The actor and absurdist manga artist Yoshikazu Ebisu has taken on his first ever voice acting role in a short anime created by the Yoyogi Animation Gakuin school. The transforming hero who takes on a boat race invading squid and Ebisu’s dulcet tones is Mahō Ossan Shōjo Ebisu★chan (Magical Geezer Girl Ebisu-chan), and the animation which emulates Ebisu’s own style grew from ideas he had left out of the four-panel manga on display at the school.
The Yoyogi school also released a behind-the-scenes video, showing preparations being made by the production, illustration, background art, voice acting and sound design students and teachers, as well as Ebisu’s visit to the school and how he brought the eccentric mahō shōjo Ebisu-chan to life.
After making his break in surreal manga, Ebisu had a select few of his stories translated into English in Blast Books’ Comics Underground Japan compilation. And as an actor, he’s appeared in films such as Thermae Romae, in which a Roman bath-house designer stumbles through time to modern Japan, and Waterboys, a synchronised swimming club comedy about the journey to championship.