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He is best known for his popular 1984 work Birth, one of the first original video animations released in the market. Though he did not create many character designs, he was famous for his character animation skills. His work on Galaxy Express 999 (1979) and Harmagedon (1983) were very influential to an entire generation of animators in Japan. These two works also served as partial inspiration for Takashi Murakami's Superflat art movement. During the 80s and 90s, he worked closely with director Hayao Miyazaki on several movies from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to Princess Mononoke. He was also known for breaking down the directorial system in animation, allowing individual key animators to exert their own style into a particular work. He died at the age of 57 of a heart attack on July 21, 2009.

Kanada joined the staff of Square Enix. Though he returned to animation for the 2001 film Metropolis, the past decade saw him working primarily on the CG cutscenes of games like Final Fantasy IX and Crisis Core. Kanada passed away in 2009, his last credit coming as storyboard director on Final Fantasy XIII.

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