Character Designer

This person creates a settei or model pack with drawings of each character from different angles, specifying details such eyes, clothes, and accessories.

One of my favorite character designers is Nobuteru Yuki (Gunnm, Escaflowne, Record of Lodoss War).

Escaflowne Character Design:




Although Character Design sounds like a very fun and creative specialty, the final look of the characters may be influenced by other members of the production team. For example, Yoshitoshi Abe complained that Lain (Serial Experiements Lain) didn’t turn out as he intended because he had to change the design to meet the demands.


However, he was given complete creative freedom in Haibane Renmei ๐Ÿ™‚


The design may evolve from concept art. Here is an example of Original Character Design by Yutaka Izubuchi from Lodoss:


Anime Character Design by Nobuteru Yuki looks somewhat different:

Of the recent anime examples, Shangri-La provides a nice contrast:

Kenichi Yoshida (novel)

Range Murata (Anime Original Character Design)

Kumi Ishii (Anime Character Design)

Artists rarely create character design only – many work in other roles of anime production. Although exceptions, such as Akemi Takada (Kimagure Orange Road, Maison Ikkoku, Patlabor, Urusei Yatsura) who worked almost exclusively on character design, do exist.

25 thoughts on “Making Anime: Positions in Anime Industry

  1. wow… I love how thorough most of your posts are; I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this blog

    keep it up

  2. I’m going through art college at the moment, so this post was definitely helpful in getting to know more about the career prospects in the anime industry. (: Some of our subjects even covers some of the jobs slightly already-like character design etc! Nevertheless art can be grueling-and expensive, ahaha. Thank you for this post!

    1. I am glad it was helpful for you ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like your college education is interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you had a choice, what position would you take?

  3. Very awesome post!

    The editor you mentioned, Kazuhiko Seki, worked on Akiyuki Shinbo’s Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Natsu no Arashi but not his Maria+holic. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons why I think both are far superior to Maria+holic. Especially since I often thought Maria+holic felt lazy and not as sharp as the other two.

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, a wiki article would be nice, but we have to take care of Wolfram Alpha first because of the resin ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Art Director. I enjoy drawing landscapes. (: Would be cool to visualize the concept art for a film production, anime or live action! Our college is definitely interesting, but they really push you I suppose, so that we will deliver more when we go out to look for a job later.

    1. Yes, Art Director is an interesting specialty ๐Ÿ™‚ Post your landscapes if you have some ๐Ÿ™‚

      Pushing students a little is good as long as it is done in moderation.

  5. Question, I’m doing a paper on outsourcing in the Japanese anime industry, and I need a source on how all it’s structured. What all sources did you use?

    Due at 6pm today 5/21, and it’s 2:50pm now. Help please!

  6. Thank you again, this article was very useful. Actually I think I am about to do something big right know even tough I am young. My dad took my sketch book to his work today and he showed it to his co workers, one of them use to do comics and I have been planning two comics for two months and already.

    1. I am glad you found it useful ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you are into comics, I recommend books by Scott McCloud, especially Understanding Comics. One of the most interesting sections is chapter seven where he describes a path that any creation in any medium will follow ๐Ÿ™‚ It is also a nice perspective on a growth of an artist. It is an interesting reading not only about comics, but about art in general ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. wow…much work from your part…It clarified some things yet I still get confused at some responsibilities. And a question: what is a ‘key’? *blush*
    Very enlightening work. Thanks!

  8. Yay! Another resource for more behind the scenes in animation. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Kitsune-chan!

    Re outsourced animation, I wrote/TL’ed a segment in a Japanese show episode that featured OP animation in Toei Philippines. At that time, I didn’t know a thing about animation process, but thought of that segment as something education and wrote about it for fun and mostly to amuse myself. xD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s