Animation Styles Guide

山室(やまむろ) 直儀(ただよし)

Tadayoshi Yamamuro

General Information

Birthdate: 1960
Affiliation: Shindō Productions, Toei Animation
Work: Character Designer, Animation Supervisor, Key Animation Artist, Chief Animation Supervisor, Movie Director

Animation Supervisor Credits:
DBZ: 122, 127, 133, 137, 143, 147, 152, 157, 162, 168, 173, 185, 200, 206, 232, 242, 249, 255, 285
GT: 13, 19, 25, 31, 40, 42, 48, 52, 59
Movies: DBZ: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Anniversary; Battle of Gods

After attending a Shaolin temple and learning martial arts, Tadayoshi Yamamuro was hired as an animator by the recently founded Shindō Productions animation studio sometime in 1984. He immediately began working as an in-between animator on Toriyama’s first series, Dr. Slump – Arale-chan, under the supervision of Mitsuo Shindō. When they moved on to work on Toriyama’s next hit series, Dragon Ball, just two and a half years later, Yamamuro had already been promoted to a key animator position. When Shindō later stepped down from his role as animation supervisor following Dragon Ball Z episode 116, it was only natural that he promoted Yamamuro to fill his role. It soon became quite evident just how talented Yamamuro was, as the already superb animation quality from Shindō Productions in Dragon Ball Z became the new standard of excellence.

Following Minoru Maeda’s departure from the series as chief animator, Toei Animation quickly began looking for a suitable replacement as the series’ character designer. They initially promoted in-house animator Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru to take over the role, but Yamamuro’s skill had obviously gotten their attention. While Nakatsuru was officially credited as the series’ character designer, Yamamuro contributed numerous designs for the Dragon Ball Z TV series and even designed the villains for Dragon Ball Z movies 8 to 13. In addition, Toei Animation had Yamamuro take over Maeda’s responsibilities of providing promotional artwork for the series. Nearly every movie poster from Dragon Ball Z Movie 8 (Broli) and beyond was drawn by Yamamuro, along with most of the wallscrolls, cards, and calendars during that period.

Having seen his talent, Toei Animation hired Yamamuro away from Shindō Productions sometime around the end of Dragon Ball Z. Yamamuro would remain on the animation staff when Dragon Ball GT began in 1996, but merely as an animation supervisor, as Nakatsuru completely took on the role of character designer. Following GT, Yamamuro would go on to be the character designer and animation supervisor for Toei Animation’s 90s version of Doctor Slump and Adventure King Beet. Shortly after that, in early 2000, Yamamuro joined the staff of One Piece for a short time as an animation supervisor and occasional key animator. After working on a few smaller projects, he would return to the Dragon Ball franchise in 2009 to oversee the animation of the opening and endings for the Dragon Ball Kai series, along with the cover art for both its DVD and Blu-ray releases. With its cancellation in 2011, Yamamuro moved on to be an animation supervisor for its successor, Toriko.

Prior to working on Dragon Ball Kai, Yamamuro had become Toei Animation’s go-to guy for anything Dragon Ball-related. Starting in 2005 he was tasked with drawing the cover art for the “Dragon Box The Movies” DVD box, and eventually all of the Dragon Box individual disc releases. In 2008 he provided the character designs for the Dragon BallJump Super Anime Tour 2008” special, along with all of the special’s promotional illustrations. He would return in 2010 to be the animation supervisor and character designer for the Raging Blast 2 bonus feature, “Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans”, and then again in 2011 for the Jump Festa 2012 special, “Episode of Bardock”. To this day he still continues to provide the majority of the promotional artwork for the franchise, including video games, guide books, and calendars.

When it was announced that Dragon Ball Z would be returning with the 2013 theatrical film Battle of Gods, the franchise’s first new film in 17 years, Yamamuro was once again called on to fill the roles of chief animation supervisor and animation character designer, in addition to providing storyboards for the scenes he animated. Shortly thereafter in 2014, the Toriko series was canceled and Dragon Ball Kai returned to retake its previous time slot on Fuji TV, picking up where it had left off. Yamamuro again resumed his roles with the series, although this time instead of merely overseeing the animation of the opening and endings, he almost single-handedly animated the opening and endings himself (with some minor help with the later endings), along with all promotional and product artwork. In large part this was thanks to the series’ very minimal budget.

Following the success of Battle of Gods, and with Dragon Ball Kai currently in syndication, Toei Animation began production on a sequel film, Revival of “F”, which premiered in April 2015. While still performing the roles of chief animation supervisor and animation character designer, Yamamuro also stepped into the role of director, making his directorial debut.

Animation Gallery

This gallery serves as a small example of the animation seen in episodes supervised by Tadayoshi Yamamuro and may not be representative of his entire body of work during his involvement in the series.

Dragon Ball Z Episodes

Dragon Ball GT Episodes

Character Design Sheets

Animation Team

After Mitsuo Shindō left the series, some of his animators stayed on to work under Tadayoshi Yamamuro. Noriko Shibata stayed on for the remainder of the Dragon Ball Z series, but Teruhisa Ryū only stuck around to work with Yamamuro for two episodes. Following Ryū’s departure, Hitoshi Ehara and Akemi Seki joined Yamamuro’s main animation team for a while, both of which were newcomers to the franchise. While it’s not exactly clear why, Yamamuro relied heavily on supplemental animators provided by Toei Animation as the series progressed. Of these animators, Kazue Kinoshita was the only one to continually work under Yamamuro. It was at some point during this later part of the series when Yamamuro left Shindō Productions to work for Toei Animation.

Now at Toei Animation, Yamamuro continued on as an animation supervisor for Dragon Ball GT. However, unlike Dragon Ball Z, he never actually oversaw any sort of main animation team, as animators were simply shuffled around with no real consistency. In total, there were 21 key animators that worked under Yamamuro for 13 episodes of Dragon Ball GT, as opposed to only the 15 key animators he utilized throughout his 19 episodes of Dragon Ball Z. That is essentially six more animators to produce six less episodes of GT. Nonetheless, Yamamuro was always one to provide the majority of the key frames for an episode he was supervising.

Main Animation Team General Series Involvement
Teruhisa Ryū (劉 輝久) DB: 13 – 153; DBZ: 1 – 127
Noriko Shibata (柴田則子) DB: 103 – 153; DBZ: 1 – 291; GT: 1
Hitoshi Ehara (江原 仁) DBZ: 127 – 200
Akemi Seki (関 明美) DBZ: 127 – 200
Kazue Kinoshita (木下和栄) DBZ: 200 – 285

As mentioned above, few supplementary key animators were enlisted throughout Yamamuro’s work on Dragon Ball Z to help with episodes requiring more key frames. Almost all of these animators were from Toei Animation, some of which would later work under Yamamuro during the production of Dragon Ball GT.

Supplemental Animators General Involvement (Count)
Hideko Okimoto (沖本日出子) DBZ: 137 (1)
Akira Inagami (稲上 晃) DBZ: 157 (1)
Tetsuya Numako (沼子哲也) DBZ: 157 (1)
Takashi Nashizawa (梨沢孝司) DBZ: 173 – 203 (2)
Mamoru Hosoda (細田 守) DBZ: 173 (1)
Takeo Ide (井手武生) DBZ: 185 (1)
Naotoshi Shida (志田直俊) DBZ: 185 – 242 (3)
Kumiko Horikoshi (堀越久美子) DBZ: 206 – 285 (6)
Akemi Ueda (上田明美) DBZ: 249 – 285 (3)
Nobuyuki Harada (原田伸之) DBZ: 285 (1)