Another manga legend is no longer with us, as news surfaces about the passing of Fujiko A. Fujio, co-creator of Doraemon as well as creator of hit manga such as The Laughing Salesman, Ninja Hattori-kun and Obake Q-Tarou. Fujiko A. Fujio, whose real name is Motoo Abiko, passed away in his Kawasaki City home on April 7 at the age of 88.
Abiko was one half of manga duo Fujiko Fujio, famed for creating Doraemon and known as a revered manga icon. He met his creative partner—the late Hiroshi Fujimoto, AKA Fujiko F. Fujio, who passed away in 1996—in elementary school and the two went on to bond over their passion for drawing and one of their greatest influences, Osamu Tezuka.
Tezuka would go on to mentor the duo and even offer them his old room when they moved to Tokyo to pursue careers as professional manga artists. Their first major serialized work, Umi no Ouji, made its debut in the then-new Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in 1959, and Shogakukan would go on to publish many of their famous works, from The Laughing Salesman to the iconic Doraemon.
Beyond creating manga, Fujiko Fujio opened Studio Zero in 1963 and saw great success in working with the likes of Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori, Osomatsu-kun creator Fujio Akatsuka and more. At Zero they helped animate the work of Tezuka, including Astro Boy, and would go on to produce the first adaptation of Osomatsu-kun and other projects, including work on Moomin and the original Doraemon anime adaptation.
Our thoughts go out to the friends, family, colleagues and fans of Motoo Abiko, AKA Fujiko A. Fujio. He will be missed.