Yoshitaka Amano is one of the better known character artists in the video game world, thanks largely to his unique style and popular works from the first half of the Final Fantasy series. Our own Michael Wayland got ahold of the man himself at a recent anime con in Texas, and used a few minutes of one-on-one time to ask a few questions.

Michael Wayland, RPGLand.comFirst off, did you always want to be an artist or was there something else when you where a child, that you wanted to be?
Yoshitaka AmanoI wanted to become an artist since I was very young, but I did not think it would be possible. It seemed to out of reach to ever really think about it seriously.

Michael WaylandMany video game critics in the U.S. have said that video games actually takes time away from the player that they could be using to “better themselves” through other forms of art and culture. Do you believe video games can be a transference of culture or art?
Yoshitaka AmanoGames are just as much a form of art as television, or movies, or music, or any other form of art. It’s kind of the person’s individual choice which form of art they wish to pay attention to, so people around them shouldn’t tell them which to focus on.

Parents shouldn’t tell kids what to do and what not to do; all through history that’s been obvious. Like with rock: everybody said that about Elvis and the Beetles, too. Like, “They’re no-good kids who don’t want to do anything,” so…(laughs).

Michael WaylandWhen you started doing your drawings and illustrations for the Final Fantasy series, the developers were limited to how much they could draw from it and translate that into the game. With games like Okami with a much more stylistic form of graphics, would you like to see your illustrations directly translated into video games as close to the original as possible.
Yoshitaka AmanoTechnology keeps improving and everything keeps becoming more and more real and I think that is a good thing. There is no real way my work can be reproduced into a video game and still be mine, because with that, there are other people involved and it will always be changed slightly. It can get close but it won’t ever truly be my work.

Michael WaylandFinally, what do you hope as an artist, or even as a human, to be the legacy you leave behind?
Yoshitaka AmanoA kind of salvation. The way people judge art is going to change from 50-100 years from now. That’s always changing, so I would like to do what I am doing slowly and go through the way things are now and pay attention to that. Thinking of the future encourages me to work harder today.
Michael WaylandAmano-san, I would like to greatly thank you for taking this time with me and answering my questions. I know you must be tired from the days events so I will let you go now.

RPG Land thanks Mr. Amano for his time and answers, and we look forward to speaking with him again.