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Rumiko Takahashi
高橋 留美子
Born 10 October 1957 (1957-10-10) (age 52)
Niigata, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker
Notable works Urusei Yatsura
Maison Ikkoku
Ranma ½

Rumiko Takahashi (高橋 留美子 Takahashi Rumiko?) born October 10, 1957 is a Japanese mangaka.

Takahashi is one of the wealthiest individuals, and the most affluent mangaka in Japan.[1][2] The manga she creates (and its anime adaptations) are very popular in the United States and Europe where they have been released as both manga and anime in English translation. Her works are famous worldwide, and many of her series were some of the forerunners of early English language manga to be released in the 1990s.[citation needed] Takahashi is also the best selling female comics artist in history; over 170 million copies of her various works have been sold.[3] She has twice won the Shogakukan Manga Award: once in 1981 for Urusei Yatsura, and again in 2002 for InuYasha.[4]


Career and major works

She was born in Niigata, Japan.[5] Takahashi showed little interest in manga during her childhood; though she was said to occasionally doodle in the margins of her papers while attending Niigata Chūō High School, Takahashi's interest in manga did not come until later.[6] In an interview in 2000, Takahashi said that she had always wanted to become a professional comic author since she was a child.[7] During her university years, she enrolled in Gekiga Sonjuku, a manga school founded by Kazuo Koike, mangaka of Crying Freeman and Lone Wolf and Cub. Under his guidance Rumiko Takahashi began to publish her first dōjinshi creations in 1975, such as Bye-Bye Road and Star of Futile Dust. Koike often urged his students to create well-thought out, interesting characters, and this influence would greatly impact Rumiko Takahashi's works throughout her career.[6]

Takahashi's professional career began in 1978. Her first published story was Urusei Yatsura, a comedic science fiction story. She had difficulty meeting deadlines to begin with, so chapters were published sporadically until 1980. During the run of the series, she shared a small apartment with two assistants, and often slept in a closest due to a lack of space.[8] During the same year, she published Time Warp Trouble, Shake Your Buddha, and the Golden Gods of Poverty in Shōnen Sunday magazine, which would remain the home to most of her major works for the next twenty years.

During 1980, Takahashi started her second major series, Maison Ikkoku, in Big Comic Spirits magazine. Written for an older audience, Maison Ikkoku is a romantic comedy, and Takahashi used her own experience living in an apartment to create the series. Takahashi managed to work on Maison Ikkoku on and off simultaneously with Urusei Yatsura. She concluded both series in 1987, with Urusei Yatsura ending at 34 volumes, and Maison Ikkoku being 15.

During the 1980s, Takahashi became a prolific writer of short story manga. Her stories The Laughing Target, Maris the Chojo, and Fire Tripper all were adapted into original video animations (OVAs). In 1984, during the writing of Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku, Takahashi took a different approach to storytelling and began the dark, macabre Mermaid Saga. This series of short segments was published sporadically until 1994, with the final story being Mermaid's Mask.

Another short work of Takahashi's to be published sporadically was One-Pound Gospel. Takahashi concluded the series in 2007 after publishing chapters in 1998, 2001 and 2006.[9] One-Pound Gospel was adapted into a TV drama, which ran for 9 of its originally scheduled 11 episodes.

Later in 1987, Takahashi began her third major series, Ranma ½. Following the late 80s and early 90s trend of shōnen martial arts manga, Ranma ½ features a gender-bending twist. The series continued for nearly a decade until 1996, when it ended at 38 volumes. Ranma ½ is popular amongst manga fans outside Japan.

During the later half of the 1990s, Rumiko Takahashi continued with short stories and her installments of Mermaid Saga and One-Pound Gospel until beginning her fourth major work, InuYasha. While Ranma ½, Urusei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkoku all were heavily seated in the romantic comedy genre, InuYasha was more akin to her dark Mermaid Saga. The series featured action, romance, horror, fantasy, (folklore-based) historical fiction, and comedy. This series was serialized in Shōnen Sunday magazine and is her longest work by far, and ended in 2008. On March 5, 2009, Rumiko Takahashi released her one-shot short story Unmei No Tori. On March 16, 2009, Rumiko Takahashi collaborated with Mitsuru Adachi, creator of Touch and Cross Game, to release a one-shot story called My Sweet Sunday. Her latest manga series, Rin-Ne started on April 22, 2009. This is Rumiko Takahashi's first new manga series since the end of her previous manga series InuYasha in June 2008.

Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha manga were all published in English in the United States by Viz Comics; however, Viz's 1989 release of Urusei Yatsura halted after only a few volumes were translated, and is long out of print.

Major works

Years Name Original publisher Non-original publisher
Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
Maison Ikkoku (めぞん一刻?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
Mermaid Saga (人魚シリーズ?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
Ranma ½ (らんま1/2?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
One-Pound Gospel (1ポンドの福音?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
Rumic Theater (高橋留美子劇場?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
InuYasha (犬夜叉?) Shōgakukan Viz Media
Rin-ne (境界のRINNE?) Shōgakukan Viz Media


In 1981, Urusei Yatsura became the first of Takahashi's works to be animated. This series first aired on Japanese television on October 14, and went through multiple director changes during its run. Though the 195-episode TV series ended in March 1986, Urusei Yatsura was kept alive in anime form through OVA and movie releases through 1991. Most notable of the series directors was Mamoru Oshii, who made Beautiful Dreamer, the second Urusei Yatsura movie. AnimEigo has released the entire TV series and all of the OVAs and movies except for Beautiful Dreamer (which was released by Central Park Media in the U.S.) in the United States in English-subtitled format, with English dubs also made for the first two TV episodes (as Those Obnoxious Aliens) and for all of the movies.

Kitty Animation, the studio that produced Urusei Yatsura with animation assistance from Studio Pierrot and then Studio Deen, continued their cooperation and adapted Rumiko Takahashi's second work, Maison Ikkoku in 1986; it debuted the week after the final TV episode of UY. The TV series ran for 96 episodes, 3 OVAs, a movie and also a live-action movie. Studio Deen also provided animation duties on Maison Ikkoku and Ranma.

Maris the Chojo, Fire Tripper, and Laughing Target were all made into OVAs during the mid-80s. Her stories Mermaid's Forest and Mermaid's Scar were also made as OVAs in Japan on 1991. They were all released, subtitled in English, in the U.S.

In 1989, Kitty Animation produced its last major series, Ranma ½. The series went through ups and downs in ratings until Kitty Animation finally went out of business. Ranma ½ was never concluded in animated form despite being 161 episodes and three movies in length. The TV series ended in 1992 amid internal turmoil within Kitty; Kitty and Studio Deen continued to produce Ranma OVAs until 1996, but as of January 2009, the conclusion of the Ranma manga still has not been animated.

Sunrise was the first studio after Kitty Animation to adapt a major Rumiko Takahashi series. InuYasha debuted in 2000 and ended in 2004. The TV series went on for 167 episodes and spawned four major films. The anime ended before the manga did, thus wrapping up inconclusively. However, recent news confirms a year-old rumor that InuYasha will continue. A new InuYasha anime series called, "InuYasha the Final Chapter" debuted in Japan in the fall of 2009. There is no confirmation as to whether it will be translated to any other languages yet.

Viz Communications has released the anime of Maison Ikkoku, Ranma and InuYasha in English, in both subtitled and dubbed formats.

The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shonen Sunday and the 30th anniversary of the first publication of Urusei Yatsura, and Rumiko Takahashi's manga work was honoured in It's a Rumic World, a special exhibition held from July 30 to August 11 at the Matsuya Ginza department store in Tokyo. Several new pieces of animation accompanied the exhibit, including new half-hour Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha (Black Tetsusaiga) OVAs and an introductory sequence featuring characters from Urusei Yatsura, Ranma and InuYasha (starring the characters' original anime voice talents), which has become a popular video on YouTube. The It's a Rumic World exhibit was scheduled to re-open in Sendai in December 2008, at which time a new half-hour Urusei Yatsura OVA was scheduled to premiere. A special DVD release containing all three new OVAs was announced as coming out on January 29, 2010, with a trailer posted in September 2009. However it is not known whether any of the new episodes will ever be released outside Japan.

The latest Rumiko Takahashi TV animation adapts many of her short stories from the 80s. Rumiko Takahashi Anthology, animated by TMS Entertainment, features her stories The Tragedy of P, The Merchant of Romance, Middle-Aged Teen, Hidden In The Pottery, Aberrant Family F, As Long As You Are Here, One Hundred Years of Love, In Lieu of Thanks, Living Room Lovesong, House of Garbage, One Day Dream, Extra-Large Size Happiness, and The Executive's Dog. Also, a TV series of Mermaid Saga was produced in 2003 as well, animating 13 of her stories.

Popularity and impact on the western world

Many of Takahashi's works have been translated into English. Takahashi said that she did not know why her works are relatively popular with English speakers. Takahashi said "Sure, there are cultural differences in my work. When I see an American comedy, even though the jokes are translated, there's always a moment when I feel puzzled and think, ‘Ah, Americans would probably laugh at this more.' I suppose the same thing must happen with my books. It's inevitable. And yet, that doesn't mean my books can't be enjoyed by English-speaking readers. I feel confident that there's enough substance to them that people from a variety of cultural backgrounds can have a lot of fun reading them."[7]


  1. ^ "Japanese Top Tax Payers". Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ "2005年高額納税者ランキング" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ "New Episodes of Ranma ½ and Inuyasha!". August 2, 2008. Otaku International. (accessed January 30, 2010).
  4. ^ "小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved August 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ Takahashi, Rumiko. Ranma ½ Vol. 1 (May 1993). Viz Communications: San Francisco, CA. ISBN 0-929279-93-X. "Rumiko Takahashi". p. 302.
  6. ^ a b "Profile: Rumiko Takahashi -The Princess of Manga". Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  7. ^ a b "Rumiko Takahashi Interview." Viz Media. March 2, 2000. 2. Retrieved on October 2, 2009.
  8. ^ "Biography". 
  9. ^ "The Ring & The Rosary". Retrieved 2008-08-04. 

External links

Simple English

Rumiko Takahashi(高橋留美子)is a Japanese manga artist. She made popular manga books like: Ranma ½ and InuYasha. She is the richest woman in Japan and her manga is loved all over the world. She was born in Niigata, on October 10, 1975. She joined Gekiga Sonjuku college: a manga school run by Kazuo Koike, also a manga artist. With the school's help, she managed to make a "doujinshi" (self-published work mostly for beginners) manga artwork, for example, Bye-Bye Road and Star of Futile Dust.


Beginning of professional work (as a real job)

She first started with a Those selfish aliens in 1978, followed by Time Warp Trouble, Shake Your Buddha, and The Golden Gods of Poverty, published in Shonen Sunday - this place was to become the publisher of her most important works. Later in this year she tried Urusei Yatsura (Lamu, the invader girl), her first full series of books. This had some publishing problems, but even so, it became the most loved manga comedy in Japan.

Major and important works

In 1980, she wrote a lot of books. The most important was Maison Ikkoku from 1980 to 1987. She finished both Urusei Yatsura (34 books) with Maison Ikkoku (15 books). After that she began a dark, story telling type of manga - the Mermaid Saga, finished at 1994, with the story Mermaid's mask. It is thought to be unfinished because it did not have a note to tell the reader it was ended. One-pound Gospel was her next book. It was nearly not finished because of the ending similar to Mermaid Saga, with the last story done in 2001.

At late 1987, she began another major manga called Ranma ½. It ended in 1996 with 38 books altogether. During 1990s, she began InuYasha. It was a magical story very similar to Mermaid Saga. Rumiko Takahashi had said that she would make it up to 500 chapters and 50 books. That would make it the longest she's ever made for now.

Anime based on her manga

In 1981, Urusei Yatsura was the first work to become an anime. This series began showing on October 14 at the Japanese television by studio called Kitty Animation. This had many different directors during the making of this anime. The most well known director was Mamoru Oshii. He also directed the second Urusei Yatsura movie, Beautiful Dreamer. This is thought his best work for this anime. Kitty Animation also made the anime of Maison Ikkoku in 1986 (with 96 episodes and 4 Original Video Animation (OVA)s, which are animes made only on video but not on TV). It also made Ranma ½ in anime. Kitty Animation stopped because of problems, and Ranman ½ anime also stopped during episode 161.

Sunrise was the next studio to make animes out of Rumiko Takahashi's mangas. They made 167 episodes of InuYasha animes, started on 2000 and ending in 2004. As with Ranma ½, InuYasha did not finish too. This was because the manga InuYasha was too long to continue in anime. Mermaid Saga anime was made in 2003 for 13 series of the manga.

The later animes are from her short mangas like: The Tragedy of P, The Merchant of Romance, Middle-Aged Teen, Hidden In The Pottery, Aberrant Family F, As Long As You Are Here, One Hundred Years of Love, In Lieu of Thanks, Living Room Lovesong, House of Garbage, One Day Dream, Extra-Large Size Happiness and The Executive's Dog.

Effect of her works in Western world (outside Japan)

Rumiko Takahashi is still popular in Europe, mostly in France. Viz Media is the studio that translated most of the animes in English. At early 1990s, they began to translate Urusei Yatsura the anime. Because it was difficult to translate the Japanese way of life/culture and the confusing puns and wordplay, they stopped the series. Mermaid Saga, Maison Ikkoku and Inuyasha could go on even so. Ranma ½ was popular for English-speakers. It was shown all over the world. Viz also showed InuYasha anime on Adult Swim, where it was very popular. InuYasha is the very popular even now. Even with many of her works have Japanese cultures that is difficult to understand in them, the believable characters in them and their feelings are easy to understand all over the world.

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