Yoshiyuki Tomino

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Yoshiyuki Tomino
Tomino in 2021
Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 喜幸, Tomino Yoshiyuki)

(1941-11-05) November 5, 1941 (age 82)
Odawara, Japan
Other namesRin Iogi
Minoru Yokitani
Minami Asa
Alma materNihon University
Occupation(s)Director, songwriter, screenwriter, novelist
Years active1964–present
Known forGundam

Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 由悠季, Tomino Yoshiyuki, born 富野 喜幸; November 5, 1941) is a Japanese anime director, screenwriter, songwriter and novelist best known for creating the Gundam anime franchise.

Early life and family[edit]

Tomino was born on November 5, 1941, in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, to an old family of regional landowners in Ōjima (in present-day Kōtō, Tokyo).[1][2] His grandfather Kiheiji Tomino was the mayor of Ōjima and statutory auditor of Ōtsuka Rubber Works.[3][4] His father Kihei Tomino was an employee at Japan Processed Fabrics, and his mother Sachiko was the daughter of town councillor and celluloid toy manufacturer Sakichi Tanaka.[5] His uncle Kiheiji Tomino was a member of the Tokyo Prefectural Council.[6]

Tomino's father Kihei aspired to become a photographer and studied art at the Nihon University. Kihei worked as a chemical engineer at the Odawara Arsenal developing pressurized suits for the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane during the Pacific War. Inspired by his father, Tomino dreamed of working in aerospace engineering, and later in engineering or mechanics. However, after failing the entrance exam to a technical high school, he was forced to switch to the humanities. He spent his senior year of high school studying the basics of story writing and practiced writing novels.[7] He graduated from Sōyō High School.[8]

Fascinated by the postwar influx of American science fiction films, he entered the film department of Nihon University College of Art.[8]


Tomino joined Osamu Tezuka's company, Mushi Productions, on March 2, 1964, where he was originally a part of the production department and worked as a production assistant. One of Tomino's seniors was Hiroshi Wakao (later founder and CEO of Shaft), who had joined the company three months earlier; and it was Wakao who taught Tomino how to do jobs like collecting cut bags, filling out progress charts, and how to speak with the animators.[9] Soon after, Tomino began drawing storyboards and writing screenplays for Astro Boy. He later became one of the most important members of the anime studio Sunrise, going on to direct numerous anime through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Tomino is perhaps best known for his transformation of the "Super Robot" mecha anime genre into the "Real Robot" genre with 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, the first in the Gundam franchise. He has also won numerous awards, including the "Best Director" award at the 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair (for the 2005 film Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs to the Stars).[10] Two anime series directed by Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979– 80 and Space Runaway Ideon in 1980) won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award.

Tomino is known for using numerous pseudonyms for miscellaneous staffing roles that he performs in his works, including Minami Asa (阿佐 みなみ, Asa Minami) and Minoru Yokitani (斧谷 稔, Yokitani Minoru), which are used to credit himself for screenplays and storyboards he creates, Rin Iogi (井荻 麟, Iogi Rin), which he uses to credit himself for theme song lyrics he writes.[11] Tomino has collaborated (as Iogi) with artists such as Yoko Kanno, Asei Kobayashi, MIO and Neil Sedaka.

Tomino is noted for directing several well-known anime series throughout his career, such as his most notable work, the Mobile Suit Gundam series, beginning in 1979, and which was later followed onto numerous sequels, spinoffs and merchandising franchises, Aura Battler Dunbine, Brave Raideen (in which he directed the first 26 episodes), and numerous others. His newer work includes Brain Powerd (1998), Turn A Gundam (1999), Overman King Gainer (2002) and most recently, Gundam Reconguista in G (2014).


Tomino made his directorial debut with 1972's Triton of the Sea (海のトリトン, Umi no Toriton). This show, loosely based on Osamu Tezuka's manga Blue Triton, showed a different perspective than the traditional "good vs. evil" show. The star, Triton, a 10-year-old boy, is the last survivor of the Tritons, a tribe from Atlantis that was wiped out by the supposedly evil Poseidons. However the viewers learn later on that the story was not so black and white after all.[12]

In 1975, Tomino worked on Brave Raideen, his first mecha work, in which he directed the first 26 episodes. Raideen was renowned and influential in its innovative portrayal of a giant machine of mysterious and mystical origins, and has gone on to inspire numerous other directors and series, including Yutaka Izubuchi's 2002 series, RahXephon.[13] Tomino also later worked on 1977's Voltes V.

In 1977, Tomino directed Zambot 3. Certain sources cite this series as the origin of a nickname used by some anime fans, "Kill 'Em All Tomino" (皆殺しの富野, Minagoroshi no Tomino), due to the high number of character deaths (although Tomino had directed and worked in a number of series in which the vast majority of the protagonists survive).[12][14][15][16][17]

In 1978, Tomino conceived, wrote and directed the successful Super Robot series Daitarn 3, which featured an unusual mix of spy adventure, drama, sci-fi and irony. The series introduced many "pastiche" elements which became popular in the Eighties. The lead character, Haran Banjo, is considered one of the most multi-layered and fascinating anime characters in history.[citation needed]

In 1979, Tomino directed and wrote Mobile Suit Gundam, which was highly influential in transforming the Super Robot mecha genre into the Real Robot genre. Mark Simmons discusses the impact of Gundam in his book, "Gundam Official Guide":

With its new, realistic approach to giant robots, Gundam changed the face of mecha anime and split the genre into two. Single-handedly inventing the "Real Robot" subgenre, Gundam forced all of its predecessors to be redefined as part of the "Super Robot" subgenre. Not surprisingly, Real Robots became all the rage after Gundam. Shows such as Combat Armor Dougram and Walker Machine Xabungle followed the trail Tomino had blazed.[18]

In an interview published in Animerica magazine, Tomino discusses what he was trying to accomplish with Mobile Suit Gundam:

The bottom line is, I wanted to have a more realistic robot series - unlike a super robot – where everything is more reality-based, based on a humanoid robot. Right from the beginning, the roots of the mobile suit came from the worker robots that were building the space colonies back then, and they would become more technologically advanced, to the point of becoming a weapon, and that was the whole lineage of the robots I had in mind since the beginning. So the whole idea, my idea, of trying to have a robot series in space without it becoming a stupid story was based on wanting to make a story and surrounding it with reality – more realistic possibilities was the underlying concept.[19]

Although the last quarter of the show's original script was canceled and it had to be completed in 43 episodes, its popularity grew after three compilation movies were released in 1981 and 1982. Mobile Suit Gundam was followed by numerous sequels, spin-offs and merchandising franchises, becoming one of the longest-running and most influential, popular anime series in history, being chosen as No. 1 on TV Asahi's "Top 100 Anime" listing in 2005.[20]


In 1980, Tomino directed Space Runaway Ideon, a series which like Mobile Suit Gundam was cancelled on its initial run, but featured movie versions later on. The series is known for its darker story elements. Tomino followed up with a more light-hearted series called Xabungle, but the darker nature of Ideon continued with 1983's Aura Battler Dunbine.

In 1984, Tomino released Heavy Metal L-Gaim. The following year, Tomino directed the first sequel to 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Tomino's involvement in the following Gundam series, 1986's Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ created an upbeat, comedic theme whereas the earlier Gundam's are of a darker theme. In 1988, Tomino concluded the saga begun in Mobile Suit Gundam with the Gundam motion picture Char's Counterattack.

1990s and 2000s[edit]

With Shinsuke Suematsu (Award Ceremony for the Persons of Cultural Merit, November 4, 2021)

Tomino directed an additional Gundam motion picture, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 in 1991. This movie, which took place 30 years after Char's Counterattack, re-launched the Gundam saga in a new direction by featuring a completely new cast.

In 1993, Tomino directed his next Gundam series, Victory Gundam, which (like F91 before) attempted to relaunch the Gundam saga with a completely new cast.

In 1996, Tomino wrote and directed Garzey's Wing, and in 1998 wrote and directed Brain Powerd. In 1999, he returned to Gundam with Turn A Gundam and in 2002, directed two compilations movies for it entitled Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light and Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly. Also in 2002, he directed Overman King Gainer, and in 2005, Tomino directed 3 compilation movies summarizing the events of 1985's Zeta Gundam. His next major original work in the 2000s was the 6-episode OVA The Wings of Rean, which first premiered on the Internet across Bandai Channel, the broadcast beginning from December 12, 2005, with the final episode starting on August 18, 2006. Also in 2006, Tomino made a special cameo appearance in Shinji Higuchi's tokusatsu film Japan Sinks.

At the 2009 CESA Developers Conference, Tomino used his keynote speech to criticize the gaming industry, citing that video games "bringing no productivity at all" and that "consoles are just consuming electricity", while stressing that game developers need to focus more on quality content rather than advanced technology, comparing it to the modern animation industry.[21] His surprising remarks have sparked mass discussions online.[22]

After working on the CGI short Ring of Gundam for Gundam's 30th anniversary in 2009, Tomino returned to the franchise again for its 35th anniversary in 2014 in a new work in which he wrote and directed, Gundam Reconguista in G.[23]

The Anime Tourism Association, founded in 2016, has Tomino serving as its president.[24]

Tomino was present at Gundam Factory Yokohama for the opening ceremony of the 18-meter "life-size" moving statue of Gundam in Yokohama.[25]



Year Title Creator Director Writer Notes
1963–66 Astro Boy No No Yes Also storyboard artist
1971 Wandering Sun No No No Storyboard artist
1972 Triton of the Sea No Yes Yes
1973–74 Neo-Human Casshern No Episode No Directed 9 episodes, also storyboard artist
1975 Reideen The Brave No Yes No Directed episodes 1–25
1975 La Seine no Hoshi No Yes No Directed episodes 27–39
1975–76 The Adventures of Pepero No Episode No Directed and storyboarded episodes 20, 23, and 25
1977–78 Voltes V No No No Producer
1977–78 Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 Yes Yes Yes
1978–79 Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 Yes Yes No
1979–80 Mobile Suit Gundam Yes Yes Yes
1980–81 Space Runaway Ideon Yes Yes No
1982–83 Combat Mecha Xabungle Yes Yes No
1983–84 Aura Battler Dunbine Yes Yes No
1983–84 Ginga Hyōryū Vifam No No No Series is based on a draft written by Tomino
1984–85 Heavy Metal L-Gaim Yes Yes No
1985–86 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Yes Yes Yes
1986–87 Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ Yes Yes Yes
1993–94 Mobile Suit Victory Gundam Yes Yes No
1998 Brain Powerd Yes Yes Yes
1999–00 Turn A Gundam Yes Yes No
2002–03 Overman King Gainer Yes Yes No
2014–15 Gundam Reconguista in G Yes Yes Yes




Manga (written)

Discography (as Rin Iogi)[edit]

  • Mobile Suit Gundam
    • "Tobe! Gandamu (Fly! Gundam)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Opening Theme)
    • "Eien ni Amuro (Forever Amuro)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Ending Theme)
    • "Char ga Kuru (Char is Coming)" by Koichiro Hori
    • "Kirameki no Lalah (Shining Lalah)" by Keiko Toda
    • "Ima wa O-Yasumi" by Keiko Toda
    • "Kaze ni Hitori de (Alone in the Wind)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Insert Song)
    • "Ai Senshi (Soldiers of Sorrow)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Ending Theme)
    • "Beginning" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 3 Insert Song)
    • "Meguriai (Encounters)" by Inoue Daisuke (Co-written with Maso Urino) (Movie 3 Ending Theme)
  • The Ideon: A Contact: "Sailing Fly (Sailing Fly)" by Akiko Mizuhara [jp]
  • The Ideon: Be Invoked: "Ummi ni Hi ni (Under the sun, on the sea)" by Akiko Mizuhara
  • Aura Battler Dunbine: "Dunbine Tobu (Flying Dunbine, English version titled Dunbine Fire translated by J.C.Edward)" by MIO (Opening Theme)
  • Heavy Metal L-Gaim: "Time for L-Gaim" by MIO (Opening Theme)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: "Zeta – Toki wo Koete (Zeta – Transcending Times)" by Maya Arukawa, composed by Neil Sedaka as Better Days Are Coming (First Opening Theme)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: "Issenman-Nen Ginga (The 10-million-year-old Galaxy)" by Jun Hiroe (Second Ending Theme)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91: "Eternal Wind" by Hiroko Moriguchi (Ending Song)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: "Stand up to the Victory" (First Opening Theme)
  • Brain Powerd, composed by Yoko Kanno: "Ai no Field" by Kokia (First Ending Theme)
  • Turn A Gundam, composed by Yoko Kanno
    • "Turn A Turn" by Hideki Saijou, composed by Asei Kobayashi (First Opening Theme)
    • "Century Color" by RAYS-GUNS (Co-written with You-mu Hamaguchi) (Second Opening Theme)
    • "Ojousan Naishobanashi desu (This is a private conversation, miss)" by Hideki Saijou
    • "Tsuki no Tama (Spirit of the Moon)" by RRET Team
    • "Tsuki no Mayu (The Cocoon of the Moon)" by Aki Okui [jp] (Second Ending Theme)
  • Overman King Gainer: "King Gainer Over!" by Yoshiki Fukuyama (Opening Theme)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G: "G no Senkō" by Daisuke Hasegawa (Ending Theme)



  1. ^ "人物と其勢力 – 国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション". National Diet Library (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  2. ^ "「アムロ父子の確執は創作ではなかった」 40周年『ガンダム』富野由悠季監督が語る戦争のリアル". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  3. ^ "ガンダム監督の「敗北者宣言」【富野由悠季】". Koken (in Japanese). 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  4. ^ "富野喜平次 (第8版) – 『人事興信録』データベース". Nagoya University Graduate School of Law. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  5. ^ "大衆人事録. 第5(昭和7年)版 タ-ワ之部 – 国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション". National Diet Library (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  6. ^ "人事興信録. 第14版 下 – 国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション". National Diet Library (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  7. ^ Tomino, Yoshiyuki (1999). Tomino Yoshiyuki Zenshigoto. Kinema Junpo. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-4873765143.
  8. ^ a b "アニメを変えた男 上 創作の道へ 子供向け 手抜けない". Kitanippon Shimbun. 2020-11-24. p. 24.
  9. ^ Tomino, Yoshiyuki (November 30, 2002). だから 僕は… ―ガンダムへの道 [So, I... The Road to Gundam] (in Japanese). Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko.
  10. ^ "Tokyo Anime Fair: Award Winners", Anime News Network, 27 March 2006.
  11. ^ "富野由悠季 – アニメ@wiki FANBOXご支援募集中!".
  12. ^ a b Machiyama, Toma (December 2002). "Interview with Yoshiyuki Tomino – The creator of Gundam, before & after!". Animerica. Vol. 10, no. 12. pp. 40–41.
  13. ^ "Profile: Tomino Yoshiyuki". AnimeAcademy.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  14. ^ Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2001). The Anime Encyclopedia. Stone Bridge Press. p. 159. ISBN 1-880656-64-7.
  15. ^ ロボットアニメ万歳 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 28 February 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  16. ^ コラム (in Japanese). Mondo 21. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  17. ^ "Kill Em All Tomino". The Gundam Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  18. ^ Simmons, Mark (2002). Gundam The Official Guide. Seiji Horibuchi. p. 41. ISBN 1-56931-739-9.
  19. ^ Machiyama, Toma (2002). Animerica Volume 10, Number 12 Article. Seiji Horibuchi. p. 37.
  20. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100". Anime News Network. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  21. ^ Christian Nutt, Yoshi Sato, September 2, 2009, CEDEC 09: Keynote – Gundam Creator: 'Video Games Are Evil'
  22. ^ 小笠原由依, 2009年09月02日 20時06分, 「僕にとってゲームは悪」だが……富野由悠季氏、ゲーム開発者を鼓舞
  23. ^ Gundam creator criticizes Shinkai
  24. ^ "Anime Tourism Association". 一般社団法人アニメツーリズム協会-アニメ聖地88. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  25. ^ Facility with "life-size" moving Gundam statue opens in Yokohama near Tokyo KYODO NEWS, December 20, 2020
  26. ^ "長嶋茂雄さんら9人文化勲章 功労者に加山雄三さんら". Jiji.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.

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