Mar 27, 2021
2 mins read
From the memorial feature on Yoshifumi Kondo (Monthly Animage, April 1998 issue)
-Yoshifumi Kondo, a rare animator who left a great mark on the world of animation as an indispensable right-hand man for Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, passed away on January 21, 1998 at the age of 47. With the help of his bereaved family and many other people, this magazine looks back on the many works that Mr. Kondo left behind. He was one of the world's most "skilled" animators.
What was the first work that made you aware of Kondo-san's name?
I think it was Anne of Green Gables (1979 TV series). After that, I became aware of Kondo-san's name in Gamba no Bouken and The Gutsy Frog.
What was your impression of him as an animator?
I met him when I was working on "Grave of the Fireflies", and he always seemed to be smiling. But I'm really glad that we were able to work together at that time. I think that Mr. Kondo was one of the best animators in the world. I'm very sorry for what happened.
For example, compared to Hayao Miyazaki, is Kondo-san's art and timing completely different in terms of personality?
Yes, they are different. I feel that Kondo-san's acting is more natural. I think the timing and facial expressions of Mr. Miyazaki's work are very manga-like.
If I had to choose between good and bad, I'd say they're both good.
In Only Yesterday (1991 film), I think he went for the ultimate in realistic, naturalistic movement in his work with Takahata.
As long as it's a picture, it's a manga. I don't think it's suitable for replacing the play that real actors are doing. I thought it would have been better to animate the original drawings for the scenes when the main character was a child, and use live-action for the depiction of reality in the present. I thought it was good that they tried to do that with drawings, but even if two of the best people in the world had tried, I don't think they would have been able to express it well. It would have been impossible for me. I think this is the most difficult part of animation.
Human beings cannot escape death, so I think it is unavoidable, but even so, I think it was a little too early.