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Anime Director Toshio Hirata Passes Away

posted on by Karen Ressler

Anime director Sunao Katabuchi (Mai Mai Miracle, Black Lagoon) stated over Twitter on Wednesday that he heard of fellow director Toshio Hirata's passing on Monday, August 25. He was 76.

Katabuchi wrote the following Tweets commenting on his passing:

It appears that Toshio Hirata a.k.a. Pon-san passed away on the 25th. I'm so sad that words won't come.... Pon-san was one year older than Sadao Tsukioka, but said, "At Toei, Mr. Tsukioka was my teacher." I was Tsukioka's student in college, so back at Mad House, the two of us often were forced to help Mr. Tsukioka at college. These kind of stories seem like they happened yesterday, but also almost seem so long ago that my hands can't reach.

Katabuchi also mentioned that funeral offerings will be collected by Hirata's friends Gisaburō Sugii, Masao Maruyama, and Rintaro, and will be sent to his grieving family. Maruyama will be accepting the donations at MAPPA's first-floor studio.

Hirata started at Toei Animation in 1960 on Alakazam the Great. He went on to direct projects for Mushi Productions and Mad House, including The Fantastic Adventures of Unico, Pet Shop of Horrors, and Barefoot Gen 2. Recently, he was one of many anime creators to contribute to Space Dandy.

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