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Natsuzora Live-Action Series Includes 90-Second Animated Opening

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The 90-second opening includes 2,100 animation frames

The Natsuzora live-action series about the early Japanese animation industry is getting its own animated opening sequence by both new and veteran animators. 23-year-old animator Hitomi Kariya is in charge of the opening's character design, direction, and original draft. Studio Ghibli alumni Hitomi Tateno is helping produce the anime sequence.

Tateno joined Studio Ghibli in 1987 and performed animation checks on many Ghibli titles from My Neighbor Totoro onward. She left Ghibli in 2014 and is now a manager at the Sasayuri Café, a café in Nishi-Ogikubo which frequently hosts animation-related talk shows and exhibits.

Kariya recently won the animator's award at the Tokyo Anime Awards 2019.

The 90-second opening includes 2,100 animation frames (sakuga) and depicts the heroine Natsu-san embarking on a "small adventure" with animals.

The drama's first episode includes another animation sequence, this time Natsu's flashback of her time as a war orphan. Toei Animation and Sasayuri will produce further animated sequences for future episodes. The show is planned to air from April to September 2019 and run for 156 episodes. The show is NHK's 100th "serial television novel."

The series' story of "dreams and adventures, love and passion" begins in the early summer of 1946 after the end of World War II. A nine-year-old girl named Natsu Okuhara survived air raids but lost both of her parents and is separated from her siblings. She moves in with a dairy farmer and begins to work on the farm, but in elementary school she meets a boy who introduces her to the world of cartoons. She begins to think about her future and wants to join the developing anime industry.

Tomoaki Iso is supervising the production, and Sumio Ōmori is writing the original script. The series' directors include Takafumi Kimura and Masahiko Tanaka. Toshitake Fukuoko is serving as producer. Yukari Hashimoto (Mr. Osomatsu, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun) is serving as composer.

Update: Headline corrected

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

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