Today is famous Pokemon animator Masaaki Iwane’s birthday! He turns 54 today and is still one of the hardest working and fastest animators in the industry. With such a large catalog of work and many years to come, let’s take a look back at some of his incredible accomplishments.
Iwane started working in the animation industry with Studio Cockpit.
Doing in-between animation on various shows, he was quickly promoted to a key animator. He worked on various anime such as Dragon Ball Z, the 1997 Gegege No Kitaro movie, and finally Pokemon. This is where he would stay up to his current career.
Pokemon is also where his extreme speed as an animator came to light. He eventually landed the highly respected job as a solo animator. A solo animator does all of the key animations for an episode entirely by themselves. It’s a position in on-going anime to help the schedule stay afloat and let more important episodes have larger staff on them. For most solo animators, they are very limited due to the sheer amount of work to be done. However, due to just how amazingly fast he is, Masaaki Iwane is able to completely ignore this approach. He’s animated full episodes of Pokemon Sun and Moon and their ending credits.
From Pokemon Sun and Moon Ending 1
He has been a fantastic asset to the Pokemon series, and even has time to frequently post drawings and practice animations on his twitter. Recently, he’s even been able to experiment with 3d animation in Blender and some really advanced compositing work in After Effects. He also enjoys playing the various Pokemon games.
— 岩根雅明 (@animator1965) June 30, 2019
Masaaki Iwane is one of the best animators to date in my eyes, what do you think of his work? Do you think that one day he’ll leave the Pokemon series? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!