Rumiko Takahashi Twitter Questions

Taken from Rumiko Takahashi's Twitter
Translation by: Harley Acres

Rumiko Takahashi opened her official Twitter account on June 1, 2021 and launched a daily Q&A submission from her global fanbase, here is a collection of the questions.

June 2021 Questions

Question 1.

Please tell us Rumiko Takahashi’s daily work schedule.
Rumiko Takahashi:

Morning- 7 to 8 pages of sketching
12 noon- lunch and housework
16:00- reading and housework
19:00- supper and housework
21:00- start drawing

Next Day
9 am- end of day go to bed
12 noon- lunch and housework
16:00- start drawing
19:00- break/supper
20:00- resume drawing

Next Day
9 am- end
There are many other things. -Rumiko Takahashi

Question 2.

How many days will it take to complete one chapter of the manga?
Rumiko Takahashi:

It takes one day (3 to 4 hours) for an editorial meeting, 3 days for a name (rough), and 2 and a half days for drawing.

First of all a meeting with the editor in charge. While supervising the goods and chatting it will gradually become the next story.

Next is the name. I will make about 6 pages a day. Start at 23:00 write and draw until 6:00 am then show it to the editor and have a light meeting.

I do that for three days.

And then I draw with the time schedule I answered earlier (see question 1).

It takes 40 minutes for drafting and 20 minutes for “a characters pen”. It takes about an hour in total. I ask my assistants to work on the background and finishes. Sometimes my hands are free so in that case I do what the assistants do, apply screen tones and work on the backgrounds.

And so one chapter will be completed in 5 to 6 days.

Question 3.

What is the most important point when drawing/writing Mao and Nanoka in MAO?
Rumiko Takahashi:

“Mao has a lot of past baggage and tends to be introverted, but doesn’t dwell on it too much. Compared to Mao, Nanoka is cheerful and positive. I try to keep a variety of emotions in mind.”

Question 4.

Please tell me if there is a book that Rumiko-sensei read recently that was interesting! Also if you have a recommending book for jr high school and high school students, I would be very happy if you could tell me!
Rumiko Takahashi:

It’s quite difficult to recommend a book to people. Because I want you to think it’s interesting. It’s not a recent work but I recommend Jiro Asada sensei’s Aomiya no Tobira. Also the work of Agatha Christie. When I am addicted to one work, I have a habit of reading the work by the author from the beginning. During the holidays before the MAO series I went to the Agatha Christie shelf in the bookstore, bought and read, and repeated everyday. And I finished reading almost all her works. I’m glad that it was very interesting and I learned how to make mysteries.

Question 5.

What’s the difference between a person who would make a good manga artist and one who would not?
Rumiko Takahashi:

“It’s a difficult question, but I came up with 3 characteristics for people who are successful manga artists. The first is being a resilient and strong person. The second is people who don’t stick to one idea. Of course, When drawing manga you’ll get stuck. At that time, it is important to look at things from different perspective and look for something that can be used. When you find something interesting, be a person who can change direction quickly. And the final thing, naturally, is being a person who likes manga. Drawing manga is a lot of fun. I don’t think it’s good to draw something while in a bad mood. Those are my honest thoughts.”

Question 6.

I’m a high school student who admires you Takahashi-sensei and I continue to draw, but recently there are many people who are better than me on SNS (social media) as well as fellow classmates, and I’m getting tired of it. Did you ever have a similar time in your life?
Rumiko Takahashi:

“It’s a very modern problem, but I truly understand. However when I was a kid, I had very few chances to see pictures other people drew other than manga artists. Before my debut, the editor at the time said with a serious expression, ‘you should practice drawing,’ which I took to mean “I’m not good at drawing?” I recall having that thought. When I think about it now, I think I was able to make my debut as a manga artist at a very good time. People these days are really good at drawing aren’t they? I use the internet to do research, but I’m always impressed with the illustrations and manga that I happen to see there because they are all very good.”

Question 7.

I would like to know if there is a celebrity whose "cuteness" caught you by surprise?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Hmm, let's see, everyone is so cute so it's hard to pick just one. Oh, but lately Riho Yoshioka's DonGitsune is really cute. I can't help but watch the commercials on TV."

Question 8.

Many of Rumiko-sensei's characters are long-haired males. Do you like long-haired male characters? I love your long-haired characters.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"It's a very functional issue simply because long hair is more manga-esque.

It is an easily distinguishing characteristic.

Even if the bangs are mussed by the wind, you still recognize who the character is.

I think it's useful."

Question 9.

I think the relationship between the hero and the heroine of each of your series works very well. Even if the characters never say the words "I like you" to one another, you can tell they have those feelings. Is there anything in particular that you value in expressing the bond between the main characters?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"My feeling is that if the hero and heroine say that they like one another, then the story is over at that point.

Therefore, the important thing is not to put it into words.

Then the two will have misunderstandings. "I don't know what the person in front of me thinks of me." When that happens then you're really dying to hear them confess their feelings.

The expression "like" isn't just a word. Make the reader aware that the two characters like one another. However, it should also be a mechanism that the hero and heroine themselves do not fully understand those feelings.

That's how I like to devise things."

Question 10.

I would like to know how you start a new series? I've always been curious how you make such interesting works!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In the case of a new serialization, I generally decide the direction. Is it a comedy or a more serious story? After that I decide on a world view and think of a character that fits in that world.

The most important thing are the characters, so I think about the balance between the hero and the heroine. I'm going to ad-lib the story from there, hoping that each week will be interesting."

Question 11.

In "MAO", Nanoka's middle school is a combined middle & high school. Was this because Kagome had such a hard time getting into high school?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"You're right. Somehow, there is a fundamental difference between Nanoka and Kagome. I feel that the disasters and destiny that Nanoka is facing are more difficult (of course, I think Kagome's are also difficult too). Then, I decided to lighten her studies, so I decided to have her go to a school that is consistent from middle to high school and thus does not have an examination between the two."

Question 12.

Hello Takahashi-sensei, you have said in the past that you like the Hanshin Tigers, do you have any favorite foreign players that have helped the Tigers in the past? I like Jeff Williams.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I also like Williams. And Messenger too. There are many pitchers. I am eager for us to get a home run batter. Other than the foreign players, my most recommended player these days is Umeno. I've always liked catchers."

Question 13.

I am always reading your work and think the girls' clothes you draw are really cute! Sometimes Lum would wear really cute clothes when she went out. Is there anything you refer to when drawing clothes?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In the past I used to refer to clothes worn by talents (celebrities) in fashion magazines and on TV. These days I look at online shopping sites. My recent favorite is the outfit that I drew for Yurako."

Question 14.

As a series comes to a close, what sort of feelings do you have towards your characters?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"It is a feeling of 'thank you for your hard work'. Shortly before the end of the series I draw with a feeling of saying goodbye to each of the characters. However, I'm really happy to receive letters from readers who still like the old characters."

Question 15.

Rumiko-sensei made her debut when you were a college student, so I think it was difficult to do both at the same time. What kind of measures do you usually take when you feel sleepy?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In such a case you should take the plunge and fall asleep. If you take a quick nap for a short time, your head will be clear. I wake up after about 3-4 hours, so I will take a nap while watching a pro-baseball night game. It's about 1.2 hours. So it's enough to sleep for about 6 hours total in a day."

Question 16.

What is your favorite TV show?
Rumiko Takahashi:

""Getsuyo kara yofukashi", "Ame Talk", "Ronha", "Pureibatto", "Gurunai", "Honmadekka TV", "Ariyoshi Hanseigai", "Choko-chan ni shikarareru", "Gakishi" etc.

Lots of things. I really like to binge watch. A drama I like is "Aibou". Basically I'm a TV junkie."

Question 17.

Does Kyoko's surname "Otonashi" mean "no husband"? Is Mao's name taken from the Chinese for cat? I'd like you to tell me how you always come up with a nice name!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I didn't notice 'no husband'!! It's amazing. I remember that 'Otonashi' was used because it seems to be the opposite of something like 'Hibiki'. Mao is the correct answer regarding cat names.

A good name should be easy to remember and pronounce and should match the taste of the story.

It's so important when the appearance of the character is decided, so I use dictionaries for flowers and stars and also ancient language dictionaries. Maybe remembering a lot of words helps too."

Question 18.

Ever since I watched the Inuyasha anime when I was in elementary school I've been addicted to manga and really love it. Is there any manga that Rumiko-sensei still remembers from her childhood?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"When I was little it was 'Osomatsu-kun', 'Obake no Q-Taro', 'Perman' and Tezuka-sensei's 'Princess Knight', 'W3' and 'Dororo'.

I think my current manga has been greatly influenced by all the dreams of flying, transforming and mysteries."

Question 19.

I am a high school student who recently started drawing manga. When you were in high school did you also draw manga? I am worried it might affect my studies.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"When I was a junior high student I secretly drew all night long."

"I really wanted to draw."

"When I was in my third year of college, I made my debut and made it work. But I mostly focused on it during my summer and winter vacations.

"The trick may be to 'enjoy drawing'."

Question 20.

What readership are you aiming at when you create your work, Takahashi-sensei? I'm currently a high school student and I love all of your works because they are so interesting!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In the case of shonen magazines, we focus on people from the upper grades of elementary school to those in their 30s and 40s."

"When I was young I enjoyed it straight away."

"Even if you grow up you'll read it again and again."

"When I draw I wish that what I'm creating is a "work that can be read for a long time".

Question 21.

I always feel the love for the old men in your works. Is there anything you keep in mind when drawing old guys? Also, please let me know if you like the way your old men are received.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In my case, if there is an old man in my work the story will come along well. There are some things that can only be said by an old man."

"Also, it's easier to draw when there are various age groups in a work."

"I'm working hard for my family, but it's not rewarding. Even in such a situation, I find little happiness and live roughly.' I like older men characters because of their passions and sadness."

"However, I can't draw a cool and strong old man. If I try, I wind up making them look like cool young men."

Question 21.

I always feel the love for the old men in your works. Is there anything you keep in mind when drawing old guys? Also, please let me know if you like the way your old men are received.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"In my case, if there is an old man in my work the story will come along well. There are some things that can only be said by an old man."

"Also, it's easier to draw when there are various age groups in a work."

"I'm working hard for my family, but it's not rewarding. Even in such a situation, I find little happiness and live roughly.' I like older men characters because of their passions and sadness."

"However, I can't draw a cool and strong old man. If I try, I wind up making them look like cool young men."

Question 22.

I am a manga artist, what is the key to making a character that is "easy to use" and "vividly functions" in a manga?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I start with 'what kind of person is this person?' 'What kind of reaction am I looking for and why?' Certainly, their relationship with other characters is important. That is because each has his own role. "Boke," "Tsukkomi", "support", someone who is calming, it is also important that the character is not redundant."

Question 23.

I often draw illustrations and manga but I'm worried because I cannot come up with my own style. My drawings always look like someone else's. Rumiko-sensei's drawings can always be recognized by anyone. How can I establish my own style?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Before my debut I also imitated the drawings of other mangaka."

"Those styles mixed and became my current style."

"First of all, I think you can use a lot of your favorite images as models."

"Eventually, it will mature and become your design."

Question 24.

I have often been encouraged by your work during difficult times in the past. Do you have any ideology when you are drawing your manga? I'm looking forward to the serialized "MAO" chapters each week!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I would like my manga to be read casually and without treating it like a big deal."

"If I am writing a gag I want it to be absurd, but if it is a serious scene I want it to be heartbreaking."

"Even if someone has their feelings hurt in the manga I want them to retain their dignity."

"Manga is entertainment so I don't really think about the themes or ideology."

"Read it, have fun, and maybe life won't be so bad. I would be very happy if my manga made you feel that way."

Question 25.

I feel that Takahashi-sensei's recent work has a fewer number of panels per page. Do you alter this according to what series you are working on? Ranma had a lot of panels and a lot of information but MAO has a smaller number of panels and feels very powerful.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I consciously change the number of panels depending on the work."

"Regarding MAO I boldly use one whole page for scenes where one person is standing. I feel it is better to draw the world view and costumes in an easy-to-understand way to bring the reader into the story."

"Especially at the beginning, Mao and Nanoka's "eye up" is an important panel due to the nature of the story, so the panels were given a lot of space."

"At the time of "Urusei Yatsura" and "Ranma 1/2" the amount of information naturally increased because of the single-chapter nature of the story."

"I think story manga is really fun because it can use a lot of big panels."

Question 26.

When you read your fan mail regularly, do you still get anything out of it? I think I would like to write you if I finish my exams this year.
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Of course I read it.

I think manga artists are creatures who cannot live without compliments.

It fills me with courage to think that someone is reading my manga.

So, I'll look forward to your letter."

Question 27.

I'm the type that really embraces the heroine when I read manga. Do you ever embrace the heroine?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Not only the heroine, but the emotions of the characters are very important also, so I draw while thinking about each of the characters' feelings.

I'll share a memory of a story.

When I was drawing "Inuyasha", Kagome realized "I like Inuyasha," and cried "I want to be with you."

Question 28.

I am hoping to become a voice actor. I became fond of anime because of the anime "Kyokai no Rinne". I would like to appear in Rumiko's work someday. So I have a question. Please tell us what you value as a character!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"One must be careful not to let the character's personality change too much. I think that if you stick with a personality, you will be able to draw unexpected things after that. They should have at lease one likable characteristic too. Also, you really have to love the character. I think it's very important."

Question 29.

What is Rumiko-sensei's favorite food and favorite thing to cook? Do you cook like Sakura-chan in "Kyokai no Rinne"?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Cooking is okay. Generally, I make a lot of noodle dishes using frozen soba. I'll use Japanese mustard spinach (komatsuna) and fried tofu. I also love pasta, especially Napolitan and I often make that.

If I have free time I also do stews. That is fun.

Anyway, other than that I usually make something homemade every day. "

July 2021 Questions

Question 30.

As a member of society, I feel that there are many aspects of work. How much do you feel that your work is painful versus fun?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"It's fun, but it's about 90% and then 5 parts not. The 5 parts is the pain of "sleepiness". I shouldn't fall asleep. I am lucky to be able to do my favorite job."

Question 31.

What do you do to prevent your characters from blurring or drifting from your intentions when you make your manga?
Rumiko Takahashi:

“Since the character is not established from the beginning, I search for the reaction of that person for each chapter. It's okay to be vague, so I think about the environment in which they live, their economic status, and what they pride themselves on. Because these are the basis for the character’s reactions.

Once you have a certain sense of a character, stick to it. Surprising actions are required, but if you understand the rationale, you will not be thrown off.

On the contrary, I think that it will throw you off if you force the character to act like a certain way for the convenience of the story.“

Question 32.

Hello Rumiko-sensei. Every time I read your work I am attracted to the interactions between the hero and heroine. Is there a particularly heart-wrenching scene that left a lasting impression in your work?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I still like the final chapter of "Urusei", the hugging scene and the shout from Ataru. And the proposal scene from "Maison" even though I drew it a long time ago. There are scenes from "Ranma", "Inuyasha" and "Rinne" too but I can't write about all of them.

However in those three works I like the scenes where the heroine notices these feelings of affection and secretly rejoices, rather than when they're facing each other directly. Since "Mao" is still a young series there aren't many such scenes, but I like the date (?) in the 8th volume. Things like that I like."

Translation Note: The (?) was included by Takahashi. She's not sure if they had a formal date or not.

Question 33.

The times warm in both "Inuyasha" and "MAO". Why did you decide to do time warp stories?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I do it because time-travel is a big part of young-adult fiction. I like it.

The incidents at the core of the stories of "Inuyasha" and "MAO" occur in the past. The reader relates to the story best via a modern heroine who has the same perspective on these events as they do. In a sense she becomes the navigator for the reader. "

Question 34.

Hello! During any of your serializations were there any works or characters that changed their route and went in a different direction from what you originally planned?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"The most unusual one is "Maison Ikkoku". At first, I intended to make it a group drama about people in a poor apartment building, a human-interest drama. Instead it became a full-blown romantic drama."

Question 35.

I've heard Takahashi-sensei likes to laugh, are there any entertainers that you are fond of?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Recently its "Pekopa" or "Miyashita Kusangai". "Sandwichman", "Punk Boo Boo", and "Milk Boy" are the ones you definitely don't want to miss their new programs. It's interesting no matter how many times you see the same routine.

Question 36.

What is your favorite Ghibli work?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I watch most Ghibli moves in the theater. After all these years it is still "Nausicaa". This is the first Ghibli work, right? I've always loved Hayao Miyazaki and I felt that "Nausicaa" had brought Mr. Miyazaki's world into our own. It was the anime I was really happy to go see."

Question 37.

I want to know Mao, Hyakka and Kamon's ages 900 years ago!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Roughly speaking Mao is 17-18 years old, Hyakka is 14 and Kamon is 22-23 years old.

Originally Heian era boys wore eboshi when they 12-13 years old but I didn't want Mao to wear one. I got information on the internet that Abei no Seimei was 15-16 years old at his genpuku (coming of age ceremony) which was late. I don't know if I will draw it in the story but I imagine that there is some drama at Mao's genpuku."

Translation Note: An "eboshi" is the tall, black hat like what Kamon, Shiranui, Hakubi and Natsuna are shown wearing.

Question 38.

What have you laughed at lately? I really want to know!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Was the most recent time Chocolate Planet's 'Bad Face Championship' that I saw on TV? I love variety shows, so I laugh every time.

Question 39.

You mentioned that you received a color drawing of Ai Haibara from Aoyama-sensei on Twitter. Please tell us why you like Ai Haibara!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Her face and hairstyle are cute and she's the same as Conan inside in that she's an adult. Megumi Hayashibara is a great match for her voice."

Question 40.

I like onomatopoeia like "kapo~n" or "chudo~n", how do you come up with it?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Actually, the inventor of "chudon" was Shin Tamura, who had serialized the manga "Dekin Boy" in Shonen Sunday. He mentions it several times in magazine interviews. I'm sorry, if I love something I'll borrow it as an homage. Mr. Tamura, I'm sorry.

What I like is "Buruinparusu" when the kicked boys form a formation. It's no longer even an onomatopoeia."

Translation Note: "Buruinparusu" is "Blue Impulse", a Japanese aerial/jet acrobatics team similar to the American "Blue Angels".

Question 41.

What do you eat and what do you do when you say, "I'm gonna get fired up!"
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I always eat seafood when I'm doing my rough drawings. Isn't DHS and taurine supposed to be good for the brain and body? As long as you believe it is, it'll work like magic. I don't care about the facts in this case. Also, I always wear an apron while working. It's like a headband to enter work mode."

Question 42.

Please tell me your routine before going to bed!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"I fall asleep while reading a novel or manga. For the past few weeks I've been reading Nagano's "Chiikawa" over and over again."

Question 43.

Are there any manga artists you think of as rivals?
Rumiko Takahashi:

“When I read manga, I do so as a reader. When I make manga I’m full of myself. If I must say someone can I say my rival is “my past self”? I would appreciate it if you could say “I’ve read Takahashi’s past works but now I have free time so I’ll read her new works as well.”

Question 44.

Who is the strongest fighter of the main characters in Rumic World?
Rumiko Takahashi:

"One character will enter from each work: Ataru Moroboshi, Ranma Saotome, Inuyasha, Rinne Rokudo and Mao.

Prepare a wide wrestling ring or a sumo ring, and it doesn't matter how many times someone gets knocked down. Inuyasha's Tetsaiga and Rinne's scythe are partners with them, so they get to use them.

The battle changes whether or not there are prizes. If there is a girl as a prize Ataru might make a strong effort. He could recover quickly.

Ranma doesn't like to lose so he won't stop until he wins. Inuyasha is a half-demon so he is stronger than humans. Rinne is strong when money is involved. Mao cannot die. It would quickly turn into a battle royale.

Inuyasha might not understand the rules and would get a ring-out early on. Mao might abstain simply because he isn't interested in such a competition.

I want the remaining three people to do their best until they get stuck. I can't predict the outcome. I'm tired of writing so I'll stop here."

Question 45.

Please give a handwritten message to your followers!
Rumiko Takahashi:

"Thank you so much for all of you. I am also amazed at all the messages through e-mail and really love it.There have been fan letters from the successive works, from over the decades. Twitter is amazing. I'd like to ask my editor from Shonen Sunday to send keep sending these to me, and I myself will have a lot of Q & As even though I'm still analog, but I hope everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for your cooperation."

Translation Note: The initial post says this will be the final daily Q&A though Takahashi will continue to answer questions and post things in the future.

Question 46.

The villains you draw are all characters that you can't outright hate, but how do you feel when you draw them? For me, far from hating Naraku, he is my favorite character.
Rumiko Takahashi:

“Villains are quite difficult. I can only draw people that I understand so I wonder why these characters come out the way they do. Naraku had many human elements, so he was easy to draw because I understood his motivation, good or bad. But I wanted to do something worse. When I was drawing the story I wondered if I had an "evil" imagination.”