NSK Studio is a 3D CG animation studio developed in the hope of inspiring people to "protect beautiful teeth, and the global environment". We created this animation series to express our gratitude to dental healthcare professionals, including dentists and oral hygienists. We also hope that the animation will motivate viewers to look after their teeth and care for the environment.
Our "Declaration" film introduces the lively characters who’ll appear in the upcoming episodes of this animation series. The "Declaration Version" was created with the aim of expressing NSK's commitment to a healthier future, and our continuing pledge to create sustainable solutions through innovative technology.
EP1 "High-precision you can trust"
A patient with a cavity came to the clinic of Dr. Sakura, a dentist known for being able to communicate with teeth.
The patient's teeth are worried about being drilled too much, and not sure if they can trust Dr. Sakura…
EP2 "The importance of dental checkups"
In the dark and quiet night when everyone else is fast asleep, a colony of bats fly into Dr. Sakura's dental clinic…
Who is visiting her for a dental check-up?
EP3 "Beautiful pond in KANUMA"
Sharkespeare moves around in his two-legged mobile aquarium robot which has the function of purifying ocean water.
Sharkespeare's teeth grumble to Dr. Sakura that it is the result of ocean acidification that they are disintegrating.
How will they react to the story of NSK's factory which Dr. Sakura has told them about?
Dr. Sakura is a dentist who attained the ability of talking to teeth after having thought so hard about them.
"Healthy teeth contributes to a healthy mind, and good mental health would in turn contribute to peace in the world."
- with that in mind, Dr. Sakura makes it her mission to protect the dental health of each and every creature.
Dr. Sakura has a son, loves cats, and her favorite hobby is going for drives.
Mr. Q, a patient, is a vampire.
He usually has a colony of bats wrapped around him, giving him a scary image, but in actual fact, he's one vampire with the kindest heart ever.
Mr. Q knows very well that with gum disease, nothing tastes good, and he tries his best to schedule regular cleaning appointments. Unfortunately, he tends to get lazy and often forgets his appointments.
Sharkespeare refuses to live in the ocean due to the increasing pollution and acidifying of the ocean, but instead moves around in his two-legged mobile aquarium robot which has the function of purifying ocean water.
He's got a strong love for the environment, and puts his best effort into selling solar panels.
Amidst his busy schedule, he enjoys munching on sweet treats during his breaks.
Unfortunately, that has given him a bad tooth and he is here to get that treated.
This is Niwatori-kun, a chicken who lives on the tooth-shaped island.
Chickens on this island have 2 differences from the usual chickens that we know of.
They can fly in the sky, and they have teeth.
This is Tirano – probably the biggest creature on this island.
It seems he turned vegetarian because of his short-sightedness.
On his back is an entire village of bird nests and the birds living here help to clean Tirano's teeth!
These two are the whale brothers that appear in the opening of the video – a pair of trendy whales who wear sunglasses and don moustaches.
Both of them place great importance in caring for their moustaches and teeth, and would proudly pop their heads out of the water to have these praised.
This is Zou-kun, an elephant that lives on the island.
There are no circuses on this island, but Zou-kun practises ball-balancing, dressing up as a clown, and even tent-pitching, all with the hope of running his very own circus one day to bring smiles to everyone.
In order to have a beautiful smile himself, Zou-kun brushes his teeth well everyday.
This is the dental office, the main setting of the movie.
The flowers surrounding the dental office are a actually form of appreciation from patients to the dentist.
The island that everyone in NSK STUDIO lives on is shaped like a tooth.
Everyone living on this island take good care of their teeth and are always showing their beautiful teeth to one another.
This is Dr. Sakura's beloved car.
Going on drives is Dr. Sakura's hobby and she loves bringing her son around the island in the car on her rest days. This is a second-hand car, but she has kept it shining through regular polishing. Polishing a dull car till it shines is also one of Dr. Sakura's hobbies.
Dark and quiet night
In the dark and quiet night on the tooth-shaped island when everyone else is fast asleep, a colony of bats fly into Dr. Sakura's dental clinic.
Production Processes 6
Episode 1 and 3 are set during the daytime, while Episode 2 features the clinic at night.
When we were creating this night scene, the production team was extremely particular about how to depict the bright and beautiful moon outside the window.
Take a moment to compare the day and night scenery!
Production Processes 7
This is the initial storyboard of Episode 3 drawn by Mr. Atsushi Makino, the director and character designer whom we engaged for NSK STUDIO.
Despite the tough challenge of integrating the themes of environmental problems and NSK's environmental efforts within a dental setting, Director Makino has definitely created an amazing story far beyond our imagination!
Production Processes 1
Here is a snippet of the video during the final checks where we were determining the angle and motion for the crucial scene of the main character talking to the teeth.
We took on the challenge of adopting the perspective of the teeth looking up at the human.
Please check out the "Declaration Version" movie to see how this scene turned out.
Production Processes 2
Here is a cut from the final checks where we were determining the angle and motion for the scene that the angry shark barges into the dental clinic.
Please do check out the end product to see how the quality turned out.
As for what the shark was angry about?
That will be revealed in the episodes to come, so be sure to stay tuned!
This is the initial sketch that Director Makino drew of the salesperson's teeth before treatment.
It captures the atmosphere of a dilapidated bar and features the salesperson's favourite things like ice cream and alcohol.
How will the look of the inside of his mouth change after treatment?
Production Processes 3
Here is the 3D CG data through which we check the characters' movements.
The salesperson's teeth were worried about being scaled too much and refused to be treated unless a high precision contra-angle was used.
"Leave it to me!" said Dr. Sakura.
After discussion amongst themselves, the teeth decided to trust her.
Production Processes 4
This is a shot from the 3D CG data when production was still underway.
At this point, modelling and rigging has been completed and the next step would be to apply texturing to obtain the right colour and texture, as well as lighting to achieve a realistic 3D appearance.
Such detailed work continues as we build up to the end product.
Production Processes 5
This is a comparison shot of the 3D CG data when production was still underway vs the final product.
Modeling and rigging has been completed in the former shot, while in the latter, we applied texturing to obtain the right colour and texture, as well as lighting to achieve a realistic 3D appearance.
Check out the differences between the before and after!
Like sharks in the real world, Sharkespeare has the ability to shed and regenerate new teeth throughout his lifetime.
Despite having that ability, he still makes the effort to take good care of his teeth at all times.
The story in this animation may be fiction, but there are real research studies which show that if acidification of the ocean continues to worsen, it may actually lead to the disintegration of the teeth and skin of sharks…
NSK's headquarters and factory in Kanuma
At NSK's headquarters and factory in Kanuma, Japan, we source 100% green energy and increased our rate of recycling factory waste to as high as 99.3%.
On top of that, we have carp swimming in a pond filled with water cleansed throughout our manufacturing processes by water purification systems.
These systems purify waste water to a level clean enough for nature to thrive in, before distributing it back into the river.
NSK's A1 Factory
The factory featured in Episode 3 is NSK's A1 factory in Kanuma City at Tochigi, Japan.
This cutting-edge factory plays a key role in NSK's mid to long-term strategy, and helps produce 90% of the precision parts required for NSK's products.
At the A1 factory, we source 100% green energy and aim to minimize our impact on the environment in all of our processes, while taking care of the environment surrounding our factory as well.
Here are the characters who appear in NSK STUDIO.
For this animation, we engaged award-winning director Atsushi Makino to help us with the development, from designing the 3D CG animation characters all the way to directing the film.
Please check out the movie to see how these characters move around happily in the film!
Large-sized Mr. Q
This is a shot of the large-sized Mr. Q when we were checking his 3D appearance.
The real Mr. Q is actually rather small, but the bats that wrap themselves around him make him look much larger than he is.
When he has bats wrapped around him, Mr. Q can walk around in the daytime without having to fear the sunlight.
NSK Brand Concept
Engaging world-renowned video creator Atsushi Makino as director of the animation
Atsushi Makino, one of Japan's leading video creators, was appointed as the animation director.
In the animation, we feature the various stories of Dr. Sakura, a dentist who has the ability to talk to teeth, together with the unique patients visiting the clinic, as well as teeth with different problems, bringing to life the unique colours and world views of the animation in a charming way.
Atsushi Makino (UCHO) Video Director, Art Director
Atsushi Makino was born in 1982, and majored in TV & Film Graphics at the Academy of Arts Architecture & Design in Prague, where he learned drawing animation and puppet animation.
He proceeded to the Tokyo University of the Arts where he completed the program at the Graduate School of Film and New Media.
He works across multiple genres such as live action, art work, and animation, and works on film direction, art direction, animation direction, character design, and illustration.
He uses nostalgic motifs familiar to many, combining them with modern yet sensitive ideas that allow him to bring his work and the audience closer together.
He has received various awards globally and within Japan, and was also involved in the directing of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Opening Ceremony video.
Comment from Atsushi Makino
The mission of this project is to make people around the world reconsider the importance of looking after their teeth.
What I was most conscious of, was trying to create a fun world view of how the "world of teeth" should look.
As Dr. Sakura looks into the patients’ mouths, viewers should be brought into the world in which the teeth live.
I created this by changing the designs according to each character – human, vampire, and shark.
In addition, I designed many animals filled with fantasy elements so that Dr. Sakura's ability to talk with teeth could fall in place naturally.
Each of these interesting settings are published on Nakanishi Inc.'s website, so please take the chance to check them out.