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So I was convinced that Yoshinori Kanada had to be a good animator. We met a few times after that at various get-togethers, but never really got a good chance to talk, apart from one phone conversation where I did most of the talking. I'd never even really had a good look at his work. Yet I was determined to work with him some day. I made the mistake of saying that aloud one day, which is why I was asked to write this essay. Try as I might to squirm out of it, I got tired of fighting off the repeated video education sessions and decided to give it a go, accepting that what I say here might be way off the mark.
...But if we narrow it down to animators who are able to create animation whose drawings and movement (including their sense of timing) feels good as animation - then the number becomes much smaller. Yoshinori Kanada is one of the few animators who can create that kind of animation.It's easy to imagine why his unique brand of explosions and wild action has bred a league of followers. But that unique feeling in his work can't be achieved by simply copying a template pattern, as will undoubtedly be illustrated by the stale and stultified feeling of battle scenes drawn by his imitators.
...You take part in some big name projects. You decide to lay aside your issues with the structure or the storyboard or the subject of the film, and just make your part the best you can make it. Your work even receives recognition as a result. You feel like you've achieved something. Another part of you, though, begins to wonder if it's enough to simply chug along as a cog in the wheel. You begin to awaken to what it really is that you want to express as a creator.
If I may be so bold, that is the kind of animator I imagine Yoshinori Kanada to be.
The work of Yoshinori Kanada and Kazuhide Tomonaga on the Galaxy Express 999 movie (viz) was characterized in some corners as a victory for contract animators. But the issue of contract vs. subcontract is beside the point. What's really happening is that a new generation of animators is replacing the old. That's all. The problems faced by the new generation of animators are otherwise the same. If some in-house animator someplace lords their sense of superiority over you, they're not deserving of respect anyway, so just leave and go somewhere else.
...I'd very much like to work with him, but so far the opportunity to offer him a job hasn't presented itself. I know how hard it can be to be picky about work without losing heart. I hope he takes care of himself and perseveres.