Naoko Takeuchi

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Naoko Takeuchi
Born Takeuchi Naoko
(武内 直子)

(1967-03-15) March 15, 1967 (age 47)
Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Education Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy
Occupation Manga artist
Employer Kodansha, Princess Naoko Planning
Spouse(s) Yoshihiro Togashi (1999–present)
Children 2
Awards Kodansha Manga Award (1993)
Website
http://sailormoon-channel.com

Naoko Takeuchi (武内 直子 Takeuchi Naoko?, Japanese pronunciation: [ta.keꜜ.u͍.tɕi naꜜ.o.ko] born March 15, 1967) is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known for her manga series Codename: Sailor V (1991–1997) and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (1991–1997).

She earned the 2nd Nakayoshi Comic Prize for Newcomers in 1985 for Yume ja Nai no Ne and the 1986 New Artist award for Love Call. Her next manga Sailor Moon, went on to become one of the most popular and successful manga around the world, with over 35 million copies sold worldwide.[citation needed] In 1993, she earned the Kodansha Manga Award for the series. Overseas, Sailor Moon's anime adaptations have been more successful than the manga and are credited with boosting Japanese animation's popularity in the Western world.

Early life[edit]

Naoko Takeuchi, the daughter of Kenji and Ikuko Takeuchi, has a younger brother named Shingo. She used the names of her family members in the manga of Sailor Moon, and mentions this in interviews and in several comic-strips which she produced in place of author-notes.

Takeuchi attended Kofu Ichi High School.[1] She wore sailor suits and joined the astronomy and manga clubs.[2] This experience later influenced her work, Sailor Moon, as well as her previous manga such as Love Call and Rain Kiss. She wanted to become a manga artist at this age. However, Kenji suggested that Takeuchi should find another profession if she did not make it as an artist, so she went to university to study chemistry.

Takeuchi graduated from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, where she received a degree in chemistry and became a licensed pharmacist. Her senior thesis was called "Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound".[3]

Career[edit]

1986-1997: Early work and success[edit]

Before becoming a manga artist, Takeuchi worked as a miko at the Shiba Daijingu shrine near her university. This experience later became the basis for one of her characters in Sailor Moon, Rei Hino.[4]

After graduating from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, Takeuchi entered the manga industry by submitting Love Call to Kodansha at the age of 19, which received an award. She worked steadily on one-shot pieces until writing Maria, which was published in Nakayoshi from early to mid-1990. She based this work, her first serial comic, loosely on Daddy-Long-Legs and on her friend Marie Koizumi, who helped her write it.

After completing Maria, Takeuchi worked on the ice-skating series The Cherry Project which was serialized in Nakayoshi from late 1990 to 1991. While working on The Cherry Project, Takeuchi wanted to do a manga on outer space and girl fighters. Her editor, Fumio Osano, asked her to put the fighters in sailor-suits. This concept would later become a one-shot called Codename: Sailor V, which would later begin serialization in RunRun. When Toei Animation planned to adapt her manga into an anime series, she reworked Sailor V and added four other super heroines.

In December 1991, Nakayoshi began serializing Sailor Moon, and became an instant hit. The success encouraged Takeuchi to work on both Sailor Moon and Sailor V from 1991 to 1997. However, RunRun was canceled with the November 1997 issue, and the planned Sailor V anime adaptation was canceled with it.[5] During that 6 year period, she produced 52 chapters that were collected in 18 volumes. Moreover, the success of the manga led to two anime adaptations, three animated films, a live-action adaptation, numerous video games, and mega-merchandising.

At the series' end, Takeuchi worked on PQ Angels for Nakayoshi. This gained a fair amount of popularity but was canceled due to Kodansha losing seven pages of her manuscript. Takeuchi said that Toei Animation had the manuscript, therefore it would have been possible to create an anime adaptation of the series.[6]

Takeuchi's own studio is called "Princess Naoko Planning" (PNP). Takeuchi established PNP to manage her properties, mainly Sailor Moon. Later the studio encompassed Yoshihiro Togashi's work as well and showed up in the credits for such anime as Level E and Hunter × Hunter. Its name shows up on several musical credits such as Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu.

1997-present[edit]

Following the loss of seven pages of Takeuchi's PQ Angels manuscript, Osano departed Kodansha and the plans for the Materials Collection were canceled.[6] Takeuchi departed Kodansha for Shueisha.[6]

On August 13, 1998, Takeuchi made her first appearance in the United States at the San Diego Comic-Con International convention for three days.[7] That same year, she published the first Sailor Moon art book since her departure from Kodansha, Sailor Moon Infinity Collection Art Book with limited releases.

In her short comic strip Princess Naoko Takeuchi Back-to-Work Punch!!, Takeuchi met Yoshihiro Togashi at a Weekly Shōnen Jump meeting hosted by Kazushi Hagiwara, and had a meeting arranged between them by voice actress Megumi Ogata.[8][9] She collaborated with Togashi as an assistant (doing screentone) and as a manager on volume 1 of Hunter × Hunter. However the work and the demands proved more than she had expected, and Takeuchi left Shueisha as a result.

Around this time Takeuchi conceived the idea for a one-shot called Toki*Meka, which eventually turned into Toki*Meca.[10] Togashi had a similar idea at the same time as her, but never fully brought it to fruition. He helped somewhat with Toki*Meka at this point in developing the idea by drawing some concept sketches, which Takeuchi showed in Toki*Meca volume 1.

Togashi and Takeuchi married in 1999. From this marriage, the couple have two children: a son, born in January 2001, and a daughter, born in 2009.[11]

After Kodansha's rights to Sailor Moon expired, Takeuchi returned to the publisher in 1999 to develop and publish the Materials Collection. She also began serializing Love Witch, but was cancelled. Takeuchi also started to work on the reprints of Sailor Moon and Sailor V. She also published Toki*Meka in Nakayoshi

In 2003, Takeuchi became heavily involved in producing Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a tokusatsu television series based on Sailor Moon. Takeuchi had an interest in learning more about the anime industry.[12] This culminated in the creation of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. The series plot displays a plot heavily reliant on the manga and also explores many themes that the manga was unable to explore. She showed up at the official conference with a fist up, meaning "good luck", in Act Zero.

After production of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon ended in 2004, Takeuchi continued work on Toki*Meca. During the manga's serialization, Osano returned as her editor.[10] Takeuchi also worked more closely with managing PNP and gave talks to college students.[13] At the same time, she wrote a children's book titled Oboo-nu- to Chiboo-nu- as a birthday present to her son. (Togashi illustrated the children's book. She made mention of it in the back of volume 1 of Toki*Meca.) She still works on the website, updating it about once a month with new flash animations or profiles.[14]

In 2012, it was announced that a new Sailor Moon anime adaptation was in development.[15] With it, Takeuchi started a Kanzenban version of the manga which was announced by Osano, which will include fixed mistakes from the past and new covers for the manga. Color pages are also included for the title pages. There was also an artbook announced and she has been working on merchandise which is announced by Osano on his Twitter feed.

Works[edit]

Manga[edit]

Work Years Summary
Chocolate Christmas (チョコレート·クリスマス Chokorēto Kurisumasu?) 1987–1988 A story about a girl who falls in love with a DJ over Christmas. It appeared collected into a single tankōbon volume.
Maria' (ま·り·あ Ma-ri-a?) 1989–1990 A story loosely based on the book Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. She released a pocket edition of the book in 1994, which was co-written with her friend, Marie Koizumi.
The Cherry Project (Theチェリープロジェクト The Cherī Purojekuto) 1990–1991 A figure-skating-themed manga, spanning 3 volumes, involving the young skater Cherry's quests to become a professional skater and to win the heart of a boy. The series was released by Kodansha in 3 collected volumes between 1991 and 1992. One of its characters also appears in Sailor Moon.
Codename: Sailor V 1991–1997 This series follows the adventures of costumed "magical girl" Sailor V. It directly preceded (and became something of a prototype for) Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, introducing Minako Aino, alias "Sailor V," who would become a significant character in the latter series. Takeuchi concluded the series she had already finished Sailor Moon; Sailor V featured an ending that tied the two series together. Originally released in 3 volumes, Codename: Sailor V was re-released in 2004 in a deluxe two-volume "Renewal Edition" (新装版 Shinzōban) format.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン Bishōjo Senshi Sērāmūn) 1992–1997 Known to American audiences simply as Sailor Moon, this manga became Naoko Takeuchi's most famous work, and spawned an anime, several films, stage musicals, a live-action television series and video games of various genres. A fusion of styles between the mahō shōjo and sentai genres, Sailor Moon tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, a girl who discovers one day her identity as the reincarnation of a celestial heroine fighting for love and justice. This series was largely responsible for the late-1990s resurgence of "magical girl" anime and manga. The series was originally released in 18 volumes, but was re-released in 2003 and 2004 in a deluxe 12-volume "Renewal Edition" (新装版 Shinzōban) format, with two supplementary volumes containing side stories to the main work. Characters from her previous work, Codename Sailor V, return in this one.
Miss Rain (ミス·レイン Misu Rein) 1993 A collection of 5 short manga, including the title work.
Prism Time (プリズム·タイム Purizumu Taimu) 1986–1997 A collection of one-shot stories from early works to those from the late 1990s. It is available in 2 volumes, released in 1995 and 1997, respectively.
PQ Angels (PQエンジェルス PQ Enjerusu) 1997 Features two alien girls, able to turn into cockroaches, who are searching for their princess. The series was a complete disaster for Takeuchi: it was discontinued abruptly after only 4 chapters, and Kodansha lost the proofs of the portion that had been written. It has therefore only appeared in its original serialization, from September to December 1997.
Princess Naoko Takeuchi's Return-to-Society Punch!! 1998–2004 A collection of short strips detailing what Takeuchi did after Sailor Moon. It ran for a number of years under a changing title, giving details about her post-Sailor Moon slump and recovery, as well as her meeting, marrying, and starting a family with fellow manga creator Yoshihiro Togashi. The comic ran in Shueisha's Young You magazine, rather than a Kodansha publication, and has not been collected since its original serialization. There are similar "____ Punch!" comic strips in the same format at the end of some of the Sailor Moon "Renewal Edition" volumes.
Toki☆Meka! (とき☆メカ! Toki☆Meka!) 2001 A one-shot story about a robot (Mecha), her creator, and their adventures.
Love Witch (ラブ ウィッチ Rabu Witchi) 2002 A story where a girl receives a perfume bottle and becomes a witch, but with a heavy price. It ran in Nakayoshi magazine from April to June 2002, with a side story in September 2002. It was discontinued after 3 chapters and one side story, with no explanation. It has yet to be reprinted in any sort of compilation.
Toki☆Meca! (とき☆めか! Toki☆Meca!) 2005–2006 A serialized version of the original one-shot, begun after the completion of the Sailor Moon and Sailor V re-releases. The first portion ran from the January to April 2005 issues of Nakayoshi, after which the author went on hiatus, promising that she would return to the series later. The second phase of the series started in November 2005. One collected volume, released in August 2005, has been published thus far. The serialization officially ended in May 2006. This makes Toki☆Meca! the first series that Takeuchi has completed since Sailor Moon and Codename: Sailor V.

Anime[edit]

  • Sailor Moon (TV anime, 1992–1997) – original concept, based on her manga Sailor Moon
  • Sailor Moon Crystal (Web anime, 2014–present) – original concept, based on her manga Sailor Moon

Illustrations[edit]

Written books[edit]

Song lyrics[edit]

Takeuchi wrote the lyrics for a number of songs featured in the Sailor Moon anime and live-action series. Though mainly character-based image songs, they include a few theme songs.[16] These include:

  • Ai wo Shinjiteru ("Believe in Love")_Image song for Sailor Moon
  • Chikara wo Awasete ("Combining Power")—Image song for Taiki/Sailor Star Maker
  • Ginga Ichi Mibun Chigai na Kataomoi ("Unrequited Love a Station Apart in the Galaxy")—Image song for Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter
  • Honoo no Sogekimono (Flame Sniper)—Image song for Sailor Mars
  • Initial U—Image song for Sailor Uranus
  • Katagoshi ni Kinsei ("Venus Over my Shoulder")—PGSM image song for Sailor Venus
  • Kirari*SailorDream! ("Sparkling Sailor Dream!")—Theme Song for Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
  • Luna!—Image song for Luna
  • Mayonaka Hitori ("Alone At Midnight")—Image song for Yaten/Sailor Star Healer
  • Over Rainbow Tour—PGSM image song for Sailor Moon
  • Princess Moon—Second Ending Theme
  • "Rashiku" Ikimasho ("I'll Be As I Am")—Ending theme from SuperS
  • Route Venus—Image song for Sailor Venus (Sailor Moon R)
  • Sailor Star Song—Theme song to Sailor Stars
  • Sailor Team no Theme (Sailor Team's Theme)
  • Senshi no Omoi (Feelings of a Soldier)—Image song for Sailor Neptune
  • We Believe You—Image song for Sailor Jupiter

Awards[edit]

Takeuchi has won several awards, including the 2nd Nakayoshi Comic Prize for Newcomers for Yume ja Nai no Ne in 1985. She also won for "Love Call", which won Nakayoshi's New Artist award which debuted in the Nakayoshi Deluxe September 1986 issue. In 1993 she won the 17th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo for Sailor Moon.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glover, Alex. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved October 27, 2006. 
  2. ^ Obayashi, Ayano. "武内直子先生インタビューの要旨". Archived from the original on October 6, 2002. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ Glover, Alex. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved October 27, 2006. 
  4. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (October 23, 2003). "Rei-chan & Mako-chan Punch!". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon shinsouban Volume 3. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-334783-4. 
  5. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (October 23, 2003). "Liner Notes". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Shinsoban Volume 3. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-334783-4.  :"Run-Run, the magazine she was serialized in, went belly-up. The OVA they planned to put out never came out. She met a harsh fate. It's enough to make one sick. [Minako]: Where did Run-Run go? When is my video coming out?"
  6. ^ a b c "Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! Round 1". 
  7. ^ "Naoko Takeuchi at the San Diego Comic Con!". Smile (Mixx Entertainment): 30–31. December 1998. 
  8. ^ Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! - Round 2
  9. ^ Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! - Round 2
  10. ^ a b Takeuchi, Naoko (August 23, 2005). "Author Notes". Toki Meca Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-372061-6. 
  11. ^ "Sailor Moon's Takeuchi, Hunter X Hunter's Togashi Have 2nd Baby (Updated) - News". Anime News Network. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  12. ^ Kappa Magazine #62, translated by Mina Kaye. Kia Asamiya interviewed Naoko Takeuchi. Naoko Takeuchi expressed an interest in coloring for Asamiya.
  13. ^ ひみつのお部屋
  14. ^ Bacon, Michelle (July 7, 2007). "Manga Style". Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  15. ^ "Kodansha USA Announces the Return of Sailor Moon". Press release. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  16. ^ Bacon, Michelle. "Sailormusic.net". Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  17. ^ Fox, Emily; Makousky, Nadia; Polvi, Amanda; Sorensen, Taylor. "VG: Artist Biography: Takeuchi, Naoko". Retrieved October 27, 2006.