Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Hisayuki Toriumi was born in the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa (which is south of Tokyo) in 1941. As a young man, Toriumi took an interest in filmmaking; this led to Toriumi going to a storywriting institute during his time in college.
Toriumi's first break in anime came when he joined the staff at Tatsunoko Production in 1966. Over the years, he became a freelancer. As a freelancer, Toriumi worked at Nippon Sunrise (now known as Sunrise) and Studio Pierrot. Toriumi also became a mentor for Mamoru Oshii; this working relationship blossomed while the two of them worked on Dallos (which is the first-ever OVA released in Japan). Since the 1980s, Toriumi has been a prolific novelist; he has about two dozen volumes to his credit.
During the 1960s, Toriumi served as an episode director for three series: Kurenai Sanshiro, Oraa Guzura Dado, and Speed Racer. In the 1970s, Toriumi served as a director on all the Gatchaman television series, as well as a Gatchaman film. He also was a technical director for the first Gatchaman series. During that decade, he was also a series director for Gowapper 5 Godam, an episode director for Hurricane Polymar, and the chief director for Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman.
During the 1980s, Toriumi spent more time directing films and OVAs. However, he did serve as a director on two anime series during that decade: The Mysterious Cities of Gold and The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. Toriumi was the Supervisor in Chief for The Mysterious Cities of Gold, and also was a director and storyboard arist for The Wonderful Adventures of Nils film. Toriumi served as a director or supervisor on the films Baribari Densetsu and Lily C.A.T.; he also wrote the original story for Lily C.A.T. He also directed or supervised these 1980s OVA titles: Area 88, BAOH, and Salamander. Toriumi also created and wrote the Dallos OVA.
Toriumi was not quite as prolific in the world of anime once the 1990s hit. He directed two specials (Like the Clouds, Like the Wind and Michitekuru Toki no Muko ni). Toriumi also wrote Michitekuru Toki no Muko ni. He also directed three OVA productions: Anime V Comic Rentaman, Sohryuden – Legend of the Dragon Kings, and Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou. The only credit Toriumi had in the 2000s was serving as a story advisor on Kaze no Yojimbo.
Sadly, Hisayuki Toriumi passed away on January 23, 2009, at the age of 67. He leaves behind his wife, Hiroko.