Rumiko Takahashi


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Big Comic Original 40th Anniversary Interview

Taken from Coming Soon October 29, 2014
Translated by: Harley Acres

[Series Column] "Original" 40th Anniversary "Original & Me" vol. 6 - Rumiko Takahashi!!

This year Big Comic Original is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The creators and celebrity readers who have supported and appeared in Big comic Original over the past 40 years will appear in this column! Our sixth edition will go one round with the popular "Rumic Theater" creator herself, Rumiko Takahashi!

[Volume 6 Rumiko Takahashi]

[Profile]: Born October 10, 1957 in Niigata Prefecture. In 1978 she debuted in Shonen Sunday with "Those Obnoxious Aliens" followed by "Urusei Yatsura" which won the Shogakukan Newcomers Award. Subsequently "Maison Ikkoku" was a big hit which appeared in Big Comic Spirits in 1980, followed by "Ranma ," "Inuyasha, and "Mermaid Saga" which were also big hits. She first appeared in Original in 1980 with "Wedded Bliss" and in 1987 she began her yearly "Rumic Theater" series with "The Merchants of Romance". She is the winner of the 26th and 47th Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shonen category and the 18th and 20th Nebula Awards for manga.

Original is sort of like udon, it has a large variety of stories in it.

This is Original's 40th anniversary and I've actually been a happy reader for all 40 years. So many great authors have written for the magazine and were readers before they were creators. In 1987 "Rumic Theater" debuted in Original and has appeared yearly since that time and has been well-loved by our readers.

Question: Tell us about your first encounter with Original.

Takahashi: I was reading from almost the first issue. I was a high school student at the time, but anyway, I was buying it for "Abu-san".

Question: So you were a Shinji Mizushima fan. What was your first impression of the magazine?

Takahashi: Other than "Abu-san" I read "Haguregumo" and I started reading a few other things too I think like Ryohei Saigan's "San-

choume no Yuuhi" (Sunset on Third Street) and before I debuted his "Professional Retsudan" (Professional Biographies)...

Question: In the early days of the magazine many of the series were in a gekiga style which comes as a bit of a surprise now.

Takahashi: I certainly remember (laughs). Toru Shinohara had a serial, Hitoshi Hirano's "Sahara" (written by Kazuo Koike), and Moribi Murano's "Kakine no Majo".

Question: As a high school girl in the 70s was it hard to decide what you wanted to buy?

Takahashi: Well, the stories that were appearing in Original were good. At that time I was also buying Shonen Sunday, Magazine, King and GORO and later even Garo! Whatever Ryoichi Ikegami happened to be publishing in at the time. In general, I would buy them depending on the creators who were publishing there. I didn't feel embarassed about it. (Note from Harley: These are all boy's and men's magazines, I do not know if we should have an editors note clarifying that and there are not typical magazines bought by high school girls).

Question: In "Abu-san" both the protagonist and the author are originally from Niigata. Do you think there was some fellow sensibility that you shared with them?

Takahashi: Sunday's "Otoko do Ahou Koshien" (with Mamoru Sasaki) and Magazine's "Yakyuu-kyo no Uta" were two others that I was really into that Mizushima-sensei did and he always seemed like he was from Osaka to me (laughs). Come to think of it, he came to Niigata for an autograph session when I was in high school. I got a drawing of Abu-san standing next to Kyuuichiro Kokuritsu. It is something I still treasure to this day. Abu-san was handsome, he was something I hadn't seen in shonen manga before, he was an adult.

Question: Did you ever think that years later your work would be published alongside Abu-san?

Takahashi: Of course it was an honor. I didn't have that feeling as much since I am only published once a year (in Original), but it was still an honor. From the beginning when I published "Merchant of Romance" I felt like I was stretching myself, no doubt about it. It wasn't because of my age, but anytime I appear in Original I feel like my works have a more grown-up appearance. It was almost like, "oh Dad is home with his magazines that kids think are good too." So ages can vary but they're stories of fathers and housewives. Every year, in the editorial meetings it seems that it will be a story that really captures a sign of the times, a darker story that still has a happy ending. Maybe because it's always around the New Year. *laughs* Meanwhile Original is loaded with radical stories, it's addictive, there is such a large variety of ingredients in it, even if you only feel like having udon. This "Big" magazine is sort of like soba. (laughs)

Next issue, volume 7 Shinichi Ishizuka

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