“Yamato” Anime Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki Passes Away While on a Ship Called “Yamato”

The news from ANN:

The Coast Guard at the Ogasawara Islands report that Space Battleship Yamato producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki passed away due to a fall from a boat at around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday. He was 75.

Nishizaki was aboard the 485-ton research steamboat Yamato, which was anchored in Futami Harbor’s Ogiura area at the Chichi-jima island in the Ogasawara Islands (Bonin Islands). After the Yamato sent out a distress call, the Coast Guard ship Southern Cross brought Nishizaki into its onboard hospital about 15 minutes later. He was pronounced dead about two hours and 15 minutes after the fall.

Mike’s comment: I admit when I first saw the original headline “Yamato Anime Producer Passes Away,” I thought it was Leiji Matsumoto, that old nationalist and the original creator of Space Battleship Yamato, who had died. Apparently Nishizaki and Matsumoto had a falling out and even legal troubles in the past. He has been trying to continue the franchise in one way or another since then, over and against the objections of Matsumoto. He also has a bit of a colorful history of his own, having bankrupted a company and jailed twice on drug and firearms charges. This is no ordinary anime creator or moneyman producer! He could have been the head of a hip hop record label or something.

So if there is any better way to go for the producer of Space Battleship Yamato, I can’t think of one: doing what you love on a research ship named after a show you produced named after a historical battleship. It’s almost like a microcosm of Japan’s development in the past 70 years.

RIP, Nishizaki-san.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.