Anime Biography: Umanosuke Iida

Umanosuke Iida was born on April 30, 1961, and one of his earliest credits in the anime industry is providing in-between animation work for Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984.

Iida has also done work under the name Tsutomu Iida, and he worked with the Oh Productions anime studio during the 1980’s. His first chief director credit was for Devilman: Tanjou Hen in 1987. But prior to this credit, Iida served as an assistant director for Castle in the Sky in 1986.

Iida also has anime credits in the 1990’s. In 1991, he directed CB Chara Nagai Go World. In 1994, Iida served as the director for the Mighty Space Miners OAV. In 1996, Iida ended up taking over the director’s duties for Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team film after the first director, Takeyuki Kanda, passed away suddenly during production. Iida continued working with the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise when he directed Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Miller’s Report in 1998.

In 2001, Iida would go on to direct Hellsing, which has become the title that he has become the best known for working on. In 2005, Iida created, directed, and provided storyboards for the Tide-Line Blue anime television series.

Iida’s career also included doing storyboard work for various productions. His first storyboard credit is for the 1994 OAV, Gin Rei. In 1998, Iida did storyboard work for Cowboy Bebop, and then followed this up in 1999 by providing storyboards for The Big O. His next storyboard credit comes in 2005, when Iida did work on Brave King GaoGaiGar: Final Grand Glorious Gathering. In 2008, Iida provided storyboards for Birdy the Mighty: Decode and Blassreiter. In 2009, Iida provided design and storyboard work for the Shangri-La anime series, which is based on a science fiction novel.

Iida also has “planning association” credit for a couple of anime. The first is Vandread in 2000, and the other is Yukikaze in 2002. Iida also came up with the concept for the 2006 anime film, Origin ~Spirits of the Past~.

Iida also has two non-anime credits. The first one is for providing the story and art for the Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team U.C.0079+a manga. The other is serving as a motion advisor for the field section of the Japanese Final Fantasy VIII video game.

Sadly, Umanosuke Iida passed away on November 26, 2010. The news was first reported by a tweet made by anime director Jun Kamiya on his Twitter account. This was followed by a confirmation from manga creator Koichi Tokita. Iida was 49 years old at the time of his death, and his official website reported that he passed away due to lung cancer.

Anime associated with Umanosuke Iida:


  1. Christopher Bubb · November 24, 2014

    Addition/correction: Umanosuke Iida is sometimes credited as Tsutomu Iida. He worked with the animation studio Oh Productions in the 1980s. Credited as Tsutomu Iida, his first chief director credit was the “Devilman” OVA series (animated by Oh Productions) in 1987. He was also assistant director on “Castle In The Sky” in ’86.

    • Lesley Aeschliman · November 24, 2014

      Thanks for the info. I’ll work at getting this biography updated to include the information.

      EDIT: And now the biography has been updated. Thank you again for the information. 🙂

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