Japan Expo Sud - February 28 through March 1, 2020 Marseille Chanot
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Thomas ROMAIN from Satelight studio is a perfect example of a French artist who has made it in Japan, and he is coming to Japan Expo Sud to talk about his career path, his work in a Japanese animation studio, and his new book! Don’t miss this French Touch guest at panels and signings!

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Thomas ROMAIN had a passion for drawing from a very early age. He grew up with French comics, Japanese anime, and video games. He was studying physics at college when he quit to devote to drawing. At first, he was very influenced by French comics, Enki Bilal among others, and the first manga published in France such as Battle Angel AlitaAkira, or Ghost in the Shell

He first wanted to be a comics artist but that was before his meeting at 19 with Savin YEATMAN-EIFFEL, a young producer and screenwriter who worked in the French animation industry. He invited Thomas ROMAIN to be part of the creation of a science fiction world that would only see the light of day years later: Oban Star-Racers. Through contact with Savin YEATMAN-EIFFEL and others, Thomas ROMAIN took an avid interest in animation. At the same time, he discovered a few Japanese animation masterpieces broadcast in France such as Grave of the Fireflies and Ghost in the Shell.

From 1998 to 2001, Thomas ROMAIN studied 2D and 3D animation. Speakers like Ilan NGUYEN and David ENCINAS (Studio Ghibli) gave him the idea that his dream of working in Japan might come true in the end and he started learning Japanese.


After graduating, he launched into the Oban Star-Racers project with Savin YEATMAN-EIFFEL and Stanislas BRUNET. Together, their dream was to achieve it Japan. At the same time, Thomas ROMAIN was working on the French series Code Lyoko, which shows the strong influence of Japanese animation, with Tania PALUMBO. In 2003, his dream came true: he convinced Japanese and European investors, and moved to Tokyo to corealize Oban Star-Racers at studio Hal Film-Maker. 

After Oban Star-Racers, he started to work as a freelancer on fully Japanese projects (Aria the NaturalEngage Planet Kiss Dum). In 2007, he met Shoji KAWAMORI (Macross) who gave him his support. Together, they created Basquash!, the first Japanese anime cocreated with a foreigner. He will invite up to 10 animators and decorators to help him produce the show at studio Satelight. Since 2009, he’s worked on 15 anime as a designer of sets (Aquarion EvolSymphogearMacross Delta) or mecha (Space Dandy). CAPCOM also called on him for the sets of the Phoenix Wright spin-off.

In 2014, he’s called on to work as a mecha-designer on the American project Cannon Busters. He supervised the pilot realization in 2015 for Satelight. Since then, the series has been spotted by Netflix and it is being produced now in Japan. 

In collaboration with the French community of animation artists living in Japan, he launched Furansujin Connection in 2016, a community website giving information and advice to young French artists who want to work in the animation industry in Japan.

Last year, he got very popular on social media with his father and son drawing project which went viral. Tis project has become a book, Traits de famille, to be released by Kurokawa next March 8, right in time for Japan Expo Sud. In parallel with his animation activities, he has launched a Youtube channel to share his drawing techniques, which led him to work with the French Youtuber Cyprien on the series L’Épopée temporelle.

Japan Expo Sud is celebrating the French Touch and pays a tribute to the many French creators steeped in Japanese pop culture who share their passion through their work.
On this occasion, come meet Thomas ROMAIN at panels and signings on Saturday and Sunday.

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