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Yasuo Ōtsuka's Joy of Motion (大塚康生の動かす喜び , Otsuka Yasuo no Ugokasu Yorokobi) is a documentary about the life and career of the legendary Yasuo Ōtsuka, first released on DVD on July 23, 2004.

Though out-of-print, it can still be found in subtitled R2 DVD in Japan for the Ghibli ga Ippai Collection Special.


"Everyone tries for perfection. Nine out of ten draw these beautiful characters. They put in a lot of details with a fine pen. You've all seen this kind of character. They add pretty highlights to the eyes. They pick a hair style. The person at the next desk is doing the same. Maybe ponytails, or parted in the middle. Here's what I do with a character like this. I just fill in the eyes. Add a nose, eyebrows and a mouth. Takes a few seconds to draw. That's a character too. If you follow the crowd, you won't think of this. Everyone in Japan draws the same big eyes. Cute hairstyles with lots of detail. Maybe this looks like heresy. But it's original. It stands out."
—Yasuo Ôtsuka

This documentary pays homage to one of the great masters of Japanese animation: Yasuo Ōtsuka. He traces his career, from his childhood drawings of steam locomotives to becoming an animation instructor at Telecom Animation's online animation school Anime Juku, through his numerous collaborations with Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki during their Toei-Doga days. Ôtsuka reminiscences young Miyazaki boundless energy and imagination.

Looking back on the many works Ôtsuka was involved in also leads to a look back at the history of the Japanese animation world, which developed rapidly after the end of World War II. It is a bible for modern anime fans to know the history of anime. As such, the DVD contains extracts from many early works of the two directors that haven't been released internationally.

Ôtsuka carefully demonstrates his technique by 'action sketching' Goemon from Lupin III. He also explains his ability to draw vehicles such as military jeeps and trains came from drawing them over and over at an early age. According to Anipages, this is what makes him a great teacher -- a knack for knowing how to clearly articulate his methods, and showing you exactly how to do it.[1]

Gainax's Yoshiyuki Sadamoto also makes an appearance, crediting Ôtsuka as the reason he got into animation. He joined Telecom Animation in 1984 as a student in order to study under Ôtsuka.


According to Tono ZERO, "There is no doubting the fact that such a great man was in a position to lead the Japanese animation world back then. In a sense, he has also influenced the current direction of the Japanese animation world. I think very fortunate here in the Japanese anime world. And I believe it is definitely Mr. Yasuo Otsuka, not Mr. Hayao Miyazaki or Mr. Isao Takahata, who deserves such an evaluation. In a sense, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata can be seen as merely waving their arms in the environment prepared by Yasuo Otsuka."[2]


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