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abeA graduate of the Tôkyô National University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in history of the Japanese design, he specialized in the same subject. Working as an assistant cartoonist in secondary school he nurtured his own passion for graphical arts. While in university, his story Ame no furu basho (the raining place) was awarded the Afternoon Shiki Award by renowned publishing house Kôdansha. After a long training as illustrator and cartoonist he was asked to provide the character design for the animated series Serial Experiment Lain, soon to become a worldwide sensation. Another series devised and drawn by him, and highly appreciated by the public, Haibane renmei (Grey Wings), has been transposed as a highly appreciated animation. He was a guest of honor in many high profile American and European events focusing on comics or animation, thus establishing his world-wide fame. His style recalls, among other influences, Italian renaissance painting, in a perfect marriage of eastern and western tradition, and innovation. He is widely recognized as a master of CG art.

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