Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 由悠季 Tomino Yoshiyuki?, born 富野 喜幸 November 5, 1941) is a Japanese anime creator, director, screenwriter and novelist. He was born in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and studied at Nihon University's College of Art. He is best known for creating the Gundam franchise.
Tomino, began his career in 1963 with Osamu Tezuka's company, Mushi Productions, scripting the storyboards and screenplay of the first Japanese television anime series, Tetsuwan Atomu (also known as Astro Boy). He later became one of the most important members of the anime studio Sunrise, going on to direct numerous anime through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Tomino is perhaps best known for his transformation of the "Super Robot" mecha genre into the "Real Robot" genre with 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, the first in the Gundam metaseries. He has also won numerous awards, including the "Best Director" award at the recent 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair (for the 2005 film Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs To The Stars). Two anime series directed by Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979-80 and Space Runaway Ideon in 1980) won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award.
Tomino often writes lyrics for the various songs featured in his series under the pseudonym Rin Iogi (井荻 麟 Iogi Rin?). Tomino (as Iogi) has collaborated with artists such as Yoko Kanno, Asei Kobayashi, MIO and Neil Sedaka.
Tomino is noted for directing several well-known anime series throughout his career, such as his most notable work, the Mobile Suit Gundam series, beginning in 1979, and which was later followed onto numerous sequels, spinoffs and merchandising franchises, Aura Battler Dunbine, Brave Raideen (in which he directed the first 26 episodes), and numerous others. His recent work includes Brain Powerd (1998), Turn A Gundam (1999), Overman King Gainer (2002) and most recently, The Wings of Rean, released in December 2005 and running till August 2006.
Tomino made his directorial debut with 1973's Triton of the Sea (海のトリトン Umi no Toriton?). This show, loosely based on Osamu Tezuka's manga Blue Triton, showed a different perspective than the traditional "good vs. evil" show. The star, Triton, a 10-year-old boy, is the last survivor of the Tritons, a tribe from Atlantis that was wiped out by the "evil" Poseidons. However the viewers learn later on that the story was not so black and white after all.
In 1975, Tomino worked on Brave Raideen, his first mecha work, in which he directed the first 26 episodes. Raideen was renowned and influential in its innovative portrayal of a giant machine of mysterious and mystical origins, and has gone on to inspire numerous other directors and series, including Yutaka Izubuchi's 2002 series, RahXephon. Tomino also later worked on 1977's Voltes V.
While many of the series Tomino has directed throughout his career contained an upbeat and positive tone, in which the majority of the protagonists survive, a number of his shows during the early years of his career (the late 1970s through early 1990s) contained endings in which a significant number of characters and protagonists died. In 1977, Tomino directed Zambot 3; in its final episode, a large number of the protagonists kill themselves to defeat the main antagonists. By doing so, the main protagonist survives and the Earth is saved. Certain sources cite this series as the origin of a nickname used by some anime fans, "Kill 'Em All Tomino" (皆殺しの富野 Minagoroshi no Tomino?), although it should be noted that Tomino had directed and worked in a number of series in which the vast majority of the protagonists survive.
In 1979, Tomino directed and wrote Mobile Suit Gundam, which was highly influential in transforming the Super Robot mecha genre into the Real Robot genre. Mark Simmons discusses the impact of Gundam in his book, "Gundam Official Guide":
|“||With its new, realistic approach to giant robots, Gundam changed the face of mecha anime and split the genre into two. Single-handedly inventing the "Real Robot" sub-genre, Gundam forced all of its predecessors to be redefined as part of the "Super Robot" subgenre. Not surprisingly, Real Robots became all the rage after Gundam. Shows such as Combat Armor Dougram and Walker Machine Xabungle followed the trail Tomino had blazed.||”|
In an interview published in Animerica magazine, Tomino discusses what he was trying to accomplish with Mobile Suit Gundam:
|“||The bottom line is, I wanted to have a more realistic robot series - unlike a super robot - where everything is more reality-based, based on a humanoid robot. Right from the beginning, the roots of the mobile suit came from the worker robots that were building the space colonies back then, and they would become more technologically advanced, to the point of becoming a weapon, and that was the whole lineage of the robots I had in mind since the beginning. So the whole idea, my idea, of trying to have a robot series in space without it becoming a stupid story was based on wanting to make a story and surrounding it with reality - more realistic possibilities was the underlying concept.||”|
Although the last quarter of the show's original script was canceled and it had to be completed in 43 episodes, its popularity grew after three compilation movies were released in 1981 and 1982. Mobile Suit Gundam was followed by numerous sequels, spin-offs and merchandising franchises, becoming one of the longest-running and most influential, popular anime series in history, being chosen as No. 1 on TV Asahi's "Top 100 Anime" listing in 2005.
In 1980, Tomino directed Space Runaway Ideon, a series which like Mobile Suit Gundam was cancelled on its initial run, but featured movie versions later on. The final Ideon movie, 1982's Be Invoked ends with all of the characters dying and the home planets of both the heroes and villains being destroyed (though all the characters in the show are subsequently shown alive in spirit form, and travel to a distant planet to be reborn). However, the series he immediately directed afterwards, Xabungle, contained a much more lighthearted and upbeat theme, with the vast majority of the characters surviving, in stark contrast to Ideon.
Tomino followed Xabungle with 1983's Aura Battler Dunbine which featured an ending where a large number of characters were killed. Tomino's next show, 1984's Heavy Metal L-Gaim was again a stark contrast to this theme, with all of the heroes surviving.
In 1985, Tomino directed the first sequel to 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, which was noted to be amongst the best Gundam series ever produced. This show once again featured Tomino's "Kill'em All" bent, particularly in the last few episodes. Tomino's involvement in the following Gundam series, 1986's Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ darkened the originally upbeat, comedic theme of the show. In 1988, Tomino concluded the saga begun in Mobile Suit Gundam with the Gundam motion picture Char's Counterattack. This was another Tomino feature in which most of the heroes were killed.
1990s and 2000s
Tomino would direct an additional Gundam motion picture, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 in 1991. This movie, which took place 30 years after Char's Counterattack, re-launched the Gundam saga in a new direction by featuring a completely new cast.
In 1993, Tomino directed his next Gundam series, Victory Gundam, which (like F91 before) attempted to relaunch the Gundam saga with a completely new cast. Like Zeta Gundam before it, this series featured the deaths of a large number of the protagonists. However, this was to be the very last Tomino series in which this was to happen. Each of the series he directed and created afterwards contain much more upbeat and lighthearted themes in which the vast majority of the protagonists survive.
In 1996, Tomino wrote and directed Garzey's Wing, and in 1998 wrote and directed Brain Powerd. In 1999, he returned to Gundam with Turn A Gundam and in 2002, directed two compilations movies for it entitled Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light and Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly. Also in 2002, he directed Overman King Gainer, and in 2005, Tomino directed 3 compilation movies summarizing the events of 1985's Zeta Gundam. His most recent series was the 6-episode The Wings of Rean, which first premiered on the Internet across Bandai Channel, the broadcast beginning from December 12, 2005 with the final episode starting on August 18, 2006. Also in 2006, Tomino made a special cameo appearance in Shinji Higuchi's tokusatsu film Japan Sinks.
At the 2009 CESA Developers Conference, Yoshiyuki used his keynote speech to criticize the gaming industry, citing that video games "bringing no productivity at all" and that "consoles are just consuming electricity". His surprising remarks have sparked mass discussions online.
- Wandering Sun (1971 - Director)
- Triton of the Sea (1972 - Director)
- La Seine no Hoshi (1975 - Director)
- The Adventures of Pepero (1975-1976 - Production Director, eps.20, 23. 25)
- Brave Raideen (1975 - Director (first 26 episodes))
- Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V (1977 - Producer)
- Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 (1977 - Writer, Director)
- Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 (1978 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam (1979-1980 - Writer, Director)
- Space Runaway Ideon (1980 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie (1981 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (1982 - Writer, Director)
- The Ideon: A Contact (1982 - Writer, Director)
- The Ideon: Be Invoked (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Combat Mecha Xabungle (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Aura Battler Dunbine (1983 - Writer, Director)
- Xabungle Graffiti (1983 - Writer, Director)
- Round Vernian Vifam (1983 - Planning)
- Heavy Metal L-Gaim (1984 - Director)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985-1986 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986-1987 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (1991 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993 - Writer, Director)
- Garzey's Wing (1996 - Writer, Director)
- Brain Powerd (1998 - Writer, Director)
- Turn A Gundam (1999-2000 - Writer, Director)
- Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light (2002 - Writer, Director)
- Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly (2002 - Writer, Director)
- Overman King Gainer (2002 - Director)
- The Wings of Rean (2005 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation I - Heirs To The Stars (2005 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II - Lovers (2005 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation III - Love is the Pulse of the Stars (2006 - Writer, Director)
- Japan Sinks (2006) - Actor
- Ring of Gundam (2009 - Director)
Discography (as Rin Iogi)
- "Tobe! Gundam (Fly! Gundam)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Opening Theme)
- "Eien ni Amuro (Forever Amuro)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Ending Theme)
- "Char ga Kuru (Char is Coming)" by Koichiro Hori
- "Kirameki no Lalah (Shining Lalah)" by Keiko Toda
- "Ima wa O-Yasumi" by Keiko Toda
- "Kaze ni Hitori de (Alone in the Wind)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Insert Song)
- "Ai Senshi (Soldiers of Sorrow)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Ending Theme)
- "Beginning" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 3 Insert Song)
- "Meguriai (Encounters)" by Inoue Daisuke (Co-written with Maso Urino) (Movie 3 Ending Theme)
- "Dunbine Tobu (Flying Dunbine, English version titled Dunbine Fire translated by J.C.Edward)" by MIO (Opening Theme)
- "Time for L-Gaim" by MIO (Opening Theme)
- "Zeta - Toki wo Koete (Zeta - Transcending Times)" by Maya Arukawa, composed by Neil Sedaka as Better Days Are Coming (First Opening Theme)
- "Issenman-Nen Ginga (The 10-million-year-old Galaxy)" by Jun Hiroe (Second Ending Theme)
- "Eternal Wind" by Hiroko Moriguchi (Ending Song)
- "Stand up to Victory" (First Opening Theme)
- "Ai no Field" by Kokia (First Ending Theme)
- "Turn A Turn" by Hideki Saijou, composed by Asei Kobayashi (First Opening Theme)
- "Century Color" by RAYS-GUNS (Co-written with You-mu Hamaguchi) (Second Opening Theme)
- "Ojousan Naishobanashi desu (This is a private conversation, miss)" by Hideki Saijou
- "Tsuki no Tama (Spirit of the Moon)" by RRET Team
- "Tsuki no Mayu (The Cocoon of the Moon)" by Aki Okui (Second Ending Theme)
- "King Gainer Over!" by Yoshiki Fukuyama (Opening Theme)
- Tokyo Anime Fair: Award Winners, Anime News Network, 27 March 2006.
- Machiyama, Toma (2002). Animerica Volume 10, Number 12 Article. Seiji Horibuchi. pp. 40–41.
- "Profile: Tomino Yoshiyuki". AnimeAcademy.com. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
- Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy, Helen (2001). The Anime Encyclopedia. Stone Bridge Press. p. 159. ISBN 1880656647.
- "ロボットアニメ万歳" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 28 February 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
- "コラム" (in Japanese). Mondo 21. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
- "Kill Em All Tomino". The Gundam Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
- Simmons, Mark (2002). Gundam The Official Guide. Seiji Horibuchi. p. 41. ISBN 1569317399.
- Machiyama, Toma (2002). Animerica Volume 10, Number 12 Article. Seiji Horibuchi. p. 37.
- "TV Asahi Top 100". Anime News Network. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
- "Z Gundam: The Black Gundam". Retrieved 23 February 2007.
- Simmons, Mark (2002). Gundam The Official Guide. Seiji Horibuchi. p. 61. ISBN 1569317399.
- Christian Nutt, Yoshi Sato, September 2, 2009, CEDEC 09: Keynote - Gundam Creator: 'Video Games Are Evil'
- 小笠原由依, 2009年09月02日 20時06分, 「僕にとってゲームは悪」だが……富野由悠季氏、ゲーム開発者を鼓舞
- Nippon Battling Society, in which Tomino is in charge (Japanese)
- Animefood Magazine Yoshiyuki Tomino Interview