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Amano Yoshitaka

Entry updated 10 July 2023. Tagged: Artist.

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(1952-    ) Japanese artist, rare in the contemporary medium for eschewing the Manga cash-cow in favour of portraiture, book illustration and design. Amano's early work, while still in his teens, was at the Tatsunoko Anime studio, where he soon rose to the rank of character designer establishing the baseline images from which the pool of animators would create the animation itself on shows such as Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman II ["Science Ninja Team Gatchaman II"] (1978 Japan vt Battle of the Planets US); many of these works are collected in his art book Imagine (graph 1987).

Amano branched out into book illustration and box-art in the 1980s, becoming a powerful influence on public perceptions of many landmark sf and fantasy series, including Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D (1983), Yoshiki Tanaka's Arslan Senki ["Heroic Legend of Arslan"], and Kaoru Kurimoto's Guin Saga. He also illustrated the Japanese editions of Michael Moorcock's Elric, Corum, Erekosë, and Count Brass serials, and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. It was such high-profile cover-art and lavish interiors that led to his multiple Seiun Award-winning spree from 1983-1986, in which he won the Art category four years in a row. However, he became most prominent in Japan for his role as an illustrator in the first half-dozen releases of the Videogame serial Final Fantasy, first collected in Final Fantasy Monster Manual (graph 1989) and Dawn (graph 1991). He collaborated with Neil Gaiman on the illustrated novella The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (graph 1999).

Notably, Amano is a genre artist with a strong crossover into "high" art – his exhibitions have proved lucrative for Japanese galleries, and his participation is often sought by stage productions. His works have run to gallery exhibitions solely comprising portraits of David Bowie, while his media appearances include an unexpected cameo as Hiroshi in the film New Rose Hotel (1998 US) (see William Gibson). [JonC]

see also: Worldcon.

Yoshitaka Amano

born Shizuoka, Japan: 26 March 1952

works (selected)

about the author


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