Akihiko Yoshida

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Akihiko Yoshida (吉田 明彦 Yoshida Akihiko?, born 1967) is a Japanese game artist. Yoshida was born in 1967 and joined Square Co. in 1995, before the company merged with Enix. He then left Square Enix in September 2013 and became freelance. On 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]


Style and Process[edit]

In 1995, Yoshida joined Square Co, 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]

Tactics Ogre[edit]

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]

Final Fantasy XII[edit]

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]


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][7]



  1. ^ Thomas James (2014-10-02). "Final Fantasy designer appointed CyDesignation company director". Gematsu. 
  2. ^ a b c IGN staff (2006-07-18). "Top 10 Tuesday: Best Art in Videogames". IGN. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  3. ^ a b David Zdyrko (2000-05-22). "Vagrant Story review". IGN. Retrieved 2006-07-18. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Jeremy Parish (2010-12-30). "Walister Arts: An Interview With Tactics Ogre Art Team". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  5. ^ a b c IGN Staff (2003-11-20). "Final Fantasy XII Q&A". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  6. ^ a b Benjamin Turner (2006-05-11). "A Chat with the Final Fantasy XII Team". GameSpy. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  7. ^ Luke Plunkett (2011-07-06). "The Fantastic Character Art of Akihiko Yoshida". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 

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