This Wednesday, animator Yoshinori Kanada passed away after suffering a sudden heart attack. He was 57 years old. A "Superanimator" since the 1970s, Kanada left his mark on Square Enix as well.

After working at Toei, he moved on to become the Key Animator on a number of Studio Ghibli's biggest titles: Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke.

He later went on to work for Square Enix as a layout artist on movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and also was an animation director for Final Fantasy XI and did story boards for Final Fantasy IV on the DS.

The Spirits Within was a commercial failure; however, it was the first photorealistic 3D animated feature film. Critic Roger Ebert called the film a "technical milestone".

Kanda's style was exciting and he always found new ways to thrill audiences ‚ÄĒ making him of the most influential animators of his generation. He will be missed.


Kanada [AniPages Daily via Moon Chase]