The TV anime 『BEASTARS』 presents its charm at “ 『BEASTARS』 Exhibition ~ The World of Touhou x Studio Orange~”, which will be held at the Yurakucho Marui mall from October 10th through November 4th. Kiyotaka Waki, producer at Animation Studio Company Orange, having first talked event with the press.
Producer Waki first came across the original work of 『BEASTARS』 in 2017. He was browsing a bookstore during his normal routine when he was captivated by the visuals on the book display. Upon reading it, he was immediately fascinated.
Previously employed at Studio Chizu (has many works directed by Mamoru Hosoda), Producer Waki had worked on movies such as 『Wolf Children』and 『The Boy and the Beast』. He looks back on such movies with animals with hand-drawn animation fondly.
Then in 2016, he was inspired by Disney’s 『Zootopia』 and started thinking about what kind of animal anime works could be made in Japan. That was how the proposal for this work’s project (『BEASTARS』) came to be.
He told us with great emotion, that as episode 1 finished airing, “it felt like we had finally come this far.”
Concerning the making of 『BEASTARS』, Studio Orange told us that they were fixated on the skeletal framework and facial expressions; they were not able to do that in their previous TV series, 『Houseki no Kuni』 (『Land of the Lustrous』).
In 『Houseki no Kuni』, techniques of how the mouth and other various parts were able to be placed on the round face were used, and in 『BEASTARS』 , facials were expressed using CG modeling.
Videos of testing the face movement were screened at this exhibition, a big highlight.
Hereafter are the OP animation observation points are raised. Episode 2 and onwards, the OP will be televised, with stopmotion animation made with dolls. The doll set of Haru and Regoshi used for this precise photography was unveiled for the first time at the book exhibition.
The OP was handled with Cyclone Graphics; Producer Waki commented that one can see an interview with the supervisor Michiya Kato and a process movie of the dolls section on the official site, and to check it out if one wants to raise their expectations for the broadcast.
Aside from 『BEASTARS』 ‘s presence at the exhibition, the materials that Studio Orange used to make an original short animation with Marui Group, 『Soba e』 (“To Be Near You”) were displayed. This originated from Marui Group’s theme of “inclusion,” and was “made to be a work that is on par with even a movie” — Producer Waki’s enthusiasm can be felt.
『Soba e』 is a work that used Color Script, software still rare in Japan. One can see Color Script along the wall in the exhibition space.
Producer Waki says, “to CG animators, Color Script has become the guide to perfection. In showing visuals close to the answer, we can arrive there inexpensively.” There will be a screenings of the original 『Soba e』 movie in the exhibition space, and one can enjoy comparing it to the Color Script completed work.
Additionally, the corner of 『Soba e』 and the 『Soba e x Riddle Game』 is preparing an event where one will have 4 questions to answer to receive original candies.
“They’re all at a reasonably high level, I was not able to answer them (laugh). You can’t get these candies anywhere but here, so please challenge them” endorsed Producer Waki.
Studio Orange will invariably take in new challenges with every new work they produce– pursuit of expressing the water in 『Soba e』, placing strength in the skeletal facial structures in 『BEASTARS』, says Producer Waki.
“With the reaction at the end of airing episode 1 of 『BEASTARS』, we were able to confirm the audience’s perception of this company called Orange; I’d be happy if you could track Studio Orange’s works along with our growth.” With that, the talk event came to a close.
A final note, the exhibition hall will be packed with the hospitality of Studio Orange, including a life-sized Regoshi and Haru standee photo spot and a UFO catcher of mini Neko Matcha plushies that made its appearance on 『Soba e』 . Be sure to drop by by November 4th, and enjoy the airing of 『BEASTARS』.
TV Anime 『BEASTARS』
(C) Itagaki Paru (Akita Shoten) / BEASTARS Production Committee