Another Top 7 list! Woo! Now, I think it’s somewhat common knowledge that I like Yoshitoshi ABe’s works as an artist and even as an anime creator. I’ve covered so many things from him and most of the things I reviewed that ABe was involved with got positive reviews including two 10/10s with Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze which are his best works in my opinion. I thought I would do something fun by mentioning some random facts about this auteur or about his works.
7: Why the random capitalization in his name?
I’m sure lots of people have thought about why he spells his name in romaji even in the original Japanese works he’s involved in or why he randomly capitalizes the “B” in “ABe”. Yes, his real name is Yoshitoshi Abe, but the thing is his original pseudonym was AB. He decided to have his name written in English while combining his original pen name into his last name which is why that “B” is capitalized in his last name.
6: He was the cover artist in the original Welcome to the NHK novels.
Fans of this anime/manga series might know about this, but this fact is still good to know. This psychological drama/dark comedy used ABe’s talents for the cover illustrations in this project involving a paranoid hikkikomori main character. The art style certainly looks different than the anime, but he did have some involvement with the original IP.
5: That surreal moment when you realize that Hikari from Haibane Renmei is Rukia from Bleach in the Japanese version…
Isn’t this wild? If you’ve seen both series, you would never tell that both characters are played by the same person. Fumiko Orikasa certainly has range as a voice actress whether she uses a girly soprano voice in playing that nerdy Haibane or a tougher tomboyish alto with this Soul Reaper. I’m telling you, it’s quite intriguing how voice acting works, right?
What would that be, you may ask? The thing is Yoshitoshi ABe was born in the Meguro neighborhood in Tokyo which is also the same area where Pac-Man’s creator Toru Iwatani, so one can say both were born in the same place. Iwatani has also created the racing game Pole Position.
I’m not even making this up. When Yoshitoshi ABe was starting out in the art world, he got a bunch of spraypaint to work on various walls when he was a teen. However, he couldn’t continue in that field for obvious legal reasons, but it still had an impact on this artist. The graffiti style had an influence for darker environments, his own character designs, and how there’s a urban feel for most of his works (most prominently in Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, and RErideD from a background standpoint). I also have theories about how this may or may not have directly been an author avatar moment with Reki from Haibane Renmei since she’s an artist herself. Think about it.
2: Tom Cruise was actually involved in an ABe work
I can’t make this up to save my life, but this actually happened. Tom Cruise, one of the most famous actors in the world got to act in something ABe helped create. What movie would that be? Edge of Tomorrow! For those of you that don’t know, that’s actually an American adaptation of a manga series ABe co-created/illustrated called All You Need Is Kill. Yes, the same guy you know from Top Gun, the Mission: Impossible series, or even Tropic Thunder of all movies got to be a part of something that an avant-garde anime/manga auteur put into fruition even if it was an adaptation.
1: ABe can sketch using only one finger on an iPad.
I can barely draw with one hand whether on paper or on a tablet. I am certainly not as talented as Yoshitoshi ABe in that regard. It was already impressive enough that he can make final drafts without using a straight edge, but this takes his artistic prowess to a whole other level. Definitely check that video out if you have time.
So what do you think? Any other ABe facts you can think of? What’s you favorite work of his?
All photos and videos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.
The image of Yoshitoshi ABe is from wikiwand.
Welcome to the NHK is property of Tokyopop and is from Amazon.
Haibane Renmei is property of Funimation and the image of Hikari is from My Anime List.
Bleach is property of Viz and the image of Rukia is from Pinterest.
Pac-Man is property of Bandai Namco and the image is from Menkind.
The graffiti picture is from Street Art NYC.
The image of Tom Cruise is from Tom Cruise’s Twitter page.