Japanese media reported today that anime industry icon Yuji Nunokawa passed away suddenly on December 25 at the age of 75.

Nunokawa is best known as a producer who founded Studio Pierrot and helped establish many initiatives that helped the anime industry evolve, including the powerful The Association of Japanese Animations collective.

Yuji Nunokawa was born on February 11, 1947, in Sakata City in Yamanashi prefecture. As a child of tailors, he grew up loving drawing.

Studio Pierrot gave their utmost respect to their former Supreme Adviser as they conveyed how everyone in the organization will sorely miss his leadership, commitment, and passion.

Nunokawa started in the anime industry in a company that was a subcontractor for TCJ, which is now Eiken, as a colorist. His first animator gig was for Space Boy Soran and then key animator on Robotan.

Nunokawa left Tatsunoko Production in 1978 after the death of the founder, Tatsuo Yoshida, with animation directors Mitsuo Kaminashi and Hiroko Tokita and formed a collective in an apartment in Kichijoji.

This collective grew to include animation directors Toriumi Hisayuki and Masami Anno and became Studio Pierrot, of which Nunokawa became the president. Its core belief was to create animator-focused anime with decent production scheduling.

To commemorate Nunokawa’s achievements in life for anime, he received the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award in 2018 and the Japanese government Medal of Honor Blue Ribbon, one of the highest honors in Japanese society.