Animator Spotlight – Shingo Natsume

Shingo Natsume [夏目 真悟]


-He started his career as an inbetween animator on J.C Staff, being promoted to key animator after just only one year of entering the studio, on the 2004 series The Melody Of Oblivion, Directed by Hiroshi Nishiokori and Co-Produced by GAINAX, being his drawings corrected on that occasion by the veteran animator and character designer of the series Shinya Hasegawa
-Just one year after his debut, he started working with Gonzo, Mahiro Maeda’s studio, usually collaborating with fellow young animator Erkin Kawabata, that debuted as Key Animator on 2002, and then started fast ascending roles on Gonzo, being just on some years of being there, the go-to director for both punching human drama and intricate action, being able to pull of both of them thanks to his comprehension of framing and excellent action choreographies.
-Here, on Gonzo, with Erkin Kawabata, worked on a lot of pieces, with a initial style very reminiscent of Hisashi Mori and the recent webgen movement that started to appear on these times, guys like Ryoochimo, Tomoyuki Niho and Shingo Yamashita, that started to shape their own vision of anime, self-taught rebellious kids that didn’t go with the conventions of the industry at all, having similar visions, Shingo Natsume eventually became friend of them.
-Thanks to Erkin Kawabata, Shingo Natsume perfected his understanding of layouts and action choreography, and became better on these aspects, that worked for him on his later career as director.
-A stylistic trait of him that started to appear on these time were thick black highlights on his animation, to make it standout.
-Thanks to his work on Gonzo, made friends with legendary animator Kenichi Konishi and became acquainted of Shin-Ei Animation studio, where he worked on various Doraemon movies.
-His friendship with Akira Amemiya ended up on him working on Gurren Lagann, his work was praised by Series Director Hiroyuki Imaishi, that, by Imaishi, resembled the animation of both Shinya Ohira and Hisashi Mori, two legendaries animators.
-After knowing legendary director Masaaki Yuasa and debuting as storyboarder on Tatami Galaxy #6, he shifted to direction for the next years, after doing unit direction on the movie of FullMetal Alchemist, where his friend Kenichi Konishi was working on as Character Designer, on that time, he also became friends with Gosei Oda, Yoshimichi Kameda and Se-Jun Kim, that were fundamental pieces of his next works as director.
-Thanks to Yuasa, he also became acquainted with studio Madhouse, where he shaped big part of his career on.
-The big opportunity for him came when legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe invited him to direct Space Dandy, the most ambitious project of his career, where he would take charge of general directorial responsibilities instead of Watanabe, while Watanabe was on charge of other tasks surrounding the series.
-One year after the finishing of Space Dandy, he was invited by Madhouse to direct ONE’s manga One Punch Man, with a stellar team, inviting the ex-GAINAX animator Chikashi Kubota as Character Design, and Natsume brought all his team, a entire army of young and old animators, that included from Hidehiko Sawada to Bahi JD and from Miso to the legendary Yutaka Nakamura, and became a hit, as expected by the studio.
-After finishing it, was place on charge of ACCA, the adaptation of one of the most recent Natsume Ono’s manga, inviting Madhouse’s very own Norifumi Kugai as the Character Designer, known by Shingo Natsume after he worked Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, being the rest of the staff pretty much the same as of One Punch Man, trying to show another side of his talent, a more restrained one, with less flashy animation and more appealing layouts and designs, let’s see how that one ends up!


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