Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck

This article was co-written with Toadette

This article is part of the World Masterpiece Theater Production History series, which will provide historical and critical commentary on each of the entries of one of the most important series in anime history from 1973 to 1980, as well as a full credits transcription and translation.

Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck, known in the English-speaking world as Fables of the Green Forest, can be considered the first show to fit into the extended World Masterpiece Theater canon: it was the first production of studio Zuiyo Video, which would become Nippon Animation, to take place in the consecrated Sunday 19:30 time slot on Fuji TV. It was not, however, the first show to air in said timeslot, and to be funded by drinks company Calpis in what was originally called the Calpis Manga Theater: this honor belongs to Mushi Production’s Dororo (retitled Dororo and Hyakkimaru in its second half) in 1969.

Rocky Chuck’s prehistory begins the same year, with the creation of studio Zuiyo Enterprises by producer Shigeto Takahashi. Zuiyo was born out of the split of one of anime’s earliest studios, TCJ, and was initially conceived as a parent company of TCJ Video Center, with Zuiyo handling production and commercialization and TCJ doing animation: their first productions would be adaptations of Sanpei Shirato’s mangas Sasuke and Kamui Gaiden.

From then on, Zuiyo quickly diversified its activities and ties with other industry actors: they formed a partnership with studio Tokyo Movie, which, with its own partner A Production, would be in charge of producing the second Calpis Manga Theater show, 1969’s Moomin, and it was Shigeto Takahashi himself who went to Finland to get the adaptation rights from original author Tove Jansson. The series proved to be a hit, and from this early point on, Zuiyo would plan every show in the Calpis Manga Theater timeslot. However, since Osamu Tezuka’s Mushi Production had taken over Moomin in 1970 owing to a variety of factors (not least of which was Jansson’s – and Takahashi’s – dissatisfaction with the direction Tokyo Movie and A Pro were taking the characters in, to say nothing of Tokyo Movie’s own displeasure with how the series had gone over-budget), Zuiyo stopped working with Tokyo Movie and instead continued working with Mushi Pro on Andersen Monogatari in 1971. This series featured character designs by Shuichi Seki and animation by Toyô Ashida, both of whom were ex-TCJ, with Seki in particular becoming a mainstay of future Zuiyo/Nippon series; it was followed by 52 more episodes of Moomin in 1972.

After Moomin, Takahashi gave Mushi Pro a slightly more ambitious project outside of the Calpis Manga Theater, namely an adaptation of Swedish author Runer Jonsson’s Vicke Viking (Vicky the Viking) children’s books that again featured character designs by Shuichi Seki. This was the first series that Zuiyo produced specifically for international export, prefiguring the worldwide success that later Zuiyo and Nippon shows would enjoy: it was commissioned by the German national broadcaster ZDF, and the Mushi Pro-animated first 26 episodes (chief-directed by longtime Mushi veteran Chikao Katsui) premiered in Germany on 31 January 1974, months before the show’s Japanese premiere on 3 April that year. 

By that time, however, Mushi Pro was no more: around the same time as Vicky, the controversial producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki brought in his overly ambitious musical series Wansa-kun (which was planned with help from Zuiyo), and its failure would prove to be the fatal blow for Mushi Pro, which had already been in an increasingly precarious situation financially and staff-wise in the years leading up to its bankruptcy in November 1973. Given that Mushi Pro was, in its final year of existence, occupied with these last two series under Zuiyo (as well as a certain obscure film named Belladonna of Sadness), there was no way they could produce anything else for the Zuiyo-held Calpis Manga Theater; hence, in late 1972, Takahashi decided to take the bold step of founding his own animation studio, Zuiyo Video, which would produce a new series for that time slot on its own (and which would ultimately take over Vicky after episode 26, with Hiroshi Saitô replacing Katsui as chief director).

 The main asset of the newly-created Zuiyo Video was one man: Tôei’s most important and senior animator Yasuji Mori. The early 70s were difficult times for the anime industry, and Tôei was one of the places where things were at their worst: following the death of its founder Hiroshi Okawa, and years of labor unrest which culminated in a strike and lockdown in July 1972, the studio’s management hardened their labor policy, lowered salaries and started relying more intensely on outsourcing. This caused a mass wave of exiles: the most famous among these were Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, who quit as early as September 1971 to join A Production, but Mori was also among those who left.

One of the most respected figures of the industry, Mori probably envisioned Zuiyo Video as something similar to what another ex-Tôei animator, Daikichirô Kusube, had done with A Production: a leading actor in the outsourcing market that would reassemble many of Tôei’s most talented staff. Mori’s presence therefore played a role in Rocky Chuck’s staff, which comprised many ex-Tôei members who had left in the previous years. Besides that, Zuiyo Video’s first work would be strongly influenced by Mori’s sensibility: he handled the character designs and most of the animation direction himself, and it’s hard not to see in Rocky Chuck callbacks to previous Tôei movies featuring cute animal characters, such as 1960’s Saiyûki or 1963’s Wan Wan Chûshingura.

The other main creative figure behind Zuiyo Video in its formative period was, however, essentially a Mushi man, Hiroshi Saitô. He was originally from Otogi Pro, a small studio which produced the first TV animation series in Japan, Instant History, in 1961. He then joined Mushi in 1963, only to leave in 1966 to create the studio Jaggard along with Shingo Araki and a few others. It was shortly after Jaggard went bankrupt in 1972 that he became one of the first members of Zuiyo Video. By then, Saitô had had experience doing storyboards and episode direction on series such as Star of the Giants and Ashita no Joe and was elevated to chief director alongside Eiji Okabe in the second half of Tensai Bakabon. Rocky Chuck was the first work where he played a really significant role, directing almost all of the show’s first 19 episodes on his own under chief director Masaharu Endô and apparently even serving as an uncredited assistant to Endô afterwards, correcting the other episode directors’ storyboards. The two of them had already tried founding a new studio together in the very brief period between Jaggard’s bankruptcy and their joining Zuiyo Video. Saitô would remain one of Zuiyo and Nippon Animation’s most regular directors, and directed World Masterpiece Theater shows in rotation with Isao Takahata.

An adaptation of a series of stories by American author Thornton Burgess, Rocky Chuck is unabashedly for children, and strikingly unambitious at that. Closer to its predecessor, 1972’s Moomin, than to 1974’s Heidi, Girl of the Alps, the show was episodic, with a diverse cast of animal characters with set personalities. The writing, however, was weak, and the direction had none of the sense of atmosphere that Rintarô brought to ‘72 Moomin as chief director. Most characters come off as incredibly annoying (most notably Sammy Bluejay and Chatterer the Squirrel), and for most of the runtime, the writers seem to have hesitated as to what direction they should take the show towards. Indeed, the writing is never as frustrating and inconsequential as in the moments when a character puts another in a life-threatening situation (most often throwing them in the hands of a predator) only to laugh it off as a simple “trick”. The show is therefore at its strongest when it cares for the least semblance of realism, and when the real stakes of the animals’ life, their dangers and worries, are taken seriously and explored. These mistakes were omnipresent during the first two thirds of the show; however, in the last 15 episodes or so, the writers and directors seem to have finally found their footing, putting out stronger, more coherent and convincing stories.

Animation-wise, Rocky Chuck displays equal weaknesses: most of the time, the motion is at its barest, and even Mori’s designs are rarely appealing. The show does feel like the production of a newly-created studio whose animators have yet to find their footing. But from a historical standpoint, the animation credits are interesting to look at, because they are still quite different from that of later World Masterpiece Theater shows.

1971’s Tensai Bakabon, produced by Tokyo Movie and co-directed by Hiroshi Saitô for most of its second half, appears to be the pool from which most of Rocky Chuck’s animators came. Among them, you find Za In’s Kazuo Iimura with inbetweeners Mitsuo Kusakabe and Masayoshi Ozaki, Oh! Production’s Kôshin Yonekawa, and animators Shun’ichi Sakai, Michiyo Sakurai, Megumi Mizuta, and Yukiyoshi Hane who became Zuiyo’s main pillars; these three studios would make up most of Rocky Chuck’s rotation. The similarity with Tensai Bakabon goes further than just the staff, however: for a 1973 show, Rocky Chuck feels distinctly backwards, as if its animators were completely missing the small revolutions in made-for-TV character animation that had been happening in shows like Moomin and The Gutsy Frog and the new generation of animators that was starting to emerge, led by various ex-Toei and Mushi staffers at studios like A Pro and Madhouse.

At first, it is therefore difficult to believe that many of the people behind Rocky Chuck would go on to produce a masterpiece such as Heidi. Perhaps it was due to poor planning, or difficult working conditions in a studio that had barely been created: very uneven in the early episodes, the quality of the animation suddenly rises in the late ones. It acquires not only a mastery of detail, but the same sense of verisimilitude and liveliness that would make Heidi so special.

In addition, there are a few mysteries in Rocky Chuck’s credits, which might indicate how uncertain the production could have been at first. The most notable of them is the episode director credit, which changes mid-show and becomes a storyboard credit. This implies that episode directors were also storyboarders – nothing exceptional as is, although it is different from future WMT series that would credit both episode director and storyboarder. What is stranger is the fact that it changes, as if “episode direction” wasn’t the right word to describe the role anymore. There isn’t much more than that to say, but it might indicate some uncertainty in how tasks were distributed among staff, and possibly a lack of general supervision on the episode director level. This might be corroborated by the fact that some of the directors were credited as script writers on certain episodes – although it’s not episodes they themselves directed/storyboarded.

The two other mysteries are about specific names. The first is about the mysterious “Morimitsu” that wrote and storyboarded some episodes. The name, meaning “light of the woods”, is clearly a pseudonym. The question is: a pseudonym for whom? The first possibility envisioned was that this might be a pseudonym for Isao Takahata episodes, which would then mean that he had already done some work on a Zuiyo series before Heidi. But Takahata being credited as script writer would be exceptional for him; and most importantly, none of the episodes storyboarded by Morimitsu exhibit any Takahata-isms. The most simple explanation would therefore be that “Morimitsu” is the name adopted by a collective of Zuiyo staff members – just as, for example, Takahata and Miyazaki were credited as “the A Production directing group” on the original Lupin III series. While this doesn’t help in identifying who’s behind this identity, it’s the most probable explanation.

The last mystery is a more specific one: it concerns a single animator, one “Reiko Tabe”, credited on episode 2. While I don’t have access to complete animator credits of the early 70’s, I have found no record of her anywhere else. Following this, I then theorized that this could be famous Tôei animator Reiko Okuyama. The first name, “Reiko”, is spelled with the exact same kanji, and “Tabe” could either be a short version or a spelling mistake for “Kotabe”, which was the name of Okuyama’s husband, Yôichi Kotabe. In fact, several years earlier, Okuyama had been credited as “Reiko Kotabe” on later episodes of Tôei’s first TV series Wolf Boy Ken. While exceptional, her presence on Rocky Chuck would not be out of the question: Yasuji Mori could very well have invited her onto the show, and indeed, this was around the same time Okuyama did animation for Mushi Pro’s Belladonna of Sadness under the pseudonym “Reiko Kitagawa”! It is possible that Okuyama was seeking work outside of Tôei at this time. Still, while the animation on the episode “Tabe” worked on isn’t subpar, it’s nothing close to what one might expect from one of Tôei’s brightest members. The possibility of her being Okuyama is therefore lessened – it might just be an unknown animator whose name shares a resemblance with that of a more famous one.

Overall, Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck is an uneven show, and a fairly mediocre one during most of its run. Had it not been for the fame and influence of its successors, it would probably have been completely forgotten. It still does, however, retain some interest for those interested in anime history and children’s shows. This is mostly due to the fact that many of its staff members would go on to leave their mark, as well as the fact that the show gives a good idea of what anime was like in the troubled years that were the early 70’s.

Episode highlights

Zuiyo  episodes

So early on, it’s hard to tell what was the exact composition of Zuiyo’s animator roster. But the most probable is that it was composed of two teams, one led by Shun’ichi Sakai and the other by Yukiyoshi Hane. Sakai’s team is an incredibly consistent one, and probably represented the core of Zuiyo-associated staff; this is less the case with Hane’s, which was probably more makeshift, and possibly more recent – Hane’s first credit is on episode 11, as a member of Sakai’s team, and he only gets his own team from episode 22 onwards, whereas the Sakai team is present from the very start of the show. In any case, it appears that both teams were entirely composed of freelancers – meaning that Zuiyo had no, or almost none, in-house animators proper.

The Sakai team had three members: Shun’ichi Sakai himself, Michiyo Sakurai, and one Megumi Mizuta. Their collaboration was well established by 1973: the earliest credits I could find of them was on Star of the Giants, in the late 60’s. Sakai was the most consistent member, and alternatively worked with Sakurai or Mizuta. The Sakai/Sakurai duo would be further established on the 9 episodes of Tensai Bakabon that they key animated together, often with Mizuta as in-betweener. It appears that this group was from studio Jaggard; therefore, they most probably followed Hiroshi Saitô when he joined Zuiyo in 1972 and associated themselves with this new studio.

Hane’s team is harder to follow, because its members had more diverse origins; Hane himself was an ex-Tôei animator who appears to have wandered all over the place in the years just before Rocky Chuck. It seems that in mid-1970, he was part of a small studio called Ad 5, created by veteran Tôei animators Minoru Tajima and Toshiyasu Okada (its existence is definitively confirmed by early 1971 at the latest): the episodes he animation-directed for Himitsu no Akko-chan at that time (66, 73, 80, 83) share the same animation team as Okada’s AD efforts and feature a number of animators who were known to be part of Ad 5 afterwards (Minoru Nakamura, Minoru Kurei, Hidemi Maeda). For that matter, Hane would help Okada animate episode 4B of Tensai Bakabon in late 1971. Between these two shows, however, Hane animated episodes 65, 76, 84, 93, and 101 of Tokyo Movie’s Attack No. 1 alongside Takao Hashina, who by the time of Tôei’s Mahôtsukai Chappy in 1972 would be established at Studio Junio, and that would be the same year in which Hane served as the character designer and animation director of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s series directorial debut Triton of the Sea, produced at Animation Staff Room. His last – and perhaps most important – early work was as character designer and occasional animation director on Tôei’s Mazinger Z; his final credited episode on the series, #19, aired on 8 April 1973, while his first work on Rocky Chuck aired on 18 March. He had probably been doing the two at the same time, but Mazinger Z would have been his last Tôei work before joining Zuiyo.

 The other important member of Hane’s team is Shin’ya Takahashi. He was a Tôei member proper, who joined the studio at the same time as Hayao Miyazaki. He became the titular character designer of the studio’s girl programs, starting with Akane-chan in 1968, then Himitsu no Akko-chan in 1969, Mahô no Mako-chan in 1970, Sarutobi Ecchan in 1971, and finally Mahôtsukai Chappy in 1972. Although he was still animation director on some episodes of Cutie Honey, it seems that he left Tôei in February 1973 to go freelance: closely associated with Zuiyo early on, he doesn’t seem to have become an employee, and indeed continued to do some work for Tôei in the following years, which might mean that Hane’s team was a group of unattached freelancers initially supervised by Hane. Despite his excellent portfolio, Takahashi was anything but a good animator. An anecdote from Manabu Ohashi tells of him asking Yasuo Otsuka why he had animated some sequences on 3s in Hols, Prince of the Sun even though it was a feature film – proof that he had totally missed the point of Otsuka’s revolution and was probably attached to the baseless idea that more frames means better animation.

Episode 1

Writer: Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director: Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director: Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation: Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

As first episodes can sometimes be, episode 1 of Rocky Chuck is misleading: the quality of its animation and direction are miles apart from what the show would look like in the following episodes. This is most probably because it was animated in advance, at a slower and more comfortable pace. What shines the most is, at first, the excellent art direction by Kazue Itô – which does, however, get somewhat monotonous as the show goes on. The painted backgrounds of the forest, first in its winter slumber, and then awakening during spring, are all beautiful.

As a whole, the episode has a personality quite unique for Rocky Chuck: the camerawork makes a deliberate use of pans to introduce the viewer to the environment, the animation is dynamic, and the writing lively. This episode seems to exhibit tendencies in Nobuhiro Okaseko’s animation direction that would mostly disappear when Yasuji Mori replaced him: thicker, sometimes rougher outlines on the characters, and more cartoony expressions to express their exuberant personalities.

(Fun fact: music composer Seiichirô Uno or recording director Atsumi Tashiro reused a music track from the previous year’s Zuiyo/Calpis series Moomin, with which they had both been involved, in the scene where Reddy chases the young woodchucks.)

Episode 38

Writer: Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards: Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director: Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation: Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一) 

The animation by Sakai’s team, because it is the most present on the show, is also the most imperfect; in other words, it’s hard to consider many of their episodes higher than the show’s standard, since they are the ones who set this standard. In that regard, episode 38 is probably among the best samples of the show’s animation. Indeed, it is a long chase scene between various animals (first Reddy Fox pursuing Peter Rabbit, and then Reddy being pursued by the dog Bowser), and can in that sense be considered one of the most ambitious episodes of the show: the layouts are complex, and the constant running more demanding than usual. But the fact that the animation doesn’t manage to sell it, even though the characters are constantly moving, is revealing.

A subject of speculation is the order of the episode’s animators credits. In an unusual fashion, the name listing is the opposite of what it normally is: Mizuta is credited first, and Sakai last. Later episodes by the team also exhibit different orders. Maybe it’s a perfectly inconsequential change, but it might also indicate the larger role Mizuta was taking within the team – which is strange, however, because she doesn’t seem to have played any major role in the Zuiyo series afterwards.

(Another piece of canned Moomin music which shows up in other episodes highlighted here as well: the drum solo that starts right as Bowser realizes Reddy is hiding in the tree and jumps up for him.)

Episode 40

Writer: Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards: Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Animation Director: Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation: Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一)

However lackluster many of the Sakai’s team episodes may be, episode 40 is among the best in the entire show. It is one of the few where you can actually believe that Yasuji Mori had an active role as animation director, while the animation is well supported and pushed by Morimitsu’s storyboards: the camerawork is full of dynamic pans, zoom-ins and zoom-outs and compositions stronger than usual. The end of the first scene, which shows Rocky Chuck climbing down a tree in a succession of short cuts is an impressive little display of animation: the motion is detailed and maintains an exemplar sense of weight and presence, all the while keeping a strong tension as Rocky risks falling down the tree. The mastery displayed during  the  fight scene between Rocky and another woodchuck in the last part of the episode is also surprising. The storyboarding is again powerful, the animation more detailed and rough than usual, and the use of cycles, which is normally one of the greatest flaws of the show’s animation, is here used to a better effect, perfectly conveying the unexpected violence of the fight.

Episode 22

Writer: Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboard: Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director: Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation: Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

This episode is the first featuring the Hane/Takahashi duo, and the first in which Hane especially could really spread his wings. The animation is generally competent, with highlight moments being the fight that breaks out between Chatterer the Squirrel and Peter Rabbit (although that one is weakened in the end by the usual overreliance on cycles), and the final reunion of the animals at the end. But what really makes it shine is its director, a regular on Rocky Chuck: Norio Hikone.

Hikone had been an animator in Tôei, before shortly transferring to Mushi somewhere around 1964-1965 and then going freelance in 1966. He would later create a “Hikone-Nagasawa Joint Studio” with fellow Tôei alumnus and illustrator Makoto Nagasawa in 1970, which eventually led to his own Hikone Studio; the two of them had already contributed to the legendarily crazy 1968 comedy Fight da! Pyûta, with Nagasawa acting as one of three lead creatives on the project and Hikone directing some episodes. Hikone’s episodes are generally among the better ones of Rocky Chuck: along with Yoshiyuki Tomino’s and Toshio Hirata’s best episodes, they exhibit a sense for cinematography and general narrative structure that the other directors and writers don’t really seem to have mastered. Episode 22 is a good example of that, as it introduces a mockingjay character who impersonates other’s animal voices and plays tricks on them, in the end leading to complete chaos. The premise is solid and pushed through with consistency, something that, accompanied by Hane’s animation, definitely makes this episode worthwhile.

Episode 35

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Ichirô Kimura (?) (木村一郎)

The same remarks would mostly apply to episode 35, once again directed by Hikone, written by Hisao Okawa, and featuring Hane’s animation – although, this time, the latter was not accompanied by Takahashi. What makes this one stand out is less its animation, not much better than that of most other episodes, than its direction and plot. It centers around the coyote character, who represents a rival for the two foxes and a menace for the other animals, leading to entertaining showdowns and strategies from each side as the foxes conspire to drive the coyote out of the forest.

Episode 46

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦)

Once again featuring the Hikone/Okawa/Hane trio, what sets this episode apart are two things: one, that it is a solo episode; two, that it features some of the best animation in the entire show. It’s hard to tell why exactly, but this episode seems to indicate that Hane had some difficulty adjusting to Rocky Chuck’s environment, and that he might have been somewhat uncomfortable working with other animators. But once alone, he took the opportunity and delivered amazing work.

There are many standout moments in this episode: the opening scene, when Sammy Bluejay starts a monologue and contemplates his own splendor; Peter Rabbit running away from a hawk at the end of the A part; and finally, a sudden attack of the cat Black on Chatterer the Squirrel which takes up most of the B part. Besides being just more fluid and detailed, the animation is impressive for the feelings of urgency and energy it conveys. When Chatterer runs away from Black, the layouts suddenly get more complex, and the characters’ bodies are slightly deformed and smeared to create impact. These might seem like obvious techniques; but they were clearly not for most animators on Rocky Chuck, and it’s through this that Hane’s talent shines. He, and maybe Hikone as well, was also one of the few members of the staff who actually knew how to make good use of the often-repeated cycles: he would suddenly accelerate them so that they would feel more sudden.

Another thing that makes this episode special is that it’s immediately followed, on episode 47, by another solo KA performance, this time by Shin’ya Takahashi. Comparing the two is the best way of measuring the huge gap in talent: Takahashi’s animation is stiff and bare, mostly on the same level as the worst early episodes of Rocky Chuck. On the other hand, Hane is already at another level, one that would fully bloom in Heidi.

Episode 48

Writer= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Storyboards= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし)

This episode is arguably Hane’s last masterpiece on Rocky Chuck: judging from the quality of the animation, he most probably did all of the A part, as well as the beginning of the B part. What makes this episode special is not just this, but the fact that it includes many musical performances by the characters, and especially the rabbit Peter, thus creating a special atmosphere. Most of these performances may be by Hane, who did an excellent job of synchronizing his animation to the songs. The way he would speed up or slow down the movement to fit the atmosphere and the music is exemplary, and a rare feat in anime, where musical numbers such as these are so rare.

Besides Hane, composer Seiichirô Uno also deserves credit for this special episode. Uno had been a regular member on all previous Calpis Manga Theater shows since 1969’s Moomin. His music had been a key element of these shows, often compensating for the lackluster animation that could be present in Mushi Pro’s contributions, especially Andersen Monogatari (by far the worst-animated of the early Zuiyo shows, but also the most musically brilliant, with Uno composing a variety of beautiful new songs over the course of its run). Rocky Chuck would, however, be his last contribution to the program.

Oh Pro episodes

Oh! Production was one of the, if not the, most important outsourcing studios of the 1970s. It was created in May 1970 by four animators from studio Hatena Pro (itself created by ex-Tôei members in 1964): Norio Shioyama, Kôichi Murata, Kazuo Komatsubara, and Kôshin Yonekawa. They had established themselves as Hatena’s most solid team on Star of the Giants, starting 1968, and Tiger Mask, starting 1969. Although there was some overlap, Oh Pro quickly split into two teams: one, led by Kazuo Komatsubara, would mostly work on Tôei series, and by 1974 they would specialize in mecha. The other, led by Kôichi Murata, would work largely on Tokyo Movie shows. The two main Oh Pro animators on Rocky Chuck, Kôshin Yonekawa and Jôji Manabe, had alternatively been members of the two aforementioned teams; their presence on Rocky Chuck might indicate that Yonekawa was trying to create a third team, which would subcontract mostly for Zuiyo Video. This team would last for some time even after Oh Pro’s organization changed yet again in 1974, when Murata’s team briefly worked on Heidi, Girl of the Alps and then fusioned with the Yonekawa-Manabe one when Murata himself disappeared for a while following the end of Tokyo Movie’s Wild West Boy Isamu.

As a studio, Oh Pro was largely only present on the early part of Rocky Chuck: their last full contribution was episode 20, though Manabe eventually shows up again alongside Zuiyo’s own animators in later episodes. The constitution of Hane’s team probably happened to compensate for their departure. As mentioned earlier, the early episodes are hardly the highlight of the series; however, Oh Pro’s work manages to stand out, for the simple reason that it is the only studio with a bit of personality to it.

Episode 3

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

Overall, this episode, the first made by Oh Pro, is not exceptional. It is, however, worth mentioning for the animation of Reddy Fox, especially at the beginning and end of the B part. To express the danger represented by this predator, the animation gets rougher, exhibiting speedlines and thicker outlines. From this, it’s visible that the Oh Pro animators had more experience in gekiga-inspired series rather than gentle kids shows such as Rocky Chuck. But it’s not just that: Reddy’s animation is just fun in the best moments, thanks to cartoony, exaggerated drawings relying on smears or slight deformations of the body. These are most often simply little touches, but they are the ones that manage to create a sense of personality – both in the character and in the visuals.

Episode 10

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

Episode 10 is one of the best in the early part of the show, and the one where the skill of Oh Pro’s animators comes out most clearly. Just like Hane’s best work on Rocky Chuck, it is one of those episodes where you start envisioning that, under better conditions and direction, the animators will be able to pull off something as monumental as Heidi just a year later. It features the usual trademarks of the Oh Pro style on the show: rougher linework, cartoony expressions and a general sense of liveliness. However, the most impressive bit is a 20-seconds long slow-motion sequence at the beginning, in which Reddy Fox tries and fails to catch a bird. There is just the right mix of observation and exaggeration here, along with a perfectly-dosed amount of squash-and-stretch that makes the action perfectly convincing and, let’s say it, realistic. The following action scenes live up to that promise, imparting a feeling of tension and life that’s too often missing from Rocky Chuck’s animation.

Toshio Hirata episodes

Although little-known by most, Toshio Hirata was a notable figure of 70’s animation, and one of the most prominent directors of 80’s Madhouse. He began his career in Tôei in 1960 after coming out of art school, and was quickly taken under Yasuji Mori’s wing as an in-betweener. It was after his work under Sadao Tsukioka on 1963’s Wolf Boy Ken, in which he got to draw his first key animation while still serving as an in-betweener, that he transferred to Mushi Pro, where he was immediately promoted to key animator and then episode director on 1965’s Jungle Emperor. There, he received a second influence, that of Eiichi Yamamoto. After Jungle Emperor, he joined Hiroshi Saitô’s studio Jaggard, largely spending his time there working on commercials (which allowed him to experiment with animation), but also making sporadic contributions to series like Fight da!! Pyuta on the side. Mori’s ex-Tôei contacts and former Jaggard members made up most of Rocky Chuck’s staff: therefore, Hirata’s presence was a matter of course. He had already begun regularly contributing again to various shows made by fellow Mushi or ex-Mushi members in his final months at Jaggard, such as Ashita no Joe (later episodes of which credit him under the pseudonym 本田元男), ‘72 Moomin, and Tomino’s Triton of the Sea, as well as a number of Tokyo Movie shows like Tensai Bakabon and Akado Suzunosuke. However, Rocky Chuck would prove to be Hirata’s final TV anime involvement from this transitory period, as he would afterwards depart for Group TAC to animate the mice in Gisaburô Sugii’s trippy musical feature Jack and the Beanstalk, and then follow most of that film’s team over to Sanrio, where he would graduate to directing animated feature films in his own right.

Although they are uneven, Hirata’s episodes generally display a greater mastery than the rest of the show. They are always very deliberate, often managing to create a sense of space that’s not just a two-dimensional, flat stage. Another technique prominent in many Hirata episodes (although it also pops up in some that he didn’t direct) is the use of color: most often, setting the characters against an abstract, red background to express shock or surprise. Although not the most impressive thing overall, it’s an unexpected expressionist touch in a show that usually displays very forward direction and writing.

Episode 4

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), 志保多秀孝 (?)

More than any other in the series, this episode, Hirata’s second, displays his mastery of atmosphere. The plot is quite simple: the main character Rocky discovers that a bear is roaming in the forest, but no one believes him and accuses him of every one of the bear’s misfits. The opening scene, in which Rocky sees the bear for the first time, is a perfect example of a little horror scene for children: in the depths of the forest, the colors get darker, shapes more schematic and angular, while absolute silence and extreme close-ups perfectly convey the tension of the moment. In a similar vein, the A part ends on a poetic moment when a dejected Rocky complains about being suspected by all other animals, in the beautiful light of the moon. These two moments show how well Hirata was able to get us in the heads of the characters, using the forest setting to his advantage.

Episode 26

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

This episode is a bit special, not just because of Hirata’s usually good storyboards, but because they work in close collaboration with the animation, which ends up much stronger than usual as a result. The most visible technique here is the use of camera positions, whether through a very distant camera or extreme closeups. The latter are the most unusual, and always emphasize the acting and reactions of the characters; they always manage to create strong effects, while directly pushing the animators to make more entertaining motion. The other good thing about this episode is that the writing is really good, for once: Peter Rabbit and Reddy Fox challenge each other in a game of wits which creates many fun and unpredictable situations.

Episode 44

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Kimiko Imano (?) (今野貴美子),  Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二)

Although not exceptional, this episode shines, like many of those made by Hirata, because it actually manages to sell the story rather than just functionally present a series of events. This is most visible in the first half, in which a baby bird gets shot by a hunter and lost by his parents. There are real stakes and a sense of danger here, and this naturally brings the viewer in. Once again, the storyboards manage to take us into the characters’ minds, especially to make us feel how small and fragile the animals are. One of the most striking moments is when the little bird, left alone, hallucinates and think he’s attacked by Reddy Fox; the scene is striking because such insight into the psychology and fears of the bird is unexpected, and although there no flashy visual effects, the way everything gets dark and the sound effects become oppressive leave a strong impression.

Yoshiyuki Tomino episodes

Among all the people who worked on Rocky Chuck, Yoshiyuki Tomino is, along with Yasuji Mori, the most famous. At the time, Tomino was still a rising figure in the anime world: since 1968, he had been known as “the wandering storyboarder” (さすらいのコンテマン), appreciated more for his ability to put out storyboards quickly and efficiently rather than his directorial talent. Just a year before Rocky Chuck, Tomino had made his debut as series director on Triton of the Sea, an adaptation of a manga by Osamu Tezuka. Like everything Tezuka-related in the early 70’s, the details of the production are messy. In the difficult context of Mushi’s late years, Tezuka could only direct and storyboard a pilot, key-animated by veteran Teruto Kamiguchi, who would, after a short time, join Tezuka’s new studio Tezuka Pro. But as soon as the pilot was finished, Mushi was left in the hands of the producer and now de facto company president Yoshinobu Nishizaki.

In the midst of Mushi’s crumbling, Nishizaki managed to get a TV anime for Triton greenlighted – but it would be produced by a newly-founded studio named Animation Staff Room, with the property’s TV copyright being registered not in Tezuka’s name but in Nishizaki’s. This angered Tezuka, who, faced with Nishizaki’s concurrent mismanagement of Mushi Pro itself, used the opportunity to get the producer out of the company: the mangaka stepped down from the studio’s presidency (which he still held in paper throughout 1971) in April 1972 and gave it to a committee made up of the creditors to which the company was indebted. According to Tomino, Nishizaki effectively robbed Tezuka of Triton – an act that Tomino himself would compound by rewriting the story of a manga he thought was uninteresting, most notably by introducing a twist in the final episode in which the story’s supposed good guys would turn out to have been the true villains all along. 

In any case, the actual animation seems to have been mostly handled by Tôei-associated subcontractors and animators like Takeshi Shirato’s Tiger Pro and future Dôga Kôbô co-founders Megumu Ishiguro and Hideo Furusawa (a longtime veteran who went back to some of the earliest Tôei Dôga features), with Yukiyoshi Hane being appointed character designer as a way of distinguishing the series from prior Mushi-produced Tezuka adaptations (Ishiguro would soon afterwards animate on two of Hane’s Mazinger episodes, 1 and 19). However, the late episodes 24 and 26, both aired September 1972, credit the animation to none other than Shun’ichi Sakai and Michiyo Sakurai, both of whom were presumably just on the verge of joining Zuiyo Video at that point; for that matter, even Nishizaki himself, who had ties with Zuiyo at the time, would be involved with Rocky Chuck afterwards as an uncredited producer, strengthening that show’s continuity with Triton.

Based on Tomino’s own testimony, it is customary to believe that Heidi forever changed his approach to directing, and that it is Takahata’s influence which gave birth to the “Tomino style”. However, while it is true that Takahata probably had a strong personal influence on Tomino, both Triton’s writing and Rocky Chuck’s storyboards show that, just before Heidi, the future director of Gundam had already established his own identity as a creator. Like all the other staff members of Rocky Chuck, it seems like Tomino took some time before he could find his footing; but there is a real progression in the episodes he directed, and his last two are without any doubt some of the finest in the series.

Episode 31

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

This episode displays the first of Tomino’s skills as a director and storyboarder: his use of the camera. It is almost always moving, whether panning or zooming in or out. Besides making the action more lively, it also challenges the animators – which was a perfect fit for the talented Yukiyoshi Hane, who delivered another standout performance here, especially in the animation of the heron character. The most impressive moment, however, is in the middle of the B part, when the camera adopts the point of view of an eagle searching for prey. Just this device, in narrative terms, is worth noting and absolutely unique in Rocky Chuck; but the direction elevates it even further, fluidly panning over the backgrounds and then focusing on certain objects through extreme closeups. Although it achieves the same effect of getting us into the character’s mind, the way Tomino does it is strikingly different from that of Hirata’s: the former’s approach is much more literal and direct.

Episode 45

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代)

If episode 31 was all about the camera, 45 exhibits Tomino’s unparalleled sense of spatiality – except for, of course, Takahata. A specificity of Tomino’s episodes on Rocky Chuck is that they often focus on a predator/prey relationship: here, it is mostly the one between Peter Rabbit and Reddy Fox. As Reddy hides in bushes to observe Peter and prepare his attack, we have a series of strong in-depth compositions with one of the two characters in the foreground and the other meters away in the depth of the image. The way Tomino managed to create a three-dimensional space just through the characters’ positions is not just excellent: just before Heidi came out and standardized such techniques, it was simply revolutionary for TV animation.

Tomino’s prodigious storyboards are the main, but not the only element that makes this episode the single best in Rocky Chuck. It is the first to take place in autumn, and the entirely redrawn backgrounds are simply sublime, full of color and life. The animation itself is among the best done by the Sakai team: in the A part, it is the rabbit Peter which is the highlight, full of life and in constant movement. In the B part, it is the ending scene of the episode which is impressive: a banquet organized by the animals to celebrate the coming of winter, it degenerates into a fight against the foxes who try to hunt some fresh prey. The animation is extremely good, and the direction perfectly supports it with the characteristic closeups and pans.

Episode 49

Writer= Itako Ayaka (?) (日高郁子)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

AD= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

KA= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代)

This episode, although very good, is essentially a repeat of the strengths exhibited by episode 45: strong animation by the Sakai team and very solid storyboards that establish an impressive sense of space. It seems that Tomino was making full use of the talent of the animators and background artists, giving his episodes a rare sense of coherence. Once again centering on Reddy’s efforts to catch prey, the writing is also very smart and makes for an experience that’s simply entertaining and fun.

Credits transcription

Note: the animators are credited under the heading 作画, translated here as “animation”. Without clear distinction between key animation and in-betweens, it is possible that, on episodes crediting three or four animators, one or two of the groups were doing what would now be called second key animation. The names followed by (?) are those whose reading was unclear or which might be pseudonyms.

Original Work= Thornton Burgess

Direction= Masaharu Endô (遠藤政治)

Series Composition= Yûji Tanno (丹野雄二)

Character Designs= Yasuji Mori (森やすじ)

Art Direction= Kazue Itô (伊藤主計)

#01

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation=  Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#02

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Reiko Tabe (田部冷子),   地真夫 (?), 金田弘 (?)

#03

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#04

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) 志保多秀孝 (?)

#05

Writer= Takako Shigemori (重森孝子)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) 志保多秀孝 (?)

#06

Writer= Takako Shigemori (重森孝子)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#07

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Director= Toshio Hirata  (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Mates: Kenzô Koizumi (小泉謙三), Teruo Handa (半田輝男 spelled as 半田輝雄) 原田京子 (?), Jirô Saruyama (猿山二郎) 

#08

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) 志保多秀孝 (?)

#09

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Za In: Kazuo Iimura (飯村一夫), Mitsuo Kusakabe (日下部光雄), Masayoshi Ozaki (尾崎正善)

#10

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#11

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Nobuhiro Okaseko (岡迫亘弘)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦)

#12

Writer= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#13

Writer= Morimitsu (?) (森光) 

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#14

Writer= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ), Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦)

#15

Writer= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Director= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#16 

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Za In: Kazuo Iimura (飯村一夫), Mitsuo Kusakabe (日下部光雄), Masayoshi Ozaki (尾崎正善)

#17

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#18

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田 義昭)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#19

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田 義昭)

Director = Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#20

Writer= Tôru Yamanaka (?) (山中博) Misspelling of Hirohiko Yamanaka? (山中博彦) Or Saitô (same kanji in the first name)

Director= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Oh Pro: Kôshin Yonekawa (米川功真), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), 鬼島勝利 (?)

#21

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata  (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#22

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboard= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

#23

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#24

Writer= Yûji Amemiya (雨宮雄児)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Za In: Kazuo Iimura (飯村一夫), Mitsuo Kusakabe (日下部光雄), Masayoshi Ozaki (尾崎正善)

#25

Writer = Keiji Kubota (久保田圭司)

Storyboards= Yoshio Kuroda (黒田昌郎)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#26

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#27

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#28

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Za In: Kazuo Iimura (飯村一夫), Mitsuo Kusakabe (日下部光雄), Masayoshi Ozaki (尾崎正善)

#29

Writer= Yutaka Kaneko (金子裕)

Storyboard= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#30

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboard= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

#31

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

#32

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Za In: Kazuo Iimura (飯村一夫), Mitsuo Kusakabe (日下部光雄), Masayoshi Ozaki (尾崎正善)

#33

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboard= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#34

Writer= Shigeki Chiba (千葉茂樹)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Kimiko Imano (?) (今野貴美子), 梅地午賀子 (?) 

#35

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Ichirô Kimura (?) (木村一郎)

#36

Writer= Itako Ayaka (?) (日高郁子)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Isao Utsumi (内海勇夫)

#37

Writer= Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Kimiko Imano (?) (今野貴美子), 梅地午賀子 (?), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二)

#38

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一)

#39

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Seiji Okuda (奥田誠治), Kazuo Kamimura (?) (上村一夫)

#40

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代), Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一)

#41

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二), Kimiko Imano (?) (今野貴美子)

#42

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ)

#43

Writer= Itako Ayaka (?) (日高郁子)

Storyboards= Yoshio Kuroda (黒田昌郎)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Moriyasu Taniguchi (谷口守泰)

#44

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Toshio Hirata (平田敏夫)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Kimiko Imano (?) (今野貴美子),  Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二)

#45

Writer=Yoshiaki Yoshida (吉田義昭)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代)

#46

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Norio Hikone (ひこねのりお)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦)

#47

Writer= Itako Ayaka (?) (日高郁子)

Storyboards= Yoshio Kuroda (黒田昌郎)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

#48

Writer= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Storyboards= Morimitsu (?) (森光)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし)

#49

Writer= Itako Ayaka (?) (日高郁子)

Storyboards= Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野喜幸)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Megumi Mizuta (水田めぐみ) Michiyo Sakurai (桜井美千代)

#50

Writer= Hiroshi Saitô (斎藤博)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二)

#51

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Shûji Yamazaki (山崎修二)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Yukiyoshi Hane (羽根章悦), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

#52

Writer= Hisao Okawa (大川久男)

Storyboards= Akira Negoro (根来昭)

Animation Director= Yasuji Mori (もりやすじ)

Animation= Shun’ichi Sakai (坂井俊一), Satoshi Oshima (大嶋さとし), Jôji Manabe (真鍋譲二)

One thought on “Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck

  1. Thanks for this great article. I knew this show because of the Andes Chucky reference from Shirobako but I wasn’t aware that it was a Masterpiece Theatre show. Looking forward to Heidi…

    Like

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