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Free! “Will Actually Be Good!”: Director = Raging Fujoshi

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Ultimate production controversy anime Free! actually boasts a crack KyoAni team and could be a hit, it is being said – and Hiroko Utsumi, the raging fujoshi directing it, probably explains much of its direction and potential quality.

Utsumi’s main production credits so far include 4 episodes of Nichijou, 4 episodes of K-ON!, 4 of Hyouka, and (perhaps to her credit) only one each of Chuunibyou and Tamako Market, with Free! to be her directorial debut.

She actually spent an entire interview enthusing about a changing room scene with the boys of Hyouka which she oversaw, so her credentials are hardly in doubt – although from the point of view of more traditionally minded KyoAni fans, this may well be the point at issue:

I oversaw production and storyboarding of episode 7 of Hyouka.

I was able to show the guys in a fresh light, with ever cool Hotaro getting a bit tipsy after his long bath, plenty of cute steamy stuff and those red faces – really just down to the hot water or something else!? Really cute, I think.

Of course, what I really took care over was the changing scene.

When they are changing and raise their arms, I took care over their ribs and the shape of their arms crossing (etc).

I actually tried getting the character designer to demonstrate just how sexy a guy stripping can be, but he declined.


Also I must confess – Satoshi’s pantsu are pink because of my preference.

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Her enthusiasm (presumably shared by KyoAni’s other female staff, who may well be equally rancid) probably also goes some way to explaining how the studio managed such a provocative change in direction between styles and target demographics – although fans of their more recent works are probably just wishing they had lavished as much attention on changing scenes involving their own favoured moeblobs.

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