January 21, 2008
Some of you may have inferred that among my less productive interests is Japanese Animation. Jinzo Toriumi is a person who helped make that hobby possible.
In the late 60's and early 70's Tatsunoko studios produced and released a string of animated TV productions that made anime a cultural force.
Inspired in part by the American comic books that the founders obtained from US Servicemen, shows like Mach GoGoGo(Speed Racer) and Gatchaman were far ahead of their contemporaries in art, animation quality and writing. The creative team that Mr. Toriumi was a part of caused a surge of interest in the then small Anime industry and other companies put more money in their animation departments. Toriumi was one of that original team He joined the company in 1965 and was a writer on some of the most important series of the early years of Anime.
The members of the Tatsunoko team were NOT the originators of Anime in Japan, but via their extremely popular shows, they had become a major catalyst for the industry. For a few years they were the gold standard and other companies strove mightily to catch up, by the early to mid 80s this had reached critical mass and the Anime explosion of that era was a result.
Like many of the original creative crew he left in the early 80s, in his case to work for Sunrise.
Although Tatsunoko is pretty much just a subsidiary of a toy company now, the members of Tatsunoko's initial creative team eventually founded Studio Pierrot, Production IG and XEBEC, which are, even today, major creative and production forces in the world of anime.
Jinzo Toriumi helped to make a vast ammount of what we enjoy today possible. Few have made such a difference, fewer still have made one for the better.
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