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For anyone who can read French, I wanted to point out a nice homage to Yoshinori Kanada just posted by Manuloz on his anime news web site Manganimation.net. There were a lot of things written about Kanada when the news hit the net that he'd died, but I find that very few people seemed to really understand who Yoshinori Kanada was as an animator, and where his true importance lay. Manuloz's article does an admirable job of providing an overview of Kanada's history, which can be a challenging thing to do due to the man's seemingly incessant studio-hopping. I should try to do a similar write-up in the future so that there's a comprehensive overview available in English, too.
In the years to come we'll surely see some text written about Kanada's history, influence and importance in Japanese, but hopefully in English too. His legacy lives on like that of no other animator today. There was a lot of imitation of Kanada-san in the 80s, which in the 90s seemed to diminish a little. In the 2000's, especially in the last few years, it feels like we've seen a resurgence of the style. History often has this kind of cyclic character. What exactly is it about Kanada's brand of playful animation that seems to attract young animators today more than ever? That would be an interesting topic on which to ruminate. Every season I'll see at least a few shots by some brash young animators having fun with the TV animation that reminds me of the kind of animation Kanada was doing back in the late 70s, some of it being pure imitation, some of the more memorable being work trying to develop its own voice much in the way Kanada was doing back then. Maybe that's the secret. Kanada's mindset as an animator seems particularly well suited to permitting young animators to both have fun and attempt to express their budding individuality.