In Japan, the anime industry has been notorious for leaving its animators both overworked and underpaid. However, one such animator has done something nobody has ever thought of is possible, and that is work as both an anime director as a side job while working as a real veterinarian. Meet Dr. Minoru Ashina.
Dr. Ashina is a real-life vet, who works at the Tsukuba Minopu Animal Hospital in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki Prefecture. He’s also the guy directing the Ultraman Kaijuu shorts featuring anthropomorphic kaijuu, Kaijuu Girls, as well as the animated shorts for both Re:Zero and Macross Delta! And did he mentions he can do a check-up on your dogs too?
While still in veterinary school, Dr. Ashina started doing animation as a hobby, and continued that hobby when he moved to Ibaraki Prefecture. In his downtime, while waiting for patients during slow days, the vet usually does some digital drawing in his computer. This led him for being contracted for outsourced projects, where he is recruited by friends. Dr. Ashina would usually do the scenarios, staging, and sound for the anime, while also working at the animal hospital.
This has led him to being contacted by one of Japan’s biggest animation studios, Production I.G., which would give him a full job in the vampire anime, Blood-C. He said that the people on the animation staff usually help him out in his veterinary work, while the people at the animal hospital would also help him in his animation work. He is often busy juggling the two jobs, and admitted he sometimes steals a nap every once in a while.
His animation studio is Tsuburaya Productions, where he works with his friend, Minoru Takehara. They created the new Kaijuu Girls anime shorts, which turned the monstrous villains from Ultraman into lovable “Kaijuu Girls”.
Source: Animate Times