Japanese animator Manabu Ohashi has died at 73, bringing to a close a remarkable career that stretched over more than half a century.
Ohashi, who sometimes worked under the name Mao Lamdo, might have become a mangaka were it not for a job listing from Toei Doga (now Toei Animation) he spotted in his teens. The studio, which had ambitions to become the Disney of the East, was looking for in-betweeners. Ohashi got the job aged 15, dropping out of school to pursue his newfound career. He animated on series such as Kaze no Fujimaru (1964–65) and Rainbow Sentai Robin (1966–67) before leaving Toei in 1968.
There followed one of his professional crises, which would recur throughout his life: the young artist was on the verge of quitting the industry, but was drawn back in after watching Osamu Dezaki’s Ashita no Joe, which deeply impressed him. Ohashi would become one of Dezaki’s closest collaborators, working with him on series such as Jungle Kurobe (1973), Adventures of Gamba (1975), and Space Adventure Cobra (1982), for which he animated the opening.