On Sunday, the anime world lost a legend. Osamu Dezaki, director of Ashita no Joe, Black Jack: The Movie, Golgo 13: The Professional, and numerous other features, passed away due to lung cancer. he was 67.
Dezaki’s began working as a manga artist when he was in high school. He joined Osamu Tezuka’s Mushi Productions in 1963, and made his debut as a director in 1970 with Ashita no Joe. Dezaki struck out on his own with Daisuke Maruyama in 1972, when they founded MADHOUSE. Shortly afterwards, Dezaki co-founded Studio Annapuru with Akio Sugino (Black Jack, Jungle Emperor Leo). Over the years, Dezaki developed a distinctive style that is both celebrated and parodied today. Dramatic freeze frames, split-screens, and perfectly-timed lighting became a signature for the man, as he progressed through his career.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing such an influential figure pass away. To know that he died so young, and that we will never see another figure like him is saddening, to say the least. Knowing his role in anime history, the influential titles he’s helmed, and the studios he helped found, it’s easy to say that the landscape would be far different without his presence.
With Dezaki-san gone, I can’t help but feel a bit saddened. These individuals have touched hearts and minds. He touched hearts, and minds. He set imaginations alight, and inspired hundreds. His work will continue to live on through the years, and his achievements cannot be stolen away.
So, I’d like to take this opportunity to say farewell, Osamu Dezaki. You will be greatly missed. And to his family and friends, I offer my deepest condolences.