Keiko Nobumoto, Writer For Cowboy Bebop And Tokyo Godfathers, Dies At 57

Keiko Nobumoto, Writer For Cowboy Bebop And Tokyo Godfathers, Dies At 57
Image: Sunrise / Kotaku / Roy Rochlin, Getty Images

Keiko Nobumoto, the acclaimed writer behind Cowboy Bebop, Tokyo Godfathers, and Macross Plus, passed away on December 1 after a battle with esophageal cancer. The news of her passing was confirmed by fellow anime writer Dai Sato on Facebook. A private funeral service was held for her on December 4. She was 57.

If you’re a fan of a certain style of hip, worldly anime from the last few decades, chances are you’re already well familiar with Nobumoto’s work. Her storied career is rife with highlights. She wrote the cult anime series Cowboy Bebop along with its big-screen adaptation Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

She was also the original creator of the wildly popular TV/OAV series Wolf’s Rain and its manga adaptation. She collaborated with legendary anime director Satoshi Kon in writing Tokyo Godfathers, wrote a little-known indie thing called Macross Plus, and contributed scripts to other Shinichiro Watanabe shows, including Carole and Tuesday, Samurai Champloo, and Space Dandy. Alongside her illustrious career as a writer for anime, Nobumoto also had credits as a scenario supervisor for Kingdom Hearts.

The ongoing relevance of each project Nobumoto worked on is due in part to the thoughtfulness and humanistic viewpoint she brought to her characters. In writing up this post, I’ve found myself floored by just how many anime that she’s had a hand in crafting. Many of them, like Cowboy Bebop and Carole and Tuesday, are series I hold near and dear to my heart and regard as the zenith of writing in the medium.

If you haven’t seen any of Nobumoto’s works, do yourself a favour and take some time to experience some of her creations this weekend. Given that we’re closing in on the holidays, I particularly recommend people check out Tokyo Godfathers. Nobumoto’s writing was a blessing to the world, and she will be sorely missed. May she rest in peace.


  • I know Netflix was salty over the poor reception to their adaptation, but did they have to go and assassinate him?

  • Oh man I didn’t realise she worked on Carole & Tuesday. That show is excellent and I highly recommend watching it.

    The article doesn’t mention this, but she also wrote Wolf’s Rain, which has the best Yoko Kanno soundtrack I will not countenance any alternative viewpoints on this matter.

    • Carole and Tuesday was the biggest cocktease of an anime out there.
      Every episode “these two saved the world” in the prologue of every fucking episode.
      The reality is they played a “we are the world” that only the hippiest of all hippies believe that shit.
      Watch K-On or Beck if you want a music anime before this, and watch ANYTHING the writer & director worked together before this (Champloo or Space Dandy).

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