I normally don’t write about the death of anime and manga figures that often, preferring to save it for people I feel have influenced me in major ways. But here we are again with animator and character designer Kimura Takahiro, who passed away on March 5 from amyloidosis. He was 58.
Kimura worked on series like Gaogaigar, Betterman, Godannar!!, Brigadoon: Marin & Melan, , Gun x Sword, and Code Geass. As far as character designers go, he is one of my favorite ever. His style is distinct, and he would give his designs a real attractiveness and charisma. Are they drawn pretty horny? Certainly, but somehow that aesthetic feels both very grounded in the 90s but also timeless. His art touched so many of the series I love, and I still consider Aoi Anna from Godannar a Top 10 fave among female characters.
I never got to meet Kimura in person, and I think about this because of the fact that he was a guest at Sakura Con in 2006 and Anime NYC 2019. In both cases, circumstances made it impossible for me to see him, and now I wish I could have figured something out.
I found out the news of Kimura’s death thanks to a tweet from his wife, the artist RICCA—I guess this is how I learned the guy was married. Also, Kimura apparently loved to search his own name, and RICCA mentions that he’s probably watching from heaven and loving the attention.
And here’s a message from the director of Gaogaigar, Yonetani Yoshitomo, recalling the cosplay wedding party Kimura had back in the day. Apparently, Yonetani and Kimura not only sat next to each other at work, but also lived right next door from each other.
Thank you, Kimura Takahiro. You were one of my heroes.