This 45 second spot is a wild ride, and might be the last cel anime of an era.

Kyoei Forging Works, a maker of engine parts, agricultural equipment parts, and conveyor belts, recently posted a video to YouTube in an effort to raise awareness of their company and boy did it work!

The video features a transforming jet-mecha battle robot being chased by missiles before charging into an alien mothership and blasting it to smithereens.

▼ “Yar!!! That’ll teach you to not have any backstory so I can’t possibly sympathize with you!!!”

It’s an intense 45 seconds that will have you wiping your brow before you even have a chance to wonder what all this has to do with tractor crankshafts and ball joints.

Kyoei enlisted the talents of Yoshihiro Kanno who has worked on several anime including Hunter X Hunter, and directed the Sword Art Online Aliasing series coming this fall. Kanno oversaw all aspects of this short video from robot design to animation.

▼ Join Kyoei Forging Works today, and help bandage up robo-boo-boos.

It certainly paid off in terms of getting the companies’ name out there and drew rave reviews on YouTube.

“I think they’ll be getting a lot of job applications soon.”
“I want this to be a show.”
“Please make this into an anime!”
“It’s like an Ichiro Itano anime.
“Now that’s a commercial!”

There were many comparisons to Ichiro Itano, the animator known for his high-speed and elaborate aerial battles often called “Itano Circuses.”

▼ A signature move of the Itano Circus is, rather than carefully aiming and conserving ammo, just firing off the entire stock of missiles in one shot.

Here are some highlights from the real Itano.

If all that wasn’t enough, Kyoei also revealed that this was all a “cel animation” in the sense that everything in it was drawn, frame-by-frame, by hand. While this was once the norm, in recent years it has been nearly completely replaced by cheaper and more efficient computer animation.

The last instance of cel animation on Japanese TV was an episode of Sazae-san that aired on 29 September, 2013. Although, by that time the intro had become digitally animated.

▼ Hand-animated Sazae-san intro, circa 1992

▼ Digitally animated Sazae-san from 2014

With the relative rarity of cel animation nowadays, some are wondering if this will be the last instance of cel animation of the Heisei era that had began during the technique’s peak in the late 80s.

With Heisei slated to end at the end of April 2019, these next few months will be crucial in seeing whether Kyoei Forging will have gone from an unknown metalworks to a significant player in the history of anime.

Source: Kai You, Nikkei Keizai Shimbun
Top image: YouTube/Kyoei Forging Works