Manga Creator Kenichirō Takai Passes Away

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Pro Golfer Oribe Kinjirō artist also worked as assistant to Osamu Tezuka, Fujio Akatsuka

Manga creator Kenichirō Takai passed away from pneumonia in a hospital in Tokyo on Monday. He was 79.

Takai debuted as a manga creator in 1956 with the manga Riko-chan in the magazine Shōjo. He worked as an assistant to both Fujio Akatsuka and Osamu Tezuka.

Takai drew the art for the ongoing Sōmubi Sōmuka Yamaguchi Roppeita (Roppeita Yamaguchi of the General Affairs Division, General Affairs Section) manga alongside writer Norio Hayashi. The manga launched in Shogakukan Big Comic magazine in 1986, and Shueisha published the manga's 79th volume (pictured at right) on June 30. Shueisha will publish the 80th volume on November 30. The manga inspired a live-action drama in 1988, and a promotional anime on DVD in 2007.

Takai also drew the art for the six-volume Pro Golfer Oribe Kinjirō manga series with writer Tetsuya Takeda. The manga ran in Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior magazine in the 1990s, and inspired a series of live-action films.

As an assistant to Osomatsu-kun and Akko-chan manga creator Fujio Akatsuka, Takai helped him to create many iconic characters for Osomatsu-kun, such as Chibita and Iyami.

Manga creator Masaharu Nabeshima stated on his Facebook page on Monday that Takai was working on storyboards of manga up until three days ago, adding "he was a cool old man until the end." Takai and Nabeshima attended the same high school in Nagasaki.

Sources: The Asahi Shimbun, Sports Nippon via Hachima Kikō

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