What if the future of Japanese animation came from Spain? We can ask ourselves the question given the career of Abel Góngora, director of the expected success on Netflix Scott Pilgrim takes off!
His childhood dream was to later own a kiosk in which to sell your own designs. This passion brings Abel Góngora, born in 1983 in Barcelona, to go further south on the Mediterranean coast, to follow animation courses at the University of Valencia. Barely graduated, the young Spaniard integrates the Irish studio Cartoon Saloonwhere he took his first steps on the sets, then the animation of Skunk-Fu!. He then moved to France to work at Greedputting its expertise on Flash at the service of the first seasons of Dedicated from 2008. At the same time, the Roubais studio opened a branch in Japan, where around twenty animators went to work… including Abel Góngora!
It was on this occasion that he met Masaaki Yuasa et Eunyoung Choi (which develop the special episode Maximilian the Watchmaker). When Ankama Japon closed its doors in 2011, Abel Góngora returned to France… for two short years. When Yuasa and Choi melt le studio Science Saru, they immediately called on the talented Spaniard, who was one of the first five artists hired in the new structure! He works as an animator on Science Saru’s first project, the Food Channel episode of Adventure Time in 2014, then on its first series Ping-Pong the Animation. Shortly after, Abel Góngora discovered the production via three advertising spots, then on the second opening credits of Garo: Vanishing Linefor which he also provided storyboarding and animation direction for MAPPA in 2018. With this experience, the Catalan is propelled head of digital animation at Science Saruwhile the studio multiplies productions for the big screen (Lou and the island of the sirens, The night is short, walk on girl, Ride your wave) or for the small screen (Devilman Crybaby for Netflix).
Its notoriety takes on a new dimension with Keep your hands off Eizouken!, whose psychedelic opening theme is quickly becoming an Internet meme. The artistic consecration arrives the following year, in 2021. For the anthology Star Wars : Visionswe asked him to make a short film without any constraints: T0-B1 allows him to pay homage to Japanese animation of the 60s by integrating it into the atmosphere of Hollywood productions. The result convinces the profession both in Japan and in the USA, which he confirms with his work on Inu-Oh, particularly in terms of compositing. It is therefore logical that we entrust him the making of the animated adaptation of Scott Pilgrim, comic strip by Bryan Lee O’Malley already transposed into a live film in 2010 by Edgar Wright, for Netflix. Beginning next Friday, November 17, 2023, the series is an outcome of cultural globalization (a European director adapts a Canadian comic book on Japanese soil)… and above all a new start for Abel Góngora, for his 40th birthday!
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