Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

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Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto at J-Popcon in Copenhagen, 2007
Born (1962-01-29) January 29, 1962 (age 62)
Occupation(s)Character designer, manga artist
Known forNeon Genesis Evangelion (manga)
Sample of Sadamoto's art, featuring Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (貞本 義行, Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, born January 29, 1962, in Tokuyama (now Shunan), Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese character designer, manga artist, and one of the founding members of the Gainax anime studio.


When Gainax was originally founded as Daicon Film, Sadamoto served as animator on the second animated project, the Daicon IV opening animation. His first assignment as a character designer for Gainax was the film Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, released in 1987, he continued to design characters for Gainax with the series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, and Diebuster. The official manga adaptation of Evangelion, published between 1994 and 2013, was fully written and illustrated by Sadamoto. He also collaborated with director Mamoru Hosoda to provide character designs for the films The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children.

According to Yasuo Otsuka, who guided Sadamoto as a newcomer, there are only three people whom he regarded as more skillful than himself that he has met during his career. One of them is Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. The other two are Sadao Tsukioka who became a visual creator, and award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. When Otsuka met the three men, he seems to have felt that he was taking off his hat to them at once. However, he thinks that only Miyazaki completely mastered a genuinely superior animation technique at present. He guesses, "A too excellent person might despair in the group work".[citation needed]

In a 2013 interview with Japanese Entertainment website Nihongogo, it was revealed that Sadamoto is a stickler for details and wouldn't feel comfortable illustrating anything too unfamiliar to him. "In general, I don’t want to draw something that I have to study further in order to draw. For example, I could not draw a medical manga because it’s impossible for me to make a lie about medicine. Also things like Soccer and Baseball. I am unfamiliar with these worlds so it would be too difficult to show the actual plays." When asked about dream collaborations he revealed an interest in working with Robert Westall and Philip K. Dick but apologized "These are all deceased people, sorry."[1]


On August 9, 2019, Sadamoto criticized on Twitter a statue featured in the “After ‘Freedom of Expression’?” historical art exhibition at the Aichi Prefecture Museum of Art, Statue of Peace (2011), by Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sang memorializing comfort women, girls who worked in wartime brothels in World War II for the Japanese military. The statue was first installed by its creators in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul as a form of political protest. He also criticized a movie in the exhibition that showed a picture of the Emperor of Japan being burned and then stomped underfoot, he referred to it as "indistinguishable from a certain country's style of propaganda". Sadamoto said "I wanted it to be an art event with academic contemporary art at its core...Remove the crazy [propaganda]-affirming media and the exhibition could still be redeemed." he follows "I'm not going to completely reject the act of turning propaganda into art, but honestly speaking, it did not speak to me at all on an artistic level." His comments have been criticized by some Koreans and English speakers who replied to his tweet with displeasure of his views.[2]

Later, Sadamoto claimed he merely disliked the statue's design, but liked Korean idols and even had Korean friends.[3] According to Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada, Sadamoto's feelings towards Koreans were already a factor of animosity during the production of Nadia, during which he blamed outsourced Korean animators for oscillations of quality during the series' "Island Arc" and would go on angry tirades disparaging their work, leaving the studio on his motorcycle. Anno believed this was part of miscommunication in the production process, and Okada attributed it to cultural differences.[4]

After 3.0, Sadamoto has not returned to work on the final Rebuild movie, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, and has had a diminishing role in the tetralogy. Character design, as well as authorship for the spin-off manga Evangelion 3.0 (-120 min.), was instead handed to Hidenori Matsubara for most of the Rebuilds, with Sadamoto being credited instead as "original character design" in 2.0, 3.0 and 3.0+1.0, with diminishing involvement in a supervisory role for 2.0 and 3.0. He is also not interviewed for the last two films.[5] Many fans, primarily Korean ones, protested at Sadamoto's statements, and asked if he was still involved with the new Eva movie. Sadamoto denied this and stated he had completely resigned from Khara and had "no involvement whatsoever".[6]


Year Title Role Media Source
1981 FINAL STRETCH Artist/Story Manga
1981 LONELY LONESOME NIGHT Artist/Story Manga
1981 CRAZY RIDER Artist/Story Manga
1983 Daicon IV Animator Short film [7]
1987 Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise Character designer Film [8]
1988 Gunbuster Animation director OVA [8]
1990–1991 Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water Character designer Anime [8]
1993 ROUTE20 Artist/Story Manga
1994–2013 Neon Genesis Evangelion Artist/Story Manga
1995–1996 Neon Genesis Evangelion Character designer Anime [8]
1997 Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth Design director Film [8]
1997 The End of Evangelion Character designer Film [8]
1997 DIRTY WORK Artist Manga
1998 Pilgrim Artist Album
2000 System of Romance Artist Manga
2000 FLCL Character designer OVA [8][9]
2002 .hack//Sign Character designer Anime [10]
2002–2005 .hack (video game series) Artist Video game
2004–2006 Diebuster Character designer OVA [8]
2006 Gunbuster vs Diebuster: Aim for the Top Character designer Film [8]
2006 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Character designer Film
2007-2021 Rebuild of Evangelion Character designer Film [8]
2009 Summer Wars Character designer Film
2012 Wolf Children Character designer Film
2013 Short Peace (Gambo) Character designer Film
2014 The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale Artist Album
2018 Starwing Paradox Character designer Video game
2020 Great Pretender Character designer Anime
2020+ Zero Seiki Movie 1: Emeraldas Character designer Movie


1992–1993 Aoki Uru Character designer Manga (Character Design) [12]


  • Sadamoto Yoshiyuki Art Book ALPHA (Published April 1, 1993) ISBN 4-04-852385-6
  • Sadamoto Yoshiyuki Art Book DER MOND [Limited Edition] (Published September 30, 1999) ISBN 4-04-853048-8
  • Sadamoto Yoshiyuki Art Book DER MOND [Popular Edition] (Published January 31, 2000) ISBN 4-04-853031-3
  • Sadamoto Yoshiyuki Art Book CARMINE [Limited Edition] (Published March 26, 2009) ISBN 978-4-04-854275-3
  • Sadamoto Yoshiyuki Art Book CARMINE [Regular Edition] (Published August 26, 2010) ISBN 978-4-04-854480-1
  • Yoshiyuki Sadamoto CD-ROM art collection (GAINAX sale in 1993)


  1. ^ David Chang (September 11, 2013). "Yoshiyuki Sadamoto x Nihongogo Interview @ Japan Expo USA 2013 1st Impact". nihongogo.com. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Morrissy, Kim (August 12, 2019). "Evangelion Character Designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Attracts Criticism Over 'Dismissive' Tweet about Korean Comfort Women Statue". www.animenewsnetwork.com. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Sadamoto, Yoshiyuki [@Y_Sadamoto] (August 9, 2019). "韓流アイドルも好きだし綺麗なモノは綺麗と正直に言ってます" (Tweet). Retrieved 6 December 2023 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Okada, Toshio (15 July 2021). 某国外注の絵が酷すぎた…庵野ブチギレ「どこにナディアが描いてあります?」「我々は紙芝居を作っているのではない」「ラーメン入れるのやめて下さい」『ふしぎの海のナディア』【岡田斗司夫切り抜き】【庵野秀明】 (in Japanese).
  5. ^ Sadamoto, Yoshiyuki [@Y_Sadamoto] (August 9, 2019). "コミケは夏、冬、お休みです。" (Tweet). Retrieved 6 December 2023 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Sadamoto, Yoshiyuki [@Y_Sadamoto] (August 10, 2019). "見たけりゃ見ればいいし" (Tweet). Retrieved 6 December 2023 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Eng, Lawrence. "Daicon III and IV Opening Animations - Trivia". Cornell Japanese Animation Society. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dani Cavallaro (Oct 28, 2008). The Art of Studio Gainax: Experimentation, Style and Innovation at the Leading Edge of Anime. McFarland. pp. 205–207. ISBN 978-0-7864-3376-6.
  9. ^ "Character Designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Rock Band The Pillows to Return for FLCL Sequel Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  10. ^ Toole, Mike (October 16, 2003). ".hack//Sign Review". Anime Jump. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  11. ^ "WIT Studio Announces Great Pretender Anime for 2020". Anime News Network. July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Gainax President Hiroyuki Yamaga unveils artwork from Wings of Honneamise sequel and upcoming free-diving series". ani-gamers.com. June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  • Yuki, Masahiro. "The Official Art of .hack//Roots". (May 2007) Newtype USA. pp. 101–107.

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