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Tomino Yoshiyuki

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Film.

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(1941-    ) Japanese author, Anime director and sometime lyricist (as by Rin Iogi), whose career spans the entire history of animation on Television in the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Some of his other pseudonyms include Minoru Yokitani, and Manami Asa. A graduate of the Nihon University of the Arts, he joined Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Production as an animator on Astro Boy. He left in the late 1960s to work as an art lecturer and commercial filmmaker, but was subsequently lured back into the anime industry during the recession of the early 1970s. His directorial debut was on the anime television series Umi no Triton ["Triton of the Seas"] (1972), but he is most famous for his work in the Mecha genre.

The frustration of his ambition to work in live-action film has fostered a love-hate relationship with cartoons. Although he participated in many genres, he found his vocation in the casual creative environment of the late 1970s, when animators were given free rein in their stories, so long as their shows hit the requisite number of minutes and showcased the right Toys. The deeply cultured, fiercely intelligent Tomino channeled his resentments into hard-hitting plots, beginning with Muteki Chōjin Zanbot 3 ["Invincible Superman Zanbot 3"] (1977) in which many of the protagonists die in the finale.

This and other anime holocausts led to his nickname in anime Fandom of Minnagoroshi no Tomino ["Kill 'em All Tomino"], an affectionate jibe that obliquely acknowledges his role in turning disposable children's television into serious sf. His most enduring creation is the Gundam series, beginning with Kidō Senshi Gundam ["Mobile Soldier Gundam"] (1979-1980; vt Mobile Suit Gundam), which he publicly proclaimed to be the "dawn of a new age in anime".

Tomino's body of work is curiously unacknowledged outside the anime world. His name is conspicuously absent from the Seiun Awards despite five decades of intimate involvement in the sf community. Japanese literary sf often defines itself in reaction to toy tie-ins and mecha shows, and hence frequently disregards his achievements in that field. Conversely, the anime community has shown a lukewarm response to Tomino's occasional prose attempts to break out of the mecha ghetto. One such escape bid is the Cima Cima series (1988-1989 Animage), set in a far future in which the elite have left the Earth's surface to dwell on flying islands. Another is the trilogy Ō no Kokoro ["King's Heart"] (1995-1996 Kadokawa Novels), set on a Ruined Earth that is plunged into conflict after the assassination of a ruling monarch.

Tomino is a volatile figure, unafraid of speaking out against the inanities of Videogames or backward steps in the modern anime industry. His published work hence spans fiction, textbooks and collections of polemics from numerous anime magazines. The bulk of his prose fiction publications are ties to the Gundam franchise, although Haran Banjō ["Full Vent to the Winds of Destruction"] is based on the anime Muteki Gōshin Daitarn 3 ["Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3"] (1978-79) and the sprawling Byston Well sequence comprises prequels and sequels to the anime Seisenshi Dunbine ["Holy Warrior Dunbine"] (1983-84; vt Aura Battler Dunbine, 2003 US), which injects mecha into a Fantasy milieu. Tomino is also credited as the original creator on literally hundreds of Manga and novels spun off from his anime serials. [JonC]

Yoshiyuki Tomino

born Odawara, Japan: 5 November 1941

works as author (selected)



Space Runaway Ideon

Byston Well (including the Aura Battler Chronicles)

Z (Zeta) Gundam

Char Gundam

Cima Cima

  • Shippū no Hate ni ["At the Edge of the Hurricane"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1988) [Cima Cima: binding unknown/]
  • Shura ni Noboru ["Ascending Through Carnage"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1989) [Cima Cima: binding unknown/]
  • Ketsuzoku o Harau ["Paying the Relatives"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1989) [Cima Cima: binding unknown/]

Haran Banjō

  • Bara Sensō ["The War of the Roses"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1989) [Haran Banjō: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]
  • Yūtsū Museum ["Melancholy Museum"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1989) [Haran Banjō: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]
  • Hit Couple (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1989) [Haran Banjō: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]
  • Ai wa Siberia Kara ["Love From Siberia"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1992) [Haran Banjō: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]

F91 (Gundam)

V Gundam

Ō no Kokoro

  • Shisha no Sho ["Book of the Dead"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1995) [Ō no Kokoro: binding unknown/]
  • Tennyo no Seitan no Sho ["Book of the Birth of the Celestial Maiden"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1996) [Ō no Kokoro: binding unknown/]
  • Sairin Hishō no Sho ["Book of the Flight Homeward"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1995) [Ō no Kokoro: binding unknown/]



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