Ikuo Kuwana Animator MAD + Bio

Kuwana Ikuo is a well known animator who has contributed a lot of distinct pieces of animation on a variety of projects, including popular TV-anime (FMA, Panty & Stocking, Wolfs Rain, Denno Coil, Eureka 7) and a number of big theatrical anime (Evangelion, Spriggan and Princess Mononoke). A graduate from Yoyogi Animation Academy, Ikuo’s industry origins are at studio Ghibli, although he didn’t have a lot of influence there. During that time, Ikuo forged a strong friendship with animator Yoshida Kenichi, who also started out at Ghibli, and it’s thought that it was this relationship that got him work on Eureka 7 and Overman King Gainer. It was Ikuo’s work on Eureka 7 that first got him recognition as a good animator, however it was his efforts for Street Fighter Alpha Generations (which he also directed) that elevated him into the limelight.

I really haven’t heard Ikuo mentioned much in the English-speaking fandom (or at all), and I admit I only really just heard of him (the above bio is based on the sakuga wiki). It’s always nice to learn about a new animator. I quite like his style, but I guess I need to watch Street Fighter Alpha Generations to really comment on him. Judging by this MAD, he has a really rough and visceral style, which comes through really well with the effect animation from Gurren Lagann, and works perfectly for the Wolfs Rain part. I’m not sure which studio he is currently affiliated with (or if he’s a freelancer), but he’s done a lot of work for GAINAX recently, so he’s probably with them.

6 thoughts on “Ikuo Kuwana Animator MAD + Bio

  1. He’s good, but he looks more like a “support” animator more than anything, which is most likely why not a lot of overseas fans have heard of him. Especially in the movies he’s worked on–I can’t see how he’d be able to stand out among the likes of Makiko Futaki, Atsuko Tanaka, Iso, or Shinji Hashimoto.

    The Street Fighter OVA he’s worked on should be a good (if not, the only) baseline to see his work in the raw, I suppose.

    1. Indeed. Still, his recent stuff for GAINAX has been pretty cool, and he was animation director for episode 15 of Panty & Stocking. Maybe we’ll see some truly impressive stuff from here in the future.

      1. I forget, but was episode 15 of PSG part of the three-parts in the whole thing? I remember it because I got tricked into thinking Kenichi Yoshida was somehow involved in it.

        But yeah, Gainax is an animator-friendly place, so he should be getting ample chances to show off his stuff down the line.

          1. It was an innovative and enjoyable show in its own right, even though the subject matter is admittedly inane and tasteless.

            I found it a delightful little anime, but I understand if it might not be interesting for you. If anything, I think it’s best taken in small doses.

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