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1950-1998. Sometimes miscredited as Toshinobu Kondo or Yoshifumi Kindo. Born in Niigata Prefecture he attended Design College of Tokyo after high school, but began working for A Pro (Now Shin'ei Doga) within six months of arriving in Tokyo. He met Hayao Miyazaki while working on Lupin III, beginning a lifelong association. He moved to Nippon Animation in 1977 and served as an animation director on Anne of Green Gables and Future Boy Conan. In this period, he also wrote a textbook on animation methods. He moved to Telecom in 1980, where he worked as a character designer on Sherlock Hound, although he was to resign from Telecom in 1985 due to illness, possibly caused by overwork. He freelanced for Nippon Animation for another year before quitting for good in order to take up a post at Studio Ghibli. He was a key animator and character designer on many of Ghibli's classic movies of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and had his directorial debut with Whisper of the Heart. Groomed as Hayao Miyazaki's successor at Ghibli, Kondo was a key animator on Princess Mononoke, but succumbed to an aneurysm in 1998. His death was not not only a tragic loss to Ghibli and the anime world but also a reminder of the terrifyingly long hours and stressful labor involved in creating Japanese animation.