Animator/Director Shoichi Masuo Passes Away at 57
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Studio Khara announced on Wednesday that animator and director Shōichi Masuo passed away on Monday at 11:36 a.m. while under medical care for an unspecified illness. He was 57. His close relatives will hold a private wake and funeral service.
Masuo is a noted key animator who specialized in mechanical and effects animation. He started out as an animator in Studio Giants, working on such anime as Sengoku Majin Goshōgun. He was the Assistant Animation Director for the 1984 anime film The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?, where he met future Gainax co-founder Hideaki Anno on the film's key animation staff. After working on Project A-Ko in 1986 as a key animator and mecha animation director, he moved to Gainax, where he worked as assistant director for Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise, and as key animator, technical director, and mechanical designer for such anime as Gunbuster, Otaku no Video, Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances, and Gunbuster 2: Diebuster. He also worked on anime outside of Gainax, such as Akira and Giant Robo. He is credited for mecha design for The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and was the animation supervisor and mechanical director for the 6 Angels film.
When Anno left Gainax and founded Studio Khara to work on his new Evangelion anime films, Masuo followed as a key animator as well as a special effects and action director up until the third and most recent film. Among his last credits were the storyboards for the Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Wild Dance of Kyoto film and key animation for the Arpeggio of Blue Steel television anime.