Kia Asamiya was born in Tokyo in 1963, but nobody in the manga/anime world would know about it if it wasn't for a favor he did for a friend in his early years.
As Asamiya recalls, "It was a fluke that I became a manga artist. A friend asked me to do a couple of pages of simple manga for a doujinshi he was doing. A Kadokawa editor saw it and approached me and said, 'How would you like to do a series?' So I said, 'Why not?'"
Ever since then, he's been writing manga (14 years, to be exact). His first professional debut was Vagrants in February of 1986 in Kadokawa's Computieku. Then in 1988, Asamiya started Silent Möbius, which now spans over 12 volumes. Some of his other works include Gunhed, published by Newtype 100% Comics in 1989, and Compiler, first published in Kodansha's monthly Afternoon in 1990. Then there was also Dark Angel in 1990, and the continuation of Compiler in 1993, entitled Assembler.
But for most of you fanboys out there, Asamiya is most well known for his work on Nadesico, which was later turned into the oh-so-comic TV series (shown at CJAS a while back).
So, what makes him tick? Unfortunately, Asamiya is one of those people who likes to keep to himself. In all of his public appearances, he does not allow any taping or photographing to take place; even in his manga studio, Tron, Asamiya uses a caricature of sorts as a mug shot (drawn by himself, of course).
While doing my own research on him, I could only find a couple of interviews (actually, one of them was Asamiya interviewing another manga artist). In these interviews, he has explained that rather than having people focus on him, he'd prefer them to focus on his works instead -- one explanation for why he doesn't like to be the center of attention.
As for another way of staying out of the public eye, Asamiya has used various pen names -- the most well-known being Kikuchi Michitaka. Before publishing his Studio Tron artbook, some of his fans believed Michitaka was an actual assistant at Tron! Yet no matter how eccentric Asamiya is, one has to admit that without him, we would be missing a lot of anime and manga on our screens.
Post-Nadesico, Asamiya made his manga Steam Detectives (published by Jump Comics) into another hit TV anime in Japan during the fall of 1998. He will also be working on the manga version of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. For the distant future, Asamiya has admitted to wanting to make an anime out of his popular manga, Dark Angel, and also, to start a new manga project that has yet to be described.
This March, Kia Asamiya is scheduled to be one of the guests of honor at Animazement 2000, the anime convention held in Raleigh, NC. He has said in past interviews that he enjoys conventions in the U.S. more than those in Japan because of the change in atmosphere. Hopefully, this won't be the last time Asamiya sets foot in an U.S. anime convention.