Yoshiyuki Tomino

By Jenxi Seow



Yoshiyuki Tomino (富野 由悠季 Tomino Yoshiyuki, 5 November 1941) is a Japanese mecha anime creator, animator, songwriter, director, screenwriter and novelist. He created and directed Mobile Suit Gundam, spawning the Gundam franchise.


Tomino was born in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and studied at Nihon University’s College of Art. He joined Mushi Productions as an animator scripting screenplay and storyboards for the first Japanese anime television series, Tetsuwan Atomu (also known as Astro Boy).

He left in the late 1960s to work as an art lecturer and commercial film maker, but returned to the anime industry during the recessino of the early 1970s. He joined Sunrise Studios, an anime studio founded by former members of Mushi. Tomino went on to became one of the most important members of Sunrise, directing 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 Mobile Suit Gundam. He has a love-hate relaionship with anime stemming from his ambition to work in live-action film. The anime industry in the late 1970s was one where animators were given free rein over their stories as long as they clocked up the prerequisite show length and showcased the toys that the show was selling. This allowed Tomino to create hard-hitting plots where many protagonists end up being killed off, something that was seen in live action films rather than anime at that time. His reputation for having no mercy shown to his characters earned him the nickname Minnagoroshi no Tomino (“Kill ’em All Tomino”) from fans. An acknowledgement of how he transformed anime from children’s cartoons into serious science ficiton.

Tomino has also won numerous awards for his works, the most reecnt being the “Best Director” award at the 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair (for the 2005 film Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs to the Stars). Two anime series directed by him, Mobile Suit Gundam and Space Runaway Ideon, won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award.

Besides his roles as writer and director, Tomino also performed songwriting duties, often writing theme song lyrics for the anime he was involved in. He uses the pen name Rin Iogi (井荻 麟 Iogi Rin) for his songwriting roles.

He uses the pen names Minami Asa (阿佐 みなみ Asa Minami) and Minoru Yokitani (斧谷 稔 Yokitani Minoru) to credit his work in screenplays and storyboards.

Tomino changed his given name from 喜幸 to 由悠季, both pronounced Yoshiyuki.


Gundam series

  • Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie (1981 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1982 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (1982 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985-1986 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986-1987 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (1991 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993 – Writer, Director)
  • Turn A Gundam (1999-2000 – Writer, Director)
  • Turn A Gundam I: Earth Light (2002 – Writer, Director)
  • Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly (2002 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation I – Heirs To The Stars (2005 – Writer, Director)
    ** Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II – Lovers (2005 – Writer, Director)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation III – Love is the Pulse of the Stars (2006 – Writer, Director)
  • Ring of Gundam (2009 – Writer, Director)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G (2014 – Writer, Director)

Non-Gundam mecha series

  • Brave Raideen (1975 – Director (first 26 episodes))
  • Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V (1977 – Producer)
  • Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 (1977 – Writer, Director)
  • Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 (1978 – Writer, Director)
  • Space Runaway Ideon (1980 – Writer, Director)
  • The Ideon: A Contact (1982 – Writer, Director)
  • The Ideon: Be Invoked (1982 – Writer, Director)
  • Combat Mecha Xabungle (1982 – Writer, Director)
  • Aura Battler Dunbine (1983 – Writer, Director)
  • Xabungle Graffiti (1983 – Writer, Director)
  • Round Vernian Vifam (1983 – Planning)
  • Heavy Metal L-Gaim (1984 – Director)
  • Brain Powerd (1998 – Writer, Director)
  • Overman King Gainer (2002 – Director)
  • The Wings of Rean (2005 – Writer, Director)
  • Japan Sinks (2006 – Actor)

Non-mecha series

  • Astro Boy (1963 – Writer, Storyboards)
  • Wandering Sun (1971 – Storyboards)
  • Triton of the Sea (1972 – Director)
  • Neo-Human Casshern (1973 – Storyboards)
  • La Seine no Hoshi (1975 – Director)
  • The Adventures of Pepero (1975-1976 – Production Director, eps.20, 23. 25)
  • Garzey’s Wing (1996 – Writer, Director)

Discography (as Rin Iogi)

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)

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 (Second Ending Theme)

Overman King Gainer

  • “King Gainer Over!” by Yoshiki Fukuyama (Opening Theme)

External links