There’s a Man in the Woods and Masaaki Yuasa

I forgot to mention one of my favorite artists, Masaaki Yuasa, in class today. So here are some small samples from him!

I think Masaaki’s really great at giving insight into a character’s inner thoughts and feelings through visual cues and animation. In the kazama is a monster clip, he compresses a lot of information with the symbols of the dragon and airplane. Context: The only reason the Chinese character is there in Japan was because he got kicked out of his team (for making some kind of mistake). If he beats kazama (purple dude), he’d prove his worth enough that he’d finally get to go home and see his family. It’s why you see airplanes so much and hear airplane sound effects in the background. The cityline we see in what Chinese dude is thinking of is probably Shanghai, and the ruins are probably the aftermath of an earthquake he survived as a child.

The really cool animation starts around 11:50, but I included the other stuff again because of the little details, like the Roomba robot. Smile was often teased to behave like a robot (emotionless), and he’s tried to fit those expectations to his best ability. You’ll also notice that the Roomba has a little moon brand on it, while his friend often carries star symbols on his clothing.

Someone mentioned Tatami Galaxy. I think Masaaki was an animator or designer for that anime as well.

Here’s a video describing Masaaki’s style:

One of the guys mention Tiger Mask at some point, and I think he’s referring to this:

You can see the influence of Tiger Mask’s style in Masaaki’s kickstarter animation Kickheart:

And fun fact: here’s a fun homage to Tiger Mask from Steven Universe. Masaaki has also animated for Adventure Time before



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