Toshihiro Kawamoto

Kawamoto in July 2008

Toshihiro Kawamoto (川元 利浩, Kawamoto Toshihiro, born July 15, 1963 in Mie Prefecture) is a Japanese animator. He is co-founder and director of the anime studio Bones. He was character designer and animation director of Cowboy Bebop.


Early periodEdit

Upon graduating from high school, Kawamoto was first employed in the making and designing of precision machinery.[1][2] During this early period, he became interested in becoming an animator due to the ongoing Macross series, Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam and Gainax's amateur Daikon films.[1][3] In particular, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's character designs were a major influence.[3] Within a year, Kawamoto left his previous profession and enrolled in the Nagoya branch of Tokyo Designer Gakuin College (currently known as Nagoya Designer Gakuin), which he later attended for two years.[1][2]


After graduating, he applied for a job at Group Donguri and was accepted.[1][3] In 1986, he made his debut in Yasuhiko's 1986 film Arion, where he was supervised by Yoshinobu Inano and mentored by lead character designer Sachiko Kamimura, with whom he later collaborated on numerous productions, including being her assistant in Venus Wars, which was also directed and written by Yasuhiko.[1][3] Soon after, he began working in numerous other Sunrise series, being the lead character designer in the Gundam OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Last Blitz of Zeon, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team and Cowboy Bebop.[1][3][4] While designing the characters for Bebop, Kawamoto modeled the character of Ed on composer Yoko Kanno, Spike Spiegel on Arsène Lupin III and City Hunter, and Ein on a friend's dog, from a suggestion by writer Keiko Nobumoto.[5]

In 1998, he co-founded Bones with fellow Sunrise staff members Masahiko Minami and Hiroshi Ōsaka.[6] He has recently provided the character designs for Wolf's Rain and Tenpō Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi, and the key animation to series such as Eureka Seven, Witch Hunter Robin, Sword of the Stranger, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club and Michiko to Hatchin.[1]

On March 11, 2010, Anime Expo announced Kawamoto will be an official Guest of Honor at the July Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.



  • 2004 - Toshihiro Kawamoto:COWBOY BEBOP Illustrations ~ The Wind ~ (SoftBank Creative)
  • 2006 - Toshihiro Kawamoto Artworks The Illusives I&II (SoftBank Creative)




  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "川元利浩". Weblio. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  2. ^ a b David Ho (1999). "Anime Expo 1999 - Character Design Panel". EX. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Charles McCarter (1999). "Ein's Best Friend: An Exclusive interview With Kawamoto Toshihiro". EX. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  4. ^ Patten, Fred (2004). Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews. Stone Bridge Press. pp. 357–360. ISBN 978-1-880656-92-1.
  5. ^ a b Charles McCarter (1999). "Ein's Best Friend: An Exclusive interview With Kawamoto Toshihiro". EX. Archived from the original on 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  6. ^ "Bones Co-Founder Masahiko Minami to Attend Anime Expo (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  7. ^ 川元利浩 (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  8. ^ "Toshihiro Kawamoto joins web animation project". Anime News Network. 2000-09-08. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
  9. ^ "Toshihiro Kawamoto at ACen". Anime News Network. 2002-02-13. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
  10. ^ "New Otakon Guest of Honor: Toshihiro Kawamoto". Anime News Network. 2001-06-03. Retrieved 2008-12-20.

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