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Excellence Award


SATO Tatsuo (Director) / Nekojiru (Original story)

Animated series or films released in home-video formats [Japan]

© Nekojiru・YAMATOdo/Nekojiru Family


SATO Tatsuo


Born on 1964 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from Waseda University School of Law, Sato worked as an animator at Asia-do, an animation company. Later he worked as a director on Chibi Maruko Chan ("Little Maruko"), Nintama Rantaro ("Rantaro, Ninja in the Making"), and Akazukin ChaCha ("Red Riding Hood ChaCha"). In 1995 He commanded widespread attention when he directed his first original TV animation for NHK, Tobe! Isami ("Fly! Isami"). In 1996, Sato directed Kido Senkan Nadeshiko ("Mobile Warship Nadeshiko"), which became a hit and catapulted him to fame in the world of animation. He did direction, storyboards, and screenplay for the tremendously popular full-length animated film Nadeshiko the Movie: Prince of Darkness, which was released in 1998. The film and Sato won the 38th Japan SF Convention Seiun (Japanese Hugo) Award, the 21st Animage Anime Gran Prix Grand Prize and prizes in four other divisions, and the 1st SF Online Award in the Movie Division. Sato writes a serial column, Watashi-Ryu Gyokai E-Konte ("Doing Commercial Storyboards My Way") in the monthly publication Hoso Bunka ("Broadcast Culture"). He is also at work on the TV animation series Gakuen Senki Muryo ("Muryo and the Campus Wars"), which began airing on the NHK BS-2 channel in May 2001.

( 2001 )


( 2001 )

Award Reason

"Nekojiru-So" appears to be a surreal, dreamlike story of two cute little kittens, but actually the story is fragmented. Concealed in its darkly hallucinatory images and startling scenes is a scathing satire on modern medicine, weather management, strange foods, global warming, and more. Scenes like the one in which ocean waves and whales dry up and harden are a means of artistic expression that is the unique property of animation. "Nekojiru-So" takes the viewer on a weird, mindbending voyage that is entirely new to animated films.

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