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Graduating high school in 1978, Moriyama found work as an animator on the Star Blazers movie of the same year. He subsequently worked as a key animator on Macross and art director on Urusei Yatsura. His work was also a major feature of the video anime of the early 1980s with high enough quality work to get away with a cinema screening, such as Project A-ko. He sometimes uses the pseudonym Yuji Motoyama.