Why Kunihiko Tanaka Probably Isn’t Returning to Xenoblade for The Foreseeable Future

I’ve been asked a number of times about why it is that many in Japan think Tanaka is not returning to Xenoblade. Rather than repeating what I’ve said over and over, I wanted to outline his comments that suggest this in a timeline. Here it is:

November 15th, 2018 Blog Post

“After I had a meeting with Hobby Japan… I visited Monolith Soft. They did great work to make Xenoblade 2 and Torna: The Golden Country. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the project. Thank you… for everything.”

The final sentence, “Thank you for everything,” may not seem like any sort of farewell in English. But the implicature in Japanese, when he uses これまで “up to this point/so far”, usually implies that whoever is saying it will not be around, at least for the immediate future. In fact, it is oftentimes something one says to another when they may not meet each other ever again.


October 4th, 2018 New RPG Project Division 1 (Takahashi) Production Development Staff Recruitment (Translation here)

“We’re also looking for character designers. My decision for this is not really for this project specifically, but because I have a strong desire to find a designer who can become the face of Monolith Soft in the future. During my time at Square, I met very talented designers such as Nomura-kun (Tetsuya Nomura), and it would be a dream-come-true to have someone as talented (Although we did get Nomura-kun for Xenoblade 2). If only we had someone like that at Monolith Soft… Of course, we’re not looking just for character designers, but other artwork staff, too.” -Tetsuya Takahashi


February 12th, 2019 Alrest Records Illustrator’s Comment for Elma

“…My work [for XB2] is personally the summation of [all of my work for] the “Xeno” Series, and I gave it my all. I was glad to be a part of “Xenoblade 2.” Monolith Soft, please keep making incredible games. Thank you very much.”



One thought on “Why Kunihiko Tanaka Probably Isn’t Returning to Xenoblade for The Foreseeable Future

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s