Akihiko Yoshida

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Akihiko Yoshida
吉田 明彦
Born (1967-02-15) February 15, 1967 (age 56)
OccupationVideo game artist
Notable work

Akihiko Yoshida (吉田 明彦, Yoshida Akihiko, born 15 February 1967) is a Japanese video game artist. Yoshida was born in 1967 and joined Square in 1995, before the company merged with Enix. He then left Square Enix in September 2013 and became freelance. In October 2014, he became the company director of CyDesignation, a subsidiary of Cygames.[1] He is well known for his work on the Final Fantasy series.[2] He is a frequent collaborator of game designer Yasumi Matsuno.[3]


In 1995, Yoshida joined Square and with each project he took on, he experimented with different styles of graphic design.[2][4] He has compared his use of color to that of Kingdom Hearts character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and the keeping of color consistent between the characters and the game world.[5]

For the game Tactics Ogre, pencil etchings and CG coloration were used together for the first time.[4] Yoshida considers the tone and style of the game to be the "ideal" art style and thus within his comfort zone.[4] The original tarot card illustrations for the game were done for dot graphics, and reflected a limited color index.[4] When remade for the PlayStation Portable, some staff wanted to use the original illustrations, but Yoshida requested to redraw the illustrations with more detail and color than was possible or required previously.[4]

In designing the character of Vaan for Final Fantasy XII, initially the character was "rugged" and "tough", but after considering the demographics of the games audience, the character was made younger and thinner.[5] Once the actors motion captured and voice actor Kohei Takeda did the part, the character became slightly less effeminate than was originally designed.[5] Yoshida set out to create a cast of characters who looked unlike any previous Final Fantasy cast.[6] He also stated that the character reflected what Japanese audiences want, but that they try to design characters everyone likes.[6]

In addition to his work in video games, Yoshida designed the original characters for the 2018 directorial debut film of screenwriter Mari Okada entitled Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. [7]


He has been cited as a "fantastic" artist by Kotaku, and his work on Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII was called "brilliant" and "refined" by IGN.[2][3][8]



  1. ^ Uncredited. Released in Japan as Taiyou no Tenshi Marlow: Ohanabatake wa Dai-Panic; an unreleased English prototype from 1991 crediting Quest staff, including Yoshida, was discovered in 2020.


  1. ^ Thomas James (2 October 2014). "Final Fantasy designer appointed CyDesignation company director". Gematsu.
  2. ^ a b c IGN staff (18 July 2006). "Top 10 Tuesday: Best Art in Videogames". IGN. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b David Zdyrko (22 May 2000). "Vagrant Story review". IGN. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  4. ^ a b c d e Jeremy Parish (30 December 2010). "Walister Arts: An Interview With Tactics Ogre Art Team". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b c IGN Staff (20 November 2003). "Final Fantasy XII Q&A". IGN. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b Benjamin Turner (11 May 2006). "A Chat with the Final Fantasy XII Team". GameSpy. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  7. ^ Anime News Network Staff (18 August 2020). "Akihiko Yoshida". Anime News Network. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  8. ^ Luke Plunkett (6 July 2011). "The Fantastic Character Art of Akihiko Yoshida". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.

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