Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Thursday, October 5, 2006

11:26:29 am , 354 words, 1390 views     Categories: Animation

Animator yearbook

I haven't had time to post much of anything in here recently (as usual), so I thought I would fill in the blank by posting this thing I threw together for my own reference some time ago - a simple list of some of the animators I've hilighted over the last two years, to see who's been covered and who remains to be... This might serve as a sort of extension of the Karisuma Animators page.

Mitsuo Iso 磯光雄
     Mitsuo Iso Interview
     Iso Fun Pack
     Denno Coil
Satoru Utsunomiya うつのみや理
     Gosenzosama Banbanzai
     Leading up to Aquarion 19
     Aquarion 19
Yoshinori Kanada 金田伊功
     The Kanada School
Koichi Arai 新井浩一
     3x3 Eyes
Hisashi Mori 森久司
Yasunori Miyazawa 宮沢康紀
Michio Mihara 三原三千夫
Nobutake Ito 伊東伸高
Takaaki Wada 和田高明
Ko Yoshinari 吉成鋼
Hideki Hamasu 濱洲英喜
Kazuo Komatsubara 小松原一男
Norimoto Tokura 戸倉紀元
Yasuhiro Nakura 名倉靖博
Ichiro Itano 板野一郎
Tomonori Kogawa 湖川友謙
Yasuhiro Aoki 青木康浩
Shinsaku Kozuma 上妻晋作
Hiroshi Okubo 大久保宏
Susumu Yamaguchi 山口晋
     Studio Torapezoid
Tadashi Hiramatsu 平松禎史
     Tadashi Hiramatsu interview
Toshiyuki Inoue 井上俊之
     Toshiyuki Inoue interview
     Toshiyuki Inoue interview - Part 2

Most of the time I've tried to focus on names that haven't received as much attention as I feel they deserve, while avoiding the more well-known names. But there are a few more well known figures I'd like to write about sometime. For one, I'd like to write a post about Takeshi Honda. Rumor has it that he is the CD of Denno Coil, so I thought it was a good time to look back on his work. I bet he's a pretty familiar name to many of you. What do you think of Honda? What do you think about any of the animators I've hilighted here? Who are your favorites? Why? Who do you think deserves to be written about that I haven't covered here? There are plenty of great animators I haven't covered here, so the future is full of possibility.



Muffin [Visitor]

Suppose mentioning Shinya Ohira is almost redundant. Of the people you’ve got listed on your Karisuma animators page I’m pretty interested in Manabu Ohashi. I love “Cloud” and “Labyrinth Labyrinthos". Any idea which parts he did in Metropolis & Palme btw?

Other than that I’ve always been curious about Masayuki. I’m not sure to what degree he was involved in the animation and/or art-direction in Rintaro’s Teito Monogatari(Doomed Megalopolis). But I was very fond of the charachter-designs and graphic style of that OAV. Always wished Rin had used him for “X: the Movie"…I remember him being one of the first “names” I memorized in the early days alongside Koichi Arai and Atsushi Yamagata.

As for Honda, I think it was at least partly thanks to his solid draughtsmanship that the TV ending to Evangelion worked as well as it did. I also liked his bit with the security guards panicking in Innocence. I suppose his contribution to Millenium Actress as CD/AD was appealing enough, if also feeling somewhat stretched thin. Was probably more impressed by his collaboration with Morimoto in “Beyond” where his flat & blocky(?…) style came out really nice. It also somehow made perfect sense to me when I heard he had designed the Mass production Evangelions for EOE.

10/05/06 @ 13:33
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I thought about it for a while, and besides Honda I would also like to hear about female animators - both from the past and present. (if it isn’t too much to ask, that is)

Also after having watched a fair amount of animation I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m less of a Kanada person, but more of a… well… everything else. Somehow Kanada-esque animation (even the ones done by, say, Imaishi and co.) tends to make me feel a little off sometimes. It’s just a personal thing though.

10/09/06 @ 03:55
Ben [Member]  


I agree, Manabu Ohashi is someone I’d like to explore more thoroughly sometime. He is incredibly prolific, has been involved in many interesting projects, and is able to balance a personal style with a more neutral approach. I can’t identify his work very often because his personal style isn’t on display in most commercial projects. So no, I don’t know what he did in Metropolis or Palme. It’s pretty annoying because he’s usually listed high up, so he clearly contributed a large amount. I’d like to go through his filmography more thoroughly, as that would probably bring his sytle into relief more clearly. I can’s say I’m that familiar with Masayuki’s work, though what little I’ve seen of his early work was nice. I absolutely loved the boars in Nadia and wish he’d continued to make that kind of animation. Perhaps he did, and I just don’t know about it… would definitely be worth a little investigation.

I’m like you in that I’ve always appreciated Honda more as an animator than as an animation director or character designer. His personal approach to animation comes through more clearly as a lone animator… but there was definitely something very Honda about his debut Nadia work, and I remember liking his lanky Eva designs too, and of course Beyond had his personal touch, so I probably need to make a bit more effort to appreciate his AD/CD work.

Random Person:

It would be my pleasure. Writing about women animators is one of the things I’ve been meaning to do but have been neglecting, so thank you for reminding me to do that. There’s one in particular I’ve been meaning to write about forever, and you’ve reminded me, so I’ll try to do that ASAP.

And as much as I enjoy Kanada’s work, I actually understand what you’re saying about Kanada-school animation… in fact it’s something I’ve also felt for a while now. I find I gain more pleasure from animators who create more delicate and nuanced animation. Kanada-school stuff has a dynamism and energy you don’t find anywhere else, but it can get monotonous in excessive doses. It’s great fun in small doses, like everything I suppose.

Thanks both for the great input, as always.

10/09/06 @ 14:45
Benjamin Sanders
Benjamin Sanders [Visitor]

Have you written much about Osamu Tanabe? Possibly you have, and I have not found it, but what I have seen of his work I have found very interesting. He seems to be mentioned less than others of that school of animation too.

But again, I may have missed a lot.

10/09/06 @ 15:33
Ben [Member]  

I’ve written a bit, but only little mentions here and there and not nearly as much as he deserves, to be sure. Great idea. I’d love to focus on him a bit.

10/09/06 @ 16:51
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Ooh, thank you so much. I’ll be waiting eagerly to watch it. If it’s of any interest, the most recent Kemonozume (#9) was done by a largely all-female team. Funny how they arranged the 4 key animators, like the corners of a square. These two episodes took on an unusually clean feel.

10/11/06 @ 04:03
Muffin [Visitor]

Ah…turns out Masayuki did the storyboards together with Rintaro on “Megalopolis". It certainly accounts for the fine sense of unity between the designwork and the way it was utilized cinematically. Lots of interesting names in the credits, from Anno, Tsurumaki, Kishida to Honda.

And just to add to my list of favourites/curiosities:

Hiroyuki Okiura: Been a fan since I saw Jin-Roh. On the strength of his debut feature alone I’d call him one of the most important figures in the industry.

Tatsuyuki"Cannabis"Tanaka: I’m fascinated by this guy, from the manga and illustrations to the animated short pieces I’ve seen.
Someone give this man the budgets Otomo is getting.

Koji Morimoto: Love his shorts. Looking forward to “Sachiko".

Toshiyuki Inoue: The more I learn about him. The more he’s becoming one of my favourite “pure” animators. His Palme scene was great. And the bits in AKIRA with Tetsuo hitting the clown and Kaneda approaching Tetsuo, looking worried are remarkable in all sorts of ways. I also remember hearing somewhere he did the rooftop sequence in Tokyo Godfathers.(If not him, I’d certainly love to know who?)

Masaaki Yuasa: Would love to see Mind Game. He seems like a genuine visionary.

10/24/06 @ 14:16