16 Minutes on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line Part 2
last modified: Monday, November 24, 2008 (3:14:57 AM)
About 10 minutes later, a woman came up to me who spoke English and asked me if I needed help finding the Toei Studio. It seems that Mr. Policeman had been asking passerbys if they spoke English and could help me out.
Police in Japan are so cool!!
The woman told me that it would be a little further on the road, and then I would turn right. She didn't know the street name(names for streets are generally not posted at intersections in Japan, but a few hundred feet before the intersection). Honestly, it wasn't much help, but I figured, if I head right, eventually I'll find it.
And I did.
The Toei Animation Studio is a huge complex, with a TV studio on its left and a voice training academy across the street. Yes, there actually is a school where you can learn to speak in those ubber high pitched 'kawaii' voices. As I walked down the street, I saw a huge sign with Puss N' Boots and "Toei Animation" underneath. I headed to the opening, signed my name on a guest pass(the security guard didn't talk to me as he figured I wouldn't understand) and in I went. Admission to the museum is free, and, judging from the guest book, no one had visted for three days.
The museum portion is on the first floor(the sign tells you that you can only go to the first floor). It's a small room in the back and is connected to a few other rooms. The museum rotates its collection four times a year, and it was currently showing artwork from two anime that Toei had released several versions of - "Himitsu no Akko-chan"(Akkochan's secret) and "Mohretsu Atarou".
When you head in the small room, there's a sign in sheet for your name and address, some film reel bookmarks and a packet of information concerning their recent exhibit that consists of copied settei. I took many pictures of this room, and all of them can be seen(with captions) by following the link at the end of the entry.
In the next room on the right were lots of glass cases with resin models of popular Toei characters. However, because of the issues Toei has recently had with Naoko Takeuchi(Sailormoon), all the toys that Toei owns were piled in a corner, facing a window with full light exposure. The collector in me cringed when I witnessed the damage the sun had done by warping and bleaching the colors off these items.
But beyond this, lie the real treasure - Discarded cel production machines.
What an honor it was to see machines that probably were used in the making of my favorite anime. The room looked like it had not been used much, and no one said anything about being in there. The lighting was poor to non-existant, so my pictures aren't too terrific.
In the corner, there was a large cut of cels from Dr. Slump that you could play with. You could put them on the machine and make your own sequence. I was tempted to take home one of the cels because I did not want to see it preserved in such a fashion.
As I left the museum, it had slipped my mind that they had given me an ID badge to wear while at the museum. As I was buying a drink across the street, the guard came up to me and yanked it off my chest. I guess simply pointing to the badge was too difficult, and really, I apologize for being so absent minded.
So remember, everyone, if you visit this studio, give back your ID badge.
You can find my Toei pictures here: http://cutiebunny.rubberslug.com/gallery/album.aspx?id=513