DUBAI: Jhyg Castillejos is a freelance animator who worked on anime shows like Takt Op. Destiny, Mushoku Tensei and Wonder egg Priority.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News Japan, Castillejos shared his inspiration for anime & manga, saying: “Back in 2015, I was introduced to the genre of anime by my brother. However, I have been watching anime since I was a little kid despite not knowing what anime really was. Back then, my favorite shows were Pokémon and Voltes V.”
“In 2015, the main anime that got me inspired to draw in anime style was Naruto. Since then, Naruto became an anime I would grow up with and become attached to,” he explained. “Naruto will forever remain special to me. However, my favorite animes and mangas currently are ‘To Your Eternity,’ ‘Violet Evergarden,’ ‘The Gods Lie’ and ‘Made in Abyss.’ Despite these shows not having a lot of action, they remind me of the amazing potential a great story and delivery can have an impact on someone.”
Castillejos began working in the industry almost one year ago. “I got the offer around the end of 2020 and started working a few months after. I’m still a fairly new animator but I’m currently working and trying my best to improve my skills in order to deliver the best quality I can,” he said.
“The first anime project that I worked on was a very small scene in ‘Wonder Egg Priority.’ It was a really great experience for me as a beginner and my production assistant was extremely kind despite having to deal with my lack of knowledge,” the animator told Arab News Japan. “Back then, I was still a beginner and I’m still not proud of how I performed. However, because of that experience I was able to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the industry and the amount of commitment it takes to be successful. This small but significant experience allowed me to learn from my mistakes and brought me to where I am today.”
Castillejos said he faced the challenge of time management during his work in the industry. “Anime schedules can be quite unpredictable,” he said.
“Even if it seems good at first glance, it can easily go the other way around. Working in the industry has allowed me to adapt to sudden changes and work at a much faster rate. Another challenge I constantly face is the language barrier. Likewise, despite it not being mandatory to be able to understand Japanese, it can be hard to communicate ideas especially through notations and even trying to comprehend the story board,” the animator explained.
His advice to new animators looking to work in the Japanese anime industry is to first solidify their knowledge regarding perspective, anatomy and efficiency in animation.
“These are the main keys that can get you to be successful. I would also ensure that you have the proper knowledge of the industry before joining it. This is very important because not knowing how to work properly can create a problem in the schedule and a major inconvenience to the staff. As a beginner, I think your main goal should be to get rehired by the same studio or production assistant as it’s often an indicator that you are doing things right,” he added.