In a staggering display of collector enthusiasm, a production cel featuring the iconic character Vegeta from the Dragon Ball Z episode “Final Atonement” has fetched an astounding ₹1 crore (approximately $144,000) at the Art of Anime and Everything Cool auction organized by Heritage Auctions. This event set a new record, accumulating over ₹24.96 crores (approximately $3 million) in sales of vintage anime memorabilia.
The auction presented a diverse array of items, ranging from production cels to statues, showcasing beloved characters from timeless anime series like Dragon Ball Z, Akira, Cowboy Bebop, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. The fervor for these collectibles speaks to the enduring popularity and cultural impact of these cherished shows.
Beyond anime, the auction featured several noteworthy items. Among them was a 50-inch statue of the beloved robotic character Bender from Futurama, which commanded nearly ₹33 lakhs (approximately $40,000) in bids. Additionally, production cels from beloved classics like The Simpsons and Scooby-Doo found eager buyers.
For those unfamiliar, production cels are the transparent sheets of plastic upon which the drawings for anime are meticulously crafted. These cels are then layered over backgrounds and photographed frame by frame, a process that ultimately gives rise to the illusion of movement on screen. This technique is akin to the pages of a flip book, where each page features a slightly altered drawing. When flipped rapidly, these variations create the mesmerizing effect of animation.
The record-breaking sale of the Vegeta production cel underscores the profound connection that fans have with their favorite anime characters and the enduring value placed on these tangible pieces of animation history. It’s a testament to the lasting impact of these shows on generations of viewers worldwide.
Source: IGN India