Given name: 康生Family name: 大塚
Birthday: Jul 11, 1931Website:
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Yasuo Ōtsuka (大塚康生) is a Japanese animator who worked with Toei Animation and Studio Ghibli.
Ōtsuka first started drawing as a small child when he saw trains carrying soldiers off to the war. He was so enamoured with trains that he continued drawing them with greater and greater detail as he aged. This led to a fascination with the machinery that is pervasive throughout much of his anime work.
Otsuka found employment in the statistics section of the general affairs department of the Yamaguchi prefectural office first. Then, while working, he came up to Tokyo twice by the business trip. At the time, the current-events satirical comics which he contributed to Yamguchi newspaper were adopted, and the work was temporarily serialized. Afterwards, he decides to go to Tokyo to become a political cartoonist.
In 1956, Otsuka finished the recuperation life and found the newspaper article that the production of the anime movie Hakujaden was decided to Toei. Then, he visited Nihon Douga (=Japan Animation) company that became the basis of inauguration of Toei Animation, and took the test. The people representing the Japanese animation field such as Yasuji Mori at that time received him, and the result of the examination was passing. He was one of the Toei animators involved in experimenting with frame-rate modulation in animation. This experimentation lead to what is commonly called the "money shot" style, where more important scenes are animated more fully than others. He practiced animation while going to work, and was finally temporarily employed as one of the first employees of Toei Animation. However, unless they did overtime work after finishing the task twice or more the regular employment group, they were not able to live because the salary of the temporary employment group was a half of the regular employment group.
In addition he was a mentor to both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and worked with them on many of their early projects. Although he had the chance to do the director several times, he refused it. It is because he witnessed that Isao Takahata faced difficulties during the production of Hols: Prince of the Sun. In a documentary about him, he stated that he revered Takahata's ability as the director in Hols. And, he felt that his ability was insufficient by comparison.
Ōtsuka is currently running a school for animators in Japan, and recently Studio Ghibli produced a documentary about the animator.
Animation Director for The Castle of Cagliostro; Character Design for Moomin, Lupin III, Future Boy Conan & The Castle of Cagliostro.
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