I've got a riddle for you. Fill in the blank: The world is filled with ( ). If you answered "anime design materials," you'd be correct! Head down to the Tokyo Anime Center for all the internal documents from Riddle Story of Devil that you can handle.
All the flashy fighting and yuri action you see on the screen starts with genga key frame drawings. The real puzzle is, how do you keep characters looking consistent with so many animators working at the same time?
The answer: Binders upon binders of design sheets. It's easy to keep characters and props on-model when everyone's on the same page. Need to know what a facial expression, weapon or bra strap should look like? Confer to the design bible!
There's even rules for the shape of the eye during a blink! And don't even think about drawing an open mouth without a line running from the lip to the nose or the director will make you re-do it for sure.
Background paintings often get overlooked, which is ironic considering they get as much screen time as the cast. Let's take a minute to appreciate the subtle details that bring the world of the show to life.
Speaking of going unnoticed, viewers never get to see the storyboard, and even when we do it doesn't make any sense! Somehow the animators are able to turn these scribbles into a fluid story.
The artist's cubicle is more like a think tank overflowing with all the design documents we looked at today. There's also a mannequin for posing, a stopwatch for timing scenes and a mirror to use your own face as a reference for expressions. Animators look crazy from the outside, rummaging through stacks of paper and making faces at themselves, but they're hard at work, I swear.
Say goodbye to the students of the Black Class on your way out. So what did we take away from our lesson in assassination? I learned to trust no one, watch my back and keep watching yuri anime!
Event dates: July 23rd-August 3rd
Address: 4-14-1 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo Akihabara UDX Building 4F Hours: 11:00-19:00 Closed Monday
Official homepage: http://www.animecenter.jp/