For this week’s episode staff, the person that is particularly of note is the storyboard artist - it’s the famous animator Ryouma Ebata. He’s much more known as an animator than a storyboard artist, but he is quite known for doing opening and ending animation. He has done the opening animation for Absolute Duo and Shounen Maid, and the ending animation for Sora no Method and Rewrite’s first arc. He’s a wonderful animator and I like him enough that I’ll probably swoon if he actually does a key animation in Rewrite. Just look at his stylish walking animation <3
I’ve noticed that while he does the storyboard for the OP/ED animation that he works on, this is his first time to storyboard an entire episode. I’m not exactly big on his storyboarding merely on the transitions/editing parts, as sometimes there’s a sense of disjoint between cuts.
However, there’s a lot of attention put to body language, which totally matches the kind of animator Ebata is. It came out notably well during the infiltration scene. Faceless soldiers aside (though it only happens in wide shots, which is normal), it showed a lot of movements, and there seems to have some hand signals that I’m unsure of what it meant. The animation in that part is detailed, too. It’s no flashy sakuga, but the detail is definitely there.
And unlike Arslan Senki, the soldiers are actually not CGI lol.
It also came out in little moments. The attempted suicide scene covered a lot of movements; Kotarou is just pulling out his pistol but both of his arms and even his upper torso is moving. When Yasmin was talking about being a programmer, her hand gesture even emulated keyboard typing. There’s also the kids and Luis trolling Kotarou around by pushing him lol. There was even a superhuman-children-playing-soccer-in-the-background cut that probably had better action that almost everything else that this series has.
After all these, I may actually be just overthinking this body language thingy, but one thing I’m sure of is that there’s a lot of intentionally ugly facial expression in this episode (and dang if this episode wasn’t visually expressive in this respect):