Mar 08, 2021
4 mins read
This is a rough transcript of an interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto in 1997.
A subtitled interview with Sadamoto can be seen here.
Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy it.
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Illustrations [Saturn] by Gainax
Digital art collection software by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion and others.
1962 Born on January 29, in Tokuyama City (now Shunan City), Yamaguchi Prefecture
1984 Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University, Department of Fine Arts
Participated in the establishment of GAINAX in December of the same year
At the age of 22, worked as a character designer and art director for "Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise".
1989 “Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water” character design
1991 Serialized "R20" in Monthly Newtype Magazine
1992 "Uru in Blue" character design
1994 "Neon Genesis EVANGELION" started serialization in Monthly Shonen Ace.
Currently active in a wide range of fields including animation, comics, and illustration.
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise
Released in March 1987, animated feature film
Now that I think about it, I wonder how frowzy the Royal Space Force pictures are.
This picture is not really my taste, or maybe it's a new challenge for me, and I had to struggle with it.
In short, it is a picture that I drew while studying, rather than just using my existing personal style.
Riquinni was the only one who didn't have a model.
I made it very fictional. In my mind.
"There must be a kid like this," I imagined.
When I designed Riquinni, rather than thinking of her as a cute character from Shirotsugh's point of view, from my point of view I was thinking, "If a girl like her was religious and tried to recruit me, I'd be more interested in her herself than the content of her religion." That's how I feel.
I didn't have any know-how at all, so I started with as much realism as possible, like drawing lots of portraits of the people around me.
Perhaps the unique frowzy of the Royal Space Force is, in essence, the frowzy of the people who were around me. I think that's what it is.
Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water
April 1990 - April 1991, TV animation series
Depending on the resolution, to what extent should the picture be drawn clearly? Will it be shown as a picture?
Or is it something to be shown as a cell, with a person adding animation, coloring, and passing it through a monitor?
It's all a matter of what I'm trying to keep in my mind when I'm drawing, so if I'm drawing a cel for a TV series and it's later printed out as a picture, there's a lot of cases where I say, "Oh no".
However, illustrations for packages and the like are always seen as still pictures, so I try to draw them as well as I can when time permits.
I see the cels as they are in animation, in other words, as pictures in animation. There's a portrait aspect to it.
On the other hand, with illustrations, I'm more conscious of the expansion of the image.
For example, there are no pictures like that in the animation, but there might have been a scene like that, so I try to create a supplementary image.
I wanted to depict something like the expansion of space associated with animation, including time.
In the case of illustrations, unlike cells, I can pursue a sense of reality.
I think that a cell is a film, with music, voice actors, and other things that add to the overall sense of reality.
When it comes to illustrations, I have to pursue a sense of reality in a single picture, and then I think that a cell is just a cell.
In my mind, a sense of reality is closer to that of an illustration.
So, in my mind, the cell and the illustration are connected.
A story is created by the images you see when you look at the pictures. Therefore, the first image board is very important.
I believe that it may even influence the world view of the story.
It's a kind of a post-apocalyptic story of the last episode, which is too peaceful, from my point of view.
The pictures of Electra and Mari's later stories. I don't know, I guess. They are the stories of people who lived through those times and struggled to survive. I didn't want it to be just a cheerful story.
I wanted to draw pictures that would make people feel the depth of life, or something like that.
As for the last part of the animation, I think that's fine.
I'm sure they had a more difficult time before they got there.
When I draw, the first priority is to create a picture that I want to see.
It also depends on what I'm interested in at that time.
If I was interested in sidecars, which is totally different from Nadia, I would want to draw this somehow.
Jean, too, if you look at him, you'll think it's Norman Rockwell.
It's just like a Norman Rockwell painting, but this one is exactly like that. I made it with that in mind.
At that time, I thought Norman Rockwell was good, so I made it with that in mind.
The painting itself, I think that's what motivated me to draw when I was a kid.
You want a car, you want to ride in a car, you want to fly in an airplane. So you draw.
That's still my motivation for drawing pictures, I think.
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