Yasuo Ohtsuka

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Yasuo Ohtsuka ca. 2005
Yasuo Ohtsuka ca. 2005

Yasuo Ohtsuka (大塚康生 Ootsuka Yasuo?) (also romanized as "Ōtsuka" or "Otsuka") was born 11 July 1931 in Shimane prefecture. Since the 1960s he has been a colleague and mentor to both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. In his animation career he has drawn and sketched storyboards, handled continuity, layouts and eyecatches, written screenplays, and worked as a key animator, character designer, supervisor, and director.

A list of some of the titles he has worked on with Miyazaki and Takahata reads like a "greatest hits" history of classic anime: The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, Prince of the Sun: The Great Adventure of Hols, Gulliver's Space Travels, Puss 'n Boots, Lupin III (both the first TV series and The Castle of Cagliostro), Panda! Go Panda!, Conan: The Boy in Future, Chie the Brat, Sherlock Hound, and Ohtsuka's only directorial credit, the 22-minute Tenguri, Boy of the Plains.

Since retiring in 1981, Ohtsuka has been fostering young animators as an instructor and advisor at Telecom Animation Films. Since 2001 he has been headmaster of the studio's online animation school Anime Juku.

In 2005 a documentary about his life and work was produced Yasuo Ohtsuka's Joy of Motion. Though currently out-of-print it is still readily available on subtitled R2 DVD in Japan under the Ghibli ga Ippai Collection Special label.