Recently, there have been so many musicians incorporating animation in their music videos. In Japan, too, animated visuals and original graphics have been increasing in popularity.

I believe that animations can often express certain feelings better than people do, and are also a wonderful art form that pairs very well with musical compositions.

Recently, there is a rock duo using 3D graphic animation that has been gaining a lot of attention from the media as well as the general public in Japan. The group is called Yorushika (ヨルシカ), formed by Suis and N-buna.

The reason for their popularity is they are the band whose theme songs were used for the animated movie “A Whisker Away” (Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu 泣きたい私は猫をかぶる). You can find it on Netflix with subtitles available in many languages.

The official video for the film was made by ぽぷりか/ Popurika, a popular animator who specializes in 3D computer graphics and who is an important member of the well-known animation team Hurray!

Without further ado, let's move on to the main topic of this article:

Animators in Japan and popular animated music videos.

Here are my best picks:


As mentioned above, the team Hurray! is one of the most popular video production teams in Japan. They consist of the talented trio of Popurika (ぽぷりか), Ohajiki (おはじき), and Magotsuki (まごつき). Popurika and Ohajiki started video production around the same time, in 2011. Each of the members have their strengths. For example, Magotsuki handles facial expressions and dynamics, while Ohajiki is a fan of special effects and shonen manga and always tries to highlight the characters’ charms.

Popurika is an all-rounder. He does everything from hand-drawn animation to 3D computer graphics, as well as music production, shooting, etc.

Their newest project is called 過去に囚われている/Kako ni Torawareteiru/ “Trapped in the Past” and you can have a look below:

You can also see more about the concept of the video production team in their newest concept movie (it also has English subtitles!):

Their animation is so uplifting, but there are times it feels nostalgic, too. Sometimes it's bright and colorful, but again, there are also times when I feel moved to tears after watching their beautiful creations.

Aside from the videos above, I also want to share one of my favorite animations by them, Yorushika's “Rain with Cappuccino”:

I feel it somehow fits the season and fills me with so much emotion as the story is a continuation of Yorushika's previous album “That’s why I quit music." It's amazing how they can create such touching visuals and the aesthetics are just wonderful!

For those interested, I will leave their social media links below as well as their official website:


Waboku is also a popular video producer. Two of his popular creations are Eve’s "Okini mesu mama" / お気に召すまま (As you Like)...

...and Zutto Mayonaka de ii no ni’s "Byoshin wo Kamu" / 秒針を噛む (Gnaw at the seconds hand):

He has a unique art style, and this is what makes his animation so interesting.

Saho Nanjo

Saho Nanjo’s animation is very unique as well. She focuses on what the composer and the singer are trying to transmit through the lyrics. She puts a lot of thought into the feelings conveyed by the melody and lyrics, and she turns animation into a beautiful work of art. One of my favorite of her animated music videos is Yoasobi’s “Probably” (たぶん / Tabun):

These talented animators are currently my best picks!

How did you feel watching their creations? It was quite impressive, wasn't it? 3D modeling and animation require a lot of knowledge and they're obviously skills you can’t gain overnight. I believe that animators should be more appreciated for their work, and I hope the industry will raise even more and more talented people who will make their way into the limelight.

By - cinnamonellie.