Yoshiyuki Sadamoto is a character designer, manga artist and founding member of the animation company Gainax. He is best known for the now culturally iconic Neon Genesis Evangelion manga. Sadamoto has served as the character designer on Mamoru Hosoda’s last four feature films, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Summer Wars (2009), Wolf Children (2012), and most recently, The Boy and the Beast (2015).
Born 1962, in Tokuyama (now Shunan) Japan, Sadamoto was one of seven founding members of Daicon Film. He along with fellow university students Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Takami Akai, Toshio Okada, Yasuhiro Takeda and Shinji Higuchi formed the studio in the early 1980s. After producing several well-received shorts, the studio changed its name to Gainax in 1985. Their first feature film was Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, released in 1987. Previously working as an animator, Honnêamise was Sadamoto first assignment as character designer. Though the movie met with only moderate commercial success, it was critically acclaimed and is now considered an anime classic.
In 1995, Gainax produced their best-known and most commercially successful series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Born out of depression, director Hideaki Anno began developing the series around the notion of not running away. As a way to create public interest in the upcoming TV series, Anno asked Sadamoto to write and illustrate a manga version of the story.
Because of production delays, the manga was released ten months prior to the television broadcast. The anime finally aired October 1995 and quickly outpaced the manga. The anime series, which was made up of 26 episodes, reached its conclusion in March 1996. While the manga, which had 14 volumes, was concluded seventeen years later, in 2013. Due in part to the success of the anime, the manga series has sold over 23 million copies in 15 countries.
Some of Sadamoto’s other character design credits include Gunbuster 2: Diebuster, A Tale of Two Robots: Chapter Meiji, and the .hack video game and anime franchise, and live-action film of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan.
You can follow Yoshiyuki Sadamoto on Twitter, where he often posts artwork and sketches.