shows is mostly out of fascination of Masami Obari’s work. Still some interesting people that pop up. Hisashi Mori and Nakazawa Kazuto appear on Goldran’s first episode and deliver some great animation.

Of the shows you mention, I’ve seen the 1st episode of Tobikage and it’s got an excellent scene by Masahito Yamashita right in the middle. Ohira also works on several episodes and I know towards the end Obari joins in too, this site covers some his work on it; http://tamashii.jp/t_kokkaku/t_kokkaku.php?eid=00012

As for Machine Robo, I think it’s known for it’s Yamashita style animation(the intro is excellent), but of the first two episodes I saw, there was a great fluctuation in the animation quality despite Obari being an AD for them (he used an alias for the 2nd episode). It feels as though the schedule was quite strict or perhaps Obari was called on very last minute as the quality bounces up and down. Further on, I’m not sure how the animation of the show develops.

There’s also L-Gaim from that era of Sunrise shows. Don’t know if you’ve already seen it though.

06/23/12 @ 17:30
Ben [Member]  

I’ve actually checked out one of the episodes of Tobikage with Ohira, just to see what his work was like at such an early stage, and if it was identifiable, and I was surprised at just how identifiable it was. It stood out like heck. It was also obvious just how influenced he was by Masahito Yamashita. I’m not sure if the whole series is worth sitting through, though. I’ll probably sample a bit first to decide.

Yes, exactly, Machine Robo is known to be a wild bash of Kanada/Yamashita-style wacky robo animation as opposed to the more realistic Sunrise stuff. The whole show is supposed to be full of cool robo work. Frankly I’m more interested in the Sunrise/Itano/R-style realistic robo stuff, but Machine Robo is supposedly one of the best such shows, and I don’t want to just watch the same old realistic Sunrise type shows, so I’m curious to check it out.

I went through a Tomino phase many years ago when I checked out a bit of most of the early classic Tomino shows including Zambot 3, Xabungle, Ideon, L-Gaim and Dunbine, so I have a sense what L-Gaim is like. But I haven’t seen much of it, and should probably watch the whole thing sometime. It looks like a good show. I’m sure there is a lot of good Bebow work in there. I guess it’s just I’m kind of played out on Tomino for the moment, plus I feel he’s already gotten a lot of coverage, so I’d rather spend my time checking out the more obscure shows with good work that I’ve never seen before.

06/23/12 @ 23:46
William Massie
William Massie [Visitor]

Hey Ben. Long time no post, doubt you’ll even see this. Heh.

Anyway I’ve been watching a ton of 80s stuff recently (trying to find god mars but I cant find it!) Just probed votoms, its really cool.

Anyway about Layzner japanese wiki says that TV ratings were pretty good somewhere around 10% and toys sold well. But they lost a major sponsor in Sanyo due to the fallout of an apparent scandal with their fan heaters giving of carbon monoxide poisoning (apparently 4 people died in japan). Hence they had to cut it short.

05/19/13 @ 14:54
William Massie
William Massie [Visitor]

Oh yea, meant to ask. You haven’t seem Dougram have you? It seems to share a fair amount of Votoms/Takahashi staff.

05/19/13 @ 20:03