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Stan Lee and Hiroshi Nagahama: Creators from Japan, U.S., U.K. Join Hands in Superhero Anime

© Stan Lee, H. Nagahama/THE REFLECTION Production Committee X-On is one of the superheroes in “The Reflection.”

© Stan Lee, H. Nagahama/THE REFLECTION Production Committee. X-On is one of the superheroes in “The Reflection.”

Takuya Sasajima reports: The superhero anime “The Reflection” will premier this Saturday at 11 p.m. on NHK-G. An original production depicting superheroes in American comic book style, the show is the brainchild of two major creators from the United States and Japan — Stan Lee and Hiroshi Nagahama.

Lee, a legendary American comic book author who created “Spider-Man,” “Iron Man” and many other superhero classics, serves as the executive producer for the animation project. Nagahama, its director, has won acclaim for his anime adaptations of manga with peculiar flavors, such as “Mushi-Shi” and “Aku no Hana” (The Flowers of Evil).

A long-time fan of American comics, Nagahama met Lee through an acquaintance. The two agreed to collaborate on a production and began seriously working on the project about three years ago.

© Stan Lee, H. Nagahama/THE REFLECTION Production Committee I-Guy converts his voice into sound waves.

© Stan Lee, H. Nagahama/THE REFLECTION Production Committee I-Guy converts his voice into sound waves.

“It’s been more than 10 years since I first met Stan,” Nagahama said. “We don’t really know who came up with what ideas. This is truly a joint project between Stan and me.”

The 12-episode anime is set in a world struck by a mysterious catastrophe called the reflection, in which a black, smoky substance and veils of diffusely reflecting green light appears in the sky, killing many people while giving special powers to those who survive. Three years later, a memorial ceremony for the victims in New York is attacked by terrorists with supernatural powers. Several superheroes — including X-On, an unidentified masked man, and I-Guy, clad in a metal suit — rise up to take them on.

The images in the anime deliberately mimic the American comic style, hence the use of matte coloring, though the colors have a distinctly Japanese hue.

“We went for economical expressions, cutting out all unnecessary detail,” Nagahama said. “It’s very close to ukiyo-e.”

The creative staff rarely used digital technologies, instead resorting to painting and hand-drawn sketches as much as possible. Japanese animation techniques were … (read more)

via The Japan News

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