Mecha Personnel Profile: Kou Yoshinari – The One-Man-Team Animator

Sakugas is every fans’ wet dream, especially mecha. The intricate details and the smoothness of the mechanical motions of something so enormous instill inspiration and awe in everyone’s hearts. And when you talk about mecha sakugas, there are a few names that we cannot not mention. And one of them is Kou Yoshinari – the perfectionist animator that created amazing mecha moments that still looks amazing no matter when you see them.

I. Background:
Kou Yoshinari, born on 20 January, 1969 in Tokyo. He is classmate with Shingo Suzuki, Yasuhiro Ohisa, and Hironori Yamamoto. He is a massive fan of Yoshinori Kanada, whose animation style influenced a lot of Kou’s work. He also has a younger brother – Yoh Yoshinari – who is also a prolific animator due to Kou’s influence. He is currently working with Studio Silver.

Kou Yoshinari is famous (or rather, infamous) of being a perfectionist. He is very meticulous in his work so much so that he does everything by himself. His scenes are almost 100% pure Kou Yoshinari goodness. He does everything from the key frames, to the in-betweens, to the coloring, etc… Due to his super commitment to quality, his cuts are sometimes mistaken for being hand-painted or CG due to the solid shading and elaborate coloring, which is actually feasible only through digital techniques.

He debuted his unique animating method in 2004 on the 4th OP of Fullmetal Alchemist and on the super popular Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha first episode. His cuts was praised by sakuga fans and he then became a prominent name in the sakuga enthusiast circle. Due to his very unusual schedule, Studio Silver usually employs him for video game cutscenes rather than seasonal animes.

II. Notable Works:
Kou Yoshinari animated for many famous series and his cuts are always praised by fans. But for animes, he usually just did a few episodes due to his erratic perfectionism. Some series include Fullmetal Alchemist, Armitage III, Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Dinagiga, Angel Links, etc… He was also set to be the character designer for Neppu Kairiku Bushiroad before it was cancelled after the OVA.

His main work lies in the video games, where his animated cutscenes blew fans away with how detailed and smooth they look. His most notable works are White Album, Sunrise Eiyuutan and Muv-Luv. His mecha cut-scenes has immaculate details with amazing shading, along with some really realistic explosion effects. Kou Yoshinari and his brother – another genius animator – Yoh Yoshinari single handedly animated every cut-scenes for the Muv-Luv Visual Novel trilogy, and they look absolutely stunning.

His most recent mecha works were Eureka Seven and the Shin Evangelion movie 1.0.
You can check out his work here: /kou yoshinari | sakugabooru

III. Gallery:

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