Known as "the man who designed Gundam," OKAWARA Kunio was the pioneer who made an independent anime specialty of mechanical design, previously a subset of art or animation direction. A versatile talent whose range extends from gag mechas to realistic combat mechas, and with a 40-year career at the forefront of his craft, his dedication and durability are nothing short of heroic. His mechas thrill people not only on the anime screen but as toys in three dimensions. We laud OKAWARA for his groundbreaking work, which has placed designers on the map in the uniquely Japanese culture of giant-robot anime, as well as contributing to society's burgeoning interest in mechanisms.
Born in Tokyo in 1947, OKAWARA graduated from Tokyo Zokei University and first worked for a major apparel company. In 1972 he joined the Art Depar tment at Tatsunoko Production. Af ter his first experience with mecha design for Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, he became a mecha design specialist and founded Design Of fice Mechaman with NAKAMURA Mitsuki. In 1978 he went freelance and worked on many Sunrise projects, supervising the mecha design for real-robot animation (Mobile Suit Gundam, Fang of the Sun Dougram, Armored Trooper VOTOMS) as well as superrobots (Brave Series). Working in a wide range of media, including toys and games, as well as the Time Bokan (Time Fighters) series for Tatsunoko Production, OKAWARA continues to be a leader in the mecha design field.