Chances are, if you’re reading this, that you probably have heard of the passing of famed anime director Noburu Ishiguru. Mr. Ishiguru passed away aged 73. I won’t keep you all very long. This is my personal recollection of Ishiguru.
I knew of Ishiguru’s work in anime even before I knew of he, himself. Growing up with Robotech, you, sort of, had no choice in the matter. Even after discovering about Macross, and his involvement with it, I remained impressed that one man kept it all of it together. Today there are committees, companies and like for this sort of thing. Back then nobody knew about cross media opportunities, having record companies work hand in hand with anime producers to the degree Macross did. Ishiguru helmed a series that did all that.
Working on the 1980’s Astro Boy series, you can see his flair even inside this most Tezuka of Tezuka’s works and having the added pressure of working alongside the God of Manga himself. I am only now digging into the treasure that is Legend of Galactic Heroes. Such an amazing work. Oddly, I saw his latest work, Tytania, before starting into LoGH. Does this distract from his earlier space opera? Not at all, in my book.
At Otakon 2011,I had the delightful opportunity to see Mr. Ishiguru in person as he, Makoto Shinkai and Kazuya Murata were jointly holding a Producers and Directors panel (well, the producers were too scared to come up on stage, so it became a directors panel!). We heard from a variety of their recollections, most of which I struggle to recall at the moment to be honest, and then got a chance to ask questions. Unfortunately, some idiot decided to ask the inevitable Tsunami question and that ground the whole panel to a halt. As a result, a lot of us never got a chance to ask our questions. I had a few but now I think of it, there really was only one: “For Ishiguru-sempai, and the rest of the panel if they like, what do you want to be remembered for?” Sadly, I’ll never get the chance to ask that of Mr. Ishiguru, but looking back at his long body of work, his contribution to what we regard as modern anime and his great take on being an animation director, I think I’ve got the best answer possible, in my mind. Thank you, Mr. Ishiguru, for all your hard work. You have most certainly earned your rewards, whenever you are.
Go raibh maith agat.