Animation Styles Guide

進藤(しんどう) 満尾(みつお)

Mitsuo Shindō

General Information

Birthdate: 07 April 1944
Affiliation: Shindō Productions
Work: Animation Supervisor, Key Animation Artist

Animation Supervisor Credits:
DB: 7, 13, 17, 24, 30, 37, 42, 47, 53, 60, 67, 74, 79, 88, 95, 103, 110, 114, 121, 128, 135, 142, 149
DBZ: 3, 10, 17, 24, 37, 43, 50, 52, 57, 60, 65, 69, 73, 78, 82, 86, 91, 97, 101, 106, 111, 116

Mitsuo Shindō began his animation career at Mushi Productions and made his debut as an in-between animator for Mighty Atom (known in North America as “Astro Boy”) in 1964. After Mushi Productions went bankrupt in 1973, Shindō worked as a freelance animator, most notably at Toei Dōga (now Toei Animation) and the Sunrise animation studio. In 1981 Mitsuo Shindō assembled an animation team and founded his own animation studio, Shindō Productions. The studio was soon hired by Toei Animation to work on Toriyama’s first animated series, Dr. Slump – Arale-chan. Although Shindō was now in charge of a company’s day-to-day operation, he continued to take on the role of animation supervisor for numerous anime series, including Dr. Slump – Arale-chan, Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Z. After working on the Toriyama’s series up through the first part of Dragon Ball Z, Shindō began to tone down his animation workload and handed over his position as animation supervisor to the very talented Tadayoshi Yamamuro, who up until then had been working for Shindō Productions on the two series as a key animator. Following his departure from the series, Shindō continued to run the company and take on some small animation assignments on the side.

Shindō is undoubtedly rated amongst some of the better animators to work on the Dragon Ball series, but was by far not the best. His animation was quite detailed and smooth, but later became rather “pointy” and sharp looking. He would often alter and adjust his key animator’s frames to his liking, which is quite evident when you compare them to later key frames seen after his departure. Needless to say, although he was quite talented, he was quickly surpassed by his very talented successor Tadayoshi Yamamuro.

Besides animation, Mitsuo Shindō is also proficient in the martial arts, holding a 3rd grade black belt in Judo. He even ran his own dojo in Saitama Prefecture and taught the art of Shorinji Kempo to roughly 60 students. In 1984 Shindō’s two passions were combined, as his close friend Toyoo Ashida was hired as the series director for Toei Animation’s Fist of the North Star TV series. Having seen Shindō’s Judo skills first hand, Ashida decided to use Shindō as his inspiration for the main character’s fighting movements in the series. Shindō’s Judo skills would later help him animate crucial fight scenes in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.

Animation Gallery

This gallery serves as a small example of the animation seen in episodes supervised by Mitsuo Shindō and may not be representative of his entire body of work during his involvement in the series.

Dragon Ball Episodes

Dragon Ball Z Episodes

Animation Team

The animation team under Shindō Mitsuo’s direction was quite talented, but by far the most notable talent of the group was Tadayoshi Yamamuro, who would go on to be the character designer for the second part of Dragon Ball Z. Many of Shindō’s animators for Dragon Ball had previously worked with him on the Dr. Slump movies, but for some reason a few of the main animators didn’t stick around terribly long. This resulted in a few instances where the key animation for certain episodes had to be completed by only two or three animators. Thankfully they were all skilled enough that it didn’t have a detrimental effect to the overall look of the episodes.

Following Shindō’s departure from the series, Tadayoshi Yamamuro and Noriko Shibata were the only two animators to remain on staff for the remainder of the Dragon Ball Z series. By the time production for Dragon Ball GT had begun, Yamamuro had left Shindō Productions to work for Toei Animation and Shindō Productions no longer had any involvement with the series’ production.

Main Animation Team General Series Involvement
Kazuko Hirose (広瀬和子) DB: 1 – 142
Noriko Ītani (飯高則子) DB: 1 – 79
Tadayoshi Yamamuro (山室直儀) DB: 1 – 153; DBZ: 1 – 291; GT: 1 – 64
Teruhisa Ryū (劉 輝久) DB: 13 – 153; DBZ: 1 – 127
Noriko Shibata (柴田則子) DB: 103 – 153; DBZ: 1 – 291; GT: 1
Miki Ukai (鵜飼美樹) DBZ: 37 – 106

A few supplementary key animators were enlisted throughout Dragon Ball to help with episodes requiring more key frames. Many of these key animators only worked on a few episodes under Shindō, and had no other involvement with the Dragon Ball series.

Supplemental Animators General Involvement (Count)
Tsuyako Yamamuro (山室津弥子) DB: 7 – 30 (5)
Kyōko Higurashi (日暮恭子) DB: 47 (1)
Kōji Usui (臼井孝二) DB: 88 – 103 (3)