Nobuhiro Watsuki

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Nobuhiro Watsuki (middle), pictured with the two main characters from Rurouni Kenshin in background.

Nobuhiro Nishiwaki (Japanese: 西脇 伸宏, born May 26, 1970), better known by his pen name Nobuhiro Watsuki (和月 伸宏, Watsuki Nobuhiro), is a Japanese manga artist. He is best known for his samurai-themed series Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (1994–1999), which has over 70 million copies in circulation and a sequel he is currently creating titled Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc (2017–present). He has written three more series, the western Gun Blaze West (2001), the supernatural Buso Renkin (2003–2005), and the horror manga Embalming-The Another Tale of Frankenstein- (2007–2015). Watsuki has mentored several well-known manga artists, including One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, Hiroyuki Takei of Shaman King fame.


We present the publicly available facts. For discussion of the Japanese context, see the following video essay.[1]

In November 2017, police found DVDs with footage of naked females in their early teens in Watsuki's Tokyo office. Tokyo Police raided Watsuki's home as part of an investigation into the purchase of child pornography. The search uncovered about a hundred pornography DVDs alleged to depict minors. He was referred to prosecutors over possession of pornography featuring minors on November 21, 2017. The serialization of Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc was put on hiatus after the details of Watsuki's charges were made public. In February 2018, Watsuki was fined ¥200,000 or about US$1,500. The Hokkaido Arc resumed serialization in June 2018. Watsuki was 47 years old at the time of his arrest, and in his deposition, Watsuki allegedly said that he "liked girls in late elementary school to around the second year of middle school."[2]

After Watsuki's arrest and The Hokkaido Arc's haitus,Viz Media, the American publisher of Shonen Jump, stopped publishing further English translations of Watsuki's new work. By contrast, their Japanese counterpart Shueisha resumed publication, with the second volume of the Hokkaido Arc arc being one of the top-selling manga for the first half of 2019.[3]