Award given for excellence in academic, artistic fields
The Japanese government announced on Tuesday that anime director Masaaki Yuasa is receiving the fall 2021 Medal with Purple Ribbon. The medal is awarded to “individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments.”
Yuasa started as a key animator for such anime as Doraemon: Nobita’s Animal Planet and The Legend of the Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden. He moved on to Crayon Shin-chan where he was animation director on a number of episodes, and did animation work on the franchise films.
Yuasa co-founded Science SARU with Eunyoung Choi in 2013. The duo’s “Food Chain” episode of the American animated series Adventure Time earned them an Annie Award nomination in 2014. Yuasa’s major anime credits as director include Japan Sinks: 2020, DEVILMAN crybaby, Kemonozume, Kick-Heart, Lu over the wall, Mind Game, Ride Your Wave, Ping Pong, The Tatami Galaxy, and Kaiba.
Yuasa retired as president of the studio Science SARU in March 2020. He recently directed INU-OH, the musical anime feature film of Hideo Furukawa‘s Heike Monogatari: Inu-Oh no Maki (Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh) novel. The film will open in Japan in early 2022.
Past recipients of the honor include:
Manga creator Shigeru Mizuki in 1991
Fujio Akatsuka in 1998
Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata in 1999
Manga creator Leiji Matsumoto in 2001
Manga creator Tetsuya Chiba in 2002
Composer and Studio Ghibli‘s frequent collaborator Joe Hisaishi in 2009
Only Yesterday singer Harumi Miyako in 2010
Manga creator Ryohei Saigan in 2010
Manga creator Moto Hagio in 2012
Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo in 2013
Manga creator Keiko Takemiya in 2014
Anime director Keiichi Hara in 2018
Manga creator Osamu Akimoto in 2019
Manga creator Rumiko Takahashi in 2020
Crypton Future Media President and virtual idol Hatsune Miku’s figurative “father” Hiroyuki Itō also received a Medal with Blue Ribbon in 2013. The medal is “awarded to individuals who have made prosperous efforts in the areas of public welfare and education.”
Thanks to Nicholas R. Zabaly for the news tip.
Image via Comic Natalie
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