Takahashi, Rumiko 1957–
Takahashi, Rumiko 1957–
PERSONAL: Born 1957, in Niigata, Japan. Education: Attended Japan Women's University; studied manga at Kazuo Koike's Gekiga Sonjuku.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, VIZ, LLC, 655 Bryant St., San Francisco, CA 94107.
CAREER: Manga (comics) writer and artist. Creator of "Urusei Yatsura," "Maison Ikkoku," "Ranma 1/2," "Rumic World" (stories), "Mermaid Wood" (stories), and "Dust Spot," series.
AWARDS, HONORS: Named Best New Comic Artist, Shogakukan Publishing; Ink Pot award, San Diego Comic Con, 1994.
Ranma 1/2, 32 volumes, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1995–2005, 2nd edition, 2004–.
Lum—Urusei Yatsura: Perfect Collection, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
Return of Lum, 8 volumes, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
Maison Ikkoku, 14 volumes, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1997–2000, 2nd edition, 2004–.
Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, 23 volumes, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1998–2005.
Contributor of short manga to Bibitto (magazine). Contributor of manga series "Urusei Yatsura" to Shonen Sunday, 1978–87; "Maison Ikkoku," to Big Comic Spirits, 1982–87; "Ranma 1/2," to Shonen Sunday, 1987–96; "Mermaid Saga," to Shonen Sunday, beginning 1987; "One-Pound Gospel," to Young Sunday, beginning 1987; and "Inu-Yasha Sengoku Otogi Zoushi," to Shonen Sunday, beginning 1996. Short stories also published in Big Goro, Petit Comics, and Heibon Punch.
"MERMAID SAGA"; COLLECTED MANGA
Mermaid Forest, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1994.
Mermaid's Scar, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Mermaid's Gaze, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
"RUMIC" STORIES; COLLECTED MANGA
Rumic Theater, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Rumic World Trilogy, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Rumic Theater: One of Double, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1998.
"ONE-POUND GOSPEL" SERIES; COLLECTED MANGA
One-Pound Gospel, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
One-Pound Gospel: Hungry for Victory, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
One-Pound Gospel: Knuckle Sandwich, VIZ Communications (San Francisco, CA), 1998.
ADAPTATIONS: "Urusei Yatsura" was adapted as a Japanese television series, 1981–86, five animated feature films, and three original videos; "Maison Ikkoku" was adapted as a Japanese television series, 1986–88, as an animated feature, and as a live-action movie; several short stories from "Rumic World" were adapted as original video animated movies; "Ranma 1/2" was adapted as a Japanese television series, 1989–92, and for several animated feature films; "Inu-Yasha" was adapted as an animated Japanese television series, beginning 2000, and as several animated feature films. Other television series based on Takahashi's works include Takahashi Rumiko Gekijyou, 2003, and Ningyo no mori (based on "Mermaid's Forest"), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Rumiko Takahashi is Japan's most well-known female manga artist. With several successful series to her credit, she is often referred to as "The Princess of Manga."
Takahashi studied the art of manga while also attending Japan Women's University, and her strip "Urusei Yatsura" was first published in 1978 in Shonen Sunday, a weekly for boys. The story revolves around the love of a high school boy for a sexy alien. In the "Maison Ikkoku" series, it is a college student who is in love, with his beautiful landlady.
The stories of Takahashi's "Rumic World" series tend toward horror. The English translation of her three-volume Rumic World Trilogy was reviewed by Voice of Youth Advocates reviewer Katharine Kan, who noted that Takahashi's first published work is included in the first volume. Kei is a teen newspaper boy who is abducted by aliens who implant a bomb in his body. The female protagonist of "Laughing Target" is a killer whose victims are devoured by tiny creatures that her mother calls the "hungry ghosts." The second volume contains a five-part story about a Japanese CIA, and the third volume features a story in which a young boy uses his psychic powers to win the older high school student he loves. Kan wrote that in this collection, "the reader can sample great stories from the fertile, silly, scary, wonderful imagination of Takahashi."
The main characters of the "Ranma 1/2" series are martial artists, and this Takahashi creation is her most action-oriented. Kan called it "a slapstick martial arts romantic comedy." Takahashi also plays with gender in this series, as Ranma can change from a girl to a boy merely by slipping into a hot pool. Kan, who noted that this series is very popular with boys, commented that "there's lots of action but so far no gore; just watch out for Ranma's total unselfconsciousness of his female form (he/she just doesn't notice!)."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Animerica, February, 1993, Seiji Horibuchi, interview with Takahashi; May, 1997, Seiji Horibuchi, interview with Takahashi.
Kliatt, January, 2005, George Galuschak, review of Mermaid Saga, p. 25.
Library Journal, September 1, 2003, Steve Raiteri, review of Ranma 1/2, Volume 1: Action Edition, p. 144; January, 2004, Steve Raiteri, review of Maison Ikkoku, Volume 1, p. 82.
Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2000, Charles Solomon, "A Worldwide Comic Book Success Story," p. 54.
New York Times, September 17, 1995, Andrew Pollack, "Japan, a Superpower among Superheroes," section 2, p. 32.
Publishers Weekly, March 22, 2004, review of Maison Ikkoku: Book One, p. 65.
Virginian Pilot, May 23, 1997, F. Daniel Valentini, Forget the Flintstones! Japanese Animation Has Verve, Vision, and Variety, p. E1.
Rumic World Online, http://www.furinkan.com/ (October 24, 2004), "Rumic World": "Rumiko Takahashi: The Princess of Manga."
Shogakukan Web site, http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/ (October 24, 2004).
VIZ Communications Web site, http://www.viz.com/ (October 24, 2004), "Rumiko Takahashi."