Toei and early TV anime – Part 2: the rise of gekiga anime (1966-1968)

This article is dedicated to the memory of Sanpei Shirato

This article is the second part of a series. You can read part 1 here

Ending its run in August 1965, Kaze no Fujimaru gave an impression of both the best and worst that TV anime could offer. It paved the way for visual and narrative experimentation, while allowing young animators such as Hayao Miyazaki, Keiichirô Kimura and Takao Kôzai to develop their skills in unprecedented ways. But it was also an extremely difficult production, which changed animation director mid-way and caused the departure of Daikichirô Kusube, one of Tôei’s best artists, when he protested against his labour conditions. 

When Fujimaru was over, the atmosphere in Tôei had become very different from when it had started. The studio had considerably expanded and launched 2 new TV series in 1965: Space Patrol Hopper and Hustle Punch. They were both under the helm of Yasuji Mori, one of Tôei’s most experienced artists who defended a child-oriented, delicate and minimalist approach to TV animation. From then on, Tôei would become a juggernaut within the industry, starting 2 new series almost every year, plus an intense production of B movies. To this end, it increasingly relied on cheap labour and outsourcing, without any care for working conditions.

This description may seem bleak, and it certainly is; but the new context within the studio didn’t completely kill off creativity. Many of Tôei’s promising artists, who had for the most part worked on Fujimaru, were determined to follow up on the possibilities the TV show had opened. This meant making a decisive move towards “adult” animation, that is complex storylines, visual experimentations, and a kind of animation that would go beyond the simplistic, round and friendly shapes of the characters of so-called “TV manga”. Just like young manga artists in the 60s had rejected Osamu Tezuka’s “story manga” style to create their own graphic novels called gekiga, artists in Tôei would slowly start making the move towards what would later be called gekiga anime.

Keiichirô Kimura before Tiger Mask

One of the figures most closely associated with gekiga anime is no doubt Keiichirô Kimura, famous for his iconic work as character designer, animation director and animator on 1969’s Tiger Mask. Daikichirô Kusube’s underclassman in highschool, Kimura was his protégé: in 1961, when he couldn’t enter live-action studio Shintôhô, he tried out Tôei’s animation division; and when he was refused at the studio’s entrance exam, Kusube forcibly integrated him. He did his first in-betweens next year, on Arabian Nights: Sinbdad no Bôken, and then on The Little Prince and Eight-Headed Dragon. Kimura wasn’t on a salary yet; he mentioned that what he got paid as an in-betweener was so insufficient that his parents sent him money to support him. 

Kimura followed Kusube on to Fujimaru. Since he was paid piece-rate, he drew as much as he could: alongside Yukiyoshi Hane, he was the show’s most productive animator. After his mentor’s departure, Kimura was about to leave as well, but Yasuo Otsuka, who saw the promise in this young man, dissuaded him; he then became one of the leaders of Tôei’s B division, that is TV series and short, low-profile movies. This was a smart decision, as he finally got a fulltime contract with Tôei and his salary considerably rose. Initially specializing in SF series, he debuted as character designer on two works: the TV series Rainbow Sentai Robin and the first Cyborg 009 movie.

Both properties were linked to a major figure of the manga world, with whom Tôei had decided to associate after Sanpei Shirato: Shôtarô Ishinomori. Ishinomori’s history with Tôei dated back to 1960’s Saiyûki: as an assistant of Osamu Tezuka at the time, he had the opportunity to visit Tôei to help on the movie’s storyboarding. He expressed an interest in animation, but the movie’s assistant director Daisuke Shirakawa persuaded him that it was too early to enter the business – however, he promised that Tôei would adapt his manga one day if it ever became popular. 

In May 1963, Ishinomori chose a more direct entry into animation and contributed to the creation of studio Zero with other Tezuka-associated mangaka: Jiro Tsunoda and his brother Kiyozaku, Shin’ichi Suzuki, the manga duo Fujio F. Fujiko (Masao Abiko and Hiroshi Fujimoto) and Fujio Akatsuka. They started subcontracting animation for other studios, with their first experience being Astro Boy #34. The episode was judged so terrible that Tezuka had it taken off all video issues released while he was alive and never worked with Zero again. Except for Suzuki, none of the members of studio Zero had any direct experience in animation. However, they quickly learned and Zero became a major actor of the industry with time, counting a staff of 100 (a third of Mushi’s) by the time of its collapse in 1971.

Similarly to what Gô Nagai would do with Dynamic Production starting 1969, Zero handled the rights of some IPs produced by its members. This was the case with Rainbow Sentai Robin, written and drawn by Suzuki (under the pseudo Akira Kazata), Abiko, Ishinomori and his assistants Takahashi and Kunio Hase. Under the “Studio Zero” credit, Abiko and Ishinomori contributed to the anime, especially at the writing and design stages, while Suzuki would lead a team of Zero animators on some episodes. But by 1966, Zero didn’t have the facilities or workforce to produce a TV series on their own: they therefore let Tôei in charge of the adaptation.

Like Fujimaru, Robin  was divided into two clearly distinct parts: the first, dominated by Kimura’s animation direction, followed the manga as the main characters try to fight off an alien invasion, while the second was made up of completely unrelated stories which all had a fantasy or SF element to them. It must be said that the first part is, narratively or visually, the least interesting one, and that the looser structure of the second one allowed for much more diversity and experimentation. However, it still warrants a few remarks on the evolution of Kimura’s art.

Today, we tend to associate Kimura mostly with character animation. That is no surprise considering that his most famous work on Tiger Mask largely falls under that category. But Kimura was not just a character animator: as his 60’s work illustrates, he was also a major innovator in the realm of effects. Before 1974 and the revolution triggered by Space Battleship Yamato, effects animation was a minor field, especially outside of liquid effects which were, since the early days of Tôei, the place where most efforts went in thanks to the studio’s effects expert Yasuo Otsuka. Beams and explosions were, on the other hand, largely secondary. It was therefore rather innovative, especially after the character-focused Fujimaru, for Kimura to put most of his efforts on effects in Robin. In the early episodes, the character animation was often basic or nonexistent: it was in the effects that the efforts went.

As the sequence above illustrates, what Kimura specialized in was beam and lightning animation. He tended to merge the two, having the beams adopt irregular geometrical shapes rather than straight lines. The variety of forms was impressive, as the beams sometimes regroup in thick lines, other times adopt more scattered formations in circular shapes. What Kimura did was a major step in the evolution of effects animation: it translated the concept of “pose” from character to effects animation, as each frame could now feature a new, original configuration. 

As Kimura himself formulated it, “like human action, [the beam] stretches and contracts.  If you use a regular shape and move it in sequence, it becomes boring. It’s the same with human movement and fire. In short, you have to change the form. That’s how you get momentum.” Basically, timing, spacing and modulation could now play a part in the movement of effects, which would stop being a neutral, boring and uniform canvas. In that sense, Kimura could even be said to be one of the inventors of effects animation as such.

In more general terms, Kimura tended to add motion and, ultimately, personality, to elements that did not have it beforehand. This approach is also visible in the way he would have some movements “overanimated”, so to speak. When we think of early TV anime and of “limited animation” as a whole, we tend to picture things that do not move: stiff bodies, simple lip flapping, still frames, etc. However, anime, especially in its early days, often compensated for this general lack of movement by moments of excessive motion, often those that would become bank sequences. In the scene shown above, good instances of this “overanimation” are the deaths of the bad guys: when they’re shot, they adopt a series of wild, exaggerated poses, jump up and turn around… On a basic level, such complexity isn’t really necessary; but it is one of the moments when Kimura’s work as animation director comes out clearly. Adding unnecessary and unpredictable poses, not for the sake of complexity or cartoony exaggeration, but simply to make a movement more original and interesting, was one of the most important aspects of his style.

However, such elements quickly become boring in Robin, since they were bank and constantly reused, from episode to episode and from scene to scene. To really appreciate Kimura’s animation, we must therefore turn to the only episode on which he is credited as key animator, episode 41. Although the animation director was Shin’ya Takahashi, Kimura’s style is everywhere, and he is probably the one who did the designs of the episode’s antagonist, an evil lord who looks like a character taken straight out from Tiger Mask.

Unlike people such as Kusube, Kotabe or Miyazaki, Kimura was no prodigy of timing or an expert in framerate modulation. The way he planned movements was probably more basic, leading his animation to look more mechanical, sometimes more awkward, in comparison. However, he compensated all that by an intense work on posing, of the kind that makes him instantly recognizable. Characters adopt complicated, dramatical poses with the arms and legs contorted in strange positions; the focus is not the motion itself but the poses. All this is supported by a pioneering work on layouts and especially perspectives, as the swords and arms lead the viewer’s eyes into the depth of the image.

Due to their formation on movies and so-called “full” animation, most of Tôei’s animators put their focus on the movement as a whole, even if the timings were irregular and the acting limited. Whereas the opposite philosophy is generally attributed to animators from Mushi Pro, it is within Tôei that Kimura operated a paradigm shift, one that would be key to the change operated by gekiga anime: the individual still frame would be as intricate and worthy of effort as was the entire motion. It would not be until 1968 and Star of the Giants, with Daikichirô Kusube as its animation director, that other artists, notably ex-Mushi Shingo Araki, would realize and further explore the potential of this innovation.

While Kimura was refining his style, other animators were only starting out on Robin. That was the case of two future major figures. The first one was Manabu Ohashi, who had made his first in-betweens on Fujimaru at just 15; he debuted as key animator at 16 on episode 10 of Robin. Just like Kimura had been with Kusube, Ohashi was something like Kimura’s protégé and would stay a member of his closest circle until 1968. After Cyborg 009, however, he became disillusioned with the way things were turning out in Tôei and he left the studio to become freelance. He occasionally helped Kimura out, notably working on the Tiger Mask pilot, but was on the verge of leaving the industry altogether when he saw Osamu Dezaki’s Ashita no Joe. In its animation, the show was following in Kimura’s steps, but with an even more radical and experimental approach to direction. Curious and fascinated by the men behind such a masterpiece, Ohashi tried to join Dezaki and Sugino’s inner circle in 1971. He did so by working on Joe’s cheap follow-up, another Tetsuya Chiba adaptation titled Kunimatsu-sama no Otoridai on which Akio Sugino and other Mushi animators were present. It worked, as when Kunimatsu was over, in September 1972, Masao Maruyama visited Ohashi and told him of the situation they were in: Mushi was going under, and him and a group of directors and animators were going to create a new studio of their own. Ohashi agreed to join them, and became one of the founding members of Madhouse.

Another legend of 70s anime that did some early work on Robin was Kazuo Komatsubara. Although his output on the show was minor (he is only credited on 2 episodes), Komatsubara is a key figure to understand how things evolved in Tôei: like Takao Kôzai and the artists from Hatena Pro, he was among the first animators to take part in Tôei’s outsourcing system rather than directly enter the company. In 1964, after failing to enter both Mushi and Otogi Productions, Komatsubara became a member of Tôei’s Omori branch, which was Tôei’s secondary animation school, not located in the main office in the Oizumi district of Tokyo, but further south in the city. While most students joined Tôei once their training was over, Komatsubara, along with four others and the studio’s creator, Zenjirô Yamamoto, decided to take their independence under the name “Children’s Corner”. Yamamoto, who was one of the original members of Nichidô before it became Tôei, was perhaps dissatisfied at the way things turned out and decided to do his own thing. The other possibility is that Tôei refused to take in new in-house artists and instead pushed Yamamoto and his students to keep working for them as a subcontractor. Children’s Corner was close to Tôei, but also to Zero, as they took charge of the animation of the Fujiko Fujio adaptation Osomatsu-kun, in 1966. On Robin, the two Children’s Corner episodes (#39 and #47) were under the animation direction of yet another Nichidô veteran, Masao Kumakawa.

In 1968, when Children’s Corner was dissolved and its members scattered all over, Komatsubara joined Hatena Pro. From there, he would keep collaborating with Kimura, notably on Tiger Mask. It is then during Tiger Mask’s production that Komatsubara, along with fellow Hatena Pro animators Kôichi Murata, Norio Shioyama and Kôshin Yonekawa created one of the most important subcontracting studios of the 70s, Oh! Productions.

Another important artist present on Robin was Shin’ichi Suzuki. This veteran had been a member of Otogi Pro, a small animation studio created in the 50s, and was the unofficial leader of studio Zero’s animation division. After working on episode 3 under Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi’s animation direction, Suzuki was animation director on 6 studio Zero episodes, directed by Kazukiyo Shigeno. These episodes don’t really stand out for their animation – it’s probable that Suzuki was the only really experienced animator on them. However, they are notable for at least one thing: the storyboarding. There was a profusion of extreme high or low-angle perspectives, which in turn invited complex layouts and some exceptionally strong drawings. The character drawings in some of the stills have such a strong sense of volume that it’s sometimes hard to believe.

With all this being said, let’s come back to Kimura. In early 1966, at the exact same time as Robin, he was working on something else: the first Cyborg 009 movie. Considering that both works were related to Ishinomori and shared the same sentai-like structure, with a group of superheroes, it’s possible that Ishinomori’s intention had been to adapt Cyborg 009 into a TV show all along. For whatever reason, Tôei wasn’t ready or willing, so they tested the waters with Robin and movies. In any case, the two Cyborg 009 movies that were released in 1966 and 1967 are the first example of Tôei’s “B movies” that would slowly take over the more prestigious features. The idea had been suggested by director-turned-writer-and-producer Daisuke Shirakawa and supported by producer Yoshifumi Hatano: it was to make medium-length movies (around an hour long), related to already existing franchises, with fewer means or ambition. In many ways, these were just extended, colored TV episodes.

Both movies, like the Cyborg 009 TV series, were directed by Yûgo Serikawa, a director in Tôei since the early 60s and notably of the revolutionary Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon; he had also done some of Robin’s best episodes. In these years, he was probably in close collaboration with Kimura, although they stopped working together after Cyborg 009. In terms of staff, both movies were extremely close, with the difference that the second one, War with the Monster, had even less animators. Kimura was animation director, with Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi being his uncredited assistant on the second movie. Among the animators were the usual members of Kimura’s close circle of TV animators: Manabu Ohashi, Shin’ya Takahashi, Eiji Uemura, Keisuke Morishita and Yoshio Kabashima. It’s interesting to note that none of them worked with Kimura after Cyborg 009, and that two of them, Morishita and Kabashima, joined Kusube’s A Production in 1968. When Kimura himself left Tôei, he possibly triggered a new series of departures – but, ironically for Kimura, most animators seem to have preferred to join Kusube rather than him.

Visually, the movies retained the clean look of Robin’s early episodes, without any of the roughness that would go on to make Kimura famous. In that regard, they are therefore rather conservative, although the character animation retains the sense of nervousness mentioned above. But it is in the effects that Kimura and his team seems to have tried to innovate, especially with water and fire shapes. Some explosions were truly masterful in their execution, and good enough to be reused as is in the TV series. The first movie especially is notable for what seems to be attempts at developing real mechanical animation: that is, animate machines not just as indifferent objects but as something special, modeled on the way real machines work and move. The efforts in that direction still have ways to go, but they already exhibit something that would quickly develop around Tôei when it started doing mecha, especially in the hands of Kazuo Komatsubara and Kazuhide Tomonaga: an impressive sense of volume which sets the machines in a real, three-dimensional space.

On the Cyborg 009 TV series, Kimura delivered his first truly iconic work with the opening sequence, one of the most well-known pieces of 60s TV animation. The storyboarding was incredibly dynamic, and the short morphing sequences of the title or characters are still very fun to watch. But the best aspect is all the bits of camera movement and rotations, perhaps the first instances of it in Kimura’s career. He had always been playing around with complex layouts, but this was taking a step further, towards more complex and surprising techniques. Background animation was already rather common, but perspective changes and rotations, especially on complex objects such as characters and vehicles, were basically unheard of.

While not quite as impressive, Kimura’s animation direction pulled no stops either. Kimura was animation director on 5 episodes, the most spectacular among them being #13: it is an almost constant shower of action with beams flying everywhere and characters jumping in all directions. The layouts are often quite complex with stark perspectives, which all invite the kind of deformation that Kimura was starting to become famous for.

However, by the time Cyborg 009 was completed, Kimura was probably finding it harder to stay within Tôei. Like many of his colleagues, he had started doing part-time, uncredited work for other studios. Whereas most Tôei animators went over to work in Mushi, Kimura went to Tatsunoko, a studio whose aesthetic and animation philosophy were perhaps closer to his. He made some small contributions to Mach GoGoGo in 1967 and Kurenai Sanshirô in 1969. But the determining factor was yet another Ishinomori adaptation which was, along with Tokyo Movie’s Star of the Giants and Mushi’s Dororo, the birthplace of gekiga anime: Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae.

Sabu to Ichi is a strange show, somewhere between complete chaos and pure experimentation. It was a co-production between no less than three studios (Zero and Mushi, joined by Tôei in the second half when Zero’s executives realized Mushi couldn’t pull off half the episodes on its own) where each studio would come in with their own production model, and even voice actors. Mushi’s episodes, directed by Rintarô and supervised by Moribi Murano, Akio Sugino, and Kiyomi Numamoto, tried to develop stylized visuals with simple animation, sometimes experimenting with as little drawings as possible. For example, episode 14 was made with only 800 frames – it was barely moving. On a completely opposite end of the spectrum, Zero’s team, which counted a young Noboru Ishiguro among its episode directors, reportedly aimed for realism, rotoscoping live-action footage they had taken of a real dôjo. At some point, even Mushi’s team went so far as to insert entire live-action sequences for some of the fights.

As for Kimura, he made full use of something that neither Zero nor Mushi had acquired yet: a Xerox machine. The Xerox printer was the technical revolution that made the gekiga anime aesthetic possible: automatizing the tracing process from paper to cel, it allowed the animator’s drawings to be directly visible on the screen, without any clean-up or modifications. This was exactly what Kimura needed, and he used for the first time, to its full potential, on his episodes of Sabu to Ichi. Not only did his posing become even more original than before, but his linework was now completely visible, with speed lines, rough outlines and stark shading effects.

Just as he had reached a new stage in his art, Kimura decided to take a major step in his career. Perhaps spurred on by Sabu to Ichi’s peculiar atmosphere, he left Tôei to create his own studio, Neo Media. After Tiger Mask, which was Kimura’s last work for Tôei, Neo Media started subcontracting mostly for Tokyo Movie, and divided in 2 teams. Kimura himself and his student Yasuhiro Yamaguchi would work on the studio’s more dramatic series, such as Lupin III, Akado Suzunosuke and Kôya no Shônen Isamu. On the other hand, Yoshiyuki Momose and Masayuki Uchiyama were on Tokyo Movie’s comedies, like The Gutsy Frog, Tensai Bakabon and Hajime Ningen Gyatorz. This organization would end in the late 70s, as Momose joined Nippon Animation, Uchiyama Yoshinori Kanada’s studio Z, and Yamaguchi Akira Daikuhara’s studio Carpenter. But by then, Neo Media had grown enough and would remain a consistent actor on the subcontracting market until Keiichirô Kimura’s death in 2018.

Following up on Fujimaru: the origins and production of Hols, Prince of the Sun

For Kimura, doing animation on Tokyo Movie shows meant working alongside the people he had been with years before, on Fujimaru: Yôichi Kotabe, Hayao Miyazaki, and a director he had never directly worked under, Isao Takahata. For these three and the group they had gathered around them in Tôei, Fujimaru was also an important step: indeed, it was a major inspiration for their first masterpiece, Takahata’s Hols, Prince of the Sun.

To understand Hols’ production, it is necessary to go back where this series of articles started: before Fujimaru even began airing, that is early 1964. Tôei had decided to prioritize TV production and therefore slowed down that of features. They would release no film in 1964, and just one in early 1965, Gulliver’s Space Travels, made by the staff that could be spared from the concurrently airing Wolf Boy Ken. Just as Gulliver was about to come out, animator Yasuo Otsuka was approached by the planning department and offered to become the animation director for the studio’s next movie, which would be scheduled to come out in 1966. The way things were turning out in the company, everybody believed that it would be the studio’s last feature. Otsuka accepted, on two conditions: that the movie be an adaptation of the folk tale “Tarô the Dragon Boy”, and that Isao Takahata would direct it. Tôei’s executives agreed, a decision that they would regret for the years to come.

Takahata had entered Tôei in 1959, passing the studio’s first exam for assistant directors by presenting (among other things) a memo on a possible adaptation of “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” that would be titled Our Princess Kaguya. He debuted on the position in 1961, on Anju and Zushiomaru, and 2 years later on The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon. He would begin directing in earnest on 11 episodes of Wolf Boy Ken, before he was transferred to Otsuka’s project. Trouble quickly began as Takahata and Otsuka’s first proposal to adapt Tarô was rejected on the grounds of the story being too short and unsuitable for a full-length feature. Ironically, Tôei adapted the story for one of their B movies in 1979; when character designers Yôichi Kotabe and Reiko Okuyama asked the studio to make Takahata the director, the answer they received was that Takahata was “absolutely out of the question”.

After this first failure, Takahata contacted puppet theater artist Kazuo Fukazawa so that they could adapt the Ainu folk tale “The Sun over Chikisani”, but that proposal was rejected again. Once again, they were told the scale wasn’t the right one for a feature, but the real reason was probably a political one, considering the Ainu’s status as a discriminated minority in Japan. By that point, it was December 1965, and Fujimaru had stopped airing; the movie’s team started taking shape, as Yôichi Kotabe and Hayao Miyazaki could join Takahata. Miyazaki’s arrival on the production was a turning point: he knew Takahata well, since the latter had been the former’s secretary in the studio’s union in 1964. Slowly but surely, Miyazaki started taking Otsuka’s place as Takahata’s right-hand man, and he was the one to co-write the next proposals with the director. Finally, in March 1966, the fifth proposal presented by Takahata and Miyazaki and rewritten by Nakazawa was accepted. During this slow and painful process, multiple animators were sent to work on the currently-airing Hustle Punch.

Preparatory sketches of Hilda made during the preproduction, by Hayao Miyazaki, Akemi Ota, Reiko Okuyama, Yôichi Kotabe and Yasuo Otsuka; at the center is the final design, by Yasuji Mori

In parallel to scriptwriting, the character design creation was also going on. Every animator on the movie submitted their own drafts, with the final characters mostly designed by Miyazaki, Kotabe and Okuyama. The two main characters were designed by the two most experienced artists on board: Yasuo Otsuka (Hols) and Yasuji Mori (Hilda). When looking at the movie’s production materials and character drafts, it’s however visible that even Otsuka’s design for Hols must have been modified, probably by Miyazaki: Otsuka’s drawings are much more angular than in Miyazaki’s own drafts and image boards, closer to the final character. Miyazaki (and Kotabe’s) intervention is central, because it explains the remarkable similarity between Hols and Fujimaru; it is even said that the decision to give Hols an axe as his main weapon may have been inspired by the axe fight animated by Kotabe in episode 3 of Fujimaru.

The Shirato inspiration in fact goes deeper. Perhaps thanks to Fujimaru and also to his avowed Marxist politics, Shirato was popular within Tôei, and especially with Hols’ staff, mainly union members. Looking into Shirato characters reveals another one remarkably close to Hols in design: that is Watari, from Shirato’s eponymous 1965 manga which was adapted by Tôei in a live-action movie in 1966. Just like Hols, Watari wears furs and is equipped with an axe attached to a rope.

Besides this influence, there were even more direct links between Hols’ staff and Shirato. Shirato’s most ambitious manga, Kamui-den, was published in the magazine Garo, which was a hub for many gekiga and experimental artists in the late 60s. Just like Takahata and Hols’ staff felt deeply uncomfortable with the way Tezuka had pioneered “limited” animation techniques, the artists in Garo rebelled against Tezuka and his students’ domination over the manga world. Garo was therefore a favorite in Tôei, in contrast with Mushi where people were naturally readers of the Tezuka-coordinated COM (for reference, Kimura’s circle was gravitating around Shônen Magazine, which was where Cyborg 009 – and Watari – was published). The links were so close that Seiichi Hayashi, a Tôei animator who left the studio in 1965 after giving up on Hols’ progress (he would be brought back, uncredited, to work on the movie during the last stretch), would start writing manga for Garo in 1967. In 1970, it is there that he published his most famous work, Elegy in Red, an autobiographical story about his time in Tôei.

In any case, by early 1966, the movie’s production could begin in earnest. However, things progressed slowly, as the storyboard wasn’t even completed and Takahata wanted to make the film even longer than the planned 80 minutes. The entire staff was desperate, as they believed it was their last occasion to do something of that scale; but in late 1966, Tôei’s management decided it was time to stop things from going overboard. They let Takahata and Otsuka work on storyboards, but sent all the animators to do more productive work – that is, sent them on TV series. This is how, between December 1966 and March 1967, Rainbow Sentai Robin benefited from 3 episodes by the Hols team.

The first one was episode 34, aired in December 1966. The animation direction was by Kotabe, and the animation by Seiichi Hayashi and many of Hols’ in-betweeners: Shigetsugu Yoshida, Shigeo Matoba, Yoisho Aizo and Teruo Hattori (Hayashi’s presence may indicate that he did not leave in 1965, as indicated above. Or maybe he was just there as a freelancer, helping out his friends who were in a tight spot). The episode is a great example of how experimental the second half of Robin could get, as it takes its story directly from horror movies and privileges a slow, moody direction to big action and movements. The standout is a long flashback, composed only of highly stylized still images, which is most probably the work of Seiichi Hayashi: the most experimental among Tôei’s artists, he probably directed the background artists for this sequence. In terms of design, the evil old man who’s the antagonist of the episode is clearly inspired by the character of Hols’ father, a Miyazaki design which would provide Kotabe with a template for old men throughout the rest of his career. In some sequences, probably animated or heavily corrected by Kotabe himself, it is Robin who looks incredibly close to Hols in the expressions. The similarity between some of Robin’s faces and the way Hols looks in the movie’s opening scene may indicate that this iconic scene was among the first to be completed and that Kotabe more-or-less reused it.

The second Hols-team episode was 38, with Reiko Okuyama as animation director and Okamura Mitsuru, Hols’ assistant director, directing it. While this wasn’t the very first, for a woman to do animation direction on a TV episode was still exceptional. It was, in fact, probably just the second time in anime history, after Okuyama’s earlier episodes on Wolf Boy Ken. All of the animators were in-betweeners on Hols, with the exception of Hayao Miyazaki, who animated at least most of the B part. This long span of animation is incredibly important in Miyazaki’s career, since it features his first mechanical animation, and probably his very first mechanical designs in an impressive and silly battle between aliens and robots. The plot itself must have been heavily influenced by Miyazaki, since the entire episode looks like a story taken out of Gulliver’s Space Travels. Besides the incredible moments of dogfighting, this was also the occasion for Miyazaki to show off the cartoony side of his animation; in that regard, he was undoubtedly more imaginative than Kotabe, and doesn’t seem to have recycled any ideas from Hols.

Finally, the last related episode of Robin was #44, with Kotabe and Okuyama as the two animation directors. Most of its animators were in-betweeners on Hols, though the most important one was Akemi Ota, here credited under Akemi Miyazaki. But perhaps even more interesting than Ota’s is the presence of legendary 60’s animator Daizô Takeuchi; although I’m not completely sure, this may even have been his key animation debut. In any case, Takeuchi is much easier to spot than Ota, as one of the antagonists relies on a sort of cooking robot that is the occasion for many weird antics and cartoony character acting. The episode as a whole is also a good occasion to see some of Okuyama’s early designs: they don’t look like Kotabe’s, and Miyazaki wasn’t there to interfere with the process.

When Robin was done airing, in March 1967, the storyboarding of Hols was more-or-less complete. Animation work was resumed and rushed so that the in-betweening and coloring could be completed by January or February 1968. Things were the hardest for Takahata, who had to keep negotiating with producers in order to avoid any cuts and make official apologies everytime the production went over budget or didn’t respect the schedule. In the end, many compromises had to be made, but Takahata managed to keep two village attack scenes in the movie, even if they wouldn’t be properly animated. While it is certain that, under better conditions, these sequences would have been animated in a “normal” way, perhaps Takahata realized that this desperate move was feasible thanks to yet another Sanpei Shirato adaptation: that was Nagisa Oshima’s 1967 movie Ninja Bugeichô, which simply consisted of pans over panels of Shirato’s manga with voice-over. There is no proof that Takahata even saw the movie (although that is probable considering how popular Shirato was, and how Oshima must have been as well in Takahata’s circles), or that he liked it. But Oshima had proved that even the most limited kind of “animation” could work on audiences, and Takahata was in a desperate situation anyways.

There are many others, less visible, signs of how difficult the conditions of Hols’ production were. By the end, Takahata and Otsuka had to bargain down to the number of drawings and cels each scene would use. A thorough analysis of one of the movie’s most impressive scenes, the marriage of Rusan and Phillia, has revealed that it was all done on a single cel. In the end, it is doubtful whether this really saved costs, as it must have entailed an incredibly heavy amount of work from the animator Yôichi Kotabe and the tracing staff. But it shows that the conditions were such that the production had to lower even the number of cels.

Despite all the setbacks, Hols was finally completed and came out in July 1968. Although Tôei purposely sabotaged its run in theaters, making it as short as possible, the movie became an instant classic, repeatedly being shown at the screening of the animation association Anidô. It is also probable that copies circulated among animators, at least inside Tôei, during the early 70s: basically every major animator that entered the industry after 1968 had seen Hols or was made to watch it by senior artists.

While this happened, things weren’t as easy for the people who had worked on the movie. As soon as he had the opportunity, Yasuo Otsuka left (of his own volition – he wasn’t fired) to join his old friend Daikichirô Kusube’s A Production. Takahata was immediately blacklisted and shelved to direct TV episodes until he left, on completely forgotten series like Môretsu Atarô, Apache Yakyûgun or, slightly more famous, the 1971 version of Gegege no Kitarô. In comparison, animators like Kotabe, Miyazaki, Okuyama and Ota had it pretty good: their time on TV was short, just helping out on a few episodes of Himitsu no Akko-chan before Yasuji Mori managed to get them back on movies with Puss’n Boots which started its production just when Hols’ ended.

Now is not the place to go in depth into Hols’ animation, but it is enough to say that it was the apex of Tôei’s feature films production and the logical conclusion of everything that had been going on within the studio since its creation. Animation had never reached such a level of mastery and intensity, whether in Japan or elsewhere. It is easy to picture Hols as a beginning, the movie that started it all and established the distant origins of studio Ghibli. However, from the perspective of this piece, Hols was essentially an ending. Miyazaki and Kotabe’s animation, which had emerged in Fujimaru as a vessel for emotion, strength and even brutality never seen before on the screen, culminated in Hols’ opening scene; never again would their work as animators have just this much raw power as they slowly oriented themselves towards more simple, cartoony and child-oriented works. It was truly the end of their – and Takahata’s – resolutely adult and political orientation as it had been inspired and, in a way, directed by Sanpei Shirato’s work.

The same could be said of more experienced animators. Although Yasuji Mori would stay active in the industry for a few more years, his animation of Hilda was by far the highest point of his career; he reached a level he never quite managed to replicate after that. This just showed how important characterization was: Hilda was a complex character, perhaps the first three-dimensional female character in anime history, the kind of character Mori had been waiting for during all of his career as animator. Similarly, the intensity of some fight scenes in the movie challenged Yasuo Otsuka further than any of his previous work, pushing him to introduce complex framerate modulation within his own vocabulary and to make some of the greatest moments in anime history.

By the time Hols came out, Yôichi Kotabe and Keiichirô Kimura didn’t have much in common anymore. They had learnt animation under the same teacher, Daikichirô Kusube, and were both about to leave Tôei, but their animation styles and philosophies were growing further apart. But the seeds that they and others had sown on Kaze no Fujimaru were quickly growing as TV anime was becoming more complex and adult. The revolution associated with gekiga, one both narrative and visual, had started in manga but now reached animation. Even as Kotabe, Miyazaki and Takahata soon distanced themselves from the movement after Hols, they had been actors of this industry-wide change.

However, things weren’t just as simple as linear artistic evolutions. What this history has shown is that the history of art, especially in a commercial industry such as anime, is a thoroughly political process. Gekiga itself, especially in Sanpei Shirato’s hands, was a sort of political militancy. It was similar in anime, as artists all fought for their artistic freedoms and basic rights as workers, and for the possibility to make art that was openly political. But for animators, this quickly backfired: freelancing and outsourcing, initially the only leverage artists had to conquer some more freedom as workers, like what Kusube and Kimura had done, became the center of a vicious cycle of exploitation that still plagues the anime industry today.

Bibliography

Clements, Jonathan. 2013. Anime: A History. Palgrave McMillan.

Ettinger, Benjamin. 2005. “Ken the Wolf Boy”. Anipages. http://web.archive.org/web/20180813183745/http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php/ken_the_wolf_boy

Ettinger, Benjamin. 2007. “A Production/Shin-Ei Animation”. Anipages. http://web.archive.org/web/20190215214515/http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php/a_production

Ettinger, Benjamin. 2015. “Fight-Da!! Pyûta”. Anipages. http://web.archive.org/web/20200501235813/http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php/fight-pyuta

Haraguchi, Masahiro. 2005. “Let’s Learn about Sabu to Ichi“. WEB Animestyle. http://www.style.fm/as/13_special/13_netsu_sabu_main.shtml [Japanese]

Kimura, Keiichirô. 2001. “Animator Interview – Keiichirô Kimura”. WEB Animestyle. http://www.style.fm/as/01_talk/kimura01.shtml [Japanese]

Ohashi Manabu, Morimoto Kôji, Kobayashi Osamu. 2001. “Future Anime”. Mao Cloud Official Website. https://www.maocloud.net/talk/%E6%9C%AA%E6%9D%A5%E3%81%AE%E3%82%A2%E3%83%8B%E3%83%A1/ [Japanese]

Pruvost-Delaspre, Marie. 2021. Aux Sources de l’Animation Japonaise: Le Studio Tôei Dôga (1956-1972) [The Origins of Japanese Animation: Tôei Dôga Studio (1956-1972)]. Presses Universitaires de Rennes. [French]

Shirakawa, Daisuke. 2004. “Tôei Animation Research – Daisuke Shirakawa Interview – Part 6: Fujimaru and the first Tôei Manga Festival”. WEB Animestyle. http://www.style.fm/log/02_topics/top041213.html [Japanese]

Saitô Chikashi, Tsutsui Ryoko et al. (editors). 2019. Takahata Isao. A Legend in Japanese Animation. NHK Promotions Inc. Published following the exhibition Takahata Isao. A Legend in Japanese Animation at the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art.

Many thanks to Seiji Kanô for sharing so much of his invaluable research on Twitter

Rainbow Sentai Robin credits transcription

Planning: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬) (#01-13), Akira Onosawa (?) (小野沢寛) (#01-08), Atsumu Saitô (?) (斉藤侑) (#14-26), Katsuyuki Onuma (#14-48), 馬島巽 (#26-48)

Original Work: Studio Zero (スタジオゼロ)

Series Composition: Studio Zero (スタジオゼロ)

Music: Kôichi Hattori (服部公一)

Production: Tôei Animation (東映動画)

#01

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男 credited as 平村文夫), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広)

Art: No credit

#02

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Hiroshi Azuma (我妻宏), Kenzô Koizumi (小泉謙三)

In-betweens: Tetsuo Imazawa (今沢哲男), 鎌田安子, 香西恵子, 加藤典江

Art: No credit

#03

Screenplay: Hiroshi Ozawa (小沢洋), Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾)

Animation Direction: Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

Key Animation: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一), Shôzô Kubota (久保田彰三), Akio Itô (?) (伊藤光男), Akira Tanaka (?) (田中享)

In-betweens: Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#04

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Ken’ya Tanaka (?) (田中憲也 credited as 田中憲昭), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#05

Screenplay: Jun’ichi Takahashi (高橋潤一, pseudo for Daisuke Shirakawa 白川大作)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広 credited as 山田一宏), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#06

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens:  Ken’ya Tanaka (?) (田中憲也 credited as 田中憲昭), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#07

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens:  Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学),Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#08

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Man Okamura (?) (竹田満)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#09

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#10

Screenplay: Seiji Katô (?) (加藤精二)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学)

In-betweens: Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#11

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

In-betweens: Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広),  Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#12

Screenplay: Jun’ichi Takahashi (高橋潤一, pseudo for Daisuke Shirakawa 白川大作)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学)

In-betweens: Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#13

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘)

Key Animation: Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也) , Yoshio Kabashima (椛島義夫), Keisuke Morishita (森下圭介), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武)

In-betweens: Masahiro Osaki (?) (大崎道泰), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#14

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Saburô Mori (?) (森三郎)

Animation: Akiichi Kakuta (?) (角田昭一), Tatsuzô Suzuki (?) (鈴木龍造), Tetsuo Aoki (?) (青木哲夫), Hiroshi Takizaki (?) (滝博志)

Art: Ayari Sawane (?) (沢根文利)

#15

Screenplay: Bunshô Sado (?) (佐渡文章)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Takashi Abe (阿部隆)

Animation: Noboru Sekiai (堰合昇), Tetsuta Ikano (?) (生野徹太), Shigetsugu Yoshida (吉田茂承), Ayako Nakatani (?) (中谷恭子), Yoshio Aizo (相磯嘉雄), Takao Sakano (?) (坂野隆夫), Kachiko Sakano (?) (坂野勝子), Takao Kurozawa (?) (黒沢隆夫), Yoshinobu Usuda (薄田嘉信), Shigeo Matoba (的場茂夫)

In-betweens: Shôji Ikehara (池原昭治), Teruo Hattori (服部照夫), Kinsaburô Muramatsu (?) (村松錦三郎), Tatsuji Kurahashi (倉橋達治 credited as 倉橋孝治), Kôichi Tsunoda (角田紘一), Mariyo Ishiyama (石山毬緒), Daizô Takeuchi (竹内大三)

Art: Makoto Yamazaki (山崎誠)

#16

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Isamu Nishimoto (?) (西本晟浩), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Yasutake Iribe (入辺康武), Yumi Murata (村田弓)

Art: Ayari Sawane (?) (沢根文利)

#17

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Isamu Nishimoto (?) (西本晟浩), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Yasutake Iribe (入辺康武), Yumi Murata (村田弓)

Jirô Morita (?) (森田二郎), Jun’ichi Sumiaki (?) (角昭二), Toshio Nakagi (?) (仲木敏男), Haruo Uze (?) (大瀬晴男)

Art: Ayari Sawane (?) (沢根文利)

#18

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: Akira Tanaka (田中享), Seishi Kaitô (甲藤征史 credited as 荻村純忠), Kazuhiko Inoue (?) (井上和彦), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清), Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆), Takashi Suitani (?) (水谷隆志)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#19

Screenplay: Michio Suzuki (鈴樹三千夫)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Akiichi Kakuta (?) (角田昭一)

Animation:  Isamu Nishimoto (?) (西本晟浩), Takao Môri (?) (毛利孝雄), Sunao Koku (?) (谷良), Kôjirô Takahashi (?) (高橋幸二郎), Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Saburô Mori (?) (森三郎)

Art: Ayari Sawane (?) (沢根文利)

#20

Screenplay: Hiroshi Ozawa (小沢洋)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Isamu Nishimoto (?) (西本晟浩), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Yasutake Iribe (入辺康武), Yumi Murata (村田弓)

Art: Ayari Sawane (?) (沢根文利)

#21

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Animation: Masami Hata (波多正美), Eiichi Yoshida (?) (吉田英一), Motoji Suzuki (?) (鈴木基司), Takao Yamazaki (山崎隆生), Masako Oi (?) (大井まさ子)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#22

Screenplay: Kaya Miyoshi (三芳加也)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Hajime Atarai (?) (新はじめ), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Hitoshi Minagawa (?) (宮川裕介), Isamu Abe (?) (八部虎武)

In-betweens: Kenji Minami (?) (南健二), Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#23

Screenplay: Bunta Higashi (?) (東文太)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: Akira Tanaka (田中享), Seishi Kaitô (甲藤征史 credited as 荻村純忠), Kazuhiko Inoue (?) (井上和彦), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清), Takashi Suitani (?) (水谷隆志), Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#24

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Eiichi Yoshida (?) (吉田英一)

Animation: Masao Hatakeyama (?) (畑山正和), Motoji Suzuki (?) (鈴木基司), Takao Yamazaki (山崎隆生), Masako Oi (?) (大井まさ子 credited as 大井正子), Kikuo Yamashita (?) (山下喜久夫), Isamu Onoki (?) (大野木一)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#25

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Animation: Hidemi Maeda (前田英美 credited as 前田秀実), Eiichi Watanabe (渡辺栄一), Shinji Ohira (?) (平野進), Aki Nakamura (?) (中村彰), Yoshio Mukainakano (向中野義雄), Jin Dôzan (?) (堂山稔)

Isako Taniguchi (?) ( 谷口公子), Sadami Tamura (?) (田村正美), Tamae Matsusumi (松隈玉江), Tadao Nakamura (?) (中村正夫)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#26

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ credited as 信はじめ?), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子)

In-betweens: Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#27

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 吉野次郎)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ credited as 信はじめ?), Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子)

Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#28

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ credited as 信はじめ?), Yoichirô Kage (?) (影陽一郎), Ichio Kichinaga (?) (吉永一夫), Haruo Yamada (?) (山田春夫), Shin’ichi Sudô (?) (須藤新一)

Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#29

Screenplay: Yasuaki Nakame (?) (中根芳明)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: Akira Tanaka (田中享), Seishi Kaitô (甲藤征史 credited as 荻村純忠), Kazuhiko Inoue (?) (井上和彦), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清), Takashi Suitani (?) (水谷隆志), Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#30

Screenplay: Yûgo Serikawa (芹川有吾 credited as 山中肇)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ), Yoichirô Kage (?) (影陽一郎), Ichio Kichinaga (?) (吉永一夫), Haruo Yamada (?) (山田春夫), Shin’ichi Sudô (?) (須藤新一)

Haruo Yamada (?) (山田春夫), Shin’ichi Sudô (?) (須藤新一), Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二), Masami Hagiwara (萩原正巳), Akitsugu Kitaue (?) (北上晃)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#31

Screenplay: Toyohiro Andô (安藤豊弘)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: Akira Tanaka (田中享), Seishi Kaitô (甲藤征史 credited as 荻村純忠), Kazuhiko Inoue (?) (井上和彦), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清), Takashi Suitani (?) (水谷隆志), Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#32

Screenplay: Kaya Miyoshi (三芳加也)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Toshio Mori (森利夫), Yoichirô Kage (?) (影陽一郎), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Masami Hagiwara (萩原正巳), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ),  Ichio Kichinaga (?) (吉永一夫), Haruo Yamada (?) (山田春夫), Shin’ichi Sudô (?) (須藤新一)

Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子), Hiroko Hatahara (?) (畠原博子), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#33

Screenplay: Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Shin’ichi Sudô (?) (須藤新一), Ichio Kichinaga (?) (吉永一夫), Haruo Yamada (?) (山田春夫), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Yoichirô Kage (?) (影陽一郎), Masami Hagiwara (萩原正巳)

Miyuki Tanaka (田中みゆき), Akitsugu Kitaue (?) (北上晃), Kenji Minami (?) (南健二), Seiko Iwasawa (岩沢せい子)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#34

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦), Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Episode Direction: Shizuo Murayama (村山鎮雄)

Animation Direction: Yôichi Kotabe (小田部羊一)

Animation: Seiichi Hayashi (林静一), Shigetsugu Yoshida (吉田茂承), Tetsuta Ikano (?) (生野徹太), Shigeo Matoba (的場茂夫)

Yoshio Aizo (相磯嘉雄), Tatsuji Kurahashi (倉橋達治 credited as 倉橋孝治), Teruo Hattori (服部照夫)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#35

Screenplay: Toyohiro Andô (安藤豊弘)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎)

Animation: Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘), Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也), Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Tadashi Shirakawa (白川忠志 credited as 白川忠司), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男)

Tsuneyasu Kashima (鹿島恒保), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広), Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Kimiko Taniguchi (?) (谷口君子), Hiroyuki Kawaguchi (?) (川口洋征)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#36

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), 藤城義一, Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子)

Teruaki Hirôka (?) (広岡光昭), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ), Akiichi Kakuta (?) (角田昭一), Hitoshi Minagawa (?) (宮川裕介 credited as 宮川裕治)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#37

Screenplay: Bunta Higashi (?) (東文太)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: Akira Tanaka (田中享), Seishi Kaitô (甲藤征史 credited as 荻村純忠), Kazuhiko Inoue (?) (井上和彦), Kurinohara Isami (?) (栗原清)

Takashi Suitani (?) (水谷隆志), Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#38

Screenplay: Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Episode Direction: Mitsuzaki Takeda (?) (竹田満)

Animation Direction: Reiko Okuyama (奥山玲子)

Animation: Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎駿), Shôji Ikehara (池原昭治), Ayako Nakatani (?) (中谷恭子), Katsuko Sakano (?) (坂野勝子)

Yoshinobu Usuda (薄田嘉信), Kôichi Tsunoda (角田紘一), Mario Ishiyama (石山毬緒)

Art: Isamu Tsuchida (土田勇)

#39

Screenplay: Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Masao Kumakawa (熊川正雄)

Animation: Shirô Murata (村田四郎), Kazuo Komatsubara (小松原一男), Yasuhiko Suzuki (?) (鈴木康彦), Kenji Tsuchii (?) (土居研次), Tarô Suzuki (?) (鈴木太郎), Kôji Minagawa (宮川滉二), Jôji Manabe (?) (真鍋譲二), Yukinori Noguchi (?) (野口幸徳)

Kiyoko Takada (?) (高田洋子), Emiko Itô (?) (伊藤恵美子), Ayako Kazama (?) (笠間順子), Saeko Kôki (?) (高木三枝子), Shirô Murayama (?) (村山四郎)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#40

Screenplay: Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Kenzô Koizumi (小泉謙三)

Animation: Tetsuo Imazawa (今沢哲男), Ayako Kasai (?) (香西恵子)

Takemichi Honma (?) (本間建道), Tomiko Takada (?) (高田冨美子), Akio Yoshihara (?) (吉原彰雄), Reiji Iida (?) (飯田黎二)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#41

Screenplay: Toyohiro Andô (安藤豊弘)

Episode Direction: Yasuo Yamaguchi (山口康男)

Animation Direction: Shin’ya Takahashi (高橋信也)

Animation: Keiichirô Kimura (木村圭市郎), Tetsuhiro Wakabayashi (若林哲弘), Eiji Uemura (上村栄司), Tadashi Shirakawa (白川忠志), Manabu Ohashi (大橋学), Isamu Tamazawa (?) (玉沢武), Fumio Hairamura (?) (平村文男), Tsuneyasu Kashima (鹿島恒保)

Ariya Eimoto (?) (榎本有也), Ichihirô Yamada (?) (山田一広) 

Haruko Iwatsuka (?) (岩塚美子), Kimiko Taniguchi (?) (谷口君子), Isao Sakurai (桜井勇), Hiroyuki Kawaguchi (?) (川口洋征), Akiichi Kakuta (?) (角田昭一), Kimiko Uchida (?) (内田君子)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#42

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦), Katsuyuki Onuma (大沼克之 credited as 朝風薫)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), 藤城義一, Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子)

Teruaki Hirôka (?) (広岡光昭), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ), Hitoshi Minagawa (?) (宮川裕介 credited as 宮川裕治)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

 #43

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 小島和彦)

Episode Direction: Tomoharu Katsumata (勝間田具治)

Animation Direction: Michimasa Echiai (?) (落合道正)

Animation: Michimasa Echiai (?) (落合道正), Tsuyoshi Takakura (高倉つよし)

Takahachi Horiichi (?) (堀一八), Michio Asato (?) (堀一八)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

#44

Screenplay: Toyohiro Andô (安藤豊弘)

Episode Direction: Shizuo Murayama (村山鎮雄)

Animation Direction: Yôichi Kotabe (小田部羊一), Reiko Okuyama (奥山玲子)

Animation: Noboru Sekiai (堰合昇), Takashi Abe (阿部隆), Takao Sakano (坂野隆雄)

Kinsaburô Muramatsu (?) (村松錦三郎), Takao Kurozawa (?) (黒沢隆夫), Daizô Takeuchi (竹内大三), Akemi Ota (大田朱美 credited as 宮崎朱美)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#45

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Takeshi Tamiya (田宮武)

Animation Direction: Kenzô Koizumi (小泉謙三)

Animation: Tetsuo Imazawa (今沢哲男), Ayako Kasai (?) (香西恵子)

Takemichi Honma (?) (本間建道), Tomiko Takada (?) (高田冨美子), Akio Yoshihara (?) (吉原彰雄), Reiji Iida (?) (飯田黎二)

Art: Saburô Yokoi (横井三郎)

#46

Screenplay: Yasuaki Nakame (?) (中根芳明)

Episode Direction: Kazukiyo Shigeno (茂野一清)

Animation Direction: Shin’ichi Suzuki (鈴木伸一)

Animation: 萩原純忠, Akira Tanaka (田中享), Akio Itô (?) (伊藤光男)

Omoki Kakuta (?) (角田隆), Hiromi Katsutoshi (?) (横山広美), Yasuo Ishido (?) (石渡康夫)

Art: Tadanao Tsuji (辻忠直), Shichirô Kobayashi (小林七郎)

#47

Screenplay: Jin Hamata (浜田稔, pseudo for Yûgo Serikawa 芹川有吾)

Episode Direction: Yoshio Shinno (?) (眞野好央)

Animation Direction: Masao Kumakawa (熊川正雄)

Animation: Yukinori Noguchi (?) (野口幸徳), Kazuo Komatsubara (小松原一男), Yasuhiko Suzuki (?) (鈴木康彦), Kenji Tsuchii (?) (土居研次), Tarô Suzuki (?) (鈴木太郎), Kôji Minagawa (宮川滉二), Jôji Manabe (?) (真鍋譲二), 

Kiyoko Takada (?) (高田洋子), Emiko Itô (?) (伊藤恵美子), Ayako Kazama (?) (笠間順子), Saeko Kôki (?) (高木三枝子), Shirô Murayama (?) (村山四郎)

Art: Hajime Numai (沼井肇)

#48

Screenplay: Takashi Ijima (飯島敬 credited as 吉野次郎)

Episode Direction: Tokue Shirane (白根徳重)

Animation Direction: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之)

Animation: Tsuguyuki Kubo (窪詔之), Toshio Mori (森利夫), Seiji Yamashita (山下征二), 藤城義一, Michiko Kamiyama (?) (神山美智子)

Teruaki Hirôka (?) (広岡光昭), Hajime Akira (?) (新はじめ), Akiichi Kakuta (?) (角田昭一), Hitoshi Minagawa (?) (宮川裕介 credited as 宮川裕治)

Art: Mukuo Takamura (椋尾篁 credited as 椋尾たかむら)

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