Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > News Story and Obituary Archive

Shinji Wada, 1950-2011
posted January 1, 2012

imageThe prolific manga creator Shinji Wada, best known for the Sukeban Deka comics and cross-media adaptations of same, died on on July 5. The native of Kure in Hiroshima prefecture, on the southern coast of Japan, died of causes related to ischaemic heart disease.

Wada's first published comics work was Ai To Shi No Sunadokei, which was serialized by Shueisha starting in 1971. Wada had a slightly bigger hit with Waga Tomo Frankenstein for the same publisher starting in 1972, but it was Sukeban Deka with Hakusensha, launched in 1976, that became the career-maker when it hit hard with audiences a couple of years in. It would go on to facilitate a TV series that ran for three years, two live-action films and a smattering of related comics projects.

Other long-running serials for the creator included Asagi Iro No Densetus and Ninja Hisho, the latter of which appeared over more than two decades for a pair of publishers. On his passing, Wada was involved with the series Crown and Kugutsushi Rin. Crown was a collaborative work between Wada and artist You Higuri.

A post at Crunchyroll on Wada's passing suggests that the yo-yo wielding lead character of Sukeban Deka -- an undercover police officer posing as a student -- has worked its way into the realm of pop culture reference.

Wada was 61 years old.