Japan Expo Paris - July 15-18, 2021 Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center


Thomas ROMAIN from the Satelight studio is the perfect example of a French artist who has made it in Japan, and he is at Japan Expo to talk about his career path, his work in a Japanese animation studio, and his current projects! Don’t miss this French Touch guest at panels, masterclasses, 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 gave up 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 be part of the realization of 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 Japanese anime partly created by 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. On the occasion of his being invited to Anime Expo in Los Angeles, he published LOST IN ANIME, a collection of the designs and illustrations he achieved in the first 10 years he spent in Japan. 

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


Meet Thomas ROMAIN with another French Touch artist, Stanislas BRUNET, at panels, masterclasses, and signings! (sold out)

Follow Thomas ROMAIN on twitter and get his drawing advice: twitter.com/thomasintokyo

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