One of the lesser known – yet very skilled and present – effect animators these days is Hiroyasu Oda [小田裕康]. He began his career as animator at Magic Bus and has apparently never cut his ties with that studio since you can still find him working for them every now and then (such as Magic Bus‘ ‘Katekyō Hitman Reborn!’ #179, to name a recent example). Oda is one of those young animators of recent years who have come up with their very own individual style and as such it’s not really surprising that he is also involved in aho_boy‘s aka Hiroshi Ikehata‘s episodes from time to time. Incidentally, it was Oda‘s work on Ikehata‘s ‘Hayate no Gotoku!’ #39 that first brought him to my attention as – even among all the great animation in this almost legendary episode – his short yet very impressive part stood out. Not just because of the effects, but also in virtue of the thrilling framing and the wonderful movement. Take a look at the images of this scene below, he adds much dynamic to this part by moving both the character and camera resp. background. This is the kind of action I like to see in animation.
Hayate no Gotoku! #39 (2007)
gif image (9mb)
Oda tends to enrich the screen with effects and little details even if it’s not a FX scene per se, particularly clouds of smoke, sparks and particles flying around are very characteristic of his work. His way of drawing explosions, smoke, shafts of lightning and such is definitely one of the more striking approaches to FX animation in the recent past. Oda‘s character animation has some stylistic traits that somewhat reflect his preference for fancy effects, which is most apparent in the deformed and ‘frazzled’ drawings during movement. That said, I think it’s mainly the distinctive linework and use of highlights/shades that gives his drawings some kind of special aura which makes it pretty easy to spot his work. This ‘aura’ may also be the reason why his work as animation director on ‘Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS’ #8 wasn’t too popular since he imposed his own style on that episode. The character’s faces – especially Nanoha’s and Subaru’s – looked quite different, though the animation was noticeably above average. He also supervised the animation of Hiroshi Ikehata‘s outstanding ‘Zettai Karen Children’ #27 where his presence is somewhat less obvious as he didn’t interfere much with the animator’s work.
Even if Oda is assumedly a freelancer, he has frequently been involved with Seven Arcs‘ projects in the more recent past. Besides his work on ‘Nanoha StrikerS’, he did also a great deal of work on both seasons of ‘Asura Cryin’ (even serving as chief mecha animation director).
Among Oda‘s more notable work is his involvement in the ‘Halo Legends’ short [Prototype] where he worked alongside the best active FX animators in the industry, so there’s no doubt that he’s already built up a good reputation in his rather short career.
♦ Play Ball (2005): Animation Director+Layout Correction #5 / Key Animation #12
♦ Play Ball 2nd (2006): Animation Director #5 #10 / Key Animation OP #1
♦ Zero no Tsukaima (2006): Key Animation #1 #6 #12
♦ Ghost Hunt (2006-2007): Assistant Animation Director #2
♦ Gin’iro no Olynssis (2006): Mechanic Animation Director #4 #10
♦ Katekyō Hitman Reborn! (2006-): Key Animation #16 #69 #75 #172 #179
♦ Inukami! THE MOVIE (2007): Key Animation
♦ Getsumento Heiki Mina (2007): Key Animation #8
♦ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers (2007): Animation Director #8 / Assistant Animation Director #21 / Key Animation OP1 OP2 #5 #8 #21 #25
♦ Potemayo (2007): Key Animation #2 / Volume 4 special
♦ Moetan (2007): Key Animation #4
♦ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007): Key Animation #19 #22
♦ Romeo x Juliet (2007): Key Animation #1 #24
♦ Mokke (2007): Animation Director #3 (cooperation)
♦ Hayate no Gotoku! #39 (2007-): Key Animation #39
♦ Shakugan no Shana II (2007-2008): Key Animation #16 #24
♦ The Tower of Druaga – The Aegis of Uruk (2008): Key Animation #1 #5 #11
♦ Sekirei (2008): Key Animation #1 #2 #10 #12
♦ Strike Witches (2008): Animation Director #10 (coop.) / Key Animation #6
♦ Zettai Karen Children (2008): Animation Director #27 / Key Animation #37
♦ Toradora! (2008): Assistant Animation Director #7
♦ The Tower of Druaga – The Sword of URUK (2009): Animation Director #10 (coop) / Key Animation OP #1 #6 #10
♦ Asura Cryin’ (2009): Chief mecha animation director / Animation Director #13 (coop) / Key Animation OP #3 #10
♦ Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (NDS/2009): Key Animation
♦ Asura Cryin’ 2 (2009): Chief mecha animation director / Creature Design / Ani. Director #14 (coop) / Mecha Ani. Director OP ED / Key Animation #26
♦ HALO LEGENDS Episode4 [Prototype] (2010): Key Animation
♦ To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (2009-2010): Key Animation #20 #23