Hand-drawn ‘Sazae-san’ to finally go digital

Kyodo

The venerable TV cartoon “Sazae-san,” still drawn frame by frame in the technique known as cel-based animation, will switch to full digital production next month.

The show is the only cel-based anime still broadcast in Japan, according to the Association of Japanese Animations.

Until digital production became the norm in the late 1990s, TV anime were largely made by shooting each scene using transparent cels with hand-drawn characters superimposed on background pictures. Another popular series, “Doraemon,” switched to digital in 2002.

“Sazae-san” started partial digital production in 2005. The full transition will start with the show to be broadcast Oct. 6. The last cel-based show will be aired Sunday.

Fuji TV, which broadcasts the show, said the digital transition is intended to provide high-quality images.