Aya Kusube

Aya Kusube (Japanese: 楠部文), born 1966, Saitama Prefecture, is a freelance illustrator. She primarily illustrates books and magazines, as well as advertising material aimed at children, using her own drawing style which mirrors that of children’s drawings. She was also involved as a conceptual designer for the famous Doraemon franchise. Kusube has been involved with the Pokémon franchise since 1998, writing and illustrating a number of Pokémon Tales books, and moving on to produce many illustrations for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.



Title Date Publisher Position
Little Ghost (no English release) (Pokémon Tales #33) 1998 Shogakukan Author and illustrator
Gengar's Shadow (Pokémon Tales #45) 1999 Shogakukan Author and illustrator
Mewtwo's Watching You! (Pokémon Tales #48) 2000 Shogakukan Illustrator
The Mysterious Rainbow of Colors (Pokémon Daisuki Tales #2) 2005 Shogakukan Illustrator

Work for the TCG

Kusube's style, especially outside the TCG is purposefully aimed at younger audiences, where characters are drawn simply and have a limited color palette. Her personal work however demonstrates her eye for detail, using a myriad of various charcoal pencil strokes and marks to define outlines and areas of shadow. The majority of this work remains black and white. This particular method is applied to her TCG artwork, many of which incorporate a solid drawing with only a few key colors accompanied with many penciled hatches or dots to define shadow. For a list of cards she has illustrated, go here.


  • Her late father, Daikichirou Kusube, was the president and founder of the Shin-Ei Animation Company, which produces many popular anime series in Japan. Her brother Takumi, who also works for Shin-Ei, is a CG animator and lyricist, and was similarly involved with developing the re-envisioned Doraemon franchise.

External links