Today, the anime community is mourning the loss of a beloved artist overseas. Osamu Kobayashi, a talented director who worked on shows like BECK, has passed away. He was 57 years old.
According to reports in Japan, Kobayashi passed away on April 16, 2021. He died amidst his battle with kidney cancer. At this time, no plans have been made public about Kobayashi's funeral service, but fans are paying tribute to the director online.
If you do not know the artist by name, there is a good chance you will know his work. Kobayashi was the director of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad and the critical darling was one of his first big projects. He went on to direct shows like Paradise Kiss, and his most recent gigs were on Rinshi! Ekoda-chan and Dororo.
As for Naruto, Kobayashi has a special history with the show. Back in October 2016, the director oversaw a mini filler arc for Naruto Shippuden. It was there he brought the 'Boyhood' arc to life which followed Naruto as a young boy. The slice-of-life arc showed Naruto during one of his first interactions with Hinata when they were kids, and their fantastical journey endeared many. In fact, most netizens agree the 'Boyhood' arc is one of the best filler stories in all of Naruto, and its success falls in Kobayashi's direction. It is hard to understate his talent as an artist, and fans say they'll cherish what work Kobayashi did do in light of his early passing.
Our thoughts are with Kobayashi's loved ones during this time. May he rest in peace.