Tomino began his career in 1963 with Osamu Tezuka's company, Mushi Productions, scripting the storyboards and screenplay of the first Japanese television anime, Tetsuwan Atom (also known as Astro Boy). He later became one of the most important members of the anime studio Sunrise, going on to direct numerous anime through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Tomino is perhaps best known for his transformation of the super robot genre into the real robot genre with 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam. He has also won numerous awards, including the Best Director award at the recent 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair (for the 2005 film Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heirs To The Stars).
Tomino often writes lyrics for the various songs featured in his series under the pseudonym Rin Iogi (井荻麟 Iogi Rin?). Tomino (as Iogi) has collaborated with artists such as Yoko Kanno, Asei Kobayashi, MIO and wikipedia:Neil Sedaka.
Tomino is noted for directing several well-known anime series throughout his career, such as his most notable work, the Mobile Suit Gundam series, beginning in 1979, and which was later followed onto numerous sequels, spinoffs and merchandising franchises, Aura Battler Dunbine, Brave Raideen (in which he directed the first 26 episodes), and numerous others. His recent work include Brain Powerd (1998), Turn A Gundam (1999), Overman King Gainer (2002) and most recently, The Wings of Rean, released in December 2005 and running till August 2006.
While many of the series Tomino has directed throughout his career contain an upbeat and positive nature throughout, in which the majority of the protagonists and characters survive, a certain amount, during the early years of his career in the late 1970s through early 90s, contained endings in which a significant number of characters and protagonists were killed or had passed away. Certain English-language sources allege this to have started with 1973's Umi no Triton, in which one of the significant factions were killed.
In 1975, Tomino worked on Brave Raideen, his first mecha work, in which he directed the first 26 episodes. Raideen was renowned and influential in its innovative portrayal of a giant machine of mysterious and mystical origins, and has went on to inspire numerous other directors and series, including Yutaka Izubuchi's 2002 series, RahXephon. He also later worked on 1977's Voltes V.
In 1977, Tomino directed Zambot 3, the final episode of which a large amount of the protagonists kill themselves in order to defeat the main antagonist faction, with the result being the main protagonist character and the vast majority of the characters of the Earth surviving as a result. Certain English-language sources claim this particular show to being the reason for an alleged nickname, "Kill Em All Tomino", even though Tomino had directed and worked in numerous series in which the vast majority of the had survived.
In 1979, Tomino directed and wrote Mobile Suit Gundam, which was highly influential in transforming the super robot genre into the real robot genre. Although the original series was cancelled after the 43rd episode, its popularity grew after three compilation movies were created in 1981 and 1982. Mobile Suit Gundam went on to be followed by numerous sequels, spin-offs and merchandising franchises, becoming one of the most influential, longest-running and popular anime series in history, being chosen as no.1 on TV Asahi's Top 100 Anime listing in 2005.
In 1980, Tomino directed Space Runaway Ideon, a series which like Mobile Suit Gundam was cancelled on its initial run, but featured movie versions later on. The final Ideon movie, 1982's Be Invoked ends in all of the characters being killed with the universe apparently being destroyed. Template:Fact However, the series he immediately directed afterwards, Xabungle, contained a much more lighthearted and upbeat theme, with the vast majority of the characters surviving, in stark contrast to Ideon.
While 1983's wikipedia:Aura Battler Dunbine featured an ending where all of the heroes except one were killed; once again Tomino followed it up with a show having a more upbeat and lighthearted theme, 1984's Heavy Metal L-Gaim.
In 1985, Tomino directed the first sequel to 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, where a significant amount of characters die, particularly in the last few episodes. However, the next series which followed afterwards, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, contained a much more upbeat theme in which the majority of the characters survive. In 1988, Tomino directed the Gundam motion picture Char's Counterattack, in which some of the protagonists are killed. Tomino would direct an additional Gundam motion picture, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 in 1991.
In 1993, Tomino directed Victory Gundam, where a significant amount of the characters died. However, this was to be the very last Tomino series in which a large number of the protagonists die. Each of the series he directed and created afterwards contain much more upbeat and lighthearted themes in which the protagonists and vast majority of the heroes survive.
In 1996, Tomino wrote and directed Garzey's Wing, and in 1998 wrote and directed Brain Powerd. In 1999, he directed Turn A Gundam and in 2002, directed Overman King Gainer. His most recent series was the 6-episode The Wings of Rean, which first premiered on the Internet across Bandai Channel, the broadcast beginning from December 12, 2005, with the final episode starting on August 18, 2006.
- Wandering Sun (1971 - Director)
- Umi no Triton (1972 - Director)
- Star of the Seine (1975 - Director)
- Brave Raideen (1975 - Director (first 26 episodes))
- Choudenji Machine Voltes Five (1977 - Producer)
- Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 (1977 - Writer, Director)
- Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 (1978 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam (1979 - Writer, Director)
- Space Runaway Ideon (1980 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam the Movie (1981 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (1982 - Writer, Director)
- The Ideon: A Contact (1982 - Writer, Director)
- The Ideon: Be Invoked (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Combat Mecha Xabungle (1982 - Writer, Director)
- Aura Battler Dunbine (1983 - Writer, Director)
- Xabungle Graffiti (1983 - Writer, Director)
- Heavy Metal L-Gaim (1984 - Director)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam (1986 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F-91 (1991 - Writer, Director)
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993 - Writer, Director)
- Garzey's Wing (1996 - Writer, Director)
- Brain Powerd (1998 - Writer, Director)
- Turn A Gundam (1999 - Writer, Director)
- Overman King Gainer (2002 - Director)
- The Wings of Rean (2005 - Writer, Director)
- Gundam Reconguista in G (2014 - Writer, Director)
Discography (as Rin Iogi)
- "Tobe! Gundamu (Fly! Gundam)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Opening Theme)
- "Eien ni Amuro (Forever Amuro)" by Koh Ikeda (Series Ending Theme)
- "Char is Coming" by Koichiro Hori
- "Shining Lalah" by Keiko Toda
- "Ima Wa O-Yasumi" by Keiko Toda
- "Kaze ni Hitori de (Alone in the Wind)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Insert Song)
- "Ai Senshi (Soldiers of Sorrow)" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 2 Ending Theme)
- "Beginning" by Inoue Daisuke (Movie 3 Insert Song)
- "Meguriai (Encounters)" by Inoue Daisuke (Co-written with Maso Urino) (Movie 3 Ending Theme)
- "Time for L-Gaim" by MIO (Opening Theme)
- "Dunbine Tobu (Flying Dunbine)" by MIO (Opening Theme)
- "Zeta - Toki o Koete (Zeta - Transcending Times)" by Maya Arukawa, composed by Neil Sedaka (First Opening Theme)
- "The 1000-year-old Galaxy" by Jun Hiroe (Second Ending Theme)
- "Eternal Wind" by Hiroko Moriguchi (Ending Song)
- "Stand up to Victory" (First Opening Theme)
- "Ai no FIELD" by Kokkia (First Ending Theme)
- "Turn A Turn" by Hideki Saijou, composed by Asei Kobayashi (First Opening Theme)
- "Century Color" by RAYS-GUNS (Co-written with You-mu Hamaguchi) (Second Opening Theme)
- "Ojousan Naishobanashi desu (This is a private conversation, miss)" by Hideki Saijou
- "Tsuki no Tama (Spirit of the Moon)" by RRET Team
- "Tsuki no Mayu (The Cocoon of the Moon)" by Aki Okui (Second Ending Theme)
- "Overman King Gainer - Over!" by Yoshiki Fukuyama (Opening Theme)