Hidekazu Ebina (蛯名秀和) is an animator who has created numerous impressive animations for Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL and Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V.
He started as a Key Animator in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode 24, before taking on the role of Animation Supervisor in ZEXAL II and ARC-V.
In Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, he was not only an Animation Supervisor, but also worked on the Mechanical Design, Prop Design, and Sub-Character Design.
Sakuga (作画) simply means animation in Japanese, but has come to refer to the key animations produced by the animator. Sakuga appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of these cool and impressive animation created by the talented animator. These amazing quality animation greatly improves our enjoyment of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series.
Hidekazu’s style is one where the shot would quickly pans in on the character’s eyes and then quickly pans out to the flow of the character’s dramatic action. This style works extremely well with Yu-Gi-Oh! famous facial distortion (顔芸) as it directs the viewer’s attention to the character’s face.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II episode 121, Yuma performs a Shining Draw.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II episode 136, Nash clenches his fist and punches out a blue beam at Vector.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V episode 125, Yuya activates The Phantom Knights’ Possession.
In the same ARC-V episode, Yuya is enveloped in rage as he declares an attack with Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon.
In the examples above, Hidekazu’s style has vividly brought out the character’s emotion through their facial expression and it flows fluidly into their action.
The summoning sequence of Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon is extremely well made and it is one of my personal favourites.
Hidekazu is also a big fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! and he occasionally draws and shares his Yu-Gi-Oh! sketches on Twitter.
Hopefully this has been an interesting read about Hidekazu Ebina and his contributions to the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series.
If you are interested to learn more about the various other Yu-Gi-Oh! animators, Yu-Gi-Oh! Animation Highlights is a fantastic blog pertaining to animation in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.