Animator MAD + Discussion: Yoshihara Tatsuya



Yoshihara Tatsuya (Yoshihara Tatsuya) is a prolific and highly recognised young animator involved in the TV-anime industry today. He entered the industry at the age of 21, and his first job seems to have been on Shugo Chara (2008). With an in-betweener credit for episode 30 under his belt, it wasn’t long before he had the opportunity to do key animation for episodes 47 and 70. By the end of that year and into the next he was doing lots of key animation work on a number of series and his work was starting to be noticed on anime like Nyankoi, and Saki. 2010 was a big year for him – he worked on over 20 different anime and his parts were interesting from a sakuga fan’s perspective. That year he worked on the Nanoha movie, and was also instrumental in Bushiroad’s Weiss Schwarz anime second season, debuting as animation director for 2 of the episodes. His next animation director position would also be for a Bushiroad anime – Milky Holmes episode 6.

He’s involved in a hell of a lot this season. Key Animation for: DOG DAYS, Seikon no Qwaser II, Hoshizora, Astarotte no Omocha, A-channel and Sket Dance. A good sign is that he’s worked on many OPs (Sket Dance, Astarotte, Seikon no Qwaser II and A-channel!). He also got a more high-profile animation direction job on Sket Dance 8. He’s been quite a successful freelance animator, given how long he’s been around. His success may either lie in being cheap, or in being reliable and able to produce interesting animation under pressure or without too many drawings.


When he did animation direction for that Milky Holmes episode, he described it as being on a really tough schedule. Despite this, he managed to pull off the episode quite well, and (perhaps even as a consequence of having little time) his style was definitely present. His style is really interesting to me because it’s a little hard to place. While he can do good fluid animation with many frames, his sakuga qualities really come from his ability to portray exciting motion with very few frames. And this isn’t just efficient use of varying the frames. Like many other contemporary animators of the Yoshinori Kanada vein, when he draws with few frames he focuses on making each frame count by really nailing interesting poses and drawings. However, unlike Imaishi and Kanada who focus on drawing poses discretely for really awesome looking frames, Tatsuya’s frames all carry a certain consequence. If you looked at each from on its own, it would paint a boring and probably disfigured picture, but that’s because each frame is very conscious of the overall arc of movement that it’s a part of. So with few drawings, he can give a sense of weightiness and momentum. It’s well-suited to TV-animation and you can see why he’ll become more and more sought after.

He’s a follower of both Seiya Numata and Tanaka Hironori, which makes sense. If I had to theorise on any influence, I’d say Seiya Numata’s deformation is there, but rendered the rugged, sharp detail of Hironori. He’s actually been involved with Seiya Numata a lot, on episode 7 of Ichiban Ushiro (for which Numata was animation director) and in Milky Holmes, which Seiya Numata was heavily involved in.

While I’m not a huge fan of his, I appreciate what he can do and how he’s established himself in the industry. I’d be really interested to see what he could do with more time and money.

Sakuga Wiki
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11 thoughts on “Animator MAD + Discussion: Yoshihara Tatsuya

  1. Interesting stuff.

    It’s just too bad that most of the interesting animators today are all working on TV anime I’m not watching. And I’m not too good at spotting people.

    1. Actually it’s the same for me this season, really. The better anime for sakuga are the ones I’m not watching! Except for Dog Days.

  2. Just realised how many series I’ve watched were partially animated by him. Tatsuya Yoshihara, I’ll remember that name.

    Off-topic but were you going to make a post about Azazel-san ep 10?

    1. I’m gonna watch that episode tonight (caught up with the series over the course of the week). I doubt I’ll do posts on other episodes, because I don’t really have the time these days to review anime more than occasionally!

  3. wow great report, i love this gut style, his animation always great especially in Nyankoi and Ichiban Ushiro
    i hope to see more of this reports

  4. nice stuff. Was this shown in chronologically? I see some structural problems in some of his holds. That issue happens less as the MAD goes on, so i thought it was in order from earliest to latest cuts.

    He does get a lot of motion and overlap in few drawings, but I see common flourishes across a lot of his characters. I’m no less guilty, but since He and I are roughly the same age, I think we’re both in the same place; trying to internalize the unique way in which one character acts which is different from any other, and learning not to OVER animate.

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