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Yoshihiro Togashi (
Born in Shinjō, Yamagata to a family that owned a paper shop, Togashi began drawing manga casually in his first to second year of elementary school. In high school, Togashi joined the fine-arts club; he later enrolled at Yamagata University where he studied education in the hope of becoming a teacher. During college he submitted some of his manga work to Weekly Young Jump, published by Shueisha. In 1986, at age 20, he authored a manga titled Buttobi Straight (ぶっとびストレート, Buttobi Sutorēto) for which he received the Tezuka Award, the most prestigious award for new comic artists in Japan. Another manga by Togashi titled Jura no Mizuki (ジュラのミヅキ) was an honorable mention in Shueisha's first annual Hop Step Award Selection magazine, published in 1988. After having given up his goal of becoming a teacher, Togashi was contacted by an editor of Weekly Shōnen Jump during his senior year of college, who asked him to move to Tokyo.
Togashi's earliest published works for Shueisha included Ōkami Nante Kowakunai!! (狼なんて怖くない!!, lit. I'm Not Afraid of the Wolf!!), a collection of comedy manga short-stories. Weekly Shōnen Jump published some of the stories prior to a tankōbon released in 1989. Between 1989 and 1990, Togashi authored Ten de Shōwaru Cupid (てんで性悪キューピッド, lit. An Ill-tempered Cupid in Heaven), a four-volume romance manga involving the relationship between a normal, human boy and a beautiful, devil girl.
In 1990, Togashi made a name for himself with his next series YuYu Hakusho (幽☆遊☆白書, lit. Poltergeist Report). Based on his interests in the occult and in horror films, the plot features the character Yusuke Urameshi, who is killed and brought back to life as a "Underworld Detective". The manga, which lasted 175 chapters over 19 tankōbon from 1990 to 1994, went on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide, earned Togashi a Shogakukan Manga Award in 1994, and received a hit anime adaptation. Togashi next authored Church!, a dōjinshi series. In 1995, he created Level E (レベルＥ), a science fiction-comedy manga. Comprising three volumes, it was first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1995 and ran until 1997. Level E was adapted into an anime television series in 2011.
Togashi's next major series Hunter × Hunter (ハンター×ハンター), an action-adventure manga, began serialization in 1998. The story revolves around the protagonist Gon Freecss, a young boy in search of his father, who is a legendary, elite member of society called a "Hunter". This manga also performed very well commercially, with the first 20 volumes selling nearly 55 million copies in Japan as of August 2011. In 2008, Togashi tied with One Piece author Eiichiro Oda as the fifth favorite manga artist from a poll posted by the marketing research firm Oricon.
In 2017, Togashi wrote the two-chapter manga Akuten Wars (悪天ウォーズ). It was illustrated by Hachi Mizuno and published in the September and November issues of Grand Jump Premium.
Togashi is married to Naoko Takeuchi, the manga artist of Sailor Moon. The two were introduced at a party hosted by Kazushi Hagiwara in August 1997. The following year, Takeuchi assisted Togashi for a short time by adding screentone to his manga Hunter × Hunter. Togashi and Takeuchi were married on January 6, 1999. In attendance for the ceremony were several fellow manga artists and voice actors from both the Sailor Moon and YuYu Hakusho anime series. The couple have two children and have collaborated on a children's book titled Oobo— Nu— Tochiibo— Nu— (おおぼーぬーとちぃぼーぬー), which Takeuchi wrote and Togashi illustrated.
Togashi enjoys board-game-style video games and bowling with his family. He also likes watching horror movies, and considers Don't Look Up and Dawn of the Dead his favorites. Togashi cites visual effects designer H. R. Giger as a major influence. Togashi suffered from an immense amount of stress while working on YuYu Hakusho, which caused him inconsistent sleep patterns and chest pain. On March 29, 2011, Togashi and his fellow manga artists posted messages on the official Shōnen Jump website in support of the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. He has a younger brother named Hideaki Togashi, who is also a manga artist.
The Togashi Paper Store run by his mother is still open in Shinjō, Yamagata. She welcomes fans and sells limited-edition Togashi goods.
Manga critic Jason Thompson stated that Togashi is no ordinary manga artist and does things his own way, explaining that his first few one-shots were a mix of school comedy and "splatter-film horror references." Then, at age 24, Togashi created a hit with the supernatural fighting comedy YuYu Hakusho, one of the obvious imitators of the Dragon Ball formula of "start out as a comedy and then, once the readers like the characters, have them kick the crap out of each other." But rather than continue the series for as long as possible to maximize his profit, Togashi ended the series abruptly by turning the fighting manga back into a comedy. He then created the "0% fighting and 100% humor" science-fiction horror manga Level E.
Togashi's style of artwork began with screentone but gradually developed into minimalism. Both Rika Takahashi of EX.org and Claude J. Pelletier of Protoculture Addicts found the art style in Hunter × Hunter to be much simpler than YuYu Hakusho and Level E. Thompson noted that artwork during Hunter × Hunter's magazine run is often "sketchy" and missing backgrounds, but Togashi goes back and fixes it for its collected tankōbon release. He also wrote that Togashi has a love of gore and noted that some panels in Hunter × Hunter are apparently censored for gore by being covered with screentone.
Since 2006, Togashi has taken numerous lengthy hiatuses while serializing Hunter × Hunter. Some were due to illness and lower back pain, while the reasons for others were never disclosed. Thompson speculated that Togashi's slow output is because he is a perfectionist who wants to do everything himself, noting that if he really wanted to, he could have his assistants do everything. In his 2017 book Sensei Hakusho, which recounts his time working as Togashi's assistant from 1990 to 1997, Kunio Ajino stated that Togashi was unusually generous to his staff.
Manga artists Nobuhiro Watsuki and Pink Hanamori have cited Togashi and YuYu Hakusho as an influence. He is one of the favorite artists of Naruto author Masashi Kishimoto and Tokyo Ghoul author Sui Ishida.
- Sensēha Toshishita!! (1986, later featured in Ten de Shōwaru Cupid Volume 4)
- Jura no Miduki (1987, featured in Hop Step Award Selection Volume 1 and later in Ten de Shōwaru Cupid Volume 4)
- Ōkami Nante Kowakunai!! (1989, tankōbon published by Shueisha)
- Buttobi Straight (1987)
- Tonda Birthday Present (1987, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Occult Tanteidan (1988–1989, two parts published in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Horror Angel (1988, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Ōkami Nante Kowakunai!! (1989, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Ten de Shōwaru Cupid (1989–1990, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- YuYu Hakusho (1990–1994, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Church! (チャーチ！, Chāchi!) [Togashi and co., self-published][note 1]
- Level E (1995–1997, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Hunter × Hunter (1998–ongoing, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump)
- Akuten Wars (2017, published in Grand Jump Premium, story only, illustrated by Hachi Mizuno)
- Kamuten (かむてん) design [Shinjō city's official mascot character] (1994)
- Yoshirin de Pon! (1994, YuYu Hakusho dōjinshi distributed at 1994 summer Comic Market)
- Declaration of Rehabilitation (1998, Q&A doujinshi written along with Naoko Takeuchi, self published)
- Biohazard 3: The Last Escape Official Guidebook (1999, published by ASCII)
- Some [undisclosed] illustration arts from the "Dragon Kingdom" (ドラゴンキングダム, Doragon Kingudamu) trading card game (2000 [presumably], published by Kraft.Heil)[note 2]
- Official Hunter × Hunter Guide (2004, published by Shueisha)
- YuYu Hakusho Who's Who Underworld Character Book (2005, published by Shueisha)
- YuYu Hakusho Illustrations (2005, published by Shueisha)
- Oobo— Nu— To Chiibo— Nu— (2005, published by Kodansha)
- Hetappi Manga Kenkyūjo R (2011, published by Shueisha)
- Special Hunter × Hunter magazine cover (August 9, 2016, Kōhō Shinjō [Shinjō Public Relations] magazine August issue no. 704)
- "Jun Togawa with Vampillia"'s group illustration portraits (2017)
- Sensei Hakusho (先生白書) by Kunio Ajino (2017, published by East Press)[note 4]
- Ultramarine Magmell
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (on the 4th volume cover, Dec. 2, 2016)
- Shuukyoku Engage (lit. "Ultimate Engagement")
- Flip Flap: Okamoto Lynn Tanpenshuu (lit. "Flip Flap: Lynn Okamoto's Short Story Collection")
- Kōdai-ke no Hitobito (lit. "The Kodai Family")
- Tonkatsu DJ Agetarō
- In 1998, Togashi voice acted in JSAT's Hunter × Hunter anime pilot, but the role played is unknown.
- In the 1999 anime adaptation, Togashi voiced the examinee #86.
- His favorite food is rice with curry.
- 2015 was Togashi's first year of not releasing any Hunter × Hunter chapters, likely due to health problems. He then didn't publish any chapters during 2019 & 2020.
- A character named Togashi appears in episode 42 and episode 50 of the 1999 anime adaptation.
- He enjoys listening to Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and old songs by Matsuri Bayashi.
- Profile at takeuchi-naoko.com
- Yoshihiro Togashi at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Hunter x Hunter Story Board Exhibit at the Shinjō Mogami Manga Museum Event Report
- Transcript of interview in American Monthly Shonen Jump (archived)
- Interview with Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto)
- Interview with Fujimaki Tadatoshi (Kuroko no Basket)
- Interview with Sui Ishida (Tokyo Ghoul)
- Interview in Volume 0
- North American Shonen Jump's interview with Yoshihiro Togashi
- Video Interview of Yoshihiro Togashi
- Jump Ryu Vol.21: Yoshihiro Togashi