Born on Hokkaido, Japan Yuuki Obata draws girl shoujo manga with essential romance and school motifs. She began drawing very young and after a learning break kept it up to send publishers her works 3 years later. Interested, the Shogakukan publishing realized her dreams releasing her first mangas 1 year later. In 1998 she won Shogakukan's New Mangaka prize. While sending out to publishers, she had to take an assistant's job.
At an interview she confessed to have been mostly impressed by Fusako Kuramochi and Ryou Ikuemi. After their drawing technique, she also tried to make her works as realistic as possible. One of her favs is Kuramochi's Tennen Kokkeko with its beautiful countryside landscapes. It's a 14-volume manga winning the Kodansha Best Shoujo award in 1996. In 2007 Tennen Kokkeko underwent a live movie adaptation.
She's basically known for Bokura ga Ita. Even if not having read it, you're sure to have watched the same anime. As a mangaka, since 2000 she's released the following works:
* Kimi no Kachi (2000)
* Suki Kirai Suki (2000)
* Maru Sankaku Shikaku (2001)
* Sumire wa Blue (2002)
* Bokura ga Ita (2002 at present)
* Sweet (2003)
Her characters are mostly called by their first or even nick names. So she emphasizes contrast between main and minor characters. That also affects their sketch style with leaders usually outlined more precisely and drawn more markedly.
2000 featured her first work as a short story collection, Kimi no Kachi (You Win):
1. You Win
2. His Back, His Heart
3. Spring Fever
4. Constellation In July
5. My Beautiful Boy
With vivid and sensitive feelings of every girl, it's her top school love story.
Suki Kirai Suki (Like, Dislike, Like, 2000) is a hit tender love story. Hitomi adores Miyamoto, a cocky cute schoolboy. Only awkwardness stops her from a confession, which she leaves for after high school exams...
In 2001 Obata released a 2-volume Circle Triangle Square (Maru Sankaku Shikaku). It's her manga No. 1 she'd been drawing for 3 years in her favorite light-hearted comedy style.
Sumire wa Blue (My Blue Violet, 2002) in 2 volumes features Kinoshita Sumire. Shy and inferiority-complexed Kinoshita noticed Makimura Daichi in the library, intrigued by his pencil twirling. He's a famous hockey player, secretly loving his childhood friend, Shouji. But despite all differences, Kinoshita and Makimura build up intuitive connection.
Bokura ga Ita manga (We Were There, 2002) first planned as a 5/6-volume edition got so popular its publishers asked for a sequel. Now the manga counts 13 volumes with more to come even after a 1.5-year silence (2008-9) when Obata took a break for personal reasons. The story promises at least 14 volumes. Viz Media licensed the edition for the North American market.
The manga depicts starting high school life. In this romantic period of first love affairs girls lose their heads. Only Takahashi Nanami (Nana) in the same class with a heartbreaker, Yano Motoharu can resist the hot temptation...
In 2006 the manga underlay the same 26-episode series covering its first 8 volumes. It was directed by Akitarou Daichi who had also shot animes after Fruits Basket, Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku and Animation Runner Kuromi.
Another manga bore We Were There White Fan Book (Bokura ga Ita Koushiki Fan Bukku). Its character profiles, summary and series commentary from Obata were published by Shogakukan November 25, 2005. December, 2005 saw its 36-page postcard book release.
2003 released a cross-author story collection, Sweet - Enchanting Tales of Love with a chapter (Sumire is Blue) by Obata. Presently Obata is working on Bokura ga Ita's 13th volume with no other plans beyond it so far.