Yasuo Otsuka (大塚康生, Ōtsuka Yasuo July 11, 1931 - March 15, 2021) was an animator, animation director, illustrator and advisor who worked for Telecom Animation Film under TMS Entertainment and previously worked for A-Production and Toei Animation. His name had also been romanized as Yasuo Ohtsuka and Yasuo Otuka.

Born on July 11, 1931 from the Shimane prefecture, he was originally an assistant drug control officer before moving to animation. While he was at Toei Animation and A-Production, he was with Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Former TMS boss Yutaka Fujioka was interested in his work and knew that Otsuka liked cars, he wanted him to work on the Lupin project and the reason why he left Toei.[1] When Telecom set up in 1978, he was invited by Fujioka and became a teacher for the animators until he scouted for expert animators.[2] Miyazaki worked with him at Telecom until he had set up Studio Ghibli. He had later retired from his role.

On March 15, 2021 he had passed away at the age of 89.[3]


Yasuo Otsuka was also involved in illustrations that are on various box art of Part I, Part II and The Castle of Cagliostro as well as the cover of Lupin the 3rd Secret File. A featured book was made called Yasuo Otsuka Art Collection - Lupin III, Car and ​Locomotives included some Lupin drawings.


Otsuka had cameo appearances as himself in various Lupin episodes.


  • He was responsible for the green jacket with the common reason was that due to that color TV in Japan at the time had problems with reds and it would have bled. This was the reason that even Monkey Punch had heard however there was another conflicting story. According to Masaaki Osumi however it was because he was wearing a green jacket at the time but also adds that Otsuka told him that "Because he's a thief, you shouldn't wear clothes that stand out so much". [1] [4]
  • According to Fiat, he was the first person in Japan to have purchased the Fiat 500.[5] The light blue Fiat 500 that he owned appeared in the Part I episodes Operation Jewel Snatch, Which of the Third Generation Will Win!, Rescue the Tomboy! and The Great Gold Showdown!. His car was used as a base for the animators during The Castle of Cagliostro and The Fuma Conspiracy as it was parked outside of the studio. Despite the image of Lupin having a yellow Fiat 500, Otsuka did not have one in that color.
  • Out of the 40 staff members, he was the only member credited at Telecom Animation Film in The Mystery of Mamo.
  • Nippon Television wanted him to work on Lupin the Third Part II, he was happy at first but when he found out about the project, he backed out.[1] He was still involved in the series as part of Telecom.


  1. 1.0 1.1 https://fullfrontal.moe/yasuo-otsuka-special-interview/ Yasuo Otsuka Special Interview – Lupin III Perfect Book (2003)
  2. http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php/lupin-iii-part-2-credits
  3. https://ghibli.jpn.org/news/taaf-2/
  4. Lupin III 35th Anniversary Special Project Monkey Punch, Yasuo Otsuka, Masaaki Osumi, Goro Naya Special Dialogue! Lupin III Official Magazine - August 19, 2002
  5. https://www.fiat-auto.co.jp/ciao/fiat-ownerinterview06_500_yasuo-otsuka/
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