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'Slam Dunk', 'Fist of the North Star' animator-character designer Masami Suda passes away at 77

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: August 18, 2021 at 20:30 PHT (GMT+8)

Official news outlets across the world are reporting the death of Japanese animator and character designer Masami Suda (須田正己), who passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

Masami Suda (須田正己)| PHOTO COURTESY: Flourish Tokyo

It is common practice to give family members and loved ones privacy to mourn his passing before declaring it to the public. Mr. Suda officially passed away on August 1, 2021, but the information was only released within the last 24 hours.

Born on September 16, 1943, in Saitama Prefecture, Mr. Suda loved drawing as a child and eventually undertook formal training under A Production (now known as Shin-Ei Animation Co., Ltd). He initially worked as a freelancer for Tama Production, Co., Ltd. for the series Speed Racer (also known as Mach GoGoGo). His career in the animation world continued with production company Tatsunoko Production where he got to work on Judo Boy (紅三四郎). In 1976, he was invited to work for Toei Animation, where his career reached the peak of success with the animation of Fist of the North Star (1984) and Slam Dunk (1993).

As a veteran in his field, Mr. Suda was also a member of the Japanese Animation Creators Association (日本アニメーター・演出協会、abbreviated as JAnicA)

The last anime for which Mr. Suda acted as character designer was the 2014 series Yo-Kai Watch, but he was also involved in the character design for Talking Girl Honoka (語りべ少女 ほのか) and in the original drawing for Lupin III PART IV in 2015.

Below is a 2019 interview of Mr. Suda talking about his animation work with Japan Italy Bridge (with English subtitles).



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