Memories of Yoshinori Kanada

Yoshinori Kanada’s (an animator involved with Sailor Moon SuperS) official memorial took place last Sunday at Suginami Kaikan Hall. ANIDO has posted photos of the event, along with links to boards for fans to post their condolences to his family, as well as bank account information for fans who want to donate to help pay for memorial expenses.

Earlier in statements to the press, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki referred to him as the Head Boss, even though he himself was Kanada’s boss. They worked together on 6 films, from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, to Princess Mononoke in 1997. He continued to say that usually 2 or more animators take charge of a scene that becomes animated, and that it was typical that tempers would flare up over how many scenes of movement were required, poses, picture issues etc. However, at an early age Kanada had such talent that whenever he was in charge of something, no one ever argued with him! He bought so many new and fresh ideas to anime, especially in series like Space Battleship Yamamoto or Galaxy Railroad 999. Kanada also never treated his work as easy, and he never changed his style, but thankfully, his style was good and always had a grasp on the audience. He had a knack for lightening up the office, and everyone would be laughing for a long time before they were even aware they were working late! After Kanada stopped working for Studio Ghibli, the two exchanged occasional messages, but Miyazaki never knew his private life. He was very confused when he learned of Kanada’s death. He later said that Kanada was legendary, and one of his favorite people.

A whopping 1100 important figures in anime, as well as fans, attended his memorial service. Images, video, and storyboards of his past work were shown. Takashi Namaki, one of Kanada’s oldest friends and Chair of ANIDO, greeted everyone at the beginning of the service. They had known each other for 37 years, and he was saddened that they would not be growing old together, with sorrow in his manner. Anime critic Ryusuke Hikawa called Kanada his friend, and an expert in animation and animation techniques. He continued and said that he was the star of all the animators, and that he had a collection of talent in this industry. Hideaki Anno, creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the director of Nausicaa, also spoke at the service and said it was too early for Kanada. He wanted to see more newer animation from Kanada, and how he very much adored his work as he looked at his portrait. During the service, many funny stories were shared, and the audience would burst into laughter amongst all the sorrow. Legendary director Rintaro also spoke, and said that he was bitterly disappointed he could not help Kanada-kun more and he should have done more work with him. His wife Makiko, shared a very private video of Kanada singing a song, that had the whole audience laughing and shaking! Makiko finished by saying that he liked to make people laugh, and that she appreciated to hear everyone laughing to ease her grief. She wanted to treat this service as more of a reunion than a send off. The writer of this article ended with a fitting comment: “the hall was wrapped in such a warm atmosphere.” A happy ending to a sad and terrible occasion. We only hope that wherever Kanada-kun is now, that he could feel the warmth of his fans around the world.

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