Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya) is a game and character designer at Square Enix. He joined the company, formerly known as Square Co. Ltd. in the early 1990s, and gained prominence when he was selected to become character designer for Final Fantasy VII.
His first job with Square Enix was designing battle graphics for Final Fantasy V. In the next game in the genre, Final Fantasy VI, he was the graphic director; he designed all the characters' in-game chibi designs (based on Amano's artwork), and personally created Shadow and Setzer Gabbiani. However, his biggest success was his character design work on Final Fantasy VII, which rose to become one of the most well-known RPG successes of all time. With his talent now acknowledged, Nomura worked on other projects as well, such as Parasite Eve. Another huge success for Nomura was the release of Final Fantasy VIII, as the lead character designer and battle visuals director. Other games with characters designed by Nomura include Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XI.
Other than Final Fantasy, Nomura also directed the Square Enix/Disney series Kingdom Hearts, as well as the CGI sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He was also character designer for The World Ends with You together with Gen Kobayashi.
Currently, Nomura is working on several Square Enix projects, including the three installments of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII.
Tetsuya Nomura's style is very similar to the traditional anime style of drawing but he also draws upon western influences as well. Many of Nomura's character designs for games such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts have been criticized for the overuse of belts and zippers, and that many of the male characters often look androgynous, it has become a joke amongst fans to lightly tease Nomura's designs for these characteristics. This can noticeably be seen in Nomura's Final Fantasy X character design of Lulu, as a large portion of her dress consisted of only belts. However, his designs became much more "normal" in comparison to before after the work on Kingdom Hearts II was finished. More recent designs of him, like Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII or Aqua from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, do not show any excessive use of belts or zippers, but instead focus on creative accessories like ribbons or very individual designed jackets.
During his work with Final Fantasy, Nomura's style has changed throughout his work with each game. In Final Fantasy VII, Nomura adopted a traditional anime-like style which can be seen by the large anime-esque eyes and Cloud's gravity-defying hair. However, this was necessary due to the weaker technology used in Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy VIII however, Nomura made changed his style to a hybrid of anime and realistic art in order to fit the more realistic tone of Final Fantasy VIII, which was the first 3D Final Fantasy to use anatomically proportioned characters within the game. Final Fantasy X caused yet another change in Nomura's artwork in which the character designs became more and more realistic although the coloring of the characters allowed his style to retain anime-like qualities.
Nomura's art style was slowly losing its anime influences but this all changed in Nomura's participation in Kingdom Hearts. Due to the immense amount of western influences from the Disney character in Kingdom Hearts, Nomura adopted a much more anime/cartoon look for his characters and this style has been later reused again in Kingdom Hearts II. However, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and Dissidia Final Fantasy featured much more mature looking designs and were defined by a very detailed shading. In the Nintendo DS game, The World Ends With You, Nomura departed from the style he used in Kingdom Hearts and instead, relied on a much more traditional anime look for the characters even though there are still similarities to his Kingdom Hearts style. However, recent artworks of him for Kingdom Hearts show yet another change in his style. While the anatomy of the characters is relatively unchanged, the eyes of the younger characters like Roxas now look much more innocent then before. Also, he carried over his Final Fantasy coloring style to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
Nomura's style has been defined by the vibrant colors in which he uses as well as the unique amalgamation of eastern as well as western influences. His work has become very well known in a large part due to Final Fantasy and his style of artwork has been loved and criticized by many, mostly by fans of Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy VI due to the big departure from the traditional Japanese style of Yoshitaka Amano, who was responsible for the earlier Final Fantasies.
|Final Fantasy IV||Debugger|
|Final Fantasy V||Monster Designer, Battle Graphics Designer|
|Final Fantasy VI||Graphic Director|
|Final Fantasy VII||Character Designer, Original Scenario Concept, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy VIII||Character Designer, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy X||Character Designer|
|Final Fantasy XI||Hume, Elvaan and NPC Character Designer|
|Final Fantasy X-2||Main Character Designer|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children||Director, Character Designer|
|Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-||Character Designer|
|Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode -Final Fantasy VII-||Character Designer|
|Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-||Character Designer|
|Final Fantasy XIII||Character Designer|
|Final Fantasy Agito XIII||Character Designer (currently in progress)|
|Final Fantasy Versus XIII||Game Director, Character Designer (currently in progress)|
|Dissidia Final Fantasy||Creative Producer, Character Designer|
|Directors and Producers|
|Hiroyuki Itō - Yoshinori Kitase - Yasumi Matsuno - Shinji Hashimoto - Hironobu Sakaguchi - Shintaro Takai - Takayoshi Nakazato - Motomu Toriyama - Toshirō Tsuchida - Kazuhiko Aoki - Akitoshi Kawazu|
|Artists and Art Directors|
|Yoshitaka Amano - Toshiyuki Itahana - Ryōma Itō - Hideo Minaba - Hiroshi Minagawa - Yusuke Naora - Tetsuya Nomura - Akira Oguro - Kaori Tanaka - Akihiko Yoshida - Airi Yoshioka|
|Sound and Music|
|The Black Mages - Nobuo Uematsu - Hitoshi Sakimoto -Eiji Nakamura - Masashi Hamauzu - Junya Nakano - Kenichiro Fukui - Kumi Tanioka - Masaharu Iwata - Máire Breatnach - Minoru Akao - Shiro Sagisu - Shirō Hamaguchi - Tsuyoshi Sekito - Takeharu Ishimoto - Yoko Shimomura|
|Alexander O. Smith - Ted Woolsey|
|Daisuke Watanabe - Takashi Katano - Takashi Tokita - Takeshi Nozue - Teruaki Sugawara - Hiroshi Kuwabara - Kazushige Nojima - Ken Narita - Koji Sugimoto|