Let’s Talk About Openings! – Chapter One: Sci-Fi Harry

I wanted to do this for a long time…

The Team Behind It

The storyboard, director and animation supervisor of this opening was none more than the legendary animator Shinya Ohira [大平 晋也], that did go on this opening under the not-so-mysterious pen-name of Shinnosuke Harada, the opening, under Ohira, presented a very short, but strong list of stars:

Norio Matsumoto [松本 憲生]
Osamu Tanabe [田辺 修]
Shinji Hashimoto [橋本 晋治]

As well as Ohira himself and a mysterious animator that decided to go by the pen-name of Haradagumi, that is no other than the legendary animator Kenichi Konishi [小西賢一], making a awesome five-man team of stars.

They are very well known people on the industry, if you watched Akira, a 90s Shonen or any of the 90s and 2000s Ghibli movies you probably have seen their work, with styles pretty recognizable each them, from the surrealist wildness of Shinji Hashimoto and Shinya Ohira, to the controlled, meticulous, subtle, detailed and  realistic animation of Osamu Tanabe, to the also wild, but controlled, realistic and detailed pieces of Kenichi Konishi and the more commercial and less experimental, but still excellence on all the aspects of Norio Matsumoto, these animators are at the top of their game, being five of the probably best animators of the industry, they have worked on everything, from Ghibli to Akira, passing by Naruto and even some really obscure OVAs, and this time, thanks to Ohira, they joined all here, on this OP, to a very obscure -and not that well appreciated- series, becoming the best thing that the series has to offer.

Analysis

The first cut, animated by Kenichi Konishi [小西賢一], being evolve on darkness and confusion, with wild pencils strokes all over the image, making it hard to see Harry between all the wildness and darkness of the black pencil strokes all over the screen, representing Harry’s own descend on darkness, fear and confusion, that Harry, on the series, begins to fall once he discovered his psychic powers.

Then we cut to the next scene, presumably animated by   Osamu Tanabe [田辺 修], presents Harry letting it go, surrendering to the darkness and confusion, without thinking nothing, that leads to the next scene, animated by the own Shinya Ohira [大平 晋也], animated on a very loose, but yet realistic style, with someone seeing Harry suffering and being tortured by his thoughts, jealousy, confusion, are destroying him, or, as the opening presents, directly hurting him physically, and being drowned in sorrows and remorse, also, the character on the background is Caroline, the character that make him began to descended on that spiral of darkness.

On the next scene, animated by the tag team of Norio Matsumoto [松本 憲生] and Shinji Hashimoto [橋本 晋治], we see him falling into despair, sadness, and in general, getting crazy, in Hashimoto’s cut the background show him with the eyes closed, representing that he is blind to the fact that all his life, even on that moment, the people were using him to fulfill their own purposes and aspirations, on Matsumoto’s shot, at first, the background shows surrealistic-drawn human figures showing fear and then it shows his hands over Caroline’s chest, the first one showing, obviously, the fear that the people have over his power, he’s too powerful, he can’t controlled it, and he’s unknown, people fear to the powerful and the unknown, so they fear him, and the second represents Harry’s blind trust and love by Caroline, who discovered him, but also make him falls into that state.

That leads onto the next scene, animated by Osamu Tanabe [田辺 修], where Harry is on the floor, after his surrender to the darkness, being completely surrounded by that, and then, he see a light, he see hope, that make him stands up on the final scene, that, by the way, just got finished at time to the DVDs, and never made it on its full glory on TV, so i’m going to show it:

On that scene, he stands up and run, trying to reach without success the hope that he see, he tried to reach Caroline, but he couldn’t never reach her.

Another thing that i want to stand out is the color design, which is perfect, it starts on black and white, then it changes to blue and red and then to red and green, representing the three states of the character: Confusion and Fear, then Despair and Sadness and finally, Hope, and so it’s the change between different styles, both animation and of drawings, between loose, yet realistic drawings, to surrealist and impressionist and then  loose, free form drawings, that, as i say, also represents the said three states of the character.

It’s a awesome opening, made by the best people on the industry, it deserves a lot more of praise that it actually has.

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