Animator Spotlight – Hiroyuki Yamashita




-Started out in AIC on the mid-2000s, later, he will leave AIC for Gonzo and work during a few years on Gonzo on shows like Solty Rei and Pumpkin Scissors, where he didn’t destaques a lot, at least at first, after leaving Gonzo, he joined Pierrot on 2007.
-On the same year, he debut as Key Animator on the famous long-running series Naruto, that then was beginning its second part, Naruto Shippuuden. The episode featured other young, raising animators, like Ryuta Yanagi and Masayuki Kouda, with the Sakkan being the experimented Ex-Ashi Production animator Yasuhiko Kanezuka, that later will become the Chief AD of the series.
-He started to be recognizable since the very beginning, but didn’t strike as a really talented animator until the episode 21, where he did the Neji vs Neji scene, with the same storyboarder as the episode 17, Kei Jumonji, but with the Ex-Kyoto Animation talented animator Gorou Sessha as the Sakkan, starting a relation that will is still there today between the two talented animators, that episode also featured the youngster Shigeki Kawai and Hiromi Ishigami, that will leave Pierrot to build a prestige by themselves, Hiromi Ishigami as an excellent animator and Shigeki Kawai as a director, the same happened with Gorou Sessha, that directed ReZero earlier this year.
-He since then as slowly becoming better, starting to do really impressive animation on the 2010s and then becoming one of the best animators and directors of Pierrot, the place that is now, a animator and a director of prestige, directing his very first movie with Boruto: The Movie, a awesome piece of animation with a awesome list of A-List animators, like Hirofumi Masuda, Kouichi Arai, Naoki Kobayashi, Norio Matsumoto, Arifumi Imai, Tetsuya Nishio, between others, with an awesome direction, clearly understanding what Naruto is about, and trying to expand it on many interesting ways.
-On the production of that movie, he ended up being carried by the ambulance, from the studio to the clinic three times on about one year, for over exhaustion, lack of sleep, etcetera.
-During a long time, he, along with Masayuki Kouda and another excellent animators like Kengo Matsumoto, Shigeki Kawai, etc were the backbones of the production, producing a lot of good quality episodes really fast, sometimes with only 4 episodes of separation between them, raising the bar of quality of the series for ones 60 episodes.
-He only left Pierrot one time after 2007, working on Keiichi Hara’s first non-Doraemon or Shin-Chan film, Colorful, released on 2010, being produced by Sunrise, he probably was attracted by his close friend Norio Matsumoto to work on said film.
-There are many flourishes to his style, that you can easily connect if you look closely:

  • His fingers are slender, with a very recognizable rectangular shape, and very flat, like if they were kind of paper-made fingers, and the fingernails have a half-moon shape.
  • His mouths are recognizable by their “sinking cheeks”, intersecting the corner of the mouth with an oblique line, with a lot of shading.
    Maintaining on his mouths, he has a stylized lip-synch, pretty similar to Hirofumi Suzuki and Toshiyuki Tsuru.
  • His face are detailed, with a lot of marks and idiosyncrasies, he also makes everyone look 500% more badass, frogs included [Really]
  • He uses blur and other effects, to achieve major impact, there are even scenes where the punches are so hard that the lines get out of the drawings or that the punches are so hard that the characters become a formless blur on the screen during a second!
  • He also features triangular swords, and his special effects are all with the same pattern: thin lines and rectangular shapes
  • His drawings always maintain on a zone of believable and consistent but still stylish feel to them, never going full off model and maintaing the laws of physics.
  • On battle scenes, the attacks have a certain rhythm to them, that makes you feel almost like the characters are dancing, on a series of progressive movements that seems to connect effortless one with the other.

-Directing, he often take things from cinema, with a really cinematic feel to the things that he directs, like, interchanging hits without any music, just to make you feel the tension, or amazingly ambitious mix of 3DCGI and 2D animation that makes you just feel impressed.
-He has served as inspiration to various animators, including Tatsuya Koyanagi, Chengxi Huang and Naoki Kobayashi, that had become excellent animators on their own right.


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