In Memoriam: Tatsufumi Itō

Anime director Tatsufumi Itō passed away on 23rd May 2020 following a brainstem haemorrhage, his wife Mariko Itō confirmed via his Twitter account this morning. He was 55 years old.

Itō was a veteran of the anime industry, with 30 years of experience working (sometimes under the name Tatsufumi Tamagawa) as an animator on a long list of popular titles including Digimon: The MovieCardcaptor Sakura, and more recent series like Attack On Titan and We Never Learn: BOKUBEN. He also worked as an episode director on anime such as Casshern Sins and ZOMBIE LAND SAGA.

Tatsufumi Itō was also the director of 2012’s Symphogear, the first season of Satelight’s magical girl action franchise. Itō’s tenure on the series laid the groundwork for a successful franchise that ran for five seasons overall until its conclusion in 2019. Tatsufumi Itō’s time with Symphogear is remembered for its balance of the darker aspects of the franchise, in contrast to the series’ subsequent seasons. Despite Symphogear‘s international popularity being hindered by years of licensing arrangements, the series earned a global cult following, with readers voting it the Anime of the Decade in our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Noriyasu Agematsu, the leader of the Elements Garden group that composed for the Symphogear franchise, offered the following tribute on Twitter (translated by @YameteTomete:

Director Itou has created the foundation for Symphogear.
He was our patron and companion in our search of creating original anime for the first time.
From the bottom of our hearts, we pray for his soul.

Anime UK News extends its sincerest condolences to Mariko Itō, and all the friends of family of Tatsufumi Itō.

Sources: Mr. Cheese (Twitter), Anime News Network.

Josh A. Stevens

Reviewing anime by moonlight, working in film by daylight, never running out of things to write, he is the one named Josh A. Stevens.

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