Mr. Yoshifumi Kondo, the director of "Whisper
of the Heart" passed away of an aneurysm at 47 on January
21st. He was also known as a supervising animator of
"Mononoke Hime". His funeral was held on the 23rd (ed:
of January, 1988), at Zenryuuji Temple in Kiyose, Tokyo. Mr.
Hayao Miyazaki cried, saying "I will never forget
After graduating from high school, Mr. Kondo chose animation
which he loved very much as his life's work. In 1972, he met two
directors, Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. Takahata, while working on
"Lupin III". Since then, he had been a part of the
creating team for the "Miyazaki world".
He worked as a supervising animator for films such as
"Grave of the Fireflies", "Kiki's Delivery
Service", and "Only Yesterday". He worked as a
supporting staff behind the scenes, but "If we call Mr.
Miyazaki 'Dynamic', Mr. Kondo was 'Calm'", according to a
Mr. Miyazaki, who has lost his "right arm", lost
his usual grand smile. He was grief-stricken when he read the
eulogy to Mr. Kondo. His voice was shaken when he said,
"I'm a kind of person who would abandon a sinking ship, but
Kon-Chan was a kind of person who chooses to die with the people
at the bottom of the ship. Maybe you didn't want to be dragged
around by me any longer...You were such a patient one, like
waiting silently for the snow to melt. Why, at this time, have
you gone before me?"
Also, Mr. Takahata said that "If it were not for your
great ability and intense talent and resolution, we wouldn't
have had "Grave" nor "Only Yesterday"".
Both of the two great masters of anime mourned for his death.
Beside being a famous animator, Mr. Kondo was seriously
involved with his community work. He planned a Bon dance party,
and recently, he went to Europe to study the situation about
garbage. In his local community, Kiyose, he was known as
"Kon-Chan". For his funeral, among the about 400
people who came to pay respect to him, there were people from
Kiyose, along with the people from the anime industry, such as
Mr. Tokuma, the president of Tokuma Publishing, and Mr. Hideaki
Anno, the creator of "Evangelion".