Another week, another set of two Hyouka episodes broadcast via Gifu Broadcasting. These two episodes feel a bit ironic to me personally. I received my copy of the LE volume 3 of the manga on Monday and the manga covers the events in these two episodes. Just a coincidence, but something interesting. Now then, let’s head to an onsen and to a movie showing!
Episode 7: Have Found the Identity
Episode Director/Storyboarder Hiroko Utsumi:
Hello, I’m Utsumi and I directed and drew the storyboards for episode 7.
The Classics Club heads to an onsen! It was also very enjoyable to draw the members in a new way: outside the clubroom.
The usually cool Houtarou got motion sickness and felt overheated in the springs. That gap between how horrible he felt and how calm he usually is is so cute! It’s also cute to ponder what could’ve caused his face to heat up in the bath.
This episode’s obsessive scene doesn’t even need to be said; it was the undressing scene. You’ll see their ribs occasionally when they raise their arms, cloth crossing the arm itself and then going over the head (rest ommitted) I have various fond memories of working on this episode such as requesting that the key animators working on that scene focus on drawing the lines the best they could since they wouldn’t try to take off their clothes to match the sexiness of the characters or having to fix the lines about 6-fold because their first attempt at doing the best they could was already a strike out.
And then I have a confession: Satoshi’s pink underwear was my choosing. It’s my preference.
Another obsession we had for this episode was balancing showing Kayo’s shadow from the moon without highlighting her. Achieving that balance was quite difficult and we had to re-do it often. It’s ghastly…difficult. Mayaka’s being scared by the hanging yukata was awfully realistic, wasn’t it? We’re pleased if the image of the yukata shocked you when watching.
Eru telling Houtarou about still performing radio exercises had to shock the energy conserver. Hearing such a thing shocked me too. We tried to reflect those emotions in Houtarou’s expression.
Both the ghost story Houtarou heard and the image scene had quite the ancient feeling to them. In order to make them seem like an Indian ink painting scroll, the key animators used a caligraphy pen when working and the photographers added special effects. That was my personal favorite scene of the episode.
This time, the mystery was affected by the relationship between the sisters. That doesn’t mean they’re on bad terms with each other; that’s just the general relationship between siblings. I can’t say it’s not bad though. Surprisingly I quarreled with my sibling, so I know how it felt. Perhaps this was a mystery close to everyone’s heart… (wink).
It’s only for a little while, but I’m pleased everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for watching!
Key Animator Tatsuya Satou:
I’m Satou and I was a key animator on episode 7.
I was tasked with the onsen and the last scenes.
I personally wondered if I would be able to skillfully fulfil the treefrog jumping from the bucket cut. However, for the scene where we see Houtatou’s back while he’s undressing, I received a lecture from our back fetish director about how to draw that shape (various things like scapula positions and such). I regretfully wasn’t able to properly reflect that on the screen. Since then, I’ve undertaken more concentration.
Color Coordinator Yuuka Yoneda:
I’m Yoneda and I was the color coordinator for episode 7.
I’m so envious of being able to go to an onsen like the trip they took in this episode! I kept the thought “Wouldn’t that be part of any rose-colored life?” in my head while I worked on this episode.
When the bag of cuts arrived to me, so did the love that Utsumi-san has towards the characters. I too gave it my all so I wouldn’t lose to that love.
In particular, I thought Eru was very cute this episode. My heart was thumping just like Houtarou’s, which pleased me.
Thank you very much for watching!
Episode 8: Let’s Go to the Film Preview!
Episode Director/Storyboarder Noriyuki Kitanohara:
I’m episode 8’s director, Kitanohara.
The “Fool” arc has started.
We produced the film that the students made to give the impression that they’ve not made many films before.
It’s also re-enforced in the performance by the voice actors.
This episode also marks the appearance of Irisu, a character I was fond of when reading the novel.
Her design was just as I pictured her in my mind.
Please be satisfied by her Empress attitude.
Key Animator Yoshiaki Urata:
Episode 8’s highlight has to be the student film’s locked room mystery, doesn’t it?
The feeling as thought it was made very quickly and by amateurs really gave it an unrefined impression just like a student film would look like.
Of course, it was troublesome for us to make the characters act the way they did, layout the scenes, and make the camerawork, and other components of the film.
That scene had each section working their hardest to produce.
In order to raise the realism of the movie, we filmed our own movie using a camera and used that as reference for our layouts and key frames. It felt like we were really making our own movie when drawing. It was fun.
Of course this is classified footage that will never leave the building. We apologize that it will never see the light of day in the world.
In-Between Checker Hiroko Kuroda:
I am Kuroda and I was the checker for the in-between animation for episode 8.
As we enter a new chapter of the story, many new characters appear here at once. This was my second time checking the in-between animation and it felt fresh to me while I was working.
Houtarou’s amazingly bored look is so cool. I couldn’t help grinning as I was checking the frames for it. Personally, I feel that age-appropriate reaction easily becomes the key point in the scenes. I can’t enjoy looking forward to what expressions he’ll have in the future due to that.
Thank you very much for watching.
Background Supervisor Yukiko Takeuchi:
I’m Takeuchi and I’m the background supervisor for episode 8.
This episode starts the Credits of the Fool story. The highlight of the episode was the video footage, was it not? Indeed to give it the camerawork usually seen in films, we had to apply 2D backgrounds to the 3D CGI created for those scenes. Again, to make it seem home video-ish, we didn’t just apply filters in post-production, the backgrounds themselves appeared washed out. It’s a key component of this arc, so we put our all into it!
Speaking of putting your all into things, that fighting spirit towards the Kamiyama High School culture festival is certainly something. I was amazed. That class recorded a movie just for that festival! That would’ve been unthinkable when I was a student…
Personally, I really enjoy this story, so I expect to enjoy the next episode. Thanks for watching!
And there we start the “Fool” arc. What’ll be the responses next week when Houtarou is tasked to finish the movie? Look forward to it!