Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s designs for Studio Gainax have unquestionably redefined the future of mech design. I always explain to people the Rei and Asuka are sex symbols in Japan-veritable Betty and Veronicas, or split Marilyn Monroes, and few things are more iconic in Japan than their red and white jumpsuits and the triangular shapes that adorn them.
Second to few in terms of mechanical design (Katsuhiro Otomo, perhaps?), Sadamoto’s soft color palette complemented by dark blue/purple shadows works fantastically well in both traditional and digital mediums. Complex shapes juxtapose against simple anime features to create rich and grounded environments. Seriously, just take in the backgrounds in some of the following pieces from his art book Carmine.
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and watch Neon Genesis Evangelion. Go on. No, keep going, I know it gets goofy in the middle, it’ll stop, don’t worry. Alright, back? You’re welcome. And if you hated it, give it time, because at the very least you’ll never see anything like Evangelion for the rest of your spite filled critical life (#hatersgonnahate). Sadamoto also did design for Wings of Honneamise, an anime I never hear anyone talking about, but loved immensely. I also want to plug Summer Wars, a great little gem of a film I’m also surprised people aren’t raving about. Now onto Sadamoto’s fantastic art: