Takashi Yanase, creator of the hugely popular manga and anime character and "friend of justice" Anpanman, has died at the age of 94. Yanase created Anpanman as a hero who would give pieces of his head -- made of bread filled with red bean paste -- to people who were hungry, not worrying about any harm done to himself. After his death, he was compared to that hero.
"Mr. Yanase was Anpanman himself," said Keiko Toda, who voiced Anpanman in the anime. "I feel like we've lost an important guidepost."
Described by Yanase himself as the "world's weakest hero," Anpanman appeared in the 1970s, an age where heroes aided by special effects abounded. The success of Yanase's unusual hero far exceeded his expectations.