More sad news about a terrible loss to the anime industry – one of it’s true legends and artists Yoshinori Kanada passed away yesterday, after suffering a heart attack at the age of just 57. After making a name for himself in the 1970s working on sci-fi and giant-robo series, he eventually ended up at Studio Ghibli, working closely with Hayao Miyazaki on such monumental works as My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke among many others, and his face will be familiar to anyone that’s sat enthralled watching the extras on Ghibli DVDs. His work was so distinctive and influential that ‘the Kanada style’ became a term commonly used by Japanese animators, and if you want to see just a tiny selection from his massively impressive CV check out the report over at Anime News Network.
Mariko Koike is one of Japan’s best known women writers, having built a reputation on the popularity of her romance and detective novels, short stories and essays. While winning critical and commercial acclaim in Japan, along with a string of award, she has of yet failed to gain popularity outside her home country, mainly due to the obvious language barriers. Which is way I was particularly interested when publishers Vertical Inc sent me a copy of her first novel to be translated into English, The Cat in the Coffin.