Taiwanese-American animator working on major anime projects in Japan

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Greg Chen, aka Porkky, is a Taiwanese-American 2D animator. He has made a name for himself in the Japanese anime world by being involved in popular projects such as “SPY x FAMILY,” “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,” and “BORUTO NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS.”

His inspiration for Japanese anime and manga comes from his Western background. Growing up in America, he was introduced to anime through dubbed channels such as Adult Swim. His top 3 anime are “Space☆Dandy,” “SHIROBAKO,” and “Little Witch Academia.”

“My biggest inspiration for anime, in general, came from watching Cartoon Network! One of my favorite animators, Yo Yoshinari, is also a big fan of anime from this era,” he says. To tell.

Originally Porkky wanted to become a game designer but soon realized that needed to be more attainable. “I found that to be a game designer, I had to be a logical problem solver and learn to program, which was probably one of my weakest areas,” he says.

“Before graduating, my professor told me I wasn’t cut out for game design. However, he said my animation was going in an interesting direction and encouraged me to apply to the UCLA Film School’s Graduate School of Animation. I gave it to you,” he added.

The artist started his career as a freelancer at an animation studio before joining Warner Bros. as a full-time 2D animator in 2019. After working there for two years, he developed a passion for Japanese anime. “I found out that anime studios somehow contacted some of his colleagues,” he says.

Porkky then worked at Nara Animation, a web-based animation studio specializing in 2D animation. The company has worked on famous anime series such as “My Hero Academia,” “BORUTO NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS,” and “BLEACH Thousand-Year Blood War.”

“I applied to Tonari Animation because I thought it would be the best way to learn without making many mistakes. A year has passed since then, but I have not burned out in the animation industry and now work at my dream studio. I thought it would take ten years instead of 1 year.”

Speaking to Arab News Japan about the challenges he faced in his career, Porkky said: “For me, it was all about drawing. Overall it was a lot of fun, but it was sometimes difficult to draw fast and well at my technical level. I had to keep practicing during breaks to improve my performance.”

When asked about the differences between Japanese and Western animation, Porkky said it was more about the approach to production than style.

“In terms of art style, many people in the Western industry – if they are experienced and given the right direction, of course – are more likely to adapt to Japanese anime, whereas Japanese animators tend to find it difficult to adapt to other styles,” he pointed out.

The animator advises future artists not to abandon their dreams, even if they get bad reviews. “Learning the basics is important, but people like me get bored quickly. So to keep me motivated, I try to make a little change and apply what I’ve been practicing to something more exciting. Would be good,” he suggested.

“Finally, achieving small goals is much better than big ones. For example, finish practicing this move this week. Create a storyboard page showing explosions and effects by tonight. Big goals are hard to pinpoint, but smaller goals are more realistic, and the artist progresses faster,” he added.

Porkky is a freelancer who visits Japan with his family for a week each winter vacation. This is part of a trip to visit his family’s hometown of Taiwan and Japan. He has never been to the Middle East but has friends in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

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