Rumiko Takahashi and Her Mangas

Rumiko Takahashi is a most famous, respected mangaka and a richest woman in Japan thanks to her works. They feature an interesting plot with unconventional denouements of critical situations, many impressive characters, rich action and humor.

While at Japanese Women's University she attended a manga creator school and published some short stories in its limited-circulation journal. After graduation she devoted herself to manga creation despite her profession. As a result, her fans and all readers know her as the author of Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Mermaid Saga, Ranma 1/2, InuYasha and some other mangas.

Manga Urusei Yatsura is one of her 1st prides (34 volumes from 1978 to 1987) enjoying great appeal and better known in the West as Lum (or Those Obnoxious Aliens). For this 1st professional piece of her work she was awarded the Best Young Artist prize. Its plot is rather simple - space invaders give mankind a chance if its representative wins against theirs.

A lot of humor, amusing characters and adventurous plot development define this and most subsequent works. It also provides good info on Japanese culture and mythology. Next manga plots and their characters grew more complex with this manga as probably the funniest.

It gave birth to an anime series, some movies and OVAs. Compared to the other Takahashi's screenings, this series is the longest (almost 200 episodes) starting 3 years after the 1st manga release for 1978-1987.

Unlike all her other mangas, Maison Ikkoku has almost autobiographical narration for not telling about herself, but for reflecting her life impressions during her beginning career in a tiny apartment with 2 assistants and heaps of drawing supplies.

Maison Ikkoku was released simultaneously with Urusei Yatsura and depicts inn dwellers like Takahashi's past neighbors. The manga was on sale for 1980-1987 laying a basis for an animated series and some movies.

Manga Ranma 1/2 is a story of a guy, Ranma Saotome who after falling down a legendary damned spring in China was cursed to turn into a girl in cold water and backwards in hot water. He settled in his dad's friend's dojo (both martial arts masters) and will have to marry one of his daughters. Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura contain many comic elements about Ranma's opponents and his new family members.

The manga went out 1987 to 1996 with great success resulting into an anime series of 6 seasons. Its 1st 3 seasons copy the manga action with the rest as a separate narration related to the manga only by characters. The series wasn't popular probably due to its 1st half targeting the male audience like the manga while the 2nd drama-like half more interesting for women.

Her another manga (the biggest with 56 volumes) is InuYasha telling about a half-demon and high school student, Kagome transferred from modern Japan to the middle ages. There she became a reason for reviving the demon-man InuYasha and destroying the Jewel of 4 Souls giving its owner unimaginable power. On a trip with InuYasha, Kagome tries to return the jewel to its keepers by collecting its pieces.

Like earlier Mermaid Saga, InuYasha is an adventure novel with little humor but not so pessimistic. Its characters try to unite the Jewel of 4 Souls, each with his own aims.

InuYasha circulated for 12 years (1996 - 2008) winning the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2002 as the best shonen manga of the year. It grew into an anime series of 167 episodes, some animated movies and an OVA. The series covers just the 1st 36 manga volumes, so a sequel may follow.

In 1995 the writer's millionth book was sold with the current edition 100+M copies. 2009 saw the release of her new manga, The Boundary of Rinne (Kyoukai no Rinne) in the Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan) magazine about a girl, Sakura Mamiya meeting with a ghost.

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