ANIME NEWS: 'Akira' creator Katsuhiro Otomo honored by government

November 13, 2013

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Manga artist and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo was the recipient of the Japanese government's Medal with Purple Ribbon in November. It was a rare honor for someone in the animation industry.

Established in 1955, the medal is given to individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments.

Otomo, 59, is an internationally acclaimed artist best known for his manga "Akira" and its animated feature film adaptation, which he also directed.

He received the honor Nov. 2 for "his unparalleled skills in illustration, composition, storytelling and acute visual sense that went into the many excellent works he produced as a manga artist and animation film director over a long period of time, which resulted in garnering international attention and contributing to development of our country's fine arts and culture."

The Medal with Purple Ribbon was given to 16 individuals in 2013. It usually goes to individuals who have contributed to traditional arts, crafts and performing arts.

Previously, the medal was given to only three animation artists: Yoji Kuri, Taku Furukawa and Isao Takahata.

Otomo made his professional debut as a manga artist in 1973. He won critical acclaim with his "Domu: A Child's Dream" and "Akira" released in 1983.

The animated adaptation of "Akira" was released in 1988. It has been said that the anime had a significant influence on filmmakers, animators and other creators across the globe, opening doors for Japanese anime to take the world by storm.

Otomo went on to direct animated films such as "Memories" (1995), "Steamboy" (2004) and "Combustible" (2013).

The animated short "Combustible" won the Grand Prize award in the Animation Division at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival and the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 67th Mainichi Film Awards.

In 2005, the French government awarded Otomo with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).

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To see the original story in Japanese, go to the official site of "Anime Anime" (http://animeanime.jp/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
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Katsuhiro Otomo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Katsuhiro Otomo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Katsuhiro Otomo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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