Keiko Nobumoto bequeathed a humanist legacy

Keiko Nobumoto

Keiko Nobumoto, the famed Anime screenwriter, passed away on December 1, 2021, at the age of 57. Like most of the characters she created, it isn’t easy to trace back to her personality, which most signified her epic life.

Like her multifaceted character, she created a number of hit titles, including penning the screenplay of Macross Plus, Tokyo Godfathers, Cowboy Bebop, and Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. She also penned scripts for other works like Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy, and Carole and Tuesday. However she is most widely known for her original creation the series Wolf’s Rain.

Keiko Nobumoto made the unbelievable perfectly normal

She learned the finer aspects of the trade while graduating from Takao Koyama’s Anime Scenario House from Time Bokan and Dragon Ball Z luminary. Here, Koyama developed her unique style of making seemingly utopian situations perfectly achievable and normal by deep characterization and dialogue. She penned the most bizarre and unimaginable scenarios but always made them believable by planting real-life human characters.

An example is 1994’s Macross Plus, which collaborates with Shinichiro Watanabe. She completely changed the storyline, which metamorphosed into a “mecha meets idol” series with an anti-capitalist streak and a feminist twinge. Her Macross was overtly feminist and negated how capitalism treats women as a commodity and men fight and kill in their name during wartime.

It took half a decade for Watanabe and Nobumoto’s next collaboration, Cowboy Bebop to materialize. However, things were not very rosy, and the project, which was thought to lack market appeal, languished in development. Nobumoto then wrote Those Were the Days (Hakusen Nagashi). It was a romantic drama that revolved around two erstwhile Hokkaido teenagers. It was trendy and spawned several television series.

A beacon that guided everyone

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Nobumoto created a separate niche for herself in anime, film, gaming, and being a prolific writer. Her work area was very diverse, but she excelled in every field and became a path breaker in her own right. She was a beacon which guided all the others involved with the production and helped bring her world and characters to life.

There will never be another like Keiko Nobumoto. However, her memory is cherished by all who had a chance to work with her.