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Yamato Co-creator Nishizaki passes away

Date: 2010 November 07 20:09

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Legendary animation producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki passes away after boating accident.

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Space Battleship Yamato co-creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki passed away November 7, in what the local authorities are describing as a fall from a boat off the Ogasawara Islands. He was 75.

Nishizaki was the creator of Uchuu Senkan Yamato (Space Battleship Yamato), Odin - Starlight Mutiny and Thundersub. He was also the executive producer for the horror/hentai OAV Urotsukidoji or Legend of the Overfiend as it is known by Western audiences.

Yamato is considered, along with Mobile Suit Gundam, to be one of the tent-pole animated shows introduced to Japanese audiences and spawned numerous series, spinoffs and theatrical animated films.

When Space Battleship Yamato was brought to the United States in 1979, it was adapted by American producers and retitled Starblazers and enjoyed great popularity and it is considered one of the important examples of anime reaching English speaking audiences from the 1970's. Even today, both versions of the show enjoy their own equal fans around the world.

No stranger to controversy, Nishizaki was involved in run-ins with the Japanese legal system, involving possession of guns, narcotics and ammunition. In 2003, he was imprisoned for a possession of firearms charge and was released in 2007. On the other side of the legal system he was involved in a rights issue case about Yamato involving himself, co-creator Leiji Matsumoto and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation for the rights to produce more Yamato material.

After his 2007 release he began planning a new Yamato feature film, Rebirth Yamato, which was released in 2009. A live-action Yamato feature is scheduled to be premièred in both Japan and America in December, however Nishizaki was not involved with this project.

Source: Asahi
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