Animage Feature:
Satoshi Nakano

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Animage Feature: Satoshi Nakano

Animage May 2017

The May 2017 issue of the animation magazine Animage (アニメージュ) did a feature on Satoshi Nakano (中野悟史), the character designer for the Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon TV series. Mr. Nakano has been with Pocket Monsters since the Diamond & Pearl days, providing animation directing duties for the various films over the years. Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon is his first time providing character designs for a TV series.

The first two pages of the Animage feature is a gallery of Pocket Monsters fanart that was submitted by readers of the magazine by postcard. The full-color pages feature about a dozen pieces with Mr. Nakano making comments on every drawing. The comments themselves are not all that fascinating and I feel a bit weird reposting fanart on here anyway so I've decided to skip those two pages. For the purposes of this website, let's look at the third and final page of the feature:

One Point Lesson
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Below that is an "Interview Diary" chronicling the magazine's visit to OLM to see Mr. Nakano.

Interview Diary
Today we paid a visit to OLM. Posters from years worth of Pocket Monsters TV series and theatrical films cover one of the walls of a massive conference room. Once the postcards sent in from our readers are spread out on the table the entire conference room becomes nothing but Pokemon!

“I'm not on Facebook or Twitter or anything like that so I only find out what everyone thinks about my work from whatever I hear from my co-workers. When I look at these postcards your readers sent in I can really feel that people of all ages are watching” says Mr. Nakano. What kind of hardships did he face with Sun & Moon since this is the first time he's been in charge of doing character designs for a TV series and all?

“I heard that Sun & Moon would have a lot of jokey elements so rather than make the characters look all cool and sharp I tried to design them to be a little bit more malleable. I really wanted to give them as wide a range of movement as possible so I drew them so they could be distorted as much as possible while still looking like themselves. I then leave the rest up to the styles of the individual artists drawing them. As a result, the characters have been able to have these incredibly animated facial expressions. In addition, I looked for places where I could simplify each character and make them easier to draw while also being careful not to lose what makes them who they are. I think it's better to put all your energy into things like the characters' movements than it is to obsess over filling in a bunch of tiny details.”

Please tell us about what's coming next.  “New characters will keep appearing one after the other so I kind of feel the pressure (laughs). I'm doing my best to make drawings that will make everyone want to draw and maybe even mimic so please keep sending in your fanart!”

Finally, here's a photograph of Mr. Nakano that was printed at the bottom of the page along with a translation of its caption:

Satoshi Nakano
He gave us permission to take a photo of him from behind. “I can feel the love put into each drawing so it's difficult to choose a winner” Mr. Nakano says as he looks intently at the postcards.



  Dogasu's Backpack is a fan-created website  Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) is © 1995-2018 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon USA / 4Kids Entertainment Inc.  No infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.

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