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Art director Hiromasa Ogura looks back on the process of crafting the 1995 film that would fundamentally alter our visions of the future

Hiromasa Ogura

Hiromasa Ogura, born in Tokyo in 1954, began his career in animation at Kobayashi Production in 1977. He contributed to notable works such as Space Adventure Cobra (1982) under the art direction of Toshiharu Mizutani and created backgrounds for Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). In 1983, he co-founded Studio Fuga alongside Hiroshi Ono and Toshiharu Mizutani, while also serving as an art director for the film Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honneamise (1987).

Hiromasa Ogura, born in Tokyo in 1954, began his career in animation at Kobayashi Production in 1977. He contributed to notable works such as Space Adventure Cobra (1982) under the art direction of Toshiharu Mizutani and created backgrounds for Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979). In 1983, he co-founded Studio Fuga alongside Hiroshi Ono and Toshiharu Mizutani, while also serving as an art director for the film Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honneamise

A significant collaboration in his career started in 1987 with Mamoru Oshii. They first worked together on the film Twilight Q: Mystery File 538 (1987), which also involved Haruhiko Higami. Ogura went on to contribute background paintings to Akira in 1988 and served as the art director for Patlabor - The Movie (1988), Patlabor 2 - The Movie (1993), and Ghost in the Shell (1995). His attention to detail in depicting weathered buildings complemented Oshii's dystopian urban visions.

Patlabor: The Movie, cut no. 378, solegraph

From 1995 to 2007, Hiromasa Ogura held the position of head of the art department at Production I.G., where he worked on projects like Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (2000), FLCL (2000), and Last Exile (2003). He also participated in the background art of Innocence (2004) under the art direction of Shuichi Kusamori.
Patlabor: The Movie, cut no. 577, solegraph

In 2007, Ogura established his own studio called Ogura Koubou. Since then, he has directed the art for various anime series, including Ghost Hound (2007), Black Butler (2008), Strike Witches (2008), and Sora no Otoshimono (2009). Notably, in 2015, he provided background art for episode 19 of the TV series Shirobako, where he made an appearance as himself, highlighting his significance in the anime industry.
Ghost in the Shell, cut no. 334, solegraph

Despite the prevalence of computer animation in modern production, Hiromasa Ogura continues to rely on traditional tools such as the layout table, paper, pencil, and paintbrush, showcasing his dedication to his craft. The attached photographs were taken at Ogura Koubo in 2021, offering a glimpse into his creative space and work environment. Over the years, he has been involved in several TV series with darker themes, including 91 Days (2016) and the highly anticipated Junji Ito Collection (2018).