Mangaka Buichi Terasawa, father of Cobra, dies

By Le Figaro with AFP


Visitors p in front of a large poster of the manga comic series “Cobra the Space Pirate” by Buichi Terasawa during the Japan Expo 2018 exhibition, July 5, 2018 in Villepinte. THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

A fan of Belmondo, he was inspired by the French actor to create his space adventurer character, adapted into a cartoon and an animated film.

Japanese mangaka Buichi Terasawa, known in particular for his science fiction work Cobra and for being a pioneer of manga creation on computer, died at age 68 of a myocardial infarction, his studio announced Monday, September 11. “Despite three operations for brain tumors, Buichi Terasawa had survived with the same vitality as Cobra himself, but this time he must have been taken by surprise», Wrote his company Terasawa Production on the social network X (formerly Twitter), specifying that his death occurred last Friday.

Born in 1955 on the northern island of Hokkaido, Buichi Terasawa first tried his hand at shojo manga, aimed at girls and teenagers, before going to Tokyo in 1976 to study with Osamu Tezuka, considered the father modern manga. It was from 1978 that his best-known work began to appear in the weekly Shonen Jump: Cobrafeaturing a space adventurer whose left arm conceals a rifle, the “psychogun”.

Pionate about cinema, Terasawa gives his hero scouring the galaxy the features of the French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo that he discovered in the film Breathless (1959), and whose cheeky and casual side he admires. This manga will sell some 50 million copies worldwide according to the specialized site Mangazenkan, and will be adapted into a cartoon (broadcast notably in France from 1985) and into an animated film. At the beginning of the 1980s, the mangaka began to create works on computers: he notably published The Black Knight B.A.T. (1985), then in 1992 Takeruconsidered the world’s first manga produced entirely on a computer.

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