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Akihiro Yamada (山田 章博 Yamada Akihiro?) (born February 10, 1957) is a Japanese illustrator and mangaka. He was born in Kōchi, Kōchi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and now resides in Kyoto. Yamada is known for delicate images reminiscent of suiboku and depiction of fantasy subjects. He is the 1996 Seiun Award winner in art category.[1]


While he has created many manga, Yamada is widely known as a novel illustrator and as a character designer. As an illustrator his best known works are Fuyumi Ono's Twelve Kingdoms series and Mizuno Ryo's Record of Lodoss War. His character design credits include concepts for the anime series RahXephon as well as a variety of video games. He is currently working on concept design of the movie Shinobi: Heart Under Blade.


Character design

Yamada's character design credits for anime include RahXephon. His work on video games includes Saiyuki: Journey West on the Sony PlayStation, various Might and Magic and Wizardry titles for the TurboGrafx-16, both versions of Mystic Ark, Enix's role-playing game for the Super Famicom and PlayStation and character designs for Shinkai Densetsu Meremanoid and Terra Phantastica. Yamada also worked on a game called Chaos Gear and a PC game, Black Rainbow.

Yamada's designs can also be found in Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo for the PC-Engine and in Front Mission 3 for the PlayStation. Yamada has produced many anime artbook compilations.


Yamada drew the manga Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis in conjunction with writer Ryo Mizuno, and is currently working on an Asian-themed solo manga, Beast of East.

Novel Illustration

Yamada attracted attention outside of Japan through his illustrations of Fuyumi Ono's long-running Twelve Kingdoms light novel series. He specially designed the rich cover illustrations for the home DVD releases of the anime adaptation of this series. Within Japan he has illustrated covers for numerous translated anthologies of Cthulhu Mythos literature, and is currently working with Kurodahan Press on their translation of a four-volume Japanese anthology of Cthulhu Mythos literature, The Lairs of the Secret Gods (秘神界 Hishinkai?). Yamada is drawing covers that are exclusive to the English translation.


  1. "星雲賞リスト" (in Japanese). Retrieved April 14, 2010. 

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