Sketching with Mr. Yutaka Minowa & Mr. Yasuhiro Nightow ~ ありがとう Mr. 箕輪 & Mr. 内藤 !!

Hanging out with legends

Today’s the last day of Comic Con 2009 and I came up to Mr. Minowa to say thanks for his time the other day and to wish him farewell. That means I got to hang out with Mr. Yutaka Minowa again. For the unknowing, Mr. Yutaka Minowa is a character designer and animation director of the fabled animation studio: Madhouse. To put it simply, this man was a huge part of why Ninja Scroll was so awesome! He designed the characters and was an animation director in that influential film. Here’s a clip from Ninja Scroll, one of my favorite animated films.

His impressive list of achievements includes designing the characters and serving as the animation director for Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, he was the key animator to Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis, Escaflowne The Movie, designed more characters for Record of Lodoss War OVA and probably the one out of very few reasons I watched Clamp’s X. As if that’s not cool enough, he’s a very nice guy, generous and gracious. Here’s Mr. Yutaka Minowa:

This is Mr. Yutaka Minowa

He then introduced me to his friend Yasuhiro “Nightow” Naito, the creator of Trigun. This man is a master in designing characters that are just too cool. He’s the man to thank for some of the coolest characters and toys around: Monev The Gale, Gazelle The Peacemaker, Gungrave, Wolfwood and last but not least: Vash The Stampede. Here is the man behind the beloved Trigun, Mr. Yasuhiro Naito:

This is Mr. Yasuhiro Naito

For those who’ve missed out: the opening from the anime adaptation of his internationally-renowned manga, Trigun.

Both of them designed Assemble Borg, Mr. Naito designed the 1st series and Mr. Minowa designed the 2nd series. Assemble Borg is an independent line of Kaiyodo’s Revoltech and a new addiction of mine. I still can’t stop playing with them.

I got to talk to them about my favorite animated features, toys, video games, artists and all other very important things. Yes, those are all very important things in life; art. They also signed my revoltechs!

My very first Assemble Borg

This is my 3rd one

To thank Mr. Minowa for his time on Friday, I drew a picture of Jubei from Ninja Scroll, my favorite character from him (if I were ever forced to pick just one). To be honest, I felt a little unsure if I should hand such a master draftsman my work. However, I felt like that was an appropriate token of appreciation: he has enriched my life as an artist with wonderfully drawn films and I’d like to pay tribute to the great things he’s done for me.

He asked to see the rest of my sketchbook, we talked a little bit more about drawing and then he drew in my sketchbook. He asked me who my favorite characters were and I told him “Jubei”, “D” and that badass vampire, “Baron Meier Link”. He drew me this:

Minowa worked this out under a minute

While I’m trying to cope with just how cool it is to get a drawing from one of my favorite artists,  Mr. Naito drew a sketch in it. He asked me which character did I like the most from his work and I told him, it’s Wolfwood. I told him that the very first time I saw an action figure of Wolfwood by Kaiyodo, I was stunned at the kind of revolutionary articulation points that the figure had. I’ve always sought out his work since then. Wolfwood was also my very first Kaiyodo action figure, the first of many more since then. He then drew me this:

Yasuhiro Nightow's sketch; also worked in under a minute.

Also for the curious, here’s my sketch for Mr. Minowa as a form of gratitude as the man had drawn so many frames that have stunned me since a child, as an adult and every step inbetween. Thank you for all the years of wonderful films, manly characters and inspirations, Mr. Minowa!

Mr. Minowa thank you for all the cool anime!

And below is my gift to Mr. Naito, which I promptly drew on the spot for him, in return for kindly surprising me with his gift. Mr. Naito if you are reading this, thank you! Here’s to your wonderfully designed action figures, manga, anime and games! Monev The Gale and Gungrave are some of the coolest looking toys I’ve ever laid my eyes on! I will always cherish those hours spent admiring your action figures instead of studying for my final exams. Here is my gift to Mr. Naito:

My humble gift to Mr. Naito

When we got around to the topic of artists we each look up to, it was very cool to be able to tell them that they are among the artists I’ve always looked up to since I was still a kid drawing on my grandmother’s kitchen table many, many years ago.

Mr. Naito, The Stampede Maker

Mr. Naito has a ring that looks very powerful.

Too cool for words, right?

I noticed that both master draftsmen are wearing cool rings…

Kamen Rider Minowa! Henshin!

and Mr. Minowa has very epic poses. Yes, he is awesome.

I can’t quite put it into words just how influential their work is to me as an artist and other artists that I admire. Their draftsmanship abilities are among the very best in the world, their sense of design and their precision in capturing something so abstract as emotion are all just fantastic. Mr. Minowa and Mr. Nightow, thank you for your time! I hope to see you two again next time.

Best of luck, take care & I hope you’ve both enjoyed the trip to San Diego as much as I’ve enjoyed mine.

ありがとう Mr. 箕輪 & Mr. 内藤! さようなら!!

ありがとう Mr. Yutaka Minowa & Mr. Yasuhiro Naito! さようなら!!

Good night, world.
Don’t forget to buy some Assemble Borg!

Special credit must also be given to Dea Surjadi, my companion who spotted Mr.Minowa the 2nd time we met up with them, among the hectic crowd of Comic Con. She’s also the one who told me to hand her the camera and  just focus on hanging out with my heroes. Thank you for the great pictures and waiting on me, blabbering away.

Posted Monday, July 27th, 2009 under Artists, Film, Personal News, Sketchbook, Work: Personal.


  1. What a cool day. So, so great! I’m glad you got to hang out with such amazing artists! It seems as if they took a liking to you as well! Keep it up man! Who knows? Maybe YOU’LL be designing revoltechs someday! Also, it was cool of Dea to be a photographer for this, pretty sweet.

    I didn’t know Wolfwood was your favorite character! Mine too, it was the first awesome fully articulated figure I ever bought as well!

    What a great day man!

  2. Lateef! I was honored enough to have been able to trade drawings with such great artists I’ve always looked up to. I look forward to be able to sit down, draw and talk to them again. Such down-to-earth and cool people.

    Wolfwood was my very first Kaiyodo figure, I haven’t heard of Trigun then but when I saw that toy I knew I had to have it. That giant cross is too cool… and I can’t really pick a favorite from his character designs, they’re all too cool! Same is to be said of Mr.Minowa, all the characters he’s made are all so damned cool! I’m going to watch Ninja Scroll again tonight!

    Mr. Minowa and Mr. Naito were both very cordial to me despite being my seniors both in skill and experience and I hope they enjoyed this trip to Comic Con as much as I did. They were both easily the coolest artists I got to hang out with. I want to draw with them again!

  3. Wow, you got to hang out with some truly amazing artists, I’m so envious ! Love the drawings you did for them too ! :]

  4. Thanks Blauereiter! I was honestly amazed just at how precise they were at deciding the composition and the visual balance, even with a sketch. Didn’t even pencil it in first, they just grabbed the sharpie from my toolbox and went at it.

    My first trip to comic Con turned out to be great. So great I over-exhausted myself and I think I’ve gotten myself sick now. Hahahah.

    I’m definitely happy I decided to go to Comic Con this year.

  5. Hey, I’m not surprised Mr. Minowa draw the sketch for you. Your drawings is very impressive and it must have touched the artist that you put a lot of effort to draw it. Seriously, you should study part time animation in some university. Don’t waste your talents. Your age is not a gap. Not everybody can possess the talent of art (not exaggerating). I’m currently learning oil painting so I know when I see a good or potential artist.

  6. Hello,
    thank you for this pictures, Y. Minowa is my best anime artist!
    I have all comiket books, settings and anime material: doga etc…
    If you are interested in this professional material contact me. I’m an artist too!
    Keep in touch.

  7. Hey! You’re welcome, it was my pleasure to have been able to meet Mr. Minowa himself. I’d definitely be interested in any extra artwork I haven’t seen yet!

    I’ll definitely check out your site. Thanks again for dropping by!

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