What if an overlooked action expert directed a thrilling episode, effortlessly switching between momentousness and hilarity? What if a generational animation talent invited his best peers to his animation direction debut? What if that wasn’t hypothetical, but the latest episode of Tropical Rouge Precure?
Sonny Boy is an anomaly in commercial media, let alone as a TV anime: a fascinating creator given a blank cheque that he cashed in to explore his philosophical views, mixing cultural touchstones and personal musings into a unique sci-fi story, and tweaking animation production norms to illustrate a singular worldview with unmatched cohesion.
KyoAni’s most renowned director Naoko Yamada left the studio she had dedicated her entire career to and is now directing Heike Monogatari at Science Saru—a studio in the midst of labor and creative turmoil. So, what does that mean for all the involved parties?