Akiyoshi Hongo (本郷 あきよし Hongō Akiyoshi?) is credited on all relevant media as the creator of the original concept and character designs for the virtual pet franchise, Digimon. However, nothing is known about Hongo as an individual.
The name is actually a pseudonym for the three most important figures in the creation of the Digimon franchise: Aki Maita, one of the two creators of the original Tamagotchi; Hiroshi Izawa, the author of the first Digimon manga; and Takeichi Hongo, the director of marketing for Bandai.
Digimon was first conceived as a virtual pet toy in the vein of Tamagotchis and, as such, took influence from Tamagotchis' cute and round designs. The small areas of the screens (16 by 16 pixels) meant that character designers had to create monsters whose forms would be easily recognizable. As such, many of the early Digimon—including Tyrannomon, the first one ever created—were based on dinosaurs. Many further designs were created by Kenji Watanabe, who was brought in to help with the "X-Antibody" creatures and art for the Digimon collectible card game. Watanabe was one influenced by American comics, which were beginning to gain popularity in Japan, and as such began to make his characters look stronger and "cool." The character creation process, however, has for most of the franchise's history been collaborative and reliant on conversation and brainstorming.
He was staff in:
- Digimon Adventure (movie): Original Work
- Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01: Original Concept
- Digimon Adventure: Script, Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon Adventure 02: Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon: The Movie: Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon (manga) : Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon: Original creator
- Digimon Tamers: Script, Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon Frontier: Original Concept, Character Design
- Digimon Data Squad: Original Concept
- Digimon Savers the Movie: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!!: Original Concept
- Digimon Fusion: Original Concept
- Digimon Adventure tri.