Legendary art director Shichiro Kobayashi passed away on August 25th at the age of 89. Director and writer Tomomi Mochizuki, who worked with Kobayashi on Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou: Quiet Country Cafe, anime confirmed the news in a tweet:
Shichiro Kobayashi passed away on August 25. He was 89 years old.
Of all the staff members I had the pleasure of meeting, he was one of the most delightful ones that I have had the pleasure of getting to know so intimately. We mourned him last night while watching some of the best art in the history of animation in his own “Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou: Quiet Country Cafe” work.
Thank you, Shichiro, for all your years of service.
Shichiro Kobayashi was born on August 30, 1932, in Hokkaido. He graduated from Musashino Art University but ended up working as an elementary school teacher. He joined Toei Douga (now Toei Animation) in 1967. He briefly worked at Gendai Seisaku Shudan (1968), which was a specialized background art studio, but left to found his own studio – Kobayashi Production. His first credit as an art director came in 1971: he worked on an adaptation of Fujiko Fujio’s Shin Obake no Q-Tarou.
Kobayashi Production went on to assist with animation on Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer and Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love movies. They also did background art on multiple TV anime and movies, including Golgo 13, Dirty Pair, Akira and more. The company’s last work was background art on J.C.Staff’s Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, for which Kobayashi was the art director. After this the company disbanded and Kobayashi retired from the animation industry. He was a guest lecturer at the Kobe Design University.
Some of the art director’s more notable works include Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana), Nodame Cantabile, Golgo 13, Lupin III Castle of Cagliostro, Berserk (1997), and Revolutionary Girl Utena. He will be remembered for the warm and detailed background art, which gave life to many works over the years.
Kobayashi drew key visuals for Ongakuza Musical “Home” production. A video that features his work process is available with English subtitles:
Source: Tomomi Mochizuk’s Twitter