Fire Emblem Artist Spotlight: Mayumi Hirota


When Koya Katsuyoshi left Nintendo and Intelligent Systems after Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Mayumi Hirota, who also worked on Genealogy, took his place as the character designer for Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. In the Fire Emblem: Treasure art book, Kaga details his infatuation with Hirota’s character design.


“When I saw her drawing, a bolt of electricity ran through my body. ‘This is it!’ I thought to myself. After that, I had her draw illustrations as a test, and as I saw it my thoughts changed into absolutions. She created things that I couldn’t be happier with. That’s how we came to ask Hirota to do Genealogy, and we also have her lined up to do [Thracia 776].”


Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 took place between Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. Hirota provided illustrations of characters that Koya had worked with in the game’s predecessor, in addition to the massive cast of 52 playable characters that appear in the game. Kaga believed that Genealogy and Thracia 776 were the best games in the series, as they dealt with “how people’s mistakes can change the world.” However, Thracia 776 would be the last Fire Emblem game both Kaga and Hirota would work on… technically.


Kaga left Nintendo and Intelligent Systems in 2000, and Hirota followed in tow. He founded his own studio called Tirnanog and began development on a similar tactical role playing game named Emblem Saga—though the game’s name was changed to Tearing Saga: Chronicle of the War Hero Yutona after Nintendo filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement.


The game debuted on the PSone and was published by Enterbrain. It bore several similarities to other Fire Emblem titles, but the element that made the two indistinguishable was its character design.


Tearing Saga: Berwick Saga, a PS2 title developed and published by Enterbrain, is the last game that Hirota was credited for. However, much like Koya, her artwork was featured extensively in the Fire Emblem Trading Card Game, which had a print run of nearly six years. The drawings used for the TCG came almost exclusively from the Fire Emblem: Trahcia 776 Illustrated Works art book, published just before Hirota left Nintendo with Kaga.