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Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi #9

The uproarious fun of the previous episode was bound to cast a shadow 0ver this week's Ookami-san instalment. It kind of did, but this episode carved out a good place for itself in the overall series for  a couple of reasons. Firstly, it did for Ringo what episode 6 did for Ryouko, really gave her an emotional backstory and an insecurity that makes her much easier to sympathise with. Once again, I almost teared up when Ringo cried after being consoled by her older sister. Ookami-san can be crazy and hilarious one week, then touching the next! The other quality of the episode came from the technical side of things.

The episode featured some wonderful moments of animation, certainly the best since Hiroki Tanaka's key animation in the third episode (Ringo's fight scenes). Like that episode and the fourth one, this episode showcased a particular animator. And this time it was Sayo Aoi, whose career is still only just getting started. Sayo storyboarded, directed, supervised the animation and contributed several cuts of key animation (in other words, completely responsible for it). As a sakuga fan, I was excited for the episode since I read that on the Japanese wiki. The first episode didn't deliver much in the way of the animation, but when Sayo's cuts started coming into play in the B-side, it turned out to be a really well-executed episode with a good storyboard.

It's nice that JC Staff give animators the opportunity to truly get behind the wheel like this, and it produces some really great results. Sayo Aoi is an animator to keep an eye on~

Oh yeah, and SWIMSUITS! Or at least that's what I would be saying if it hadn't been trumped by waifu-Ookami in the epilogue. Moeee~ Ryouko-chan would make an interesting bride!

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