By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
One of anime’s biggest names is coming to the Seattle and will be found at Sakura-Con 2017, the Pacific Northwest’s largest anime convention. Celebrating 20 years, it is only fitting character designer, writer, and manga artist Kenichi Sonoda will be one of this year’s guests.
Sonoda’s career started in the mid-80’s at studio Artmic, where he became a character designer for some of Artmic’s best titles such as Bubblegum Crisis (where he produced the original look of the Knight Sabers team), Riding Bean, and the Gall Force series. Sonoda was also designer on long-time fan favourites Otaku no Video and the super-deformed special Scramble Wars: Tsuppashire! Genom Trophy Rally.
Later anime character and conceptual design includes the titles of the OVA Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai and the series of Solty Rei.
Sonoda did story and illustration for the Gunsmith Cats manga, published in Kodansha’s Afternoon from 1991-1997 and it’s sequel Gunsmith Cats Burst. Sonoda was credited as character designer for the animated series that followed the adventures of “Rally” Vincent and “Minnie” May Hopkins, two bounty hunters out to clean-up Chicago using heavy weapons and fast cars. An early version of “Rally” appeared in the Riding Bean OVA.
Sonoda’s further manga work includes the supernatural series Bullet the Wizard and sci-fi series Cannon God Exaxxion. Exaxxion would later be published for the North American market by Dark Horse Comics.
In feature films, Sonoda’s work can be seen in 1987’s Royal Space Force – The Wings of Honnêamise where he did the layout and conceptual design and 2011’s Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram where he wrote the screenplay.
He is reportedly working on a Gunsmith Cats manga prequel.
Sakura-Con will take place in Seattle, Washington at the Washington State Convention Center on April 14-16, 2017. Tickets can be purchased by visiting Sakura-Con’s official website at http://sakuracon.org/.
Source(s): Sakura-Con official website.
Video Source(s): Miles Hungsberg-Perzewski.
Special Thanks: Anime Diet and wintermuted.