Tatsuyuki Tanaka is a Japanese animator, illustrator and comics artist who was one of the animators on the landmark anime Akira; and has done key animation, storyboarding and concept design for a number of other animated films, including directing sequences for the anthology anime Genius Party Beyond, which also includes a sequence by one of my favorite anime directors, Koji Morimoto.
I’m a little shaky on the particulars because so much information is in other languages, but I believe Tanaka is associated with Morimoto’s Studio 4C production company. (There is a page for Tanaka on an unofficial French site devoted to Morimoto and Studio 4C here, Google Translate English here).
There is a new book of Tanaka’s work called Cannabis Works which I think is a combination manga (comic story) and art book. It’s easier to find excerpts of the book online than it is to find copies for sale. Amazon lists it as though it were unavailable in the US, but I did find it on the Anime Books Yahoo Store for $31.00 U.S. (I haven’t ordered from them so I can’t give a recommendation.) His comics also appear in an anthology comic called Boiled Head.
Tanaka draws with a refined style that is almost European, without the excessive stylization often associated with manga and anime. He is also a master of the hyper-complex backgrounds and machinery that often make Japanese comics and animation dazzling eye-candy. Tanaka is feverishly imaginative, like a blend of some of the best characteristics of Katsuhiro Otomo, Masamune Shirow and Jean “Moebius” Giraud.
Tanaka uses a muted, restrained palette to great effect in a number of his images, almost to the point of being monochromatic, creating darkly cinematic moods and otherworldly atmospheres.
Digik Gallery has a gallery of large images from the book, Pink Tentacle has a short, rather trippy sequence here, and I’ve listed some other resources below.
[Via Articles & Texticles and io9]
io9 article and gallery
Articles & Texticles article with images
Cannabis Works on Anime Books
Genius Party Beyond trailer
Bio on Simon Birch Gallery
Credit list on Anime News Network
Tatsuyuki Tanaka page on Kojimorimoto.net (FR) (Google EN)
3 Replies to “Tatsuyuki Tanaka”
The book is actually a few years old now but yes, a stunning gallery of work. lots of storyboards and production art from several projects he’s worked on as well as a ton of personal art. You can usually find some copies at Kinokuniya bookstores.
I have a magazine article that showcases some of his process, a mix of traditional/photoshop.
For my website I linked to a youtube short he did for a Utada song…
I look for signs of new stuff from him all the time, looking forward to his ‘Genius Party’ segment.
IÂ´m surprised that he hasnÂ´t been featured earlier, his work really kicks ass. I can also just recommend his artbook, its worth the money….
His work is very strange and appealing.
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