Tokyo College of Anime: Illustration & Character Program

  • Recommended for Westerners

    The school’s curriculum has accounted for students who need more time and support to learn Kanji, etc. Not a feature of this school.

  • Flexible Class Schedule

    You are able to request an AM or PM class schedule based on your needs. Not a feature of this school.

  • Wifi Available

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  • Part-time Job Support

    This school introduces part-time job opportunities so you can work while studying. Not a feature of this school.

  • Higher Education Counselling

    This school provides specialized counseling to prepare and apply to colleges and universities after graduation. Not a feature of this school.

  • Career Support

    counsellors are available to provide specialized support for full-time employment after graduation. Not a feature of this school.

  • Dormitories Available

    This school introduces affordable shared living spaces. Not a feature of this school.

  • Apartments Available

    This school introduces private apartments. Not a feature of this school.

  • Homestay Available

    This school introduceslocal Japanese families where students can live while studying. Not a feature of this school.

  • In-School Activities

    This school organizes regular interactive & cultural activities in the school. Not a feature of this school.

  • Out-of-School Activities

    This school organizes out-of-school day-trips, excursions and events throughout the year. Not a feature of this school.

  • Student Lounge

    Space outside of the classroom is available for students to interact casually and/or study. Not a feature of this school.

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School Introduction

The Tokyo College of Anime is one of the leading vocational schools of Animation, E-Sports, and Anime Voice Acting in Japan, with hands-on specialized industry-specific training from top class instructors in modern and fully-equipped facilities.

With a goal that students are able to be successful post-graduation, the courses are collaborative, practical and stimulating, and updated to be in line with the current trends, industry-standard practises and technologies, and most importantly the current demand and needs of the industry. Moreover, Tokyo College of Anime provides job counselling and job search services to its students as well as support to debut and launch their career.

Note that this school’s courses are all offered in Japanese only.
School Staff Support Languages: Japanese
Minimum Course Duration: 2 years

Department Introduction

About the Program

The Illustration & Character Program offered out of the Department of Animation Production is comprehensive and provides all of the tools you need to work in the Anime Industry as a Character Designer, or in a support and promotional role of Goods Planner,? Figure Creator or Illustrator.

People with a passion for Anime can use their acquired skills to help Anime spread further out into the world by learning how to illustrate for various formats, design characters with depth and originality, craft figures based on animation characters and be a part of the design and production process of anime-related goods.

After this 2-year program, students will be prepared for the following careers:
  • Character Designer - who specializes in the depiction of people and mecha
  • Illustrator - who designs cover and posters for books, magazines, and product packages
  • Figure Creator - who produces figures that represent anime and game characters
  • Graphic Designer - who lays out information digitally in line with a purpose
  • Finisher / Paint master - who combines colour to complete a piece of work
  • Formatter - who creates objects such as monster suits and creatures
  • Goods Planner - who plans for and develops products as anime goods & merchandise

Students can choose between 3 majors:

  • Illustration & Character Design Major
    One of the most important aspects of anime and games is an attractive character, which is at the base of story, driving it forward and holding the attention of the viewer. More important than sheer illustration and design is the firmly grounded character concept.
  • Animation Goods & Design Major
    The number of people who like anime around the world is increasing, and with it comes the market for goods related to these narratives and the crucial role of those who design and produce them. Producing the goods which people can buy is a critical and helps to further stimulate the industry.
  • Figure Major
    Build your skills to be able to create an original 3D work or replica in the form of a figure or plastic model, which represents characters and objects from your imagination or from an existing narrative. With unlimited access to the facilities, equipment, and tools, you will be able to study in a stimulating and nourishing environment where you can easily convert your idea into a physical reality.

Main Features

State-of-the-art facilities
This School has made a lot of investment into having complete and modern facilities and equipment for use both within students’ programs as well as outside of class time in for leisure or club-related activities.

The facilities available to all students include:
Multiple E-Sports Gamer Rooms equipped with high-performance computers, headsets, and game library, as well as an E-Sports Competition Arena with two sets of computers facing one another, and a large monitor, viewing area, and event lighting equipment.
Huge library filled floor to ceiling with Manga and Anime (requires a ladder to reach all of the materials).
Open-style cafeteria complete with inspirational and original student-made artwork and creations.
Quiet reading and working spaces connected to rooftop patio.
Multipurpose rooms hosting events, pop-up galleries, and displays of students’ works.
Shuttle Vans for students to be taken between facilities and to the train station. The Vans are bright yellow with anime on the sides, making for an exciting journey to where you need to go.
Multiple recording studios fully equipped with microphones, mixers, and computers with industry-standard software.
Multiple dance and acting studios with mirrors and chairs.
Various workshop spaces with materials for crafting props, designing and creating costumes, recording sound effects, creating figures, as well as painting and crafting fine-art.
Multiple music practise rooms and recording studios complete with mixers, microphones, and computers with industry-standard software.
Multiple blackbox theatres set up for various purposes including live music performances, stage performances and musicals, dance performances.
Event space with full stage complete with all equipment, lighting and sound used for public and school performances, special guest presentations, and various student-run activities and clubs.
4K TV Recording studio with multiple cameras, monitor, full lighting and backdrop.
Multiple Anime and Manga illustration labs with tablets for each student to transcribe and design their anime work in digital, and studios with individual computers and a main screen monitor for use in the animation process itself.

Highly active student body
The learning environment couldn’t be more stimulating and exciting given the various projects, clubs, and activities that students can be a part of.

In addition to a flexible course selection policy (known as W Major Curriculum), students also organize various clubs and activities based on a wide variety of interests which are open to the students of the school to get involved in. This gives students the additional opportunity to keep active, further develop skills and talents, and form ever-lasting bonds with fellow students of various backgrounds and other majors. The school’s extensive club and extra-curricular activities highlight the spirit of the school.

Clubs include:
Cosplay Club
Anison Dance Club
Voice Recording Afterschool Club
School Radio Broadcasting Club
Idol Troupe
Card Game Club
Singing Club
Hero Action Team (HAT)
Music Band
Stand-up Comedy
E-Sports Club (for non-pros and non-department members also)
Savage Club (survival games)

W-Major Curriculum
This is a school policy that allows students the freedom to take courses and classes that are not related directly to the major that they decided upon registration with the school. This allows students to fully develop in multiple ways and to adjust their learning and curriculum based on their newly-discovered interests. Learning is in the hands of the student, and success is created by being versatile and always expanding your limits. By allowing students to explore the breadth of their skills, students will be all the more equipped to take on multiple jobs post-graduation.

Connection to Industry
Not only do the school’s instructors themselves come from an extensive professional background in the industry, but the school organizes guest lectures with current-day talent and leaders in the industry, as well as organizes collaborative projects between its students and the industry specific to the students’ majors.
Support to succeed in the real world
The courses taught at this school are hands-on & practical, and also ever-evolving with the changes in trends, technology and actual needs of the current-day industry, giving students the experience, knowledge and support they need to immediately transition into the industry as a working professional. In addition to practical education, students are also given a human education, which cultivates their skills of communication through greetings, courteousness, and consideration, in order to gain the trust and respect of those with whom we work. Moreover, students are given additional support in the transition to their careers with job search assistance and one-on-one counselling.

School Location

Nearest station: Nishi-Kasai station (Tokyo Metro tozai line)
Distance from station: 10 minutes walk.

It takes 3o minutes by train from Shinjuku and Shibuya to the nearest station, and this school is surrounded by various shops, where you can enjoy cosplay and card games. Moreover, there are even tons of vocational schools nearby, which is related to an art and entertainment.

Available Courses

  • Curriculum


Course Description

Character pose composition study – learn how to place a character in a defined range by hand.

Digital illustration – learn how to draw illustrations, apply colours, and create backgrounds.

Digital Manga Techniques – Learn the various techniques of computer software from basic to advanced studio-level applications.

Character & Background Drawing – Acquire the ability to draw characters with a focus on the human body, and also the ability to draw backgrounds with an accurate understanding of perspective.

Graphic Production – learn how to use Illustrator and Photoshop to produce goods and graphics specifically for the anime and game industries.

Figure Production – Learn the ins and outs of figure craftmanship up to the finished product.

3D Modelling – Acquire the skills to use 3D modelling software to create digital representations of your desired object to send to a 3D printer to produce your design.

Business Manners – Learn Japanese business manners & etiquette through practical training exercises that prepare you to be a confident resource in the professional world post graduation.

Our Free Services

We aim to support all students who are interested in coming to Japan to study & live.
For this reason, we provide all of these services at not cost to you.
  • School & Visa
    Application Support

  • Free Japanese
    Language Lessons

  • Accommodation

  • 24-Hour
    Emergency Assistance

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