Fukumoto at Desucon 2010 in Finland
|Other names||Fukumoto Tobi (ふくもと飛火)|
|Known for||Akagi, Gin to Kin, Kaiji, Ten, The Legend of the Strongest, Kurosawa!|
Nobuyuki Fukumoto (福本 伸行, Fukumoto Nobuyuki, born December 10, 1958) is a Japanese manga artist well known for his unique and original gambling ideas, deep psychological analyses of characters, and distinct artstyle. Yakuza and gambling are recurring themes in his manga. In English-speaking countries, he is known best as the author of Akagi, a mahjong-related manga. In 1998, he won the Kodansha Manga Award for Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji. An onomatopoeia "zawa" (ざわ…), meaning an uneasy atmosphere, appears frequently in his comics and is considered Fukumoto's trademark.
Fukumoto was born in Kanagawa Prefecture and grew up reading Perman and other shōnen manga as a child, as well as studying karate and kickboxing due to wanting to get stronger. In high school, he went on to study architecture and got a job as a site foreman at a construction company after graduating, but found the work boring and decided to become a manga artist to try and get a big break in life. During this time, when he pitched a kendo manga to Kodansha, he was advised to work as an assistant to gain some experience first. He began working under Eiji Kazama (かざま 鋭二, Kazama Eiji), who was looking for assistants at the time, and quit the construction company after only 3 months of employment, with the reasoning that if he worked there long enough and obtained qualifications, he would not be able to quit. Despite being hired as an assistant, he was unable to draw skillfully, and was assigned solely to work odd jobs such as cooking. As a result, Fukumoto quit his job as an assistant after about a year and a half.
In 1980, he made his debut with Yoroshiku! Junjō Daishō, published in Monthly Shōnen Champion. Since then, his work had not achieved large-scale success for a while, so he worked part-time at places like champon restaurants to earn a living while submitting his entries to Tetsuya Chiba Awards in the meantime. In 1983, his work Wani no Hatsukoi won the Outstanding Newcomer Award at the Tetsuya Chiba Awards. Despite having a good part-time job and earning a good amount of money, he chose to make do with manga alone, and quit at 24 years old. One of the pseudonyms he used at the time was Fukumoto Tobi (ふくもと飛火).
During his debut, he mainly drew human drama stories, but in the 1980s, the Japanese economy was booming and gambling-themed manga was thriving, so he began drawing gambling manga because it was easier to get work in that field. At the end of the 1980s, his mahjong gambling manga Ten began serialization in Kindai Mahjong Gold. It became Fukumoto's first popular work and established him as a well-known manga artist.
In 1996, Fukumoto began serializing Kaiji in Weekly Young Magazine. The series has become a hit, publishing over 70 volumes and selling over 20 million copies, sealing his popularity as a manga artist.
Fukumoto donated 30 million yen to the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011, and has contributed a supportive illustration. He has also visited the affected areas to sign and draw illustrations for the victims.
- Mahjong Graffiti (麻雀グラフィティ, Mājan Gurafiti)
- I'm a Man (俺は男だ, Ore wa Otoko da)
- Way of Men (男の風, Otoko no Kaze) (1977) - Maiden work
- Nice to Meet You! The Pure-Hearted Fellow (よろしく！純情大将, Yoroshiku! Junjō Daishō) (1980, Monthly Shōnen Champion) - Debut
- Go for Broke! (当たってくだけろ！, Atatte Kudakero!) (1980, Monthly Shōnen Champion)
- Amari: Working in the Springtime of Life (青春バイト時代あまりちゃん, Seishun Baito Jidai Amari-chan) (1980, Monthly Shōnen Champion) - First serial story
- Hopeless Katchan's Love Story (いけないかっちゃん ラブストーリー, Ikenai Katchan Rabu Sutōrī) (1982)
- Wani's First Love (ワニの初恋, Wani no Hatsukoi) (1983, Morning)
- When I Look Up, I See Tsūtenkaku (見上げれば通天閣, Miagereba Tsūtenkaku) (1986, Manga Action)
- You're on Fire, Pen (熱いぜ辺ちゃん, Atsui ze Pen-chan) (1986-1995, Kindai Mahjong Original)
- Welcome to Harukaze (春風にようこそ, Harukaze ni Yōkoso) (1987-1988, Tokusen Mahjong)
- Ten: The Nice Guy on the Path of Tenhō (天－天和通りの快男児, Ten - Tenhō-dōri no Kaidanji) (1989–2002, Kindai Mahjong Gold)
- The Lesser Emperor (銀ヤンマ, Ginyanma) (1990, Gekiga Mahjong Jidai)
- You're on Fire, Tenma! (熱いぜ天馬！, Atsui ze Tenma!) (1990, Weekly Shōnen Magazine)
- Tetsu: The Defiant Wind (無頼な風 鉄, Burai na Kaze Tetsu) (1990–1991, Keiba Gold)
- Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into the Darkness (アカギ－闇に降り立った天才, Akagi - Yami ni Oritatta Tensai) (1991–2018, Kindai Mahjong)
- Silver and Gold (銀と金, Gin to Kin) (1992–1996, Action Pizazz)
- The Man of Truth: Lucky Day Shintarou (真実の男 大安吉日真太郎, Shinjitsu no Otoko Taiankichinichi Shintarō) (1996, Weekly Manga Sunday)
- Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ, Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji) (1996–1999, Weekly Young Magazine)
- Gambling Apostasy Kaiji (賭博破戒録カイジ, Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji) (2000–2004, Weekly Young Magazine)
- Gambling Advent Kaiji (賭博堕天録カイジ, Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji) (2004–2007, Weekly Young Magazine)
- Gambling Advent Kaiji: Kazuya Arc (賭博堕天録カイジ 和也編, Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji Kazuya-hen) (2009–2012, Weekly Young Magazine)
- Gambling Advent Kaiji: One Poker Arc (賭博堕天録カイジ ワン・ポーカー編, Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji Wan Pōkā-hen) (2013–2017, Weekly Young Magazine)
- Gambling Advent Kaiji: 2.4 Billion Escape Arc (賭博堕天録カイジ 24億脱出編, Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji 27-Oku Dasshutsu-hen) (2017–present, Weekly Young Magazine)
- RUDE 39 (RUDE（あくたれ）39, Akutare 39) (1999, Pachinko Jidai)
- Outcast Legend Gai (無頼伝 涯, Buraiden Gai) (2000-2001, Weekly Shōnen Magazine)
- The Legend of the Strongest, Kurosawa! (最強伝説 黒沢, Saikyō Densetsu Kurosawa) (2002–2006, Big Comic Original)
- New Kurosawa: Strongest Legend (新黒沢 最強伝説, Shin Kurosawa Saikyō Densetsu) (2013–2020, Big Comic Original)
- Gambling Emperor Legend Zero (賭博覇王伝 零, Tobaku Haōden Zero) (2007–2009, Weekly Shōnen Magazine)
- Gambling Emperor Legend Zero: Gambling Spirit Arc (賭博覇王伝 零 ギャン鬼編, Tobaku Haōden Zero Gyanki-hen) (2011–2013, Weekly Shōnen Magazine)
- Yami-Mahjong Fighter: Mamiya (闇麻のマミヤ, Yamima no Mamiya) (2019–present, Kindai Mahjong)
- LifE (生存 LifE, Seizon LifE) (1999, Young Magazine Uppers) - Illustrated by Kaiji Kawaguchi
- Confession (告白 CONFESSION, Kokuhaku CONFESSION) (2001, Young Magazine Uppers) - Illustrated by Kaiji Kawaguchi
- Kaiji 2 (カイジ2 人生奪回ゲーム, Kaiji 2 Jinsei Dakkai Gēmu, lit. Kaiji 2: Life Recovery Game) (2011, theatrical film) - Screenplay
- Kaiji: Final Game (カイジ ファイナルゲーム, Kaiji Fainaru Gēmu) (2020, theatrical film) - Screenplay
- Washizu: World of Mahjong Hell (ワシズ 閻魔の闘牌, Washizu Enma no Tōhai) (2008–2012, Kindai Mahjong Original) - Written by Keiichirō Hara, spin-off of Akagi
- Washizu: The Mahjong That Ruled a Nation (ワシズ 天下創世闘牌録, Washizu Tenka Sōsei Tōhairoku) (2012–2014, Kindai Mahjong Original → Kindai Manga) - Written by Keiichirō Hara
- HERO: A Man Who Carries On Akagi's Legacy (HERO アカギの遺志を継ぐ男, HERO Akagi no Ishi o Tsugu Otoko) (2009–present, Kindai Mahjong) - Written by Jirō Maeda, spin-off of Ten
- Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues (中間管理録トネガワ, Chūkan Kanriroku Tonegawa) (2015–2020, Monthly Young Magazine → Comic Days) - Written by Tensei Hagiwara, illustrated by Tomohiro Hashimoto and Tomoki Miyoshi, spin-off of Kaiji
- One Day Outing Foreman (1日外出録ハンチョウ, 1-nichi Gaishutsuroku Hanchō) (2017–present, Weekly Young Magazine) - Written by Tensei Hagiwara, illustrated by Motomu Uehara and Kazuya Arai
- Toughest Legend Nakane (最強伝説 仲根, Saitsuyo Densetsu Nakane) (2017–2018, Yawaraka Spirits) - Written by Kenji Yokoi, illustrated by Motomu Uehara and Kazuya Arai, spin-off of The Legend of the Strongest, Kurosawa!
- Akagi "Zawa..." "Zawa..." Anthology (アカギ ざわ・・ざわ・・アンソロジー, Akagi Zawa... Zawa... Ansorojī) (2011, Takeshobo)
- Do You Know the Real Dangers of Those So-Called Legal Drugs That are Being Sold? (合法といって売られている薬物の、本当の怖さを知っていますか？, Gōhō to Itte Urareteiru Yakubutsu no, Hontō no Kowasa o Shitteimasu ka?) (2014, Government Public Relations Online)
- Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (山田くんと７人の魔女, Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo) (2015) - End card (ep 4)
- Made in Abyss (メイドインアビス, Meido in Abisu) (2017) - End card (ep 9)
- Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- Toole, Michael (October 6, 2013). "Tiles Against Humanity - The Mike Toole Show". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- 福本伸行、被災者に3000万円を寄付「絶対に負けないっ!!」 - コミックナタリー・2011年4月1日
- "福本伸行のプロフィール" (in Japanese). Oricon News. Retrieved December 9, 2018.