Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In Memoriam: Yoshinori Kanada

Moon Chase has just learned an animator on the SuperS TV series has passed away. Yoshinori Kanada suffered a sudden heart attack and died yesterday in Japan at the age of 57. Yoshinori was a legend in the anime industry, having worked on many prominent Studio Ghibli films, anime series, and was even a layout artist on the innovative US CGI masterpiece, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. He was known to many as a "Superanimator" having been an animator since the 1970s. Yoshinori began studying animation at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College, but later dropped out and began working for Toei Animation. His debut was a magical girl series called Mahou no Mako-chan. He also worked on the epic series Galaxy Express 999. He later left Toei and worked for a few years as part of an independent animator group under the leadership of Shingo Araki, before moving to Sunrise where he worked on mecha anime such as Getter Robo. Later in his career, he would return to Toei to work on a few series, including Sailor Moon SuperS. In the mid 80s he worked with Studio Ghibli on their biggest films, including Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, and Princess Mononoke. In 1998 , he worked as a layout artist on Square Pictures' Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and it was during this time that he was given the opportunity to be in charge of video game production for Square Enix. He worked as an animation director on Final Fantasy XI, worked storyboards for Final Fantasy IV on the Nintendo DS, and directed two Egg Monster Hero games. He continued to work in anime as well, including the 2001 movie Metropolis and Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking in 2005. He was also an esteemed member of the animators collective ANIDO, and the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCa). Anime News Network has also posted an article, here.


He was most influential since his debut, always finding new ways to use animation to thrill viewers, despite the limits of technology at the time. He developed his own personal style, and this later inspired many other animators to do the same. His funeral has yet to be announced, but sources say it will be relatives only. A public memorial will be held at a later date - ANIDO writes that it may be on August 30th, with time and location TBA. Our entire staff sends out our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. May he rest in peace.

2 comments:

esahC said...

Well, better get out the "Yureru Kokoro" cue. ..

RIP Yoshinori. As they always say, gone, but not forgotten (at least, in the anime community.)

Miss Ami Mizuno said...

Thank you for your wonderful work Yoshinori-san. You did some amazing things!