Death of Eiichi Yamamoto, creator of Belladonna of Sadness

The Japanese animation pioneer has passed away at the age of 88.

Jeanne, the Belladonna, mourns the disappearance of her creator Eiichi Yamamoto. Indeed, the animator made famous for his work on the films of Animerama, including The Belladonna of sadness (1973) is the best known, and the series Astro-boy (1963) and King Leo (1965), died at the age of 88 on September 7. It was by email that his daughter announced the sad news to the organizers of a screening of her erotic and psychedelic masterpiece. Belladonna.

Born in 1933 in Kyoto into a modest family, Eiichi Yamamoto started animation in 1956 at Otogi Productions. He later met Osamu Tezuka and joined the studios of Mushi Productions where he created the masterpieces we know him.

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Eiichi Yamamoto remains in the minds of moviegoers today as the creator of the erotic film adapted from the short story The witch by Michelet. In 2019, three years after the film was re-released in 2016, First wrote: “A graphic masterpiece, a visual orgy, this seventies animated film rejoices everywhere. It is a free adaptation of an essay by Jules Michelet published in 1862, The witch, where the famous French historian made witchcraft in the Middle Ages, a supreme act of rebellion. Eiichi Yamamoto’s film sees a young woman, abused by the lord of a village, come to terms with the devil in order to organize his revenge. The Faustian pact will have unexpected effects and force the young woman to find refuge in a valley: the Belladonna of the title. Under the air of a gently erotic psychedelic object, Belladonna is valid for its freedom of tone, its extravagance and its lyricism. The film, almost invisible for 43 years, resurfaced in 2016 on French screens. “

With Belladonna, he signs one of the three animated feature films of his Animerama trilogy, completed by Thousand and one Night (1969) and Cleopatra (1970). These three films bursting with sensuality are a revolution in the world of Japanese animation, making Eiichi Yamamoto one of the major figures of the Japanese animation scene.

Belladonna was released in 2016 in France under the colors of Eurozoom.

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