Yuji Nunokawa, the founder of long-running anime production house Studio Pierrot and an industry icon, has passed away. According to the studio, Nunokawa passed away on December 25 at the age of 75, and his close friends and family will hold a service followed by a memorial service from Studio Pierrot.
Nunokawa started working in the industry as an animator and technical director at Mushi Production, Studio Jack and Tatsunoko Production, directing episodes of shows like Time Bokan and Casshan. He then went on to found Studio Pierrot in 1979, most recently serving as the company’s chair and chief adviser.
Pierrot started out working on series like Osomatsu-kun, Kimagure Orange Road and Magical Angel Creamy Mami. Nunokawa’s studio would also produce major hits like the anime adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga and Yoshihiro Togashi’s Yu Yu Hakusho during his time at the studio. In 2019, he received the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs award from Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, and also earned one of the highest honors in Japanese society, the Japanese government’s Medal of Honor Blue Ribbon.
Studio Pierrot’s statement:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Yuji Nunokawa, the former Chairman and the Supreme Adviser of Pierrot.
Mr. Nunokawa passed away on December 25th.
He was 75.
He will be sorely missed for his leadership, commitment and passion.
— 株式会社ぴえろ (@studiopierrot) December 26, 2022