Animator Spotlight – Naoki Kobayashi

Naoki Kobayashi [小林直樹]


-Animator that started out on the industry after being recruited to work on Pierrot by Naruto’s flagship animator Hiroyuki Yamashita, after graduating from a vocational school on NEEC [Nippon Engineering College]
-He unlike his master, was a wonderful animator since the very beginning, demonstrating overhuman skills since the very first scene that he did, being heavily inspired by Hiroyuki Yamashita and Yutaka Nakamura, he took the best of the two’s early styles to create a incredible  mix that blow out your eyes, on a very nice way, doing incredible action scenes constantly.
-The very first scene that he animated was on Naruto SD, the spin-off on Naruto, on the very final of the series, he was a part of a awesome festival of animation, with really big names like Hiroyuki Yamashita, Eiji Komatsu or Norio Matsumoto working with him, doing the explosion and the buildings destroyed at the very beginning of the episode, already showing a special craftsmanship, superior than any other novice animator.
-His first work outside of Pierrot was on Attack on Titan’s episode 9, produced by the outsourced studio Daume, where he worked together with the fellow animator and friend of his Toshiro Fujii, another destacable soul of this new generation of Pierrot, on that episode he did the part of Eren receiving the bullet of the cannon, of less quality this time, maybe cause the incredibly tight schedule of the series.
-He wouldn’t explode until his debut on Naruto Shippuuden, on the episode #322, directed, storyboarded and Sakkan’d by his master, Hiroyuki Yamashita, doing a lot of Madara’s fight, and being one of the animators that worked on more cuts on that episode, the animation on this is incredibly inspired by Hiroyuki Yamashita, and it really shows.
-After his debut, he keeps doing work as the same role as Hiroyuki Yamashita on his beginnings: A incredible productive and talented animator that puts out constantly quality scenes, but his output started to shrink after the number and the scope of his projects started to increase exponentially, looking the producers and directors with good eyes at his animation, he was a gifted animator since the very beginning, and Hiroyuki Yamashita known that, he, as a talented animator, sees talented where IS TALENT.
-He did is very debut as Director on the ending 32 of Naruto Shippuuden, that he solo key animated with some help of fellow talented Pierrot animators Tatsuya Koyanagi, Daisuke Tsumagari, Toshiro Fujii and Anna Yamaguchi, that cleaned up his rough drawings after he did the key animation, the ending is a incredible piece of animation in its own rights, pretty impressive, if you ask me.
-He would later do the ending 36 along with his longtime friend and fellow Pierrot animator Toshiro Fujii and the the ending 38, where he storyboarded, directed and sakkan’d it, with a team of talented animators on their own right Chengxi Huang, Toshiro Fujii, Hiroyuki Yamashita and Hirofumi Suzuki under his belt. He also was present on the debut of his friend Toshiro Fujii as director.
-After Boruto: The Movie, where he did the bulk of it along with his master Hiroyuki Yamashita and the legendary animator Norio Matsumoto, he’s now doing constantly appearances on all kinds of threatic films, from Keiichi Hara’s kind, calm, historical film Miss Hokusai, to Makoto Shinkai’s magnum opus Kimi no Wa. and Tatsuya Oishi’s long 6-years long effort Kizumonogatari, he keeps delivering quality, now on a movie field.
-His style is a very recognizable mix of Hiroyuki Yamashita, Yutaka Nakamura and fellow Pierrot animators: Rounded faces, realistic bodies and hands, fast and rhythmic movements, Yutapon cubes, very recognizable impact frames and effect works very reminiscing of Yutaka Nakamura, impact lines all over the place, a punching, realistic timing, etcetera, his style is still growing, he keeps madurating and making his own style, hoping great things for that great, gifted animator on the future.

He also knows how to animate breakdance, plus if he sometimes do dancing anime?



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