Bebop cowboy writer Keiko Nobumoto dies at 57



The writer behind Cowboy Bebop and Wolf’s Rain dies after a long battle with esophageal cancer.

Cowboy Bebop

The writer behind Cowboy Bebop and Wolf’s Rain, Keiko Nobumoto, died of esophageal cancer at the age of 57 on December 1, 2021. The announcement of her death was made by her longtime colleagues Dai Sato and Shinichiro Watanabe. Sato apparently received news from Watanabe who had previously been contacted by the Nobumoto family after a memorial service was 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 in Japan. She worked for several years as a nurse before becoming a secretary in an animation studio. Nobumoto began his writing career after winning the Fuji Television Award for Young Screenplay in 1989. His work during this time includes Tobé! Kujira No Peek, World Apartment Horror and Hiroshima Ni Ichiban Densha Ga Hashita.

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Nobumoto began working with Watanabe on Macross Plus in 1994. The two would work together on several projects over the following decades. Nobumoto was notably in charge of the 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 her first time working with Sato.

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


Nobumoto continued to work with Sato and Watanabe, producing Samurai Champloo in 2004. She took a break from writing 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 eventually succumbed to the disease after a long battle in 2021.

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