Thursday, April 21, 2011

RIP Osamu Dezaki

It is my unfortunate duty to report on the tragic loss of legendary anime pioneer, Osamu Dezaki, who passed away last weekend due to lung cancer.

Dezaki had an incredible, influential career in the Japanese animation industry that went all the way back to the 1960's when he joined Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions and worked on the original Astro Boy anime. He would go on to work with other Tezuka properties including directing the Black Jack movie and OVA series, as well as finishing The Old Testament Story after Tezuka's death.

Probably best known as the director of the Ashita no Joe anime, Dezaki also worked on classic series and franchises including Aim for the Ace, Lupin III, Golgo 13, and Space Adventure Cobra. Even beyond that is his involvement in co-productions for American produced cartoons including Bionic Six and Mighty Orbots.

The "Postcard Memories" technique, where the importance of an animated scene is enhanced by fading into a fully detailed illustration, was created by Dezaki and has pretty much become an anime staple. Thanks to brilliant touches like this and his overall wide body of diverse work, the memory and influence of Osmau Dezaki will live on.