It was announced on Monday that manga author and illustrator George Akiyama
, known for his works such as Asura
, died on May 12. According to Shogakukan, he was continuing his work as a manga artist and had planned his next work before his death. Akiyama's cause of death was not disclosed, and his farewell ceremony was done by his relatives. He was 77 years old.
Born in Tokyo on April 27, 1943, Akiyama grew up in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, only to return to Tokyo after quitting high school to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist. He worked as an assistant for a year and a half under Kenji Morita
before publishing his debut manga Gaikotsu-kun
under Kodansha's monthly Bessatsu Shounen Magazine
In 1970, Akiyama began the weekly serialization of the controversial dark manga Asura
that sparked public attention. The first chapter published in Weekly Shounen Magazine
was banned in several regions in Japan due to the unsettling events such as cannibalism from starvation. Nevertheless, during the turmoil, Akiyama continued with Kokuhaku
where the main character makes a weekly confession, one which included confessing himself as a murderer—only to be countered as a lie the following week.
His longest-running work, Haguregumo
, spanned for 112 volumes from 1973 to 2017. The award-winning historical manga spawned an anime movie
in 1982 by Madhouse
and Toei Animation