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The beloved artist, whose real name was Motoo Abiko, was 88 years old.
He was known best for creating Doraemon, which was brought to life with his high school friend Hiroshi Fujimoto. They started a partnership in 1951 and produced works under the pen name ‘Fujiko Fujio’.
The pair worked on the classic manga which ran from 1969 to 1996. While the popular series was ongoing in 1987, the pair decided to go their own ways. Then, in the same year the last volume of the manga was published, Fujimoto passed away following a battle with liver cancer.
A total of 45 tankobon manga volumes were released over the course of its run, with more than 1,345 chapters being published.
By 2019, more than 250 million copies of the manga were in circulation, making Doraemon one of the biggest series in the entire manga industry’s history.
Titles like Ninja Hattori-kun, Kaibutsu-kun, Pro Golfer Haru, and more, are just some classics that got their own anime adaptations decades ago.
Apart from funny series with quirky characters, Abiko also created darker manga works like Warau Salesman, which means the laughing salesman.
While new anime fans may not be as familiar with the creator, Abiko and his art defined older generations of manga lovers.
In 2008, the artist was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette — a national decoration awarded by the Japanese government — for his achievements in the field.
Emergency services were called from the artist’s home but when help arrived he was already unresponsive, reported TBS.
Abiko was pronounced dead at the scene.
No significant injuries were found on his body, but police are still investigating the cause of death.