A Tribute To Osamu Kobayashi
Adilsons regrets to inform our dear readers of the recent passing of legendary anime director and illustrator, Osamu Kobayashi. In light of this heartbreaking event, we're paying our respects to the legend in the form of a special article.
April the 17th, 2021 was a day of mourning for the international anime community as news of Osamu's passing was made public through his Twitter account, which made the following post: [Translated from Japanese]
“Osamu Kobayashi, Aged 57-He set off for heaven last night. It’s unfortunate to say that I ran out of strength after battling kidney cancer for the past two year…It is regretful because there are still things I wanted to do and works I wanted to make. When I am reborn again, I will surely make some great works! Adios. The eternal 23-year-old.”
Best known for his work on episodes 480-483 of Naruto Shippuden (i.e. the Boyhood Filler Arc, which can arguably be called the best filler arc in all of Shippuden), Osamu's work holds a charm of its own which distinguishes itself from any other filler in the show's 500 episode run. Set in Naruto's childhood days, these four episodes served to add another dimension to the story as it neared its end- a throwback to simpler times when the story was still in its infancy.
Naruto has always been a show which places emphasis on the virtues of friendship and crafting lasting bonds with others, which Osamu's 4 episode design delivered with unparalleled lucidity. Each episode was centered around two characters in the main cast, and revealed previously undisclosed momentous occasions in their lives. The first episode shows us a touching scene between Naruto and Hiruzen, followed by scenes of Hinata training with her father and Negi, respectively. The episode concludes with a wholesome scene between Naruto and Hinata, which would later go on to set the tone for The Last Naruto Movie.
The remaining three episodes also showcase touching moments between other characters such as Sakura & Ino, Jiraya & Kakashi, among others; a must watch for anyone looking for some slife of life feel from the show. The fact that these episodes are filler has rather poetically immortalized them as independent works of art which are free of any influence from overlying stories and plot points, meaning that anyone can watch them and appreciate Osamu's work for what it is.
Despite only being graced with 57 years of life, Osamu's influences on the industry were varied and multifold through his myriad of contributions including, but limited to, anime such as Gurren Laggan, Paradise Kiss and Someday's Dreamers: Summer Skies. His most recent contribution was in episode 15 of Dororo, back in 2019, which also happened to be the year of his cancer diagnosis.
While our words are but a speck in the constellation of tributes and remarks which have been sent out to commemorate his passing, Osamu Kobayashi continues to serve as an inspiration for many budding workers in the anime industry.
Rest in peace, legend. Your work shall be admired for many generations to come.
Dedicated to Osamu Kobayashi
(January 10, 1964 – April 17, 2021)
If you are interested, you can check out our exclusive Tribute to Osamu and his work on our IG account here