Kazuko Shibuya

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Kazuko Shibuya
渋谷 員子
Born (1965-09-04) September 4, 1965 (age 57)
OccupationVideo game artist
Years active1986–present
EmployerSquare Enix
Notable workFinal Fantasy, Romancing SaGa, Mana

Kazuko Shibuya (Japanese: 渋谷 員子, Hepburn: Shibuya Kazuko, born September 4, 1965) is a Japanese video game artist. She is best known for her work with Square (now Square Enix), in particular with the Final Fantasy series.


Shibuya was born in 1965. While in middle school, she began creating illustrations and animations inspired by anime series including Space Battleship Yamato and Galaxy Express 999. As a high schooler she enrolled in a technical school to study animation and worked part-time for animation studios on popular anime including Transformers, Area 88, and Obake no Q-taro. In 1986, as she was losing interest in animation work, she was recruited by video game company Square.[1]

Shibuya's first work for Square was providing illustrations for Alpha's game manual and graphics for several games in development. In 1987, prompted by the success of Enix's Dragon Quest the previous year, Square released Final Fantasy.[2] Shibuya created graphics including characters, spells, monsters, fonts, menus, and the game's opening bridge scene. By Final Fantasy II, she was one of two designers creating all the pixel art for the game.[1]

Shibuya went on to design graphics for other Final Fantasy games, most notably the iconic chibi versions of characters, monsters, fonts, and menus. She was the primary pixel artist for many well-known games including entries in the SaGa series and Mana series (of which she created all the graphics for the first game).[3]

In 2019, during a lecture at Japan Expo Paris, Shibuya was invited by Women in Games to be a member of honour.[4]

Notable works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ogura, Masaya (March 16, 2013). "「最近目指しているのは,洗練された美しいドット絵,ですね」――FF誕生以前から,アルバム「FINAL FANTASY TRIBUTE ~THANKS~」までを,スクウェア・エニックスのデザイナー・渋谷員子氏に振り返ってもらった" ["What I'm aiming for recently is a beautiful and beautiful dot picture."-Looking back on the album "FINAL FANTASY TRIBUTE ~ THANKS ~" from before FF to Shunko Shibuya, the designer of Square Enix received]. 4Gamer (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 25, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Fujii, Daiji (2006). "Entrepreneurial Choices of Strategic Options in Japan's RPG Development" (PDF). Okayama University. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Agossah, Iyane (July 5, 2019). "Final Fantasy Pixel Artist Kazuko Shibuya Comments on Her Career and the JRPG Series' Early Days". DualShockers. Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Audureau, William (July 9, 2019). "Kazuko Shibuya, la reine des pixels des premiers " Final Fantasy "" [Kazuko Shibuya, the queen of the pixels of the first "Final Fantasy"]. Le Monde (in French). Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q 4Gamer (March 1, 2013). "Kazuko Shibuya – Square Developer Interview". Shmuplations.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Osborn, Alex (December 17, 2015). "Final Fantasy 6 Advance Coming to Wii U Virtual Console in Japan". IGN. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  7. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (July 26, 2010). "Final Fantasy Legends Detailed". Andraisang. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Sato (October 26, 2017). "Final Fantasy Dimensions II Is Finally Headed Westward With A November 1 Launch Date". Siliconera. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Sato (February 4, 2016). "Adventures of Mana Is Now Available, Producer Shares A Message For Fans". Siliconera. Retrieved May 13, 2020.