There was a time when the aim of animation creation was to make the original manga move. The creator set unpredictable, fantastic action sequences in dynamic perspective, and cut them into bold frames. The passion and esthetic sensibility generated by the creator’s instincts surpassed logic and stirred the souls of the viewers. And above all, it was fascinating, funny, and cool. The person in charge of the original drawing of those cuts was KANADA Yoshinori. Suddenly, in July in last year, his race through life came to an end and he soared up into the sky like the characters he moved around so freely.
His influence has touched not only later animation but also every genre of visual communication including movies, games and contemporary art. His influence has also penetrated deeply into the fields represented in this Festival. We would like to present him this Memorial Achievement Prize to celebrate his life and achievements, in the hope that his great influence and inspiration will live on.
Born in 1952 in Ikaruga-cho, Nara. KANADA Yoshinori graduated from Shizuoka Prefectural Kiga High School, and after entering Tokyo Designer Gakuin College in 1970, joined Toei Doga (currently Toei Animation). His first animation production was MACO, THE MERMAID in 1970. He left Toei Doga and moved to Studio Z, under the leadership of ARAKI Shingo, then Studio No. 1, whose president was NODA Takuo, and became an animation supervisor with Legend of Daikumaryu Gaikingu in 1976. He captured public attention with his robot animations, such as Mutekichojin Zambot 3 in 1977 and Mutekikojin Daitarn 3 in 1978. He drew important scenes for full-length theater animation films, including Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato in 1978, Galaxy Express 999 in 1979, and Genma Taisen in 1983.
KANADA Yoshinori joined Studio Ghibli to do Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984 then worked on Laputa, Castle in the Sky in 1986 and My Neighbor Totoro in 1988. Later, he took part in the production of Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within shown in 2001, and after joining Square Enix, became in charge of the opening animations for games including Hanjuku Hero vs. 3D in 2003.
KANADA Yoshinori nurtured many young animators for about forty years, and there are probably no animators who were not influenced by his works.
On July 21, 2009, he passed away at the age of 57 after suffering a cardiac infarction.