Animation Cels

I used to collect animation cels, but I've stopped because they can be very expensive, and I'm pretty happy with my collection at the moment. Maybe I'll get back into it in the future, but not anytime soon. I made this page to catalogue and display my collection of cels, sketches, and backgrounds from various anime and cartoons.

What are animation cels?

Cels, or celluloids, are transparent plastic sheets which were used for animation before computer animation started becoming the standard in the 90s and 2000s. Generally, characters would be painted on cels, and then photographed over a static background. When multiple of these photographs are played back in sequence, that creates the illusion of movement (that's animation.) After the animation was finished, productions didn't really have any use for these cels, which meant they were sometimes destroyed, or sold to collectors.

Animation cels are a coveted collector's item for some as they were actually used in the production (like the animation version of owning a real movie prop), and also for the fact that each cel is a completely unique, hand-painted piece of art.

On the other hand, cels are not actually that difficult to get your hands on. Depending on the length of the feature, a production could use as many as hundreds to over 100,000 cels in just one piece of animation. So there's actually a lot of cels out there, and depending on the property, you can actually find some cels for pretty cheap. Some of the cels in my collection I managed to get for crazy good prices, while others were actually pretty damn expensive....

Urusei Yatsura

Urusei Yatsura is one of my favourite anime of all time, and is the most represented franchise in my collection. Collecting UY cels is great because the show had so many episodes that there are a ton cels out there, and thanks to its relative obscurity in the West, cels for it aren't SUPER expensive (unlike Inu Yasha cels for example, which are expensive af!!)

For more of my thoughts on Urusei Yatsura, you can visit my Shrine here! I also have a collection of more Urusei Yatsura stuff, which you can view here. (Both links not working as I haven't made those pages yet lol)

Cels are displayed in no particular order, and they're compressed to save space. Click on an image to view the full uncompressed resolution in a new tab.

Cel of Ataru

Starting off with probably my favourite cel in my entire collection. Ataru is my favourite character in Urusei Yatsura, and this cel is just so dynamic and expressive. I also love the reflection of Lum in his eyes, such an awesome little detail.

Sketch of Ataru

The sketch for the Ataru cel. Most of the cels I buy don't come with sketches, so I'm really glad I have this. Unfortunately, the cel was actually stuck to the sketch when I first got it, and the sketch was slightly damaged when I seperated them. You can see this in the eyes, where some of the paint from the cel got stuck onto the sketch. Luckily, it's not that bad.

Cel of Shinobu and Sakura

Shinobu and Sakura. Pretty nice looking cel, its always cool to have two characters in one cel.

Sketch of Sakura

The sketch for Sakura. Since Shinobu isn't in this sketch, I assume there's another sketch out there with just Shinobu? Unfortunately, this only came with Sakura. I think this sketch may have also been stuck to the cel when I first got it; you can see some paint residue on her hair and clothes.

Cel of Megane

Megane crying over some broken... stuff? To me it looks like a diced up potato but idk

Sketch of Megane

Sketch for Megane. Notice the open mouth. Maybe there was a cel nearly identical to the one I have but with an open mouth instead (to simulate talking)? Not sure though

Cel of Lum's dad

Lum's Dad with Lum peeking up behind him. Since Lum is the most popular character in the show, cels which feature her prominently are by far the most expensive. But her appearence in this one is so small that it wasn't that pricey, and its still a really nice looking cel!

Cel of Sugar?

Took me a while to figure out which character this is... and I BELIEVE it's Sugar, from the Three Girl's Gang? I'm not sure though. The hair seems right but the colour of her eyes and clothes don't seem to match. Whoever it is, this is still a really nice cel. Unfortunately, it's really stuck to the sketch behind it (you can see part of the sketch at the bottom), and I might risk ruining the sketch if I try to seperate them. You can see some production notes on the sketch, which is pretty cool. I wish I knew what they said!

Cel of Mendo

Mendo bending over. Not much to say, just a pretty nice cel. A bit of paint is missing on the tip of his hair. You can see the missing bit on the sketch

Sketch of Mendo

Just a pretty nice sketch. A little bit of paint damage on the left but whatever

Ten holding a bouquet. Ten is annoying but this is a very cute cel.

Unfortunately a bit damaged. The detail on the bouquet looks really nice though!

Cel of Lum and Mendo

Lum and Mendo wearing some unique clothes. This is actually two cels on top of each other. The top cel includes some outlines around Mendo's face, as well as a different colour for his teeth. I assume this might've been done to animate him talking? But I'm not sure

Cel of Lum flying

Shot of Lum's back while she flies. I won't lie this is definitely not the prettiest cel in my collection, but I'm still glad I have it. Her outfit is pretty cute too.

Cel of Sakura

This one's kind of weird, I'm not really sure what's actually going on here. Seems like there's a big object about to fall on Sakura's head? It's also in really terrible condition, it just looks so dirty and creased. Pretty sure I got this for super cheap.

Sketch of Sakura's back

The rest of my Urusei Yatsura stuff is just a few sketches with no cels. Really nice sketch of Sakura's back with some production notes.

Sketch of Mendo

Such an awesome sketch of Mendo. I wish I had the cels for these sketches! :(

Cute sketch of Lum, Ten, and some guy no idea who he is. A little smudge on the top right but it's nowhere near the sketch so whatever.

Sketch of Lum

Just a little Lum

Sketch of Ryunosuke?

I honestly have no idea why this sketch looks so shit... I think the paper might've been reflective or something and that may have fucked up the scan? I believe this is a sketch of Ryunosuke, but I'm not sure.

The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

I bought these cels for super cheap from Animation Legends in a sort of "mystery pack" that came with a bunch of random cels from a specific cartoon. I think Animation Legends is a pretty good site for anyone who wants to get into cel collecting, because their prices are crazy good. Unfortunately their selection of shows is a bit small, mostly old forgotten cartoons that no one remembers.

I've never watched Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but I've always liked the artstyle and animation and I'd say I'm a bit of a Sonic fan. So I thought fuck it why not I'll get a few of these.

Cel of Robotnik

Robotnik with some weird gadgets. No clue what's going on but it's a nice cel. No sketches unfortunately. I would've gladly paid a bit more if these cels came with corresponding sketches.

Cel of Tails

The fact that Tails is missing his legs, and his hand seems to be holding some kind of lever makes me think he was probably driving a vehicle or operating some machinery. But that's just a guess

Cel of Grounder

Grounder pissed the fuck off and choking a bitch. Was cool to get such a big cel for so cheap.

Cel of Scratch

Scratch just chilling. I think he's holding some rollies



Cel of Sonic and woman

Sonic and his girlfriend?

Street Fighter

Another mystery pack from Animation Legends. I know NOTHING about the Street Fighter cartoon but I like the games. This show seems pretty bad though.

Cel of Fei Long

Fei Long bent over. Bit of a tangent but how come every fighting game gotta have the character who's Literally Just Bruce Lee But Not Called Bruce Lee? Get a new martial artist like damn. Law from Tekken is cool as fuck though

Cel of Rory

Rory (or McCoy as he's called in the games). It's kind of hard to find these characters' names because there's no one talking about this show anywhere online.

Cel of unknown woman

Ok I have no fucking clue who this is supposed to be. Not sure why but these Street Fighter cels in particular are much taller than the rest of my collection, maybe something to do with the aspect ratio that the show was aired in? Again, I'm just guessing

Cel of Ken

Is this Ken? The hair colour is wrong but I think it's because he's in the dark, hence the shadows on his clothes.

Cel of Cammy

My favourite of these Street Fighter cels, considering Cammy actually looks like her game appearance. But I really don't like this show's artstyle

Back to the Future: The Animated Series

Another pack of cels from Animation Legends. I've never seen this show, but I actually intend to give it a try sometime. I love the Back to the Future movies, and I haven't heard many people talk about the cartoon but what I have heard is pretty positive.

Cel of Doc Brown

The paint around Doc's mouth looks kind of worn, but otherwise a nice cel

Cel of Marty

Based on Marty's clothes, I guess they must've time travelled to ancient Greece or Rome or something?

Cel of Jules

Jules holding what looks to be Doc's thought reading device from the first movie. The reason his mouth looks off is because this is actually two cels on top of each other. The top cell is just his mouth. There's probably another cel with his mouth in a different position to animate him talking.
Accidentally dropped a bit of hair on the bottom right there.... my bad

Cel of Doc Brown

Trippin balls

Cel of Woman

No idea who this woman is. Weird how she looks so similar to that lady from the Sonic cel. Also this cel was creased as fuck when I got it and I have no idea what could've caused that


Never watched Ewoks and I don't even like Star Wars that much, but I got these for dirt cheap, probably the cheapest in my whole collection.

(I promise there's more exciting stuff in my collection please don't leave)

Cel of an Ewok

I'm never gonna watch this show in my life, but these characters are pretty cute. It's like Star Wars meets Care Bears. No idea who this is though

Cel of an Ewok

This cel and the rest of the Ewoks ones came with sketches, but they're super stuck together and I can't get them apart. So annoying

Cel of an Ewok

Where's he going? These last three cels are of the backs of some Ewoks, LAME!!

Cel of an Ewok

Ok this one pretty much just looks like shit

Cel of a group of Ewoks

Kind of annoying that it's just their backs but I actually like this one! The different colours look nice.

Gall Force: New Era

Gall Force is a series of anima OVAs that came out in the 80s and 90s. Never watched it, but I probably will one day. Got these cels for because they have a cute anime girl and they were cheap. Specifically, these are of the character Catty from the New Era OVA.

Cel of Catty

She looks so worried I wonder why. I like her outfit
Man there's a huge hair on there. I'm sorry that's so careless of me

Cel of Catty

Pretty sure these are all from the same animation cut. Definitely gotta watch this at some point to see these cels on-screen

Cel of Catty

why her hair ourple 😂


These ones are also from Animation Legends. You can buy a "mystery pack" sort of thing where they'll give you a bunch of random backgrounds from different shows. Unfortunately they don't tell you what shows, so I have no idea where any of these are from. But in my opinion these are honestly really really awesome, definitely another highlight of my collection. If I ever get back into cel collecting, I definitely wanna get my hands on a few more backgrounds.

Background with books

Man this looks so fucking nice. Based on the giant books, I imagine that whatever the show this originates from, the characters from it are probably like really little guys?

Sketch with books and character silhouette

Two of these backgrounds actually came with sketches, which is pretty awesome. In this one you can actually see the silhouette of a character. Not sure who they are but to me it looks like some type of cartoon dragon? If anyone knows who this is please let me know.

Background with trapdoor

Just a trapdoor, probably the least interesting of the backgrounds, but still cool.

Sketch with trapdoor

Sketch of the trapdoor. When the pimp's in the crib ma drop it like its hot drop it like its hot drop it like its hot

Background with building

Seems like a simple, undetailed background...

Cel with building details

... but they actually added the details in using a cel! I think that's pretty cool. Like I bought a background and got a free cel

Background with machine

This one looks so simple that I wonder if this is also supposed to have a cel that adds the details? Or maybe the original show just had a minimalist art style. Either way, I still think it looks nice, I like the colours

Background of sky and palm trees

Honestly, this is easily one of my favourite piece of my whole collection. I fucking ADORE these tropical palm tree blue sky aesthetics, and this background captures that so perfectly, I really wanna frame this and hang it up at some point. It just looks sooooooo good. This makes me wanna say fuck cels and just collect backgrounds like this from now on.


Cel with Cream eating Vanilla Ice

Another one of my favourites, from the awesome JoJo OVA! This is the only cel where I can tell you EXACTLY where it's from. You can find it in Episode 11 of the OVA at 14:10. I WANT MORE JOJO CELS SO BAD! But they're expensive and hard to find! If I get back into collecting cels, I'll definitely try and get my hands on a few more of these, preferably of one of the Stardust Crusaders.

Sketch with Cream eating Vanilla Ice

Thankfully this one came with a sketch. So fucking awesome. That's really all there is to say on the matter.

Cel of Skeleton

Another really awesome cel. Got this one for super cheap because the seller didn't know what show this was from, and neither do I! If someone has any idea what anime this is, please let me know (I'll add some contact details here at some point)

Sketch with Skeleton

No jaw? Again, probably done to animate talking

Cel with hoverbike.

Another one where the seller didn't know what show this was. Looks like an anime character on a hover bike, but its way too small to tell who that is. Again, if anyone knows please let me know. It's a small drawing but the colourful broken glass stuff looks really nice.

Sketch with hoverbike

If I look really closely, the hairstyle + the headband makes it kind of look like the character Kei from Dirty Pair, but the hair colour on the cel is completely different, though that might be because it's dark? Yeah I'm not sure. I'll probably watch Dirty Pair eventually to confirm.

Cel of Slimer with background

The only cel of a character in my collection that came with the corresponding background, Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. They're taped together and it would be really easy to separate them but I just haven't bothered. I probably will eventually. Not a big Ghostbusters fan but I like slime and by extension Slimer. New Ghostbusters 2 on the NES is a really good game and a hidden gem of the NES library. Weird that it was never released in North America? HAL Laboratory made that game, the guys who made Kirby and the first two Smash Bros.