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Yasuomi Umetsu (梅津 泰臣 Umetsu Yasuomi?) is a Japanese animator, character designer, animation director, author, screenwriter and director. He is best known for creating the cult classic Kite film series.

He did the packaging and promotional illustrations for the Japanese Mega Drive game, Contra: The Hard Corps.

Career[]

After college, Yasuomi Umetsu moved to Tokyo to become an animator and enrolled in the Chiyoda Institute of Technology.

After graduating, he worked on collaborative videos at Tsuchida Production for three months and then started working as a freelancer, being put in charge of video checks, original drawings and other tasks for Toei Animation. While working for Toei, he became particularly influenced by Masami Suda, an animator who had previously worked in the collaboration video Spider-Man. After Genma Taisen, Umetsu participated in many Madhouse productions.

In 1984, he worked on SF New Century Lensman under the leadership of Yoshiaki Kawajiri, which attracted attention from the industry. The opening animation for Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam from 1985, as well as working as a character designer for the first time in Mega Zone 23/Part II Secret Ku-da-sa-i from 1986, made him a popular animator among anime fans. The following year, he made his directorial debut with Presence in the 1987 Robot Carnival OVA.

Afterward, he started his own animation project, where he was in charge of directing and original screenplay.

In 1998, the adult animation Kite gained a lot of support not only in Japan but also in Hollywood. It was also well received by film director Rob Cohen, who learned of the film from his son. In 1999, he worked on Castlevania 64 and made the character illustrations for the game. Umetsu released Mezzo Forte in 2000, Mezzo in 2004 and Kite Liberator in 2008. In 2009, he began contemplating an anime movie project called Kiss and Cry, which took about five years to complete. Other projects of him include Galilei Donna, released in 2013, and Wizard Barristers Benmashi Cecil, released in 2014.

While by 2014 he was still active as a freelancer, he had started full-scale dōjin activities since 2006 and has hosted the Leonids Meteor Army.

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