Art/Roots Ashtray Chat

Yoshinobu Nishizaki, 1934—2010

photo (altered) from

From SFsite, almost verbatim: “Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki (b. Hirofumi Nishizaki, 1934) died on November 7 after falling overboard off the coast of Chichijima Island. Nishizaki wrote and produced the anime series Space Battleship Yamato among others. He was wearing a wetsuit and was believed to be planning on going for a swim at the time of his accident.”

In broken google translation, from “…the anime “Space Battleship Yamato” Exhibition Nishizaki Yoshi producer (Yoshi Nobu-Aya Hiroshi real name)… was found dead. [break] According to the police, Nishisaki’s wearing a wet suit is to try to swim 過Tsu fell from the ship, believed to be drowned. Name of the ship were on board the ship is Nishisaki’s “YAMATO”. The ship has nine people on board, at a distance of about 250 meters from the shore of the harbor, it was just a few people tried to swim. [break] Hashi Nishizaki’s music and video production company established in 1972 and 1974 anime “Space Battleship Yamato” manufactured. Theatrical movie version became a big hit, it was a social phenomenon. The sequel to last year’s animated movie “Space battleship Yamato revival” manufactured. Live action film released in December and the “SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO” is also named as the author.”

In semi-filtered nihon-go-draxian: “Nanda?! (What the—?!) Kuso… (Shit…) and Saraba (Goodbye).”

(A fairly coherent obit from Variety can be found here.)


If Leiji Matsumoto was (and remains) John Lennon, then Yoshinobu Nishizaki—Nish—was (and always will be) Paul McCartney.

Matsumoto was the crazy pumping heart of Yamato. Nishizaki was both the hands and the head. Nish was the “brains,” the “bank,” the greed. Oh, I called him worse words than that in the thirty goddamn years since I first laid eyes on fucking starblazers on American television in the fall of 1979 on WSBK TV-38 Boston, I called Nishizaki a “drug fiend” and “gun runner,” I called him a “heartless, opportunistic creep,” and a “pornographer.” I didn’t even have to get creative, half of those descriptors are on Nish’s unofficial CV, the rest are on his criminal record. I don’t know what they called Nish during his time in prison. I imagine very un-nice words. I don’t know and I don’t care. Half of the creative force behind the work of “art” that probably ended up influencing me more than any other has shuffled out of here for greener glades and bluer skies, and while I can’t in all seriousness lay claim to heartache or fucked-up-ness about it, I will be damned if I don’t STOP EVERYTHING and pay meager, pathetic tribute. I wouldn’t be the writer, the amateur historian, the Japanophile, the designer, the animation buff, the so so so many things I am today without Space goddamn Battleship Yamato crossing the hiccuping blip of my life. Yoshinobu Nishizaki made that damn cartoon happen. And now he’s elsewhere. Insert DEAD joke here.

Saraba, Nish. At least you completed and released the Rebirth Chapter. At least all the obits are full of Yamato and not the stupid shit. At least you lived to see the imminent release of the live action film next month. At least, as of this writing, 48 hours after your death, Matsumoto’s still so fucked up about it he hasn’t even released a statement yet. At least. And after a quick check to confirm—yeah. Yes, Nish, you did pen the little epitaph that first appeared at the end of Saraba Yamato:


This is a story of young astronaut soldiers

struggling for love, peace, and coexistence.

They lived together, laughed together, and fought together.

The heroic figure of Space Battleship Yamato

will live in the hearts of people forever.

Yamato Rises by Hiroshi Miyagawa

•  •  •

11/11/10, Edited to Add: LINKS. Half-decent tributes as they appear.

Patrick Macias: Farewell to Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Tomino Dishes on The Nish
More (actually, an earlier tribute) from Patrick Macias: Otaku USA Says Farewell

This looks like a motherload of good shit. [podcast] The Anime 3000 Yamato Retrospective

Yoshinobu Nishizaki: In Memoriam by Tim Eldred


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