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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« Kemonozume #7The Red Bird »

Saturday, October 28, 2006

02:40:14 pm , 231 words, 1187 views     Categories: Animation

Kotabe & Shinei

In an interesting addendum to the last post, I just realized that Yoichi Kotabe had actually been involved in the Red Bird. He was in fact supposed to have been the one to do the first episode about the Crying Red Oni I talked about, but he had to stop in the middle of preparations because he was invited by Toei to do that other folktale-styled film I mentioned, Taro the Dragon Boy, which also has a red oni character... so we got to see Kotabe's red oni after all, but just in a different place. He relates that he still regrets having done that to Kusube. He was also invited to work on Conan, but had to refuse for the same reason. It's interesting to speculate about what Conan might have looked like in his hands. He also mentions that he worked on Tenguri at Otsuka's invitation, and the work was all done from home - he didn't even go to the studio. This came right after he had quit Nippon Animation following Marco and gone freelance. This seems like one of those periods in a person's life when the future was uncertain, and things could have gone any of several directions. I can't help but wish things had gone in a direction that saw Kotabe working for a bit longer as an animator instead of going to game production.



Daniel Thomas MacInnes

Ah! It seems this provides an insight into Kotabe’s later days as an animator. I often wonder why he chose to go to Nintendo of all places, and essentially retire from animation?

At least we have him and Okuyama on Winter Days (which I just uploaded to youtube, btw), but, dagnabbit, 60 seconds is far too short for such great talent. Oh, if only Takahata could round up the old gang for one last heist, just to show the kids how things are done.

And it would have been pretty interesting to see what Kotabe could have brought to Conan, although it seems by that point, Miyazaki had become an all-consuming monster (he became The Hulk, in Otsuka’ words).

10/29/06 @ 01:21
DRMECHA [Visitor]  

Yoichi Kotabe is the first animator accredited in charge “character designer” meanwhile Mitsuki Nakamura (Tatsunoko member in the 60’s and founder of DesignOffice Mechaman in 1976 with his disciple Kunio Ohkawara!!)is the first animator accredited in charge “mechanic designer".

06/18/07 @ 06:52
Ben [Member]  

Yes, I know. :) Mentioned that on my Karisuma Animators page. Didn’t know about that mecha guy, tho. Seems appropriate that you would be the one to educate me about that fact. :P

06/19/07 @ 17:30