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Ki Hyun Ryu (Hangul: 류기현) is a television director of animated cartoons. He helped with character design for the episode "Jet" in Avatar: The Last Airbender and later returned for The Legend of Korra, directing every episode of Book One: Air. He has also worked as a character designer and supervising producer across all four books.

Avatar: The Last Airbender credits

Character designer

The Legend of Korra credits

Art director


Main character designer

Supervising producer

Storyboard artist

Selected other credits

Television work


  • Ryu has been credited by Bryan Konietzko as the one who conceived fartbending, an airbending technique employed by Tenzin and Pema's son, Meelo.[1]
  • Ryu's creative insight has been influencing the Avatar franchise for far longer than the beginning of The Legend of Korra: he created the original character design of Jet,[2] suggesting that he has had a part in the show since quite early in production.
  • Interestingly, Ryu's name has been worded as "Ryu Ki Hyun" by Konietzko on occasion,[1] likely in concern to Ryu's Korean origin; Korean names are spoken in a format that starts with a surname, followed by the given name.
  • The design of the character Ryu was based on Ki Hyun Ryu.[3]
  • During The Legend of Korra production meetings, Ryu would typically draw caricatures of his fellow crew members, in particular martial arts coordinator and videographer William Rinaldi. Ryu would later use his drawings of Rinaldi as the character design for the Equalist doorman.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Konietzko, Bryan (July 16, 2012). Ryu's Due Date. Tumblr. Retrieved on July 14, 2014.
  2. Konietzko, Bryan (2012-09-20). Elizabeth Chun is a current RISD student who.... Tumblr. Retrieved on September 29, 2012.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante (June 27, 2014). It's the real life Ryu!. Tumblr. Retrieved on June 30, 2014.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Dos Santos, Joaquim & Blum, Steve (July 9, 2013). "The Revelation" commentary. Book One: Air Blu-ray.