Keiji Kinebuchi

Keiji Kinebuchi, c. 1997

Keiji Kinebuchi (Japanese: 杵淵敬二, born February 14, 1956) is a 3D illustrator for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. When the TCG was first released, Kinebuchi was one of the only 3D artists, making his art for the first few expansions instantly recognizable. Due to limitations of 3D software, many of the Pokémon he created images for were composed of very simple shapes, consisting of basic textures and lighting effects. He is known for creating the art for the majority of early Trainer cards, and as the TCG continued, he worked on Trainer card art almost exclusively.

Kinebuchi's last illustrations were featured in the Aquapolis expansion, during which time other 3D illustrators were beginning to contribute with more sophisticated images. He is, however, best known for creating the first seven Energy symbols in the TCG, which are still in use. He was credited as the illustrator for all basic Energy cards, as well as a few Special Energy cards up until the Expedition Base Set, where there was a major change in the card layout. It is likely to assume that while the core image remains Kinebuchi's, the rest were by members of PCL who created the updated layout design. Perhaps being aware of his departure and others adding aesthetic changes, PCL decided not to credit an illustrator. This has remained for all of the Basic Energy cards released since.

Kinebuchi is also credited as an illustrator for some of the Trainer cards in the Pokémon Trading Figure Game; however, all of the images are taken from work he had previously done for the TCG. For a list of cards Kinebuchi has illustrated, go here.



Title Date Publisher
Magnemite's Mission (Pokémon Tales #34) 1998 Shogakukan