Celebrate Eromanga Sensei's Birthday with an Animation Exhibit

posted on by Kim Morrissy

What's the number one reason to watch Eromanga Sensei? You guessed it—the animation!

To celebrate the birthday of the eponymous Eromanga Sensei, a key animation exhibit was set up in Nakano Broadway between the 1st and 12th of December. According to the light novels, Sagiri's birthday is on the 10th of December. When you walk inside the exhibit, you'll see her in a white dress, bashfully accepting flowers as a present.

To further set the scene for Sagiri's birthday, a key visual was produced of her holding a birthday cake. Compare the “birthday” version to the “Sagiri at home” version.

Other than those cute images, the exhibit had nothing much to do with Sagiri's birthday and was just an excellent excuse to display the animation process behind Eromanga Sensei. Storyboards from the first six episodes were placed on a table in the middle of the room, free for anyone to flip through at their leisure. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to take photos of the storyboards, but I could take photos of the key animation frames, character design templates, and background art materials.

Let's start with one of the more memorable pieces of animation from the series: the ending sequence. All the key frames in this ending were drawn by one person: Shu Sugita, who is also well known for his detailed character animation for KONOSUBA and New Game!.

Zipping ahead to episode 11, where the infamous cameo of the Oreimo characters occurs, the notes on the key frame indicate the direction the characters should walk in as they argue.

Now onto the swimsuits. They key animator here leaves detailed notes about how to draw Elf's breasts and how the bikini falls. The incredible attention to detail for these very, uh, specific parts of the drawings was a consistent factor in Eromanga Sensei's production materials.

A slow pan over Sagiri's swimsuit.

If you thought that the animators only cared about lewd details, here's some evidence that they also care about getting all the details just right when it comes to drawing a joypad—the one Sagiri uses to beat her brother over the head with.

This key frame gives instructions for how to apply the sparkles in Sagiri's eyes.

In addition to key animation, there were also drawings of the locations used in the anime. Characters were drawn inside the shots to give the artists a sense of how the proportions worked.

These character templates are also a guide for how to draw the characters consistently from various angles. Finer details like eye shapes or the emblem on Megumi's uniform are given close-up views.

The exhibit took up only one room, but even from this small sample of work it was very clear how much love and effort had been poured into this production. The director (Ryohei Takeshita), light novel character designer (Hiro Kanzaki), Sagiri's voice actor (Akane Fujita), and one of the chief animation directors (Yuichi Oka) all left thank-you messages on a board. They're evidently very proud of their work, and I hope that many other viewers can appreciate this phenomenal effort.

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