One of Itano’s ‘three people recognised’ for their talent, Masami Gotou is a famous animator, known mostly for his mecha animation, who hails from the late-eighties. His first known credit was on the 1987 Dirty Pair movie as an in-betweener, and he also did inbetween animation on the Ranma 1/2 TV-anime, but his recognition comes from his status as as one of the more impressive mecha-animators around. This stems from his memorable work as a regular key animator on the Gundam OVAs of the late 80s to early 90s (Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk IV, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (movie), and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz ). In particular, his circus scene from Endless Waltz is held up as a highlight example of his work. A the end of the 90s, he was a prominent animator on Turn A Gundam, and was integral to the excellent dogfights in Cowboy Bebop. Unfortunately he took a step back from animation work after burning out from overwork on the Gonzo theatrical anime, Akido. These days he is making a slow comeback, much to the relief of his old fans. Last year he worked on Kuroshitsuji, Break Blade and Kiddy Girl And, and the year before that he contributed to the outstanding Birdy Decode 2.
His circus scenes are really breathtaking for their movement and complexity, and his work on the Cowboy Bebop movie is really impressive. The fact that he is still occasionally active in TV-anime definitely makes him someone to keep an eye on. I wonder why he hasn’t worked on the new Gundam series/OVAs/movies? I guess it’s just because there’s a new crowd at Sunrise now. His legacy will certainly be his masterful realisation of the Itano circus!