Yoshiyuki Momose

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Yoshiyuki Momose ca. 2005
Yoshiyuki Momose ca. 2005

Yoshiyuki Momose (百瀬義行 Momose Yoshiyuki?) was born in 1953 in Tokyo. Animation scholar Ben Ettinger writes: "I've long felt Yoshiyuki Momose to be the person doing the most interesting and creative work at Studio Ghibli for years now - both in his many lovely and original shorts of recent years and, prior to that, as one of the unsung heroes of Takahata's films. Without his technical mastery in the layouts and concept design, those films would not have half their impact.

"He is one of the few creators involved in the studio who seems to have it all: the ability to come up with interesting stories and engaging characters and bring them alive in a compelling and original visual concept. He has the technical knowhow of a 40 year career during which he has touched on just about every aspect of animation, from traditional animation to CG animation to directing to concept illustration. In my mind, he is the obvious and only candidate to helm a Ghibli feature post M&T.

"Momose has drawn just about everything that it's possible for someone to draw in the animation process, including key animation drawings, concept drawings, layouts, character designs, and storyboards."

"His first decade working as a subcontract animator was an important period for him not just because it gave him his foundation, but also because it's during this time that he became acquainted with the work of (then) A Pro animator Yoshifumi Kondo, who is the one who recommended Momose when Takahata was struggling to find people to help him produce Grave of the Fireflies."

During his previous subcontracting years at Studio Neo Media and A Pro, Momose worked on TV titles such as Tensai Bakabon (1971-1972), Dokonjo Gaeru (1972-1974), and Hajime Ningen Gyatorus (1974-1976) (scenes from which are featured in the NTV documentary A Ghibli Artisan - Kazuo Oga Exhibition.

After Momose was recruited by Ghibli to do layout and other duties on Grave of the Fireflies, he continued with the studio as supervisor of key animation on Only Yesterday and Pom Poko. After doing key animation on Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart, and Spirited Away, and CG work on Princess Mononoke, Momose returned to working with Takahata on My Neighbors the Yamadas where he worked alongside Osamu Tanabe doing storyboards, setting scenes, and directing the animation (Momose handled these duties for the first half of that film, Tanabe did the honors for the second half).

After Yamadas, like Tanabe, Momose continued working with the art style and CG techniques developed for that film, either animating or directing the series of shorts the studio put out during that time, starting with Ghiblies Episode 2, then continuing with the House Foods CM spots, the three music shorts for the electronica duo Capsule (Portable Airport, Space Station No.9, and Flying City Plan), and the music short for Yui Aragaki's Piece. In addition to continuing to do feature work as a key animator on Tales from Earthsea, Momose also directed the animation for the PS3 game Ki no Kuni.

Momose formed his own studio in 2005, Studio Kajino, and continues to work on projects for Studio Ghibli.

See the Yoshiyuki Momose (books) page for a list of books or articles illustrated by, written by, or about Momose.