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Cowboy Bebop Writer Keiko Nobumoto Passes Away At 57

The writer behind Cowboy Bebop and Wolf's Rain, Keiko Nobumoto, passed away from esophageal cancer at the age of 57 on December 1, 2021. The announcement of her death was made by her longstanding colleagues Dai Sato and Shinichiro Watanabe. Sato was apparently given the news from Watanabe who had previously been contacted by the Nobumoto family after a memorial service had been held on December 4. Sato called Nobumoto "the person who guided me like a master."

Nobumoto was born on March 13, 1964 in Asahikawa on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. She worked as a nurse for several years before becoming a secretary at an animation studio. Nobumoto started her writing career after winning the Fuji Television Young Screenplay Prize in 1989. Her work around this time includes Tobé! Kujira No Peek, World Apartment Horror, and Hiroshima Ni Ichiban Densha Ga Hashita.

Nobumoto started working with Watanabe on Macross Plus in 1994. The two would work together on several projects over the course of the following decades. Nobumoto was most notably in charge of series composition under Watanabe during the production of Cowboy Bebop in 1998. She wrote nine episodes for the series including Asteroid Blues, My Funny Valentine, Jupiter Jazz, and The Real Folk Blues. Cowboy Bebop was also the first time that she worked with Sato.

Wolf's Rain was created by Nobumoto in 2003. She wrote nine episodes for the show alongside Sato who wrote seven episodes. Nobumoto collaborated with Satoshi Kon during the production of Tokyo Godfathers at this time. She also supervised the writing for Kingdom Hearts in 2002 and received special thanks for her work on Kingdom Hearts II a couple of years later.

Nobumoto continued to work with Sato and Watanabe, producing Samurai Champloo in 2004. She took a break from writing for a while before working with them again on Space Dandy in 2014. Her last project was Carole & Tuesday which was released in 2019.

Nobumoto retired to her home in Hokkaido after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2020. She finally succumbed to the disease following a long battle in 2021.

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