Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya?) is a video game director and character designer at Square Enix. He joined the company, then known as Square Co. Ltd., in the early 1990s, and gained prominence when he was selected to become the main character designer for Final Fantasy VII.
Nomura's first job with Square was as a debugger for Final Fantasy IV, back in 1990. He then went on to be the monster designer for Final Fantasy V. In the next game in the series, Final Fantasy VI, Nomura was the graphic director in charge of the monster designs; he also designed the characters Shadow and Setzer Gabbiani, and was in charge of storyboarding the cutscenes. Nomura's biggest success was his character design work on Final Fantasy VII, which rose to become one of the most well-known RPGs of all time and a defining game for the series as a whole. Nomura ended up contributing a large amount to the characters' stories (such as Red XIII's name), although the majority of the storyline was not written by him.
With his talent acknowledged, Nomura worked on other projects, such as Parasite Eve. Another huge success for Nomura was the release of Final Fantasy VIII, as the lead character designer and battle visuals director. Other games with characters designed by Nomura include Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIII. Other than Final Fantasy, Nomura also directed the Square Enix/Disney series Kingdom Hearts, as well as the CGI sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He was also character designer for The World Ends with You together with Gen Kobayashi. He spent most of the last decade helming production on Final Fantasy XV, having come up with the original concept and stories. He was set to direct the project until recently, with his role as director replaced by Hajime Tabata. Currently, Nomura is working on several Square Enix projects, such as Kingdom Hearts III.
Compared to other character designers, Tetsuya Nomura's Final Fantasy games tend to be more "modern" and "sci-fi" than the first installments in the Final Fantasy games set in a medieval worlds. Nomura's games in particular also tend to have storylines that are darker in tone. In addition, his character names tend to draw inspiration from physical science and weather, in particular, the sky, land, and sea; the central character almost always has the sky-based name. He was thinking of dropping that tradition for Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, but the other creative figures behind the character chose a sky-based name. Nomura also creates character names inspired by their personalities.
Tetsuya Nomura's style is similar to the traditional anime style of drawing, but he also draws upon western influences. Many of Nomura's character designs for games such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts have been criticized for the overuse of belts and zippers, as well as for many of the male characters having androgynous appearances, and that many of his female characters are shown wearing revealing outfits; it has become a joke amongst fans to lightly tease Nomura's designs for these characteristics. Nomura's designs became much more "normal" in comparison to before the work on Kingdom Hearts II was finished. More recent designs from him, such as Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII or Aqua from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, do not show any excessive use of belts or zippers, but focus on creative accessories like ribbons or individually designed jackets.
During his work with Final Fantasy, Nomura's style has changed. In Final Fantasy VII, Nomura adopted a traditional anime-like style seen by the large anime-esque eyes and Cloud Strife's gravity-defying hair. In Final Fantasy VIII, however, Nomura made changes his style to a hybrid of anime and realistic art in order to fit the more realistic tone of Final Fantasy VIII, which was the first 3D Final Fantasy to use anatomically proportioned characters within the game. In Final Fantasy X Nomura's designs became more and more realistic, although the coloring of the characters allowed his style to retain anime-like qualities.
Nomura's art style was slowly losing its anime influences, but this all changed in Nomura's participation in Kingdom Hearts; due to the immense amount of western influences from the Disney characters in Kingdom Hearts, Nomura adopted a more anime/cartoon look for his characters, and this style has been later reused in Kingdom Hearts II. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Dissidia Final Fantasy feature more mature looking designs and are defined by a detailed shading.
In the Nintendo DS game, The World Ends With You, Nomura departed from the style he used in Kingdom Hearts and instead, relied on a more traditional anime look even though there are still similarities to his Kingdom Hearts style. For Nomura's recent artworks for Kingdom Hearts, the characters' anatomy is relatively unchanged, but the eyes of the younger characters look much more innocent then before. Nomura has carried over his Final Fantasy coloring style to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
Nomura's style has been defined by the vibrant colors as well as the unique amalgamation of eastern and western influences. His work has become well-known due to Final Fantasy, and his style of artwork has been loved and criticized by many, mostly by veteran Final Fantasy fans, due to the big departure from the traditional Japanese style of Yoshitaka Amano, who was responsible for the earlier Final Fantasy titles.
Works within the seriesEdit
|Final Fantasy IV||1991||Debugger (uncredited)|
|Final Fantasy V||1992||Battle Graphics Design, Monster Design|
|Final Fantasy VI||1994||Graphic Director, Character Design (Setzer & Shadow) Monster Design|
|Final Fantasy VII||1997||Character Design, Scenario Concept, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy VIII||1998||Character Design, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy X||2001||Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XI||2002||Hume, Elvaan, and NPC Character Design|
|Final Fantasy X-2||2003||Main Character Designer|
|Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-||2004||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-||2005||Supervisor|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children||2005||Director, Character Design, Base Story|
|Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-||2006||Character Design|
|Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode -Final Fantasy VII-||2006||Character Design|
|Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-||2007||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Dissidia Final Fantasy||2008||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete||2009||Director, Character Design, Base Story|
|Final Fantasy XIII||2009||Main Character Design|
|Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy||2011||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy Type-0||2011||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XIII-2||2011||Main Character Design|
|Theatrhythm Final Fantasy||2012||Creative Producer|
|Final Fantasy All the Bravest||2012||Creative Producer, Original Concept|
|Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII||2013||Main Character Design|
|Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call||2014||Creative Producer|
|Final Fantasy Type-0 HD||2015||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XV||TBA||Original Concept, Main Character Design, Base Story|
- In Final Fantasy Type-0 a support character named "Nomura CP" was found dual wielding guns and saying, "Sorry to have kept you waiting".
- In March 2014 Nomura judged a Lightning fanart contest for deviantART and chose three favorites among the submissions.
- ↑ (May 15, 2012) Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese Translation). Enterbrain, Inc..
- ↑ (2007) Studio BentStuff Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary (in Japanese), 8–13, Square Enix.
- ↑ (2008-02-08) Famitsu (in Japanese), 42–45, Enterbrain.
- ↑ http://flaregamer.com/b2article.php?p=81&more=1
- ↑ http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/07/16/ff_type_zero_crystarium/
- ↑ Best Lightning Fan Art As Chosen By Tetsuya Nomura