Fire Emblem: Awakening and No More Heroes Artist Answers Fan Questions

By Ishaan . April 1, 2013 . 1:07pm

Fire Emblem: Awakening and No More Heroes character designer Yusuke Kozaki recently did an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Reddit, with the assistance of Japan Expo staff who acted as his interpreters. During the Q&A, Kozaki answered a number of lighthearted questions from fans, such as his academic background, his favourite Fire Emblem character to work on, and his favourite Pokémon. Here are a few of the questions and their answers:


How do you personally feel about Tharja’s massive popularity among Fire Emblem fans? Could you explain how you approached this character when designing her?


This character has a very dark aura, but she likes the main characters very much.. She could be considered a stalker in another view. This is the only Fire Emblem Character whose figure has been manufactured here in Japan.


Just wondering, which character in FE:A was your favorite to design? Also, what was your primary inspiration for the design of armored characters (e.g Social Knights and especially Armor Knights)?


Lucina. For the armored charcters, the art director designed the armor, and I designed the characters in the armor.


In Fire Emblem Awakening, is there a particular character you feel closely connected with? All of their designs are unique by their personalities, so which character do you see yourself as?


Vaike. I feel close considering the personality, not the design..


I was just looking at your art recently! I like the variety and detail of your character designs. At what age did you seriously get into drawing? What was the process you had to go through to become a character designer?


I went to a graphic design school where I learned graphic design for commercials and publicity oriented design. But I’ve been interested in drawing all my life.


I was 19 when I did my first manga. I was 24 with my first character design. At the beginning I wanted to be a Manga-ka. I was asked to do the Character designer for Speed Grapher and did it in order to earn money. But when I tried, I found it interesting. I got more and more work from animation, film, and videogames. And now it’s more videogame film than anime. My advice for anyone who wants to be a character designer would to have a stock of design patterns (hair, face, form of the eyes, many separated elements) that will create a new design if you put them together.


How closely did you get to work with Suda 51, and what is he like to work with? How do you feel about Grasshopper recently being acquired?


He is someone very creative, but he is a boss of the company. He has to meet a lot of people and be very sociable. He has a kind of boss aura. But he is very humble. When I had ideas, Suda 51-san always found a way to help me exchange ideas, and to develop them further. It was constant brainstorming, but very creative and positive.


In Japan, the companies who are making games for home are having some difficulties, and companies who are making games and applications for smartphones are getting stronger, so Grasshopper being bought by Gungho Online Entertainment will allow them to develop more games, and be stronger as well.


Who’s your favorite pokemon?




You can view the full Q&A at the link above. If you’re interested in checking out more of Kozaki’s art, you can find it on his DeviantArt page.


Image courtesy Yusuke Kozaki’s DA page.


  • DanijoEX

    Wow. This guy makes a good living doing what he enjoys and is good at.

    Heck, anyone can.

  • Muffum

    So is it safe to assume that Kozaki’s preference for Vaike is the reason Teach got tenure?

    • Sardorim

      I wish… *Plays lunatic, Vaike gets One rounded by a Soldier with a Spear on his recruitment Chapter*

      Lying Weapon Triangle….

  • z_merquise

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Link for Reddit is down. Hope it’s restored soon because I really would like to read it.

    Link is working now. Too bad he wasn’t able to answer all of the questions because some of those seems to be interesting.

  • thaKingRocka

    Nobody asked about the feet?

    • Sardorim

      It’s a sensitive topic in Ylisse.

      • thaKingRocka

        Apparently, it is. I clicked through to the discussion. Three people asked about the feet. Two were ignored. Here’s the one with the reply:

        [–]SuperLuigi86 12 points 5 days ago

        Were you involved in the decision for the characters in Fire Emblem: Awakening not to have feet on their 3D renderings? If so, what made you come to that decision?

        [–]Yusuke_KOZAKI[S] 5 points 5 days ago

        In Japan, the companies who are making games for home are having some difficulties, and companies who are making games and applications for smartphones are getting stronger, so Grasshopper being bought by Gungho Online Entertainment will allow them to develop more games, and be stronger as well.

        [–]xKumo 2 points 5 days ago

        Why the hell was this downvoted?

        • Arrei

          Well, it’s highly unlikely the artist had anything to do with how the character models were rendered, and I think that reply was to the wrong question, or something.

          • thaKingRocka

            Yep. Yoshitaka Amano didn’t design chibi characters. I just thought it would be interesting to hear Kozaki’s take on this.

        • Jan Jarrell

          And how does that answer the question???

      • Jan Jarrell

        It should be! Of all the ridiculous things! I want my characters to be colorful and to have FEET! Jeez!

    • Aoshi00

      Yeah, at first I seriously thought that my XL’s screen was screwed up.. I don’t really get the difficulty of feet and shoes though, it’s not detailed as fingers, and 3DS could pull off powerful graphics like Castlevania Mirror of Fate.

      Anyway, had no idea Fire Emblem Awakening has the same artist as NMH, also didn’t know he worked on Speed Grapher either, the anime was pretty weird and I wasn’t too crazy about the design, but I like FE:A and NMH…

      Many manga-ka started drawing their own manga in high school and have a hit around the 20s, so one needs to start young, and draw all your life of course.. I used to draw so much since middle school until college.. wish I still have time to practice, if I won the lottery maybe..

      • thaKingRocka

        I am not happy with the presentation in the game. It is predominantly brown, overly bloomed, and that sucks the life out of it. I like the game proper, but it really is a bit ugly to me. I want color … and feet … in my strategy games. Still going to buy it though, most likely.

        A dollar and a dream, man. That’s all you need. :P

    • thaKingRocka

      Awesome to see the question addressed in another article here on Silconera. :)

    • T-X

      Think Wind Waker; how does he stand up with all of that head up there and such a tiny pair of feet?? No one will ever know.

      • thaKingRocka

        It was a mixture of cuteness, charm, and whimsy. That is all the support anything has ever needed.

  • Sardorim


    Dude, Lucina and Cordelia have been rating extremely high as well for the East and West and last time I checked “Marth” DOMINATED the Facebook thing.

    • Peace Legacy

      Not sure about the West poll… but regarding the East:
      Lucina is a main character with the main story build around her, bias is inevitable
      Same case for second place (main character taking top spots, what else is new?)
      …but Tharja, a secondary character with a normal recruit role, yet somehow managed to land in Third Place spot, now that’s… IN-TE-RES-TING~G!

      • Sardorim

        Well, she has the body and she naturally likes MU no matter what. It’s sorta how if Cordelia could be paired with Chrom that the vsat majority said they would do it within a heartbeat due to her childhood crush for him.

  • AnimusVox

    Awwww Vaike? Really? I didnt really like him.

  • $29082171

    Lucina has a figurine too, or at least, they announced it’s being made. Tharja’s was made first for…obvious reasons.

  • s07195

    Lickilicky? Oh, the horror….

  • JustThisOne



  • Armane

    Reddit sure is a terrible place. KGDavid asked the only question worth asking pertaining to FE:A, and then when Kozaki responded without taking into consideration what KGDavid was saying, he gets downvoted for pressing the issue. Shame we didn’t get a straight answer, but the change in direction seems dependant on IS and not Kozaki.

  • Chim_era

    Played the european demo and was pleasantly surprised by the character design. I didn’t like the designs in Shadow Dragon and it greatly influenced my enjoyment. I remember how extatic I was when I played Fire Emblem for the GBA and Eliwood, Lynn and Hactor were so likeable that I couldn’t but it down.
    But Shadow Dragon … no. For me the magic was gone. So I was afraid for Awakening, but …. damm it’s GOOD. Maybe it’s the screen of the 3DS but it didn’t seem as flat and lifeless as in SD.

    Two scenarios had me hooked. I will have this game from day 1. The voice acting was also very good. All in all, thank you Yusuke Kozaki for making me love each and every character from Fire Emblem again. I can’t wait :)

  • T-X

    Tharja is the new Tali vas Normandy

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