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Yoichi Kotabe

NameYōichi Kotabe
BornSeptember 15, 1936
Taipei, Taiwan
OccupationIllustrator
Supervisor
Known ForSuper Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Kart
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Years active1985-2007

Yōichi Kotabe - Gameography

Yōichi Kotabe is an acclaimed Japanese artist who spent his early years working at Toei Animation, A Production and Zuiyo Eizo prior to his involvement in video games.   Kotabe has created many memorable anime series and movies such as Panda! Go, Panda and Heidi, Girl of the Alps.   His work was admired by the employees at Nintendo leading to Hiroshi Ikeda hiring him as an illustrator in 1985.

Ikeda joined Toei Animation at the same time Yōichi Kotabe did and they worked together for many years.  Ikeda approached Kotabe in a coffee shop during a period where he was freelancing and not employed with a studio full time.   Ikeda asked if he’d like to join Nintendo, explaining that the video game industry was advancing were it was going to require an increasing amount of animation expertise.

Kotabe joined Nintendo, where Shigeru Miyamoto commissioned him to design most of the artwork for the Mario series along with other games.   Kotabe became the primary artist for the Mario franchise, drawing much of the 2D promotional artwork and refining many of Shigeru Miyamoto’s early sketches into the character’s definitive designs.  Later he would become involved with the Pokémon franchise, supervising the 3D games and most of the anime series and movies.

Kotabe worked at Nintendo from 1985 until 2007 doing illustrations, character designs and supervising creative teams.  Kotabe retired from Nintendo in 2007, but still works as a freelance artist.

Known For:

Iwata Asks Interview and Drawing With 3ds Flipnote Studio

 

Iwata Asks with Yōichi Kotabe

Satoru Iwata sat down with Yōichi Kotabe to discuss his time and involvement with Nintendo in This Installment  of the Iwata Asks.

Yoichi Kotabe Trying Out Flipnote Studio
  • All
  • Advisor
  • Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Special Thanks
  • Supervisor
  • Support

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1987Doki Doki Panic BoxYume Kojo: Doki Doki PanicFamicomNintendo R&D4NintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1988Super Mario Bros 2 BoxSuper Mario Bros. 2Famicom
NES
Nintendo R&D4NintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1989yūyūki BoxYuyukiFamicom Disk SystemNintendo R&D4
Pax Softnica
NintendoCharacter DesignAdventure
1990Super Mario World BoxSuper Mario WorldSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer
1991The Legend of Zelda A Link To The Past BoxThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the PastSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo EADNintendoPrinted ArtworkAction-Adventure
1992Hideki KonnoSuper Mario KartSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo EADNintendoIllustratorKart Racing
1992Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa NaruKaeru no Tame ni Kane wa NaruGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoSpecial ThanksAction RPG
1993The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening BoxThe Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningGame BoyNintendo EADNintendoIllustratorAction-Adventure
1993Mario & Wario BoxMario & WarioSuper FamicomGame FreakNintendoSpecial ThanksPuzzle
1994Donkey Kong GB BoxDonkey KongGame BoyNintendo EAD
Pax Softnica
NintendoIllustratorPlaform
Puzzle
1995BS Zelda no Densetsu Title ScreenBS Zelda no DensetsuSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo R&D2St. GIGADesignerAction-Adventure
1995Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island BoxSuper Mario World 2: Yoshi’s IslandSNES
Super Famicom
Nintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatform
1996BS Super Mario USA Power ChallengeBS Super Mario USA Power ChallengeSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo EADNintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1996Super Mario RPG BoxSuper Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven StarsSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
SquareNintendoCharacter AdvisorRPG
1996Tetris AttackTetris AttackSuper Nintendo
Game Boy
Intelligent SystemsNintendoDesign AdviserPuzzle
1997Excitebike Mario Stadium Title ScreenExcitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle StadiumSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo EAD
St. GIGA
NintendoIllustratorRacing
1997Game & Watch Gallery 2 BoxGame & Watch Gallery 2Game Boy ColorNintendo EAD
Million Colors
TOSE
NintendoIllustration AdvisorPlatformer
Compilation
1998Mario Party BoxMario PartyNintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
1998Pocket Monsters Stadium BoxPocket Monsters StadiumNintendo 64HAL LaboratoryNintendoCharacter SupervisorRPG
Simulation
1998Wrecking Crew 98 BoxWrecking Crew '98Super FamicomNintendo R&D1
Pax Softnica
NintendoSpecial ThanksAction
Puzzle
1999pokemon snapPokémon SnapNintendo 64HAL Laboratory
Pax Softnica
NintendoCharacter SupervisorFirst-person Rail Shooter
Simulation Game
1999Game & Watch Gallery 3 BoxGame & Watch Gallery 3Game Boy ColorNintendo EADNintendoIllustration AdvisorPlatformer
Compilation
1999Super Mario Bros. DeluxeGame Boy ColorNintendo R&D2NintendoIllustratorPlatformer
1999Pokémon Stadium BoxPokémon StadiumNintendo 64Nintendo EAD
HAL Laboratory
NintendoCharacter SupervisorTurn based Fighting
1999Mario Golf BoxMario GolfNintendo 64
Game Boy Color
Camelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
1999Mario Party 2Mario Party 2Nintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2000Mario Party 3 BoxMario Party 3Nintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2000Mario Tennis BoxMario TennisNintendo 64
Game Boy Color
Camelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2000Paper Mario BoxPaper MarioNintendo 64Intelligent SystemsNintendoIllustration SupportRPG
2000Pokémon Stadium 2 BoxPokémon Stadium 2Nintendo 64Nintendo EADNintendoCharacter SupervisorStrategy
2001Golden Sun BoxGolden SunGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportRPG
2001Mobile Golf BoxMobile GolfGame Boy ColorCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2001Super Mario Advance BoxSuper Mario AdvanceGame Boy AdvanceNintendo EADNintendoIllustratorPlatform
2001Super Smash Bros. Melee BoxSuper Smash Bros. MeleeGameCubeHAL LaboratoryNintendoSupervisorFighting
2001Kuru Kuru KururinGame Boy AdvanceEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle
2002Golden Sun - The Lost Age BoxGolden Sun: The Lost AgeGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportRPG
2002Game & Watch Gallery 4Game Boy AdvanceTOSENintendoIllustratorPlatformer
Compilation
2002Kururin Paradise BoxKururin ParadiseGame Boy AdvanceEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle
2002Super Mario Sunshine BoxSuper Mario SunshineGameCubeNintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer
Action-Adventure
2003Donkey Konga BoxDonkey KongaGameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
2003Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga BoxMario & Luigi: Superstar SagaGame Boy AdvanceAlphaDreamNintendoIllustration SupervisorRPG
2003Mario Golf Toadstool Tour BoxMario Golf: Toadstool TourGameCubeCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2003Mario Party 5 BoxMario Party 5GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2003Mario Party-e BoxMario Party-eGame Boy Advance e-ReaderNintendoNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2003WarioWare, Inc. - Mega Microgame$! BoxWarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$!Game Boy AdvanceNintendo R&D1NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Rhythm
2003Pokemon Channel BoxPokémon ChannelGameCubeAmbrellaNintendo
The Pokémon Company
Animation SupervisorAdventure
Simulation
2003WarioWare, Inc. - Mega Party Games! BoxWarioWare, Inc: Mega Party Game$!GameCubeIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoCharacter SupervisorParty
2004Donkey Konga 2 BoxDonkey Konga 2GameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
Rhythm
2004Kururin Squash!GameCubeEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle
2004Mario Party 6 BoxMario Party 6GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2004Mario Power Tennis BoxMario Power TennisGameCubeCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2004Mario vs. Donkey Kong BoxMario vs. Donkey KongGame Boy AdvanceNintendo Software TechnologyNintendoArt SupervisorPuzzle
2004Paper Mario - The Thousand-Year Door BoxPaper Mario: The Thousand-Year DoorGameCubeIntelligent SystemsNintendoCharacter SupervisorRPG
2004Mario Golf - Advance Tour BoxMario Golf: Advance TourGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2004WarioWare - Twisted! BoxWarioWare: Twisted!Game Boy AdvanceNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Puzzle
Rhythm
2004WarioWare - Touched! BoxWarioWare: Touched!Nintendo DSNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Rhythm
2005Mario & Luigi partners in Time BoxMario & Luigi: Partners in TimeNintendo DSAlphaDreamNintendoIllustration SupervisorRPG
2005Mario Party 7 BoxMario Party 7GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2005Mario Party Advance BoxMario Party AdvanceGame Boy AdvanceHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2005Mario Tennis Power Tour BoxMario Tennis: Power TourGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2005Donkey Kong King of Swing BoxDK: King of SwingGame Boy AdvancePaonNintendoGraphic SupportPuzzle
2005Donkey Konga 3 BoxDonkey Konga 3GameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
Rhythm
2005Super Princess Peach BoxSuper Princess PeachNintendo DSTOSENintendoCharacter SupervisorPlatformer
2005Yoshi Touch and Go BoxYoshi Touch & GoNintendo DSNintendo EAD Group No. 4NintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer
2006WarioWare - Smooth Moves BoxWarioWare: Smooth MovesWiiNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorParty
Rhythm

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1996Super Mario RPG BoxSuper Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven StarsSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
SquareNintendoCharacter AdvisorRPG
1997Game & Watch Gallery 2 BoxGame & Watch Gallery 2Game Boy ColorNintendo EAD
Million Colors
TOSE
NintendoIllustration AdvisorPlatformer
Compilation
1999Game & Watch Gallery 3 BoxGame & Watch Gallery 3Game Boy ColorNintendo EADNintendoIllustration AdvisorPlatformer
Compilation

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1987Doki Doki Panic BoxYume Kojo: Doki Doki PanicFamicomNintendo R&D4NintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1988Super Mario Bros 2 BoxSuper Mario Bros. 2Famicom
NES
Nintendo R&D4NintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1989yūyūki BoxYuyukiFamicom Disk SystemNintendo R&D4
Pax Softnica
NintendoCharacter DesignAdventure
1995BS Zelda no Densetsu Title ScreenBS Zelda no DensetsuSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo R&D2St. GIGADesignerAction-Adventure
1996BS Super Mario USA Power ChallengeBS Super Mario USA Power ChallengeSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo EADNintendoGraphic DesignPlatformer
1996Tetris AttackTetris AttackSuper Nintendo
Game Boy
Intelligent SystemsNintendoDesign AdviserPuzzle
2001Kuru Kuru KururinGame Boy AdvanceEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle
2002Kururin Paradise BoxKururin ParadiseGame Boy AdvanceEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle
2004Kururin Squash!GameCubeEightingNintendoCharacter DesignPuzzle

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1992Hideki KonnoSuper Mario KartSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo EADNintendoIllustratorKart Racing
1993The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening BoxThe Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningGame BoyNintendo EADNintendoIllustratorAction-Adventure
1994Donkey Kong GB BoxDonkey KongGame BoyNintendo EAD
Pax Softnica
NintendoIllustratorPlaform
Puzzle
1997Excitebike Mario Stadium Title ScreenExcitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle StadiumSuper Famicom
Satellaview
Nintendo EAD
St. GIGA
NintendoIllustratorRacing
1999Super Mario Bros. DeluxeGame Boy ColorNintendo R&D2NintendoIllustratorPlatformer
2001Super Mario Advance BoxSuper Mario AdvanceGame Boy AdvanceNintendo EADNintendoIllustratorPlatform
2002Game & Watch Gallery 4Game Boy AdvanceTOSENintendoIllustratorPlatformer
Compilation

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1990Super Mario World BoxSuper Mario WorldSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer
1992Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa NaruKaeru no Tame ni Kane wa NaruGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoSpecial ThanksAction RPG
1993Mario & Wario BoxMario & WarioSuper FamicomGame FreakNintendoSpecial ThanksPuzzle
1995Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island BoxSuper Mario World 2: Yoshi’s IslandSNES
Super Famicom
Nintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatform
1998Wrecking Crew 98 BoxWrecking Crew '98Super FamicomNintendo R&D1
Pax Softnica
NintendoSpecial ThanksAction
Puzzle
2002Super Mario Sunshine BoxSuper Mario SunshineGameCubeNintendo EADNintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer
Action-Adventure
2005Yoshi Touch and Go BoxYoshi Touch & GoNintendo DSNintendo EAD Group No. 4NintendoSpecial ThanksPlatformer

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1998Pocket Monsters Stadium BoxPocket Monsters StadiumNintendo 64HAL LaboratoryNintendoCharacter SupervisorRPG
Simulation
1999pokemon snapPokémon SnapNintendo 64HAL Laboratory
Pax Softnica
NintendoCharacter SupervisorFirst-person Rail Shooter
Simulation Game
1999Pokémon Stadium BoxPokémon StadiumNintendo 64Nintendo EAD
HAL Laboratory
NintendoCharacter SupervisorTurn based Fighting
2000Pokémon Stadium 2 BoxPokémon Stadium 2Nintendo 64Nintendo EADNintendoCharacter SupervisorStrategy
2001Super Smash Bros. Melee BoxSuper Smash Bros. MeleeGameCubeHAL LaboratoryNintendoSupervisorFighting
2003Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga BoxMario & Luigi: Superstar SagaGame Boy AdvanceAlphaDreamNintendoIllustration SupervisorRPG
2003WarioWare, Inc. - Mega Microgame$! BoxWarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$!Game Boy AdvanceNintendo R&D1NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Rhythm
2003Pokemon Channel BoxPokémon ChannelGameCubeAmbrellaNintendo
The Pokémon Company
Animation SupervisorAdventure
Simulation
2003WarioWare, Inc. - Mega Party Games! BoxWarioWare, Inc: Mega Party Game$!GameCubeIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoCharacter SupervisorParty
2004Mario vs. Donkey Kong BoxMario vs. Donkey KongGame Boy AdvanceNintendo Software TechnologyNintendoArt SupervisorPuzzle
2004Paper Mario - The Thousand-Year Door BoxPaper Mario: The Thousand-Year DoorGameCubeIntelligent SystemsNintendoCharacter SupervisorRPG
2004WarioWare - Twisted! BoxWarioWare: Twisted!Game Boy AdvanceNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Puzzle
Rhythm
2004WarioWare - Touched! BoxWarioWare: Touched!Nintendo DSNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorAction
Rhythm
2005Mario & Luigi partners in Time BoxMario & Luigi: Partners in TimeNintendo DSAlphaDreamNintendoIllustration SupervisorRPG
2005Super Princess Peach BoxSuper Princess PeachNintendo DSTOSENintendoCharacter SupervisorPlatformer
2006WarioWare - Smooth Moves BoxWarioWare: Smooth MovesWiiNintendo SPD
Intelligent Systems
NintendoCharacter SupervisorParty
Rhythm

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1998Mario Party BoxMario PartyNintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
1999Mario Golf BoxMario GolfNintendo 64
Game Boy Color
Camelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
1999Mario Party 2Mario Party 2Nintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2000Mario Party 3 BoxMario Party 3Nintendo 64Hudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2000Mario Tennis BoxMario TennisNintendo 64
Game Boy Color
Camelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2000Paper Mario BoxPaper MarioNintendo 64Intelligent SystemsNintendoIllustration SupportRPG
2001Golden Sun BoxGolden SunGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportRPG
2001Mobile Golf BoxMobile GolfGame Boy ColorCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2002Golden Sun - The Lost Age BoxGolden Sun: The Lost AgeGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportRPG
2003Donkey Konga BoxDonkey KongaGameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
2003Mario Golf Toadstool Tour BoxMario Golf: Toadstool TourGameCubeCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2003Mario Party 5 BoxMario Party 5GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2003Mario Party-e BoxMario Party-eGame Boy Advance e-ReaderNintendoNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2004Donkey Konga 2 BoxDonkey Konga 2GameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
Rhythm
2004Mario Party 6 BoxMario Party 6GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2004Mario Power Tennis BoxMario Power TennisGameCubeCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2004Mario Golf - Advance Tour BoxMario Golf: Advance TourGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2005Mario Party 7 BoxMario Party 7GameCubeHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2005Mario Party Advance BoxMario Party AdvanceGame Boy AdvanceHudson SoftNintendoGraphic SupportParty
2005Mario Tennis Power Tour BoxMario Tennis: Power TourGame Boy AdvanceCamelot Software PlanningNintendoGraphic SupportSports
2005Donkey Kong King of Swing BoxDK: King of SwingGame Boy AdvancePaonNintendoGraphic SupportPuzzle
2005Donkey Konga 3 BoxDonkey Konga 3GameCubeNamcoNintendoGraphic SupportMusic
Rhythm