|Takeshi Obata (小畑 健, Obata Takeshi)|
|Birthdate||February 11, 1969|
Takeshi Obata (小畑 健 Obata Takeshi, c. February 11, 1969) is a Japanese manga artist. He works as the artist in collaboration with a writer. He has also mentored several manga artists, including Kentaro Yabuki of Black Cat fame, Nobuhiro Watsuki of Rurouni Kenshin and Busou Renkin, and Yusuke Murata of Eyeshield 21.
He originally became noticed in 1985 when he took a prize in the Tezuka Award for his one shot 500 Kōnen no shinwa. Joining the Weekly Shonen Jump staff, he mentored under Makoto Niwano before starting his first major series, writing and drawing Cyborg Jii-chan G in 1989. Having difficulty for several years in finding a hit, Obata began collaborating with other writers on their stories. He finally began the series that established his name when he teamed with Yumi Hotta on Hikaru no Go starting in 1998.
He is most well known as the artist of Hikaru no Go, for which he received the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2000 and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2003, and Death Note. Obata is rare among shōnen artists not only for the detail of his drawings, but in his penchant for fashion; the characters he draws often wear stylish clothes and trendy items like the latest fashionable scarf, tie or handbag.
He has served as the artist of Blue Dragon Ral Grad, a manga adaptation of the fantasy video game, Blue Dragon from December 2006 to July 2007.
In the fall of 2007, he drew a short story, Hello Baby, with writer Masanori Morita, which appeared in Jump Square. This was followed by a one-shot manga with Nisio Isin. He has recently completed his latest series with Tsugumi Ohba, Bakuman, which ran from August 2008 to April 2012.
In addition to his manga work, he has also done character design work for the video game Castlevania Judgment, as well as illustrating several light novels.