|Born||February 11, 1969|
Niigata, Niigata, Japan
|Area(s)||Manga artist, Illustrator|
|Hikaru no Go, Death Note, Bakuman|
|Collaborators||Yumi Hotta, Tsugumi Ohba|
|Awards||Tezuka Award (1989), Shogakukan Manga Award (1999), Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (2003)|
Takeshi Obata (小畑 健 Obata Takeshi, born February 11, 1969) is a Japanese manga artist that usually works as the illustrator in collaboration with a writer. He first gained international attention for Hikaru no Go (1998–2003) with Yumi Hotta, but is better known for Death Note (2003–2006) and Bakuman (2008–2012) with Tsugumi Ohba. Obata has mentored several well-known manga artists, including Nobuhiro Watsuki of Rurouni Kenshin fame, Black Cat creator Kentaro Yabuki, and Eyeshield 21 artist Yusuke Murata.
Takeshi Obata chose to be a manga artist because he always loved drawing. As a child he re-read Shotaro Ishinomori's Cyborg 009 over and over. He originally became noticed in 1985 when he took a prize in the Tezuka Award for his one shot 500 Kōnen no Shinwa. Joining the Weekly Shōnen Jump staff, he mentored under Makoto Niwano before starting his first major series, writing and drawing Cyborg Jii-chan G in 1989. After this series, Obata began collaborating with other writers.
Karakurizōshi Ayatsuri Sakon, with author Sharakumaro, became his first work to be adapted into an anime. He then created Hikaru no Go with Yumi Hotta, which received the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1999 and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2003. With 25 million collected volumes in circulation, it was adapted into an anime and became his first work to be released in North America.
In 2003 he teamed up with Tsugumi Ohba to create Death Note. It became his biggest hit to date, with 30 million copies in circulation, an anime adaptation, five live-action films, two live-action TV drama and a musical. Obata served as the artist of Blue Dragon Ral Grad, a manga adaptation of the fantasy video game Blue Dragon, from December 2006 to July 2007.
In the fall of 2007, he drew the short story "Hello Baby" with writer Masanori Morita, which appeared in Jump Square. This was followed a year later by "Urōboe Uroboros!" with Nisio Isin, who authored the Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases novel.
He then reunited with Tsugumi Ohba for Bakuman., which ran from August 2008 to April 2012. It was Shueisha's first manga to be released online in multiple languages before becoming available in print outside Japan and had over 15 million copies in publication as of May 2014. In 2014, he drew a manga adaptation of All You Need Is Kill with Ryōsuke Takeuchi, basing the character designs on Yoshitoshi ABe's original cover to the novel. He reunited with Nisio Isin for the one-shot "RKD-EK9", that ran in the December 2014 issue of Jump SQ..
Obata followed this by working with Nobuaki Enoki to relaunch Enoki's Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement digital one-shot as a serial in the first issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump for 2015. However, the magazine stopped publishing it after the year's 24th issue and the series finished in the digital Shōnen Jump+ on May 27. It was serialized in English in the digital Weekly Shonen Jump.
In addition to his manga work, Obata has also done character design work for the video game Castlevania Judgment, as well as illustrating several light novels. He provided character designs for Madhouse's anime adaptations of Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human and Natsume Sōseki's Kokoro, which are parts of the Aoi Bungaku series. He also designed a new CGI character for the 2016 Death Note: Light Up the New World live-action film. On May 3, 2016, Viz Media published Obata's 2006 art book Blanc et Noir in North America.
On September 6, 2006, Obata was arrested for illegal possession of an 8.6 cm knife when he was pulled over in Musashino, Tokyo for driving with his car's headlights off at 12:30am. The artist claimed he kept the knife in his car for when he goes camping.
- "500 Kōnen no Shinwa" (500光年の神話) (1985)
- Cyborg Jii-chan G (CYBORGじいちゃんG（サイボーグじいちゃんジー）) (1989)
- Arabian Lamp Lamp (魔神冒険譚(アラビアン)ランプ・ランプ) with Susumu Sendo (1991–1992)
- Chikarabito Densetsu -Oni o Tsugu Mono- (力人伝説 -鬼を継ぐもの-) with Masaru Miyazaki (1992–1993)
- Karakurizōshi Ayatsuri Sakon (人形(からくり)草紙あやつり左近) with Sharakumaro (1995–1996)
- Hikaru no Go (ヒカルの碁) with Yumi Hotta and supervised by Yukari Yoshihara (1998–2003)
- "Hajime" (はじめ) with Otsuichi (2003)
- Death Note with Tsugumi Ohba (2003–2006)
- Ral Grad (BLUE DRAGON ラルΩグラド) with Tsuneo Takano (2006–2007)
- "Hello Baby" with Masanori Morita (2007)
- "Uro-oboe Uroboros!" (うろおぼえウロボロス!) with Nisio Isin (2008)
- Bakuman (バクマン。) with Tsugumi Ohba (2008–2012)
- All You Need Is Kill with Ryōsuke Takeuchi (2014)
- "RKD-EK9" with Nisio Isin (2014)
- Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement (学糾法廷 Gakkyū Hōtei, "School Investigation Court") with Nobuaki Enoki (2014–2015)
- Platinum End (プラチナエンド) with Tsugumi Ohba (2015–present)
- Aya - Hikaru no Go Illustration Collection (彩―ヒカルの碁イラスト集) (April 2002)
- Blanc et Noir (May 31, 2006)
- Eiga Bakuman. Takeshi Obata Illustration Works (映画バクマン。 小畑健イラストワークス) (October 2, 2015)
Awards and nominations
- 1985 Tezuka Award for "500 Kōnen no Shinwa"
- 2000 Shogakukan Manga Award for Hikaru no Go
- 2003 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Creative Award for Hikaru no Go
- 2007 Nominated - Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Grand Prize for Death Note
- 2008 Nominated - Angoulême International Comics Festival Official Selection for Death Note
- 2008 Nominated - Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker for Death Note
- 2008 Eagle Award for Favourite Manga for Death Note
- 2010 Nominated - Manga Taishō for Bakuman.
- "Interview - Takeshi Obata". Viz Media. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- 手塚賞・赤塚賞 歴代受賞者リスト (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 25, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2008.
- 小学館漫画賞：歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
- ほったゆみ ： 「ヒカルの碁」原作者が8年ぶり新作「はじマン」連載 自らマンガ執筆. Mainichi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). May 16, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- DEATH NOTE ： 日テレで今夏連ドラ化決定 ニアも登場. Mainichi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Eyeshield 21's Murata to Do 1-Shot Window Washer Manga". Anime News Network. January 29, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Death Note Artist, Novelist Team Up on Urōboe Uroboros". Anime News Network. December 27, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Death Note Team's Bakuman Manga Posted in 4 Languages". Anime News Network. August 19, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Kenshin's Takeru Satoh & Ryunosuke Kamiki Star in Live-Action Bakuman Film". Anime News Network. May 6, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Death Note's Obata Adapts All You Need Is Kill Novel Into Manga". Anime News Network. November 30, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Death Note's Obata, Monogatari's NisiOisin, Rosario + Vampire's Ikeda Make 2 One-Shot Manga Together". Anime News Network. September 30, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Death Note's Obata to Relaunch Gakkyū Hōtei Grade-School Legal Manga". Anime News Network. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- "Gakkyu Hotei, Cyborg Roggy Manga End in Shonen Jump on Monday". Anime News Network. May 7, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- "Shonen Jump+ Publishes Final Chapter of Gakkyu Hotei Manga". Anime News Network. May 28, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- "Gakkyu Hotei Joins Viz's Shonen Jump as Weekly Series". Anime News Network. December 15, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- "Bakuman, Death Note Creators Launch Platinum End Manga". Anime News Network. September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Death Note's Obata to Work on Next Castlevania Game". Anime News Network. July 2, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Madhouse's Aoi Bungaku Posts Staff, Cast Lineup". Anime News Network. September 22, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "2016 Death Note Casts Miyuki Sawashiro as New Shinigami". Anime News Network. September 12, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "VIZ Media to Release Limited Edition Art Book Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations". Anime News Network. April 14, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- "Death Note Author Arrested on Weapons Offence". Comipress. September 6, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Death Note Creator Arrested for Possessing a Knife". Anime News Network. September 7, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "11th Annual Tezuka Cultural Prize Winners Announced". Anime News Network. December 27, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Manga Nominated for Awards at Angouleme Festival". Anime News Network. January 22, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Manga Listed Among Eisner Award Nominees for 2008". Anime News Network. April 14, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "UK Fans Give Eagle Award to Death Note Manga". Anime News Network. May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "10 Titles Nominated for 3rd Manga Taisho Awards". Anime News Network. January 18, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2014.