Tokyo Twenty Fourth Ward Chief Animation Director Is Pessimistic About the Animation Quality
posted on by Kim Morrissy
As CloverWorks' new original television anime series Tokyo Twenty Fourth Ward (Tokyo 24-ku) nears its January 5 debut, chief animation director Kiminori Itō has been chronicling his pessimistic thoughts about the anime's production on his Twitter account. Not only has he frankly stated that the production is significantly behind schedule, he has also gloomily predicted an animation breakdown within the coming episodes.
The warning signs started on October 24, soon after the anime was officially announced. He tweeted that he was part of the production, and then later that same day tweeted: "CloverWorks has three shows lined up for January. The fact that Tokyo Twenty Fourth Ward was announced last is because its schedule is the most behind, I'm guessing."
Itō's tweets became progressively more pessimistic in November. On November 1, he wrote, "You'll see this happen all the time in recent anime: The layouts will be submitted, and the episode director will be progressing with the layout checks, but there is no animation director." (Note: An animation director's role is to ensure that the animation looks consistent with the character design templates, redrawing the frames if necessary.)
The next day, he tweeted: "I'm aboard a sinking ship! We're about to go under! Hahaha!" The next day: "I've been involved in a lot of jobs with low-quality drawings, but it looks I'm about to experience an animation breakdown this time... I'm only half-joking."
On November 15, he tweeted: "The schedule is shit (poop emoji), which brings to mind the dark history of CloverWorks (formerly A-1 Pictures Koenji): Qualideus Code (sic)." A-1 Pictures produced the Qualidea Code anime, which debuted in 2016. Itō also made a morbid joke: "*In a state of enlightenment* Don't worry, we can always outsource to overseas—the key animation, the in-between animation, the painting, and the compositing!" Another one of his jokes reads as follows: "A chief animation director leads a leisurely life, with a wine glass in one hand as he makes slight and easy adjustments to just the faces. There was a time when I thought that way."
On November 30, he tweeted: "It's too hard, man. Gonna die."
On December 10, he provided a clear update on the production situation, saying that episode 1 still has incomplete layouts, with another 20 cuts that need to go through the chief animation director. On December 17, he tweeted: "Stop it already! I have no life!!" On December 19, he addressed the animation breakdown once again: "When will the animation break down? It's the job I'm currently doing!!" On December 21 he noted that even episode 1 has a bunch of animators who were pulled in at the last minute to stop a complete collapse.
His most recent post alluding to the production is from last Tuesday, when he posted a picture of himself lying on the floor of the studio with the comment: "I'm camping here tonight."
今夜はここを野営地とする pic.twitter.com/aTHy3U55MO— 伊藤公規っぽい (@kiminori114514) December 21, 2021
The anime will premiere with a one-hour special on the Tokyo MX, Tochigi TV, Gunma TV, and BS11 channels on January 5 at 24:00 (effectively, January 6 at midnight) before moving to its regular timeslot at 24:30 (12:30 a.m.) The show will also run on ABC TV and Mētele.