Anime exhibition ‘Proto Anime Cut’ now touring in Germany

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

“Proto Anime Cut,” an exhibition focusing on the detailed works by Japanese animation creators, is running until March 6 at the Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien artists’ space in Berlin.

Subtitled “Space and Visions in Japanese Animation,” the exhibition features a roster of Japan’s top-ranked anime artists, including anime directors Hideaki Anno, Mamoru Oshii and Koji Morimoto, photographer Haruhiko Higami, layout artist Takashi Watabe and background artist Hiromasa Ogura.

Original drawings, background paintings, storyboards and imageboards, along with photos of the sources of inspiration and other materials key to the animation production process, are on display.

The exhibition includes screenings of Anno’s new “Evangelion” animated film series, Oshii’s “Ghost in the Shell” and “The Animatrix,” which includes an episode directed by Morimoto.

Mamoru Hosoda’s animated feature, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” and a film by late anime director Satoshi Kon are also being showcased.

At the opening event Jan. 21, Ogura and Morimoto were on hand to mingle and pump up the excitement for anime fans.

Images featured in the exhibition are posted at the websites of Ogura Atelier, Ogura’s company that creates anime backgrounds, and Anno’s anime studio Khara Inc.

Ogura Atelier says this is an extremely rare chance for fans anywhere to view its backgrounds because even in Japan, it usually doesn’t put its works on display.

Khara provided about 30 hand-drawn layout paintings and model sheets, as well as about 20 reference photos used in the production of the new “Evangelion” films. Their quality and quantity are outstanding.

Photos from the event can be seen at the website of German art project Les Jardins des Pilotes. The site also reported on the opening event, describing the exciting crowd-packed venue.

After Berlin, the exhibition travels to Dortmund, Germany, in July and to Barcelona and Madrid in Spain in 2012.

Japanese animation has attracted much attention in Europe, but the industry’s artistic and creative processes remain a mystery to fans in the region. “Proto Anime Cut” offers them a rare opportunity to expand their knowledge about Japanese anime.

See Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien’s website (, Ogura Atelier’s website (, Khara’s website ( and Les Jardins des Pilotes (

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.