Otaku USA Magazine
Anime Director Kenji Itoso Joins Sozoroo As Anime Sensei

Love anime enough to want to learn how to create it? In the ever-evolving landscape of anime and manga education, Sozoroo emerges illuminating a path for aspiring anime creators worldwide. 

At its core, Sozoroo stands as an education platform for inspiring creators to have access to the nuanced world of anime creation straight from the source, Japanese anime illustrators and directors. Embracing the motto “Learn Manga & Anime From Japanese Professionals,” it welcomes enthusiasts, amateurs, and burgeoning artists alike to partake in an unparalleled educational journey. One of community, rather than relying on self-study through video content which can lead to motivation challenges and dropouts, Sozoroo fosters an environment that supports inspiring anime artists’ aspirations while being led by the industry’s best.

Learn how to draw anime with Sozoroo

Unveiling a comprehensive suite of courses, spanning from “How to draw eyes” to “How to use Clip Studio Paint” tutorials, Sozoroo partners with leaders in the anime industry to bring the latest methods from Japan to students. Most recently, anime director Kenji Itoso has joined the roster of partnering sensei at Sozoroo.

Honing his skills under Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon’s team, Itoso-san is known in the industry for working on hit anime series such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, Fire Force, and Attack on Titan. He also brings extensive teaching experience as a university professor, cultivating successors in the anime industry for works such as Jujutsu Kaisen and The Boy and the Heron, as well as in the game industry, producing character designers for the Street Fighter series and designers for Monster Hunter.

Embracing innovation, Itoso-san pioneers a new frontier in anime education through Sozoroo. His distinctive approach intertwines copyrighted materials from his own directed works, like Santa Company, granting students an unprecedented opportunity to delve into the heart of anime creation. By intertwining practical experience and industry insights, the curriculum becomes a vivid canvas, painting a vibrant landscape of the anime production process.

Itoso-san had this to say about the partnership:

“There aren’t many people in Japan who work in the animation field and are full-time professors at universities, but in my case, when I’m putting together a piece of work as a director, I often involve students in the field to gain experience. There aren’t many people who do that, so I think it’s extremely rare. And I like being called a rare person.

Due to the pandemic, working remotely and communication has been normalized. That is why I would like to develop a place overseas where students can hear directly about what is happening in the animation industry today, learn in a curriculum that is close to production, and actually participate in projects and gain experience.”

Beyond the course

Together, Sozoroo and Itoso-san embark on a quest to nurture students’ anime aspirations, transcending borders. Through live broadcasts, workshops, and an accessible community, learners can actively engage and effectively learn animation production skills.

After mastering the course and successfully navigating Itoso-san’s meticulously crafted assessments, students may have the unique opportunity to participate in his projects. Sozoroo further extends its support through talent-matching services, connecting adept and certified learners with esteemed anime production companies. This facilitation serves as a stepping stone, fostering the development of careers within the dynamic realm of the anime industry.

Join Sozoroo’s launch event on Twitch

“We are excited to announce that, with the release of the new Sozoroo, we will be hosting a launch event on Twitch! The event will take place on April 1st at 7pm (PST) / 11am (JST). It will feature an introduction to the curriculum’s appeal by Mr. Kenji Itoso and include exclusive gifts for viewers among many other highlights. Make sure to check it out!”

Source: Sozoroo

Brianna Fox-Priest

Brianna Fox-Priest is a freelance journalist based in Tokyo. Covering video games and Japanese pop culture, her work can be seen in Otaku USA, Anime USA, Jotaku Network, and Sprudge.