On April 14 2009, while I was in a trip in Japan, my sister and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Nippon Animation (Thanks to my Japanese friend contacts^^! For those who don't know about it,Nippon Animatio
n is the studio behind Fantastic Children
(and a lot of shows too)!!! So I made a little slideshow about it, I wanted to share my experience with you and write a little report about it.
Sadly, I didn't have the chance to meet mister Takashi Nakamura-sama (the Father of Fantastic Children) :-( They told me that he didn't work anymore there but the best I could do is to meet someone who had worked on it but that's all. Well, I guess it's better than nothing ^-^
First, something very important to know is, surprisingly, Nippon Animation is actually located far far away from downtown Tokyo. Even the nearest subway station to Tokyo is 30 minutes by walking. Actually, I’m not even sure that it still called Tokyo where we were! The spotting is very magical and inspirational though! It’s very calm, countryside and surrounded near a bamboo forest! The building is way smaller that I have imagined. Someone from the staff member welcome us He told us to remove or shoes and he gave us sandals (yes, we’re in Japan, remember?). The rooms are fully decorated of various posters from Nippon Animation series. The guy brought us to the meeting room where Nippon Animation take important decisions and talk about their project ^^ (wow! I could have sit where Nakamura have sit X-D). (Oh, by the way, anyone there is able to speak English there! Thanks to my Japanese friend, who serves to us as our personal translator, we were able to communicate and understand them! We were so lucky to have it!
). So he explained us Nippon Animation’s background and chronology and gave us a file full of documents about Nippon Animation series, award they have win over the years, how they are making a cartoon step by step, who are the people working behind the scenes, how they’re a choosing the novel they will turn into an anime, how they are operating the changing in the original story like adding new characters...etc...etc.
After that, he led us to an art gallery with many paintings made by a painter that I’m sadly not able to name but she is really talentuous! Here paintings are often used as promotional images for Nippon Animation.
Then, we finally visited the studios of Nippon Animation while the staff members were working on there newest anime Before Green Gables
and Maruko Chan
! The man told us that we were allowed to films and take some pictures O_O That’s really amazed me especially that it was exclusive stuffs not aired yet! By the way, did you know that they don’t have a lot of time to work on the episodes? For give you an example, when we was there, they were working on episode 6 of Before Green Gables! It’s really a quick deadline to me especially that 2 episodes were already aired at the time! So, it’s really like a race against time! It was really incredible to see all these people at work! They’re really passionate by what they’re doing. We could see on one of the desk about of reference stuff like Anne of Green Gables movies (with Megan Follow), Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia Pictures (landscapes, wildlife, 19th century life...). So, be assured that they take the realistic stuff very seriously!
Because we were Canadians, some of the staff members asked us our opinions about the anime and ask us to comment it after they show us some previews of it. They asked us if it really look like Canadian to us, how we feel about it and if we think that Canadian audience would appreciate the show.
Oh! And we could see that they’re a working on a new serie that is still “in progress”. I mean by that the serie doesn’t exist yet they’re a still studying the plot, the setting and the characters. I don’t even now the name of it but the only think I know is that it will be a serie about horse racers! I think it was never exploited in an anime before so it could be very interesting! So, if you heard about it, let me know OK?
I’m really curious to know what it’s gonna be!
While we were about to leave the studio, the man that accompanied us during that afternoon tell to wait a little bit because he told us that the producer and the realisator of Before Green Gables were there and were interessed to meet us! O_O My God! My heart start pumping like a motor! O_O So, the men met us in the hall, they were very glad to welcome two Canadians here that love so much there works. We took some pictures, they gave us Before Green Gables posters and they signed it of course (Because we begged them to do it! But actually, there very shy and humble so they didn’t want at first ^^””! But they were really gentlemen! Trust me!).
Because it was starting raining, an animator who was leaving offered us a lift to the subway station, so we accepted it with pleasure. (Man, people are so nice at Nippon Animation, you couldn’t believe that O_O).
So, that was my little adventure at Nippon Animation! I hope I didn’t forget anything! I was so flabbergasted by what was happening that I didn’t ask as many questions that I would like to >_< That’s really frustrating me at first since I think of so many questions AFTER that I left the studios. That’s always like this sadly :-/ But anyway, what I ask was asked, so that is the most important!
I didn’t know that the fact that we were Canadians allowed us to have all these privileges. I guess we must thanks Before Green Gables and the timing of our visit! ^-^
Even my Japanese friend was astonished by what Nippon Animation has done to us! He said that they never do that normally.
So now, I don’t love Nippon Animation...I worship Nippon Animation! X-D They’re really the most open-minded animation company in all Japan and I thanks them to the bottom of my heart for the precious time they took for us! :-) They have all my respect and no wonder that Fantastic Children is a good show with so much emotions!! :-)
So here a little video about our adventure:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpJnEqM-dUI