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Tetsuya Nomura is a 41 year old director and graphic designer from Kochi Prefecture in Japan. He currently works for Square Enix, where most gamers know him from his character designs in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series.
Squaresoft originally hired him as a debugger to work on Final Fantasy IV. He moved on to graphic designing for the subsequent two games, as well as several other RPG games for the Super Nintendo. His employer approached him to do character designs for Final Fantasy VII. The game succeeded in becoming the definitive game of the Play Station, and he would go on to design characters in subsequent games, succeeding the previous designer Yoshitaka Amano, as well as a number of other properties.
Nomura advanced to a directing role when Disney and Square Enix joined forces to develop the Kingdom Hearts series. He has directed all the games in the series, as well as designing the characters, concepts, and base stories to go with them. He has also worked in the animation field, directing Advent Children and Last Order. Nomura has also been put at the helm of the much anticipated Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
The designer is best known for his use of zippers and belts. While he can produce simple and practical belts, as can be seen on his first iteration of Cid, he has a tendency to go for elaborate designs. These can range from the mildly practical, such as in Sora's case, to the downright improbable mesh of Lulu's skirt (which is seemingly made of belts).
This Creator's portfolio includes:
- Final Fantasy Series
- Kingdom Hearts Series
- Parasite Eve Series
- Parasite Eve
- Parasite Eve II
- The 3rd Birthday
- Brave Fencer Musashi Series
- Other Series
- Art Evolution: His art style changed starkly from Final Fantasy VII to VIII and then changed again for the first Kingdom Hearts. He's undergone another change since then and seems to have settled down for now.
- Author Appeal: Worked sea-salt ice cream into Kingdom Hearts II as the Trademark Favorite Food of Ansem when he tried it on a trip to Disney World and discovered he liked it. Subverted with Luxord, his favorite Organization XIII member who easily has the smallest role of them all.
- Bishonen: He has designed many of these types of characters.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes
- No Export for You: somewhat averted because, despite International Versions, Final Mixes and Universal Tunings, he stated that he doesn't like the trope when talking about Kingdom Heartscoded. Although, to be fair, this was because it would have been a brand new KH game released only in Japan instead of a simple Updated Rerelease. Still, this suggests that he does care about worldwide fans after all. (Really; this says a lot considering other developers ignore everyone else)
- Older Than He Looks: Does the page picture look like a 40-year old guy to you?
- Only Six Faces: Increasingly being accused of falling into this as his designs are starting to look like Expies of characters from earlier projects. There is at least an in-universe reason for why a lot of Kingdom Hearts characters look like each other.
- His design of Sephiroth in particular has a lot of similar-looking characters, starting with Genesis and Sephiroth's three in-universe Expies, Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz. Kingdom Hearts, Xemnas and Ansem are both long, white-haired villains wearing black cloaks, as was Xehanort in his youth, and the new villain of Dream Drop Distance is a fourth.
- Rummage Sale Reject
- Signature Style: Beyond "beltanzipper", he was primarily brought on to be lead designer for Final Fantasy VII because his blocky, comic-bookish designs would survive the transition to 3D models easier than the Design Student's Orgasm that was Yoshitaka Amano's work. This was pre-Art Evolution though.
- Too Many Belts
Have we mentioned he likes belts?