Despite all the glitz and glamour, the anime industry is a lot harsher than it really seems. This is apparent with the death of veteran animator, Kazunori Mizuno, who passed away at age 52. Renowned animator, Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, who Mizuno worked with in Naruto Shippuden, reported his passing.
His death is an apparent case of overwork. Mizuno decided to take a nap at the studio he’s working for, but he didn’t wake up. He apparently passed away in his sleep last 19th March during the holidays. The animator is best known for his work on shounen series like Bleach, Naruto Shippuden, and Yu Yu Hakusho.
Mizuno has been working on the Japanese anime industry for 30 years, and this reflects the harsh reality of his job. Animators have to work long hours to make monstrous deadlines, with very little pay. Several animators have even committed suicide due to work. One of these incidents include that infamous case where A-1 Pictures had to pay the widow of an animator who committed suicide due to overwork.
Our hearts go out to Mizuno-san and his family in this hard time. May he rest in peace.