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.
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.