Keiichirō Kimura died on October 19 of a heart attack that ended a life studded with successes and goals. Instead of telling only his life and his most famous works, we will tell about everything he has left to the world of souls. In his life he has mainly dealt with the direction of animation for various productions and, occasionally, he has dedicated himself to character design. But besides being an artist, who was Keiichirō Kimura?

Keiichirō was born in Gunma prefecture in 1938, in a Japan profoundly different from what we know. World War II looms and you breathe a different air than today. Despite the few memories of the war period, Keiichirō grows and is formed in the Japanese post-war period. During the school period, Keiichirō embodies the stereotype of the Japanese bully: physically performing, worn for sports and physical disciplines, imposing and somewhat rude. The teachers come to suspect that he is part of the Yakuza and do not suspect that, in reality, his heart is already devoted to drawing.

After completing his studies and obtaining his diploma, he wins a drawing competition and enrolls in an art school, which he will leave shortly after having passed his exams.

Thanks to a friend, he is hired by Toei and works as a designer, until he reaches the peak of his career as animation director. He has worked on souls that do not need to be presented and which represent the cartoons that our parents (and perhaps us too) have seen as children. Sally the sorceress, Cyborg 009, Mimì and the national volleyball team and Trider G-7 are just some of his works. Despite these fantastic anime adaptations, his most important work is undoubtedly the character design for The Tiger Man. Remember the incredible pursuits in the ring? Deformation of bodies due to exertion? They are all his ideas. His unique and unprecedented style in the world of Japanese animation allowed us to see the violence and harshness of the confrontations faced by Naoto Date, who later became a real Japanese symbol.

Who was Keiichirō Kimura? In my opinion it was one of the symbols of a generation of souls in which the artistic idea was superior to the banal profit. We hope there are always such people in Japanese and world animation.