Crayon Shin Chan Anime director Akira Shigino passes away of cancer, leaving a trail of legacy behind

Crayon Shin Chan Anime Director passes away of cancer

The world of animation lost a visionary director behind the scenes of Crayon Shin Chan anime on May 30, 2024, with the passing of Akira Shigino at the age of 70. The Yomiuri Shimbum news reported that Shigino succumbed to bile duct cancer at 2:04 pm. The man behind the nostalgia of every 2000s kid binging their favourite troublesome anime character is no more.

Tributes pour in on the death of Crayon Shin Chan anime director

The news of Shigino’s passing was met with an outpouring of tributes from fans and colleagues alike. The official Twitter account for Dinosaur Girl Gauko, an anime Shigino both wrote and directed, announced his passing with a heartfelt message.

“Shigino Akira, the creator of Dinosaur Girl Gauko, passed away on May 30th. The funeral was held with his relatives and some of his associates,” the tweet read, convoyed by a picture of Gauko.

The account continued, “Thank you all so much for the special kindness and patronage shown to Shigino Akira during his lifetime, and for loving Gauko. We would like to express our gratitude on behalf of the deceased.”

Ascension Co., Ltd., the production company behind Dinosaur Girl Gauko, also confirmed Shigino’s passing in an interview with Sponichi Annex. Dinosaur Girl Gauko, notably, holds the distinction of being Netflix’s first-ever Asian-produced children’s animation.

Shin Chan anime director’s life dedicated to animation

Characters from Dinosaur Girl Gauko
Characters from Dinosaur Girl Gauko © Akira Shigino | Ascension Co., Ltd

Shigino’s passion for animation was evident throughout his career. Early in his career, he worked on numerous projects at Studio Pierrot. This included involvement in landmark series like Osomatsu-kun and the long-running police procedural “Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo.”

In 2004, Shigino took a leap and founded his own animation studio, Akira Studio, where he served as the representative. This venture allowed him greater creative control and the freedom to pursue his own projects.

Legacy of Akira Shigino: From Crayon Shin Chan anime to Yatterman

Characters from Akira Shigino's work: Yatterman, Osomatsu Kun and uper Speed Galvion
Characters from Akira Shigino’s work: Yatterman, Osomatsu Kun and upper Speed Galvion (left to right) © Akira Shigino

While children’s animation remained a cornerstone of Shigino’s work, his talents extended far beyond that genre. His resume boasts involvement in popular anime series geared towards a broader audience, such as the high-octane adventure series Super Speed Galvion, the wacky comedy Osomatsu-kun, the action-packed Yatterman (remake version), the heartwarming Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo, and the iconic movie franchise based on the mischievous boy, Crayon Shin-chan.

Significantly, Shigino played a vigorous role in shaping the Crayon Shin-chan franchise from the very beginning. He served as a storyboard artist for the show’s very first episode, Mama’s Busy Morning, which aired in 1992.

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