Exploring OSHI NO KO’s Animation with Chief Animation Director Tomoya Atsumi

TV anime series 【OSHI NO KO】continues to impress fans with its incredible animation and art style. Chief Animation Director Tomoya Atsumi briefly spoke with Anime Trending about the behind-the-scenes process through email. 

What was your first reaction upon getting the chance to join the production?

Tomoya Atsumi: I have previously worked with Animation Studio Doga Kobo. I was offered to be the Chief Animation Director of 【OSHI NO KO】 Chief from Producer Kobayashi.

After reading the first volume of the manga, I remember feeling very excited to be able to participate in such an interesting work.


Could you talk about the working relationship and collaboration with Kanna Hirayama? What guidance and advice did she provide?

Character Designer Kanna Hirayama corrected and adjusted the nuances in the artwork as the character designer, in addition to my adjustment. There is an expressivity that only Hirayama-san can show through her work, so we cooperated with each other.

I also participated as the key animation director for episode 1, so I was able to see Hirayama san’s work first-hand. From watching Hirayama-san, I was able to pay special attention to and learn how to draw eyes and how to deal with loose hair.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to meet Hirayama-san in person. Because of my experience with her on the first episode, I consulted her on particular points in sakuga, such as in which cut to put reflected light..


What appealed to you the most about getting to work on 【OSHI NO KO】?

Of course, on top of just being able to work on such an exciting project, I’d have to say I most anticipated about depicting the characters’ personalities through movements from the original work.

From reading the manga, there were many difficult aspects to explore in how to show their actions through animation. This includes not only the characters’ actual acting, but also their everyday activities the characters engage in when they’re just living. I really looked forward to expressing that particular element. 

1686261673 316 Exploring OSHI NO KOs Animation with Chief Animation Director Tomoya
©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Which cut from the currently released episodes is your favorite and why?

Although it might sound wrong to say my favorite, but when it comes to my most impressing scene, it was the one where Ai passes away. The subtle use of colors, detailed utilization of lines, and the beautiful melody of the music composition conveyed Ai’s true feelings in every possible way.

Even though it was a sad scene, it was also still an excellent done scene.


Which character do you enjoy drawing the most?

I think it’s Aqua. He’s a character whose emotions don’t easily show on the surface. It was fun expressing those subtle emotions through art.


So far, have there been any cuts that proved notably tricky to correct?

Kana Arima in general.

I don’t think it’s wrong to say that the third episode, which I was in charge of, is dubbed as the Kana Arima’s episode. That is when she makes her appearance and really shows her character. From her bob cut hairstyle to her sparkling eyes, I had a difficult time in keeping those elements balanced with each other in my drawings. Personally, I think it’s difficult to draw characters with symmetrical hairstyles.

Although I struggled, with the help of Hirayama-san, I think was able to show the various expressions of Kana Arima. 

1686261673 154 Exploring OSHI NO KOs Animation with Chief Animation Director Tomoya
©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

What message would you like to give to viewers?

Thank you for always watching the anime series. I’m trying my best every day, so that the manga’s uniqueness and the characters’ hearts are conveyed through the anime, even a little. I hope you’ll love this work through watching it.

Please continue to enjoy 【OSHI NO KO】


Special thanks to Tomoya Atsumi and KADOKAWA for the opportunity. 【OSHI NO KO】 is now streaming on HiDive and other platforms. Yen Press is publishing the manga in English.

For additional information on 【OSHI NO KO】, check out the official EN Twitter account @oshinoko_global.

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