Sunday, February 14, 2016

AN ANIMATING DISCUSSION! Meeting Animator-Designer Minoru Kujirai!

Minoru Kujirai at a restaurant in Hino, Tokyo. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Saturday, February 13, I was pleased to have a chance to spend an evening with animator-designer Minoru Kujirai, whose work has been featured in many classic TV show and films. He began his career as an animator at Toei Studios, working on many cartoons that the studio produced.

In the 1970s, he turned his attention to live-action tokusatsu, and not only continued to work for Toei (on the Kamen Rider series) but eventually went to Tsuburaya Productions. At Tsuburaya, Kujirai-san worked on the Ultra-series (namely Ultraman Taro and Ultraman Leo), designing the beams for Ultraman and his kaiju foes. He later worked on movies like The War in Space (1977) and Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (1988).

Yours truly with Kujirai-san, following dinner and a lively conversation.

It was a wonderful experience to get to know not just an unsung hero of tokusatsu, but also a fellow fan. I can't thank Kujirai-san enough for his kindness and hospitality. Let's meet again soon!

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