As you might know since they’re taking up the front page at the moment, I’ve been translating the staff comments from the KyoAni Hyouka website regarding each episode’s production. Personally, I find that kind of information fascinating. It’s even more fascinating when discussing probably one of the more technically gifted series on TV in a while. There were no comments posted regarding episode 11.5 and I didn’t want to leave it un-noticed, so I decided it would be best to write a review of the LE manga volume it comes with. Here is Hyouka volume 3! BDInfo
Ready to “fool” around with more Hyouka comments? Today we get to delve into the mystery presented from class 2-F. Continue reading
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! Continue reading
Welcome to another batch of staff comments from Kyoto Animation regarding their spring 2012 series Hyouka! Gifu Broadcasting is re-airing the series during this season 2-episodes at a time and I’m playing along by translating the comments from the KyoAni site. This week: episodes 5 and 6!
Episode 5: The Truth of the Historic Classic Literature Club
Episode Director/Storyboards Ichirou Miyoshi (real name Yoshiji Kigami):
This is Miyoshi, the director and storyboarder for episode 5.
I have a sudden confession to make. To me as I was directing this portion of Hyouka, I was also trying to solve the mystery stuffed into the anthology just like the characters. It was a “Participatory anime.” The audience weren’t the only ones who were trying to solve this mystery, we staff were also feeling nervous about what would happen if we didn’t figure out the solution.
The mystery itself, the “Significant Hyouka Incident,” occurred at our studio. It had already begun the morning I sat at my desk to begin work on the storyboards.
The character sheet for the important person entangled in the Hyouka mystery, Jun Sekitani, had disappeared from the top of my desk.
There was an uproar! The staff went into chaos! Was it really lost? Could someone have really taken it?
Director: “Hey you! Where are you hiding my sheet?”
AniDir: “I’m innocent! (Grr)”
The mystery thickened.
Even so, the one person who knew the truth behind this event was not far away.
Supervisor: “Ah, Jun Sekitani, right? Actually, since he wasn’t going to appear in the show, we never settled on an image for him. (laughs)”
Ah, I see now. So that was what he wanted, huh? So there was never a Jun Sekitani sheet on my desk to begin with… If that’s the case, then my memory up to now must be incorrect… no, I was acting like an idiot… And so that was the scary “Significant Hyouka Incident” inside KyoAni.
And so from that, I directed the fifth episode through the perspective from the two women who knew Jun Sekitani: Eru Chitanda and Youko Itoigawa. Through their memories of how he was in the past, we were able to view him.
Though his memories were brought to the surface in this episode, the image of Jun Sekitani was still very faint. Each of the women had subtly manipulated their own memories to think of him how they wished. I was curious if the real person would differ from how they viewed him. Perhaps we should say “It should lose all subjectivity if you’re going to treat it from a historical event in your anthology.” Due to the two women, I was not able to capture Jun Sekitani’s image.
Animation Director Yukiko Horiguchi:
This is Yukiko Horiguchi, the animation director for Hyouka episode 5.
Since this is the final episode in the Hyouka arc, I was very nervous while working on it. As the pressure rose , so did the percentage of lines re-done (due to my anxiety). I’m sure it was a bother to the key animators. (sweats). Forgive me.
Personally, I really enjoyed drawing Mayaka as well as the younger versions of Youko-Sensei. I think the key animators were able to create a lively sense from them.
And the director’s style was amazing. (laughs) He certainly puts a lot of love in it.
Regardless, this episode sums up and solves the mystery present in the episodes prior to it. Because it’s the final episode, it puts a lot of stress on our drawing, but thankfully everything went smoothly and turned out well. What did everyone think?? I’m pleased if everyone enjoyed it even just a little. Personally, my highlights were of the apprentice and Houtarou. （＾＾） That’s just my own favorites, really. (laughs)
And so the Hyouka anime series will continue onwards from here. Please enjoy it!
Key Animator Yuichi Watanabe:
This is one of the key animators for episode 5, Watanabe.
What did everyone think of this episode?
Personally, I felt the early summer sky and atmosphere in the very beginning as well as the after-school atmosphere in the B-part were really impressive.
We try to build up the atmosphere in every scene too. We’re pleased if you notice things like Houtarou acting differently around his sister and showing a side that the other Classics Club members don’t see or Mayaka’s actions in the library. We’re obsessed with showing each character in a scene acting/emoting properly for that place.
For me personally, I wasn’t tasked with many of the Classics Club member scenes, but I was in charge of Eru’s reflection scene (her character design images are so cute!). I was a bit inexperienced with this type of scene, so I gave it my all through trial and error.
This episodes ends the titular arc of the show, but the Classics Club will continue to solve mysteries and converse next time. I hope you enjoy the show. Please continue to watch it.
Photographer Hiroki Ueda:
This is one of the photographers for episode 5, Ueda.
What did everyone think of the conclusion to the original novel Hyouka? We used a lot of filters and CG in order to bring out the emotions and feelings for the Classics Club members. Reality effects would be present and then disappear suddenly…
We put in a lot of filters and effects in scenes like the conversation between Houtarou and Satoshi on the way back from the Chitanda household, memories of what the meaning of “Hyouka” represented, and so forth. We wanted to make sure we conveyed the feelings from Jun Sekitani’s past. Were we successful?
We temporarily stop the flow after this episode, but we’ll continue onwards with more entertaining episodes. Everyone, please watch and enjoy~!
Episode 6: To Commit a Grave Sin
Episode Director/Storyboarder Kazuya Sakamoto:
I’m Sakamoto and I was the director/storyboarder for episode 6.
Eru: “I can’t stop thinking about what’s on top of Omichi-sensei’s head!”
Houtarou: “I have no idea. Go look above him to see.”
Eru: “It would be troublesome if I did that.”
Houtarou: “Oh…(sigh) People said he hasn’t changed, so perhaps it’s what was on there last year…”
Satoshi: “That’s unlikely Houtarou. Omichi changes what he wears each year with something new.”
Mayaka: “Why didn’t you think of that before you said anything? Use your brain. Well, it is your head. (half smirk)”
Eru: “Mayaka-san, were you joking just now?! Irregardless, I’m very interested in his head. I want Oreki-san to tell me what he is concealing on his head. A teacher must not keep secrets like that.”
And so the Classics Club trespassed onto Omichi-sensei’s holy grail…. Yes, they truly committed a grave sin.
What did you think of this conversation that didn’t start episode 6? BTW, there was no background story like this… I do not know if there was anything on Omichi-sensei’s head at all.
So, I tried to make this episode’s imagery (the mannequin portion) a bit comical. Up until the previous episode, they had all had a serious feeling to them, so I thought why not break it a little bit?
Also, the other piece of imagery (Chitandel) had a more realistic face when she was first designed…. we made the right choice to distort her, right? (sweats)
There was so much talk about how cute she was it was scary (laughs) but if that’s what they’re saying, then we were successful.
The image of Eru that Houtarou portrays of her is also like this. She’s viewed in many different ways throughout this work where words wouldn’t convey their intent.
The images used in this episode are cute…but mean more, you know?
Regardless, this episode is a tale where Houtarou again measures the distance between himself and Eru. Or in other words, he may be going further towards a rose-colored high school experience. Still, there’s a small distance remaining between the two.
Maybe Houtarou sees a rose-colored high school experience as “committing a grave sin.”…
How will Houtarou’s view of Eru change after this episode? Enjoy watching to find out.
Key Animator Rie Sezaki:
I’m Sezaki and I was a key animator for this episode.
Episode 6 was a break after the “Hyouka” incident where we could use one of the short stories.
We began a bit unusually with a lesson scene, but I was pleased with how cute Houtarou looked when he was drowsy and playing with his pencil.
I was tasked with the scene of Eru’s class during her recollection of that day’s events (it was difficult to draw all the various mannequins).
Since they have no facial expressions, I considered expressing their emotions through poses/movements. Since we don’t usually express feelings this way, it was a fun way to draw characters.
Next time feels awfully summery. There’s still many more fun episodes to come, so we’ll be pleased if you enjoy watching until the very end.
In-between checker Kiyoka Negi:
I was the in-between checker for episode 6, Negi.
Hyouka is not a show with many showy movements; it’s filled with everyday motions. When we check the in-between frames, we take great consideration of that fact and the amount of lines on each frame. It’s a large amount of work for the in-betweeners and checkers.
The 6th episode was the first episode of Hyouka that I checked, so I made sure to approach it with fighting spirit.
Personally, Mayaka makes my heart swoon, so I hope you enjoy her angry yet cute (and really gentle) movements.
And so ends probably the longest set of staff comments I’ve worked on. Thanks to everyone who made it this far! Here’s to the hot springs inn and the start of the “Fool” arc next week!
Continuing this week, Gifu Broadcasting has just finished airing episodes 3 and 4 of Hyouka. This re-airing has given me a chance to catch up on KyoAni comment translations since I did not start translating the staff comments until Chuunibyou. Let us see what the staff has to say about the main development of the “Hyouka” arc in the show.
Episode 3:The Descendants of the Classic Literature Club with its Circumstances
Episode Director/Storyboarder Taiichi Ishidate:
This is episode 3’s storector, Ishidate. Did you find this episode enjoyable? I worked hard to think how we could portray each of the Classics Club members so fascinating.
My own favorite scene of this episode was at the very beginning when Houtarou got the wrong impression about Eru confessing something to him. My next favorite scene would have to be the flustered Togaito-senpai scene.
People who don’t have things going the way they want to are very fascinating. You can sense the thrill they have inside when their order is disturbed. It would please me if this appeared enjoyable to all the viewers as well.
Thank you for watching.
Animation Director Seiichi Akitake:
I’m Akitake and I had the pleasure of directing the animation for Hyouka‘s third episode.
This time, the plot started to move as Eru told her story about her uncle.
We continued from the second episode with Eru in casual clothes and her hair tied up. It was very fun to draw her like that.
Other drawing points I’d like to mention personally would be the unruly Togaito-san and the sunflower. Sunflower Satoshi had the petals extending from his head, which made him look very suspicious. I was quite pleased with that design.
Even in the scenes shown for a moment, Hyouka has many points in the images drawn to talk about. We are grateful for everyone who watches and points them out.
In-between Check Yumiko Hata:
This is Hata and I had the privilege of checking the in-between animation for Hyouka‘s third episode.
Was this episode enjoyable?
I made sure there was enough space on the papers so that the female character’s hair movements look cute and their gestures appear soft while the male characters appear cool and you’d be able to sense their sensual natures at times.
No matter where the episode cuts off, if you have fun doing it, you’ll be amped up for checking the animation.
With luck, I hope we can give that sensation to everyone watching as well.
Background Supervision Mikiko Watanabe:
This is the person who supervised the drawing of the backgrounds for episode 3, Watanabe.
Hyouka is a show that has an established tone everywhere, but there’s plenty of chances to draw unique backgrounds.
For scenes like the confession at the beginning of the episode where Houtarou’s feelings get carried away or when reality fades away in the conversation between Houtarou and Mayaka, the colors we previous set fade away and the staff has to do their best with trial and error until they get it right once again.
I’m pleased Hyouka gets to vary amongst so many atmospheres; from the normal everyday life to unique images.
Episode 4: The Old Days of the Glorious Classic Literature Club
Episode Director/Storyboards Eisaku Kawanami:
I’m Kawanami and I was the director/storyboarder for this episode.
Episode 4 was different in that the Classics Club members appeared in casual clothes.
It was quite fun to show each person’s personality in their clothing choices.
The extent of how big the Chitanda residence was also played a big feature.
Somehow a residence that big actually exists, but I cannot begin to imagine how they are able to manage it. It’s a mystery.
I’ve gathered many people with flyers trying to solve that mystery.
The staff for this episode including myself tried to portray that feeling and hopefully it reached our viewers.
Thank you very much for watching it.
Animation Director Kazumi Ikeda:
I am Ikeda, the animation director for episode 4.
The investigation committee visited the Chitanda residence this time. We also were able to understand each member’s fashion tendencies as well.
Satoshi is the backpack and nonchalant handbag type.
You enter nirvana twice upon seeing Eru putting on her apron with her hair in a ponytail. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see her retrieve the dried mushrooms looking like that… or rather usually you’d see someone bring in the laundry in that type of scene. For it to be dried mushrooms feels Eru-ish. Should we say it’s….lovely.
Key Animator Maiko Tanigami:
This is Tanigami, a key animator for episode 4.
Now, if you had to pick the highlight of this episode, wouldn’t it be how cute the girls looked?!
Eru looked so lovely in her apron. It so matched doing household chores like cooking! That’s what we had in mind when we showed her feminine powers in this episode.
And Mayaka’s jealousy…
Seeing that would be enough to kill you with how cute it looked. My favorite scene was the her “hmph” I was in charge of drawing. This time she did it twice in one episodes (I was only tasked with doing it once), so did all our Mayaka fans enjoy searching through the episode for them?
Key Animator Minoru Oota:
My highlight of episode 4 had to be Satoshi and Houtarou’s cycling scene since it’s my own “we did it!” scene…
To speak a little more on it, Satoshi speaking about how he thinks and Houtarou’s reaction to the conversation (Houtarou looked so cute again) showed how immature their conversation was. It’s quite lovely. Again, the Chitanda residence is quite huge with a gorgeous rural scenery around it.
Look forward to the next episode!
And so that’s what each episode’s staff had to say regarding these two episodes. Episode 4 was the second episode it’s director, Eisaku Kawanami, directed, and I was quite impressed. We’ll hear from him again on episode 11 and he did 3 episodes for Chuunibyou as well. Just a random piece of trivia. Next week finishes the “Hyouka” arc and moves to one of the short stories in novel 4!
Beginning today, January 12 2013, the Spring 2012 series Hyouka will be re-aired in Gifu on Gifu Broadcasting for 11 weeks with 2 episodes aired weekly. Since this was the first series the staff wrote comments on each episode for and I haven’t translated them, I figured this would be a good way to start sharing them. We’ll cover the two episodes aired each Saturday for 11 weeks. Without further adu, let’s go back to the Classics Club! Continue reading
Since most of the front page was taken up by translation projects, I figured it would be best to make a master list sticky post instead of having each of the translation posts be a sticky. Here’s the projects I’ve worked on and their status:
Nagaru Tanigawa interview from the June 2003 The Sneaker
Nagaru Tanigawa/Noizi Itou discussion from the February 2006 The Sneaker
Tamako Market Preview Interview:
2011 Japan Cultural Affairs Department Kyoto Art Festival – KyoAni roundtable