Rumiko Takahashi


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Taken from Shonen October 21, 2009
Note: The following interview was made up of questions from American fans. The most interesting questions were then chosen to be asked to Takahashi. The 10th question about the Mermaid Saga was submitted by our very own webmaster, Harley Acres.

Q. What do you think about RIN-NE being the first manga ever to be simultaneously released in both Japan and North America?

A. I didnít know that until now [laughs], and it's such an honor, more than I deserve.

Q. How would you compare Sakura and Rinne's relationship with those of the protagonists of your past series?

A. Iím still feeling my way with them, so Iím not sure how their relationship will unfold. Inwardly, I think it would be great if it develops into a romantic relationship.

Q. Where do you get your ideas for the shinigami tools Rinne uses?

A. I think them up to suit each situation. Many of the items have motifs which are based on Japanese-style things, so they might not seem so familiar to people in AmericaÖ But who knows, maybe not?

Q. How far out have you plotted the story for RIN-NE?

A. I think it up each week as I go, so even I, the author, have no idea where the story is going.

Q. In most of your series there is a supporting character that is very small, such as Shippo in Inuyasha, Jariten (Ten) in Urusei Yatsura, and now Rokumon in RIN-NE. What inspires you to create such characters?

A. In a sense, theyíre sort of like mascots. Also, I think having a smaller character allows for a broader range of perspectives.

Q. Having completed your work on Inuyasha last year, what were your feelings on doing so and what sort of impression do you feel it has left on readers?

A. It was a long serialization and it was also a heavy story, so I focused on finishing it up in a way that would leave the readers who had read the series for so long with a good feeling.

Q. Do you ever feel that your characters take on a life of their own?

A. Yes, occasionally.

Q. With each new series you create, do you try to show the world more about Japan and its culture, or do you prefer to work towards a more universal story approach?

A. Iím not consciously doing so, but Iím originally writing for Japanese readers, so the lifestyles portrayed and other elements are Japanese. If readers in America can find it interesting, then I think thatís the best case.

Q. What sort of process do you use in coming up with the character designs; do they come to you right away or do you go through several versions of a character before deciding on one?

A. I develop character designs as I work on the storyboards for the manga. So I settle on the final designs at the time I reach the final manuscripts (genko).

Q. Will you ever return to write more Mermaid Saga stories, or do you consider that series complete?

A. I donít consider it complete, so I would like to draw more sometime.

Q. In past interviews, you have sometimes seemed surprised at the popularity of your work outside Japan. Now that so many years have passed since your work became popular overseas, how do you feel about its worldwide popularity?

A. It makes me think that people everywhere are the same. What makes people laugh or moves them doesnít change from country to country. And that makes me very happy.

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