Born in Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture, Sonoda moved to Tokyo in 1984, at the age of 21, and began work at Artmic, an anime studio. During this time, he worked on Bubblegum Crisis, producing the original Knight Saber character designs. He also worked on Gall Force, for which he did the original character designs.
He worked at Artmic until 1991, when he began work on the manga series Gunsmith Cats. Gunsmith Cats is one of Sonoda's best known works, being both a Harvey, and Tezuka award nominee. Sonoda concluded Gunsmith Cats' run in 1997, when he put the comic on hiatus, and began work on Cannon God Exaxxion. In 2004, after finishing Cannon God Exaxxion, he returned to work on Gunsmith Cats, with the follow-up sequel, Gunsmith Cats Burst.
He is currently the 19th head of the wagashi confectionery shop "Sonoda-ya" in Kumamoto, established in 1582. Sonodo created a new product, its first in 115 years, by adding lemon peels to his family's existing chōsen-ame candies and providing his own bishōjo illustrations for the packaging.
Sonoda is a self-confessed gun fanatic, owning several replica guns.
- Riding Bean (1989; unfinished)
- Gunsmith Cats (1991–1997)
- Cannon God Exaxxion (1997–2004)
- Gunsmith Cats BURST (2004–2008)
- Bullet the Wizard (2010–2013)
- Wanna-Be's (1986)—character concept design
- Gall Force: First Story Arc (1986)—character design
- Gall Force: Rhea Arc (1989)—character design
- Gall Force: Earth Chapter Arc (1989)—character design
- Gall Force: New Era Arc (1991)—character design
- Bubblegum Crisis (1987)—character and mecha design
- Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (1987)—production design
- Riding Bean (1989) original story, character design
- Bubblegum Crash (1991)—character design
- Otaku no Video (1991)—character design
- Gunsmith Cats (1995)—original story, character design
- Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai (1996)—original character design
- Solty Rei (2005)—conceptual design
- Sol Bianca
- Suchie-Pai The Idol Fighter series (1993–ongoing)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion Eva to Yukai na Nakamitachi Datsuihokankeikaku
- Temho Painyan
- Interview with Kenichi Sonoda, Gunsmith Cats, Bonnie and Clyde (Dark Horse Comics, 1996), p. 3.
- The Harvey Awards. "Harvey Award Nominees 1997". Archived from the original on June 25, 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2006.
- "１５８２年創業の老舗和菓子店、１１５年ぶり新商品発売：朝日新聞デジタル". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- DarkHorse.com. "Dark Horse interview with Sonoda". Retrieved September 16, 2006.
- A Dark Horse interview with Sonoda
- Interview at EX.org
- 2017 Q&A with Kenichi Sonoda on J!-ENT
- Kenichi Sonoda convention appearances on AnimeCons.com
- Sonoda, Kenichi at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
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