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Manga Mangaka Corner


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[color=darkblue]Welcome to the first installment of Manga Workshop's first project, Mangaka Corner! ^^ Here, I'll be posting information about all the most famous artists so you can get to know a bit more about them. I hope you enjoy it. With that out of the way, on with our first mangaka! ^^[/color]


[COLOR=Navy][center][u][B][I]Mangaka Corner Artist #1[/I][/B][/u][/center]


[b]Name:[/b] Rumiko Takahashi

[b]Age:[/b] 47

[b]Nationality:[/b] Japanese

[b]Education:[/b] Graduate of Nihon Joseidai (Japan Women’s University), graduated from Kazuo Koike’s Gekiga Sonjuku (college for manga artists)

[b]Most Famous Works:[/b] [U][i]Urasei Yatsura[/i][/U] (Lum*Urasei Yatsura), [U][i]Maison Ikkoku[/i][/U], [U][i]1 Pondo Fukuin[/i][/U] (One Pound Gospel), [U][i]Ranma ½[/i], [i]Inu-Yasha: Sengoku Otogi Zoushi[/i][/U] (Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale)

[B]Most Recent Work:[/B] [U][I]Inu-Yasha: Sengoku Otogi Zoushi[/I][/U] (Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale) [1996] (Animé: 2000)

[B]Bio:[/B] Rumiko Takahashi was born in Niigata, Japan in 1957. While attending Niigata Chuo High School, her love of manga was apparent, as she stated the school’s manga appreciation club. During this time, her talents for drawing manga slowly began emerging while drawing copies of manga characters in the margins of the books. After graduating from high school, and passing the difficult entrance exams for [I]Nihon Joseidai[/I], she entered the Gekiga Sonjuku founded by one of Japan’s most famous artists, Kazuo Koike ([I]Lone Wolf and Cub, Crying Freeman[/I]).

Having only gotten into the art scene, Takahashi had her work cut out for her. In a short amount of time, however, her work became better and better and eventually, she printed her first work, [U][I]Katte Na Yatsura[/I][/U] (Overbearing People), in [U][I]Shonen Sunday[/I][/U] (better known in America as Shonen Jump).

In 1978, Takahashi published her first major work, [U][I]Urasei Yatsura[/I] [/U] (Lum*Urasei Yatsura), the story of a young man who gets dragged into a game of tag to decide the fate of the world by aliens and has the voluptuous Lum fall in love with him, in Shonen Sunday. It began running in the publication in September and at first was sporadic in appearance until 1979, when it began running continuously. [I]Urasei Yatsura[/I] was not an instant success, but when things picked up, it became one of the most famous mangas in Japan, meriting an animé being created in October 1981 and spanning 216 episodes, ending in March 1986. [I]Urasei Yatsura[/I] has also given birth to five feature films and three OVAs. (Lum*Urasei Yatsura is currently available in both the manga and animé English translated/dubbed versions from Viz Communications.)

During the time Urasei Yatsura took to take off, Takahashi kept herself busy by creating another series for Shonen Sunday by the name of [U][I]Dust Spot[/I][/U]. It involves two detectives from the HCIA organization (Yura, the super strong female and Tamuro, an esper whose teleportation powers usually land him in a garbage can/dump) and their adventures. It ran for five months from May to September 1979.

In 1982, Takahashi began working on another of her famous works, [U][I]Maison Ikkoku[/I][/U], the tale of Yusaku Godai trying to win the love of his widowed landlady.

The “Ikkoku-kan” (Ikkoku Apartments) was actually modeled after the apartments Takahashi stayed in during her university years. Takahashi felt that it was such a typical type of apartment building (shared bathrooms, no hot running water, had to bathe at a bathhouse down the street), it would fit perfectly with the story. She decided to base [I]Maison Ikkoku[/I] on an apartment building and its tenants, making it one of the most famous romance/dramas to date.

[I]Maison Ikkoku[/I] was a huge success, due largely to the fact that you could sympathize with the characters. It sold about 80% more per volume than [I]Urasei Yatsura[/I], helping Takahashi immensely with her 5,500 yen (about $450) a month rent. Takahashi never really cared about the money, though. Only about being able to write such stories as Maison Ikkoku and having people enjoy them.

The series wrapped up in 1987, as did the Urasei Yatsura manga and almost immediately, Takahashi began working on her most famous work, [U][I]Ranma ½.[/I][/U]

[I]Ranma ½[/I], the story of a boy that turns into a girl, a father that turns into a panda, and the strange Chinese curse what did it to ‘em, as the back cover of the translated English mangas explain, was Takahashi’s best work in Japan, outselling even Maison Ikkoku, surprisingly enough. Takahashi tributes this mostly to the fact that it differs from most of her other romantic comedies as it has more action, and drew in many more male fans. The fifth volume, released in Japan in October 1988, sold over 1 million copies in less that a month.

[I]Ranma ½[/I] wrapped up in 1988 with 38 volumes to its name, and has spawned an animé that lasted seven seasons, two movies, and an OVA. (Ranma ½ the manga [second edition] is now available from Viz Communications, as is the animé, both movies, and the OVA.)

As she’s done with other works, Takahashi began another series immediately after [I]Ranma ½[/I] ended, this being her most recent work, [U][I]Inu-Yasha: Sengoku Otogi Zoushi[/I][/U] (Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale).

[I]Inu-Yasha[/I] is the story of Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old girl, that falls down a magical well and finds herself in feudal Japan. There she meets a half-human, half dog-demon named Inu-Yasha and, after many a confrontation, has to work with him in order to get back the shards of a magical jewel called the Shikon Jewel, or the “Jewel of Four Souls.”

[I]Inu-Yasha[/I] seems to be more in line with [I]Ranma ½[/I] in story line, as it blends action with a tale of reluctant romance. Hugely popular in America, the animé that was spawned from the series has run in syndication on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Action. (The Inu-Yasha manga translated into English [first and second edition], as well as the hit animé series is currently available from Viz Communications.)

Takahashi has also worked on horror series in her career. Arguably, the most shocking among them could be [U][I]Ningyo no Mori[/I][/U] (Mermaid Wood, part of what's known in America as Mermaid Saga) as its actually quite graphic as compared to her other pieces. Another of her horror stories is [U][I]Laughing Target[/I][/U], which is almost as well known as [I]Ningyo no Mori[/I] in Japan.

Overall, Takahashi has been quite the successful woman and has dutifully earned her “Queen of Romantic Comedy” title. Though some of the times were tough, she stuck to it and kept on, and it definitely paid off. She’s now one of the most well paid mangaka in Japan. It is unknown whether or not she is working on another series, but if she is, it is certainly likely to be a hit with her millions of fans worldwide.



I hope you enjoyed the first Mangaka Corner. I’ll be trying to do this every two weeks or so, so look forward to the next one. ^^ If you have any requests on authors you’d like to learn more about, feel free to PM me.[/COLOR]
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[color=darkblue][center]Mangaka Corner Artist #2[/center]

[b]Name:[/b] Hiro Mashima

[b]Age:[/b] 27 (!)

[b]Nationality:[/b] Japanese

[b]Education:[/b] Currently not available

[b]Most Famous Works:[/b] RAVE (1998; published manga- 2000)

[b]Most Recent Work:[/b] RAVE (Rave Master; TokoyPop- 2003)

[b]Bio:[/b] Mashima was born in Nagano, Japan in the merry month of May in 1977. At a surprisingly young age (21), he began drawing RAVE for Weekly Shonen Magazine, where it took off as a hit. To date, RAVE has spawned 18 manga volumes (the first seven of which are currently available from TokyoPop), an animé series (that is to be on Cartoon Network’s new Saturday Toonami block), several guidebooks, and 2 console games.

Mashima appears to be very fond of coloring is hair and is deathly afraid of caterpillars.*

As an author’s side note, I happen to be very fond of the Rave Master manga. The characters are very well developed, the plot is nice, and the mixture of action, humor, and weird art make for a great read. It’s also very easy on beginning readers, so if you’ve only just gotten into the manga scene, or are looking to get into it, this manga is definitely one to break your Manga Otaku gums on, lol.


Rave Master: Volume 3 by Hiro Mashima[/center]

I deeply apologize to everyone for not getting this new Mangaka Corner up (and for its severe shortness). There’s been a lot of things happening and such and I got very behind, but trust me, this will [i]not[/i] happen again. If it does, feel free to thwack me with whatever large, blunt object happens to be close at hand at the time. Also, don’t be afraid to PM/IM me with suggestions on artists you want to learn more about. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t bite. ^_~ A few of you have already done this (you know who you are), and I will do my best to honor your requests. So…until next time! ^^

*Note: Surprisingly enough, Mashima-san isn’t the only one who has this fear. I do as well. --;[/color]
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