Mecha Personnel Profile: Hirotoshi Takaya – A One-of-a-kind Character Designer

Character design is always a stage of great importance in the production of anime of any genre, for many different reasons. For mecha anime series, character design is as significant as mechanical design, because the pilots are the soul not only of the robots but also of the story. Understanding this, Sunrise studio keeps many talented and experienced designers close, one of whom is Hirotoshi Takaya, a character designer and animator with a distinctive and unique style.

I. Background:
Hirotoshi Takaya was born in Tokyo in August 1965. After graduating from technical college, he worked in the construction industry but decided to resign from it. Although he aspired to be a manga artist, he became fascinated with animation and became an animator. Initially, he joined Miyuki Productions, a small studio specializing in douga. Leaving Miyuki Pro, he worked at Monsieur Onion and Studio Kuma, until joining Studio G-1 led by Masami Obari. After that, Hirotoshi mainly participated in TMS Entertainment projects, but recently he has mostly worked for Sunrise.

II. Notable Works:
Hirotoshi Takaya has been with Sunrise ever since Brave Exkaiser, where his career began to flourish as an animation director and key animator. It was also on that project that he first worked with Masami Obari, and from then on Hirotoshi’s animation style gradually developed under the school of Obari (although later his art style developed into his own unique style, moving away from Obari’s). He contributed to all 7 Brave series, even becoming the lead animator for Brave Da-Garn. Not only the Brave series, he also participated in many other Sunrise projects such as Reideen the Superior (1996), Gasaraki (1998) and most recently Gundam series such as The Witch from Mercury, Hathaway, Narrative, Thunderbolt, G Reco and Unicorn. In addition to the mecha genre, Hirotoshi has also participated in producing works in a variety of genres, and left his mark on many major IPs such as Lupin III, Detective Conan, Yu-gi-Oh!, etc.

Hirotoshi Takaya’s character design career began with Brave Goldran, and today, he has become a seasoned artist with experience in character design, as well as character and mecha animation. Once a core member of Studio G-1, he brought robots to life with extremely dynamic and exaggerated animations, typically the classic poses of Might Kaiser in Brave Might Gaine. Regarding character design and animation, Hirotoshi can flexibly change the art style to suit the work, but still possesses a very unique style, which is his rough, sharp and strong drawings. Anyone can look at the character designs in the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt anime and immediately realize that those animation character designs were done by Hirotoshi Takaya, thanks to his unique artstyle.

With his animation style and character design, Hirotoshi Takaya brings many nuances to the anime he touches, as well as leaving many extremely fantastic animation segments. It is probably not wrong to say that he was and still is an important figure in the history of the mecha anime industry.

III. Gallery:

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