File this under weird and wonderful: Osaka broadcaster Kansai TV has aired a special on One Piece, with emphasis on the production work for the hit Japanese series being done in the Philippines.
The special aired 8th January 2010, and was recorded and uploaded to Youtube by user chibirem — a Filipino currently residing in Japan.
The special features an introductory piece showing a local convention held in Manila late last year, interviews from cosplayers who took part in the event, as well as soundbytes from local stores and shops selling manga and anime merchandise to fans in Metro Manila.
The piece de resistance is a trip to the Quezon City production facility of Toei Animation Philippines. Toei Phil has been producing key animation and in-betweening for Toei Animation in Japan since 1986.
The facility was established as a measure to cut costs for the company, since the production work being done in Korea was becoming prohibitively expensive. Currently, it houses over 150 animators and support staff, and they work on the bulk of the animation process for each episode of One Piece except for storyboarding and post production.
The feature not only showed the processes that went into making an episode of One Piece, they also included short interviews with the Filipino animators working at Toei. The show concludes with a trip to a local animation school to talk with students who all aim to work for a Japanese animation company.
On a side note, 2011 will be the the 25th anniversary of Toei Animation Philippines. It’s hard to believe that so many of the classic anime we’ve grown up with have been made in a small studio just a short jeepney ride away from where I went to high school 😀 Dragonball Z, Sailormoon, Slam Dunk — the list is a veritable goldmine of classic titles. Congratulations you guys — and keep up the good work!