|Born||June 18, 1934|
|Died||April 15, 2004 (aged 69)|
|Known for||Tetsujin 28-go|
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Mitsuteru Yokoyama (横山 光輝, Yokoyama Mitsuteru, June 18, 1934 – April 15, 2004) was a Japanese manga artist born in Suma Ward of Kobe City in Hyōgo Prefecture. His personal name was originally spelled Mitsuteru (光照), with the same pronunciation. His works include Tetsujin 28-go, Giant Robo, Akakage, Babel II, Sally the Witch, Princess Comet, and adaptations of the Chinese classics Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Yokoyama spent his boyhood during World War II and was evacuated to Tottori with his family. He graduated from Kobe municipal Ota junior high school and went on to the Kobe municipal Suma high school. Osamu Tezuka's "Metropolis" made a deep impression on Yokoyama who wished to become a manga artist in earnest and so he contributed his works to a comic book in his high school days. He entered the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation after graduation from high school, but quit his job before five months passed because there was no time to draw a manga. He found a new job as a publicity department member for a movie company based in Kobe and pursued his manga artist career on his free time.
Yokoyama came out with the book "Otonashi no Ken (音無しの剣, Sword without sound)" for his manga artist début, which caught Osamu Tezuka's attention.
In 1955, Yokoyama had a title serialized in the magazine Shōjo for the first time, "Shirayuri Koushinkyoku (白ゆり行進曲, White Lily March)".
In 1956, "Tetsujin 28-go" appeared serially in the shōnen magazine after he resigned from the movie company. "Tetsujin 28-go" became a popular work equal to Tezuka's Astro Boy and its animated adaptation also made a smashing success. This prompted Yokoyama to become a full-time manga artist and to move to Tokyo the same year.
In 1964, he established Hikari Production, an incorporated company. Making good use of his vast exposure to movies during his previous job, he produced consecutive popular hits in various genres, both in comics and anime, such as Iga no Kagemaru (伊賀の影丸, Kagemaru of Iga), Akakage, Sally the Witch, Giant Robo, Babel II and so on. With the writing of "Suikoden (水滸伝, Water Margin)" (1967–1971) and Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi (Records of Three Kingdoms) (1971–1986), he began a new chapter in his career as he drew mostly comics based on original stories with material from China's and Japan's History.
In July 1997, Yokoyama was hospitalized with myocardial infarction and had an operation. He returned to work in next year March.
In 2004, while under medical treatment, Yokoyama won the MEXT Prize of the Japan Cartoonist Association.
On the morning of April 15, 2004, Yokoyama suffered burns all over his body due to a fire breaking out in his house. His condition deteriorated and he fell in a coma. Yokoyama died in the hospital near his home at 10:00 P.M. on the same day, aged 69.
The attractions of Yokoyama's works are calculated story deployment and an elaborate setting. On the other hand, Yokoyama liked light characterizations and didn't let characters show their feelings too much. He was better at a serious story manga rather than with comedy, though he nonetheless drew comics in the latter genre.
While Tezuka established the technique to draw Japanese comics, it was Yokoyama who established the format of various genres of current Japanese comics and anime. Whereas many comic artists prefer their original stories not to be changed when adapted, Yokoyama was realistic and tolerant, so many of his works were made into animation or Tokusatsu.
- Tetsujin 28 & Giant Robo began the Mecha anime & manga genre.
- Iga no Kagemaru (伊賀の影丸, Kagemaru of Iga) & Kamen no Ninja Akakage are ninja manga which started a ninja boom. These comics present stories in which ninjas are endowed with superhuman fighting capabilities.
- Yami no Doki (闇の土鬼, Doki (soil ogre) of the darkness) is a Jidaigeki in which people of the real world appear.
- Sally the Witch, one of the first magical girl manga/anime & Princess Comet are shōjo manga.
- Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi is a historical story based on historical facts and historical novels.
- Babel II is a supernatural power science fiction comic.
Katsuhiro Otomo has cited Yokoyama as an influence and said his own series Akira has the "same overall plot" as Tetsujin 28-go. Additionally, some of its characters are also known as numbers 25, 26, 27 and 28 in homage to Tetsujin 28-go. Hirohiko Araki said that he was conscious of Yokoyama's hard-boiled style in that he sticks to suspense and describes hero characters drily. Araki also said that Jotaro Kujo wearing his school uniform in the desert has its roots in Yokoyama's Babel II, and that if he were to draw Stardust Crusaders over again, he would base the Stands on Tetsujin 28-go.
- "Fire kills Japanese manga artist". BBC. April 16, 2004. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- "List of recipients of the Japanese Cartoonist Association Awards" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
- "Katsuhiro Otomo On Creating 'Akira' And Designing The Coolest Bike In All Of Manga And Anime". Forbes. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
- Manga Meister vol.3 Archived 2009-08-17 at the Wayback Machine(in Japanese)
- Araki, Hirohiko (November 1, 2016). JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 3 Stardust Crusaders. 1. Viz Media. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-4215-9065-3.
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