Aiming for an Academy Award! A Creator Taking on Unprecedented Challenges
Coming from a live-action film background, Iwaisawa is almost entirely self-taught in animation production. He continues to move up in the animation world and separate himself from other animators through self-developed techniques. Iwaisawa specializes in rotoscope, an animation technique that is based on tracing over live-action footage. The painstaking work leads to highly detailed images that come to life in ways not seen in traditional animation. We will introduce you to the one-of-a-kind, internationally-acclaimed world of Iwaisawa Kenji.
Iwaisawa Kenji
Iwaisawa was born in 1981.

Major animated works
"Man in the Tunnel Alley" (2008)
・ The Japan Media Arts Festival Animation Division Jury Selections
"The Sorrowful Popsicle" (2013)
"On-Gaku: Our Sound" (2019)
・ Winner of the Grand Prize for Feature Animation at OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2019

Man in the Tunnel Alley

Iwaisawa's first film depicts an alleyway encounter between a man who runs on batteries and a woman with a screw-drive motor. At the time, Iwaisawa didn't know anything about animation production, so he created this piece entirely with self-taught techniques. He filmed the city with a video camera, edited the footage, and then drew over each video frame to create the animation.

The Sorrowful Popsicle

This comical work expresses the feeling of summer fading through the eyes of a popsicle as it melts after being left on the table. The popsicle is drawn with simplicity, while the background features Iwaisawa's signature style of detailed realism. The gap between styles helps create a unique and comical world for the audience to enjoy.

On-Gaku: Our Sound

Based on the original manga by Ohashi Hiroyuki, Iwaisawa spent 7 years working on this work, mostly on his own. The story follows a group of high school delinquents who form a band and perform at a rock festival, made up of more than 40,000 hand-drawn frames. Iwaisawa's groundbreaking method of creating this film was to hold an actual rock festival, film the performances, and turn it into an anime.