Moto Hagio

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Moto Hagio
萩尾 望都
Hagio Moto in 2008.jpg
Moto Hagio circa 2008.
Born (1949-05-12) May 12, 1949 (age 70)
Ōmuta, Fukuoka, Japan
Area(s)Writer, manga artist
Notable works
They Were Eleven
Poe no Ichizoku
A Cruel God Reigns
AwardsTezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (1997)
Signature of Moto Hagio 萩尾 望都

Moto Hagio (萩尾 望都, Hagio Moto) is a manga artist born on May 12, 1949 in Ōmuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. She lives in Saitama Prefecture. She is considered a "founding mother" of modern shōjo manga, especially shōnen-ai. She is also a member of the Year 24 Group.[1] She has been described as "the most beloved shōjo manga artist of all time."[2] In addition to being an "industry pioneer", her body of work "shows a maturity, depth and personal vision found only in the finest of creative artists".[3]

Publishing career[edit]

Moto Hagio made her professional debut in 1969 at the age of 20 with her short story "Lulu to Mimi" in Nakayoshi.[4] Nakayoshi's publisher Kodansha wanted "bright and lively" works, and rival publisher Shogakukan sought her out.[5] Keiko Takemiya introduced Hagio to Takemiya's editor, Junya Yamamoto, who accepted all of Hagio's works that Kodansha had rejected.[6] When Hagio began drawing manga, she cut large sheets of "manga paper" to B4 size, and she still uses a G-Pen and a Maru-Pen. When she began drawing manga, she used India ink and a brush, but now uses Copic markers.[7] Later, for Shogakukan Publishing, she produced a series of short stories for various magazines. Two years after her debut, she published Juichigatsu no Gimunajiumu 11月のギムナジウム (The November Gymnasium), a short story that dealt openly with love between two boys at a boarding school. The story was part of a larger movement by female manga artists at the time that pioneered shōnen-ai, a genre of girls' comics about love between young men. In 1974, Hagio developed this story into the longer Thomas no Shinzō (The Heart of Thomas). She was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1976 for her science fiction classic Juichinin Iru! (They Were Eleven) and her epic tale Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Family).[8] In the mid-1980s, Hagio wrote her first long work – Marginal.[9][10] Prior to writing Iguana Girl in 1991, Hagio had not set her works in contemporary Japan.[11] Moto Hagio had a role in the 2008 film Domomata no Shi (Death of Domomata).[12] On June 11, 2009, a party was held in Moto Hagio's honor, "celebrating her 40th year as a professional manga artist". Approximately 200 people attended.[13] In 2011, Joshibi University of Art and Design appointed Hagio as a guest professor.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Hagio is a science fiction fan, and considers Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein to have influenced her,[5] and she has adapted several of Ray Bradbury's short stories from R is for Rocket into manga format.[15]


  • Ruru to Mimi, 1969
  • Seireigari, 1971–1974
  • 11-gatsu no Gymnasium, 1971
  • Poe no Ichizoku, 1972–1976
  • Tottemo Shiwase Moto-chan, 1972–1976
  • Thomas no Shinzou (The Heart of Thomas), 1973–1975
  • They Were Eleven, 1975–1976
  • Alois, 1975
  • Hyaku Oku no Hiru to Sen oku no Yoru, 1977–1978
  • Star Red, 1978–1979
  • Mesh, 1980–1984
  • Houmonsha, 1980
  • A-A', 1981
  • Hanshin, 1984
  • Marginal, 1985–1987
  • Flower Festival, 1988–1989
  • Aoi Tori, 1989
  • Umi no Aria, 1989–1991
  • Roma e no Michi, 1990
  • Abunai Oke no Ie, 1992–1994
  • Zankokuna Kami ga Shihai suru, 1993–2001
  • Barbara Ikai, 2002–2005
  • Nanohana (Rape Blossoms), 2012[16]
  • La Reine Margot [ja],[17] 2012–
  • Away, 2013
  • Tenshi Kamoshirenai, 2016

Works in English[edit]

Few of her works appear in English, but here are some that do:

  • A, A', translated by Matt Thorn, and came out in one volume in 1997 (now out of print) and includes three stories titled A, A' (A, A Prime), 4/4 (Quatre-Quarts), and X+Y parts one and two (originally published in 1981, 1983, and 1984, respectively).
  • They Were Eleven (original date of publication 1975), which was part of the 1996 anthology Four Shōjo Stories. They Were Eleven is available on DVD as an anime, in both dubbed and subtitled formats. Like most anime based on manga, there are various minor changes and omissions.
  • "Hanshin" (original date of publication 1984), a short story, which was published in issue 269 of The Comics Journal alongside an interview with Moto Hagio conducted by Matt Thorn.
  • The Heart of Thomas (1973–1975), translated by Matt Thorn, published in a single-volume omnibus edition by Fantagraphics in 2013 .
  • Otherworld Barbara (2002-2005), translated by Matt Thorn, published in a two-volume omnibus edition by Fantagraphics between 2016-2017 .
  • "Through Yura's Gate", a lengthy short story by Moto Hagio that pays homage to the manga Parasyte, collected in Kodansha's Neo Parasyte M (2017).

A, A' and They Were Eleven have science fiction settings, and both They Were Eleven and X+Y include transgender elements. The science fiction aspects in particular have led to Hagio's work appealing to manga readers who do not generally like shōjo manga.

A 2010 anthology, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, collects the following stories:[18]

  • "Bianca" (1970)
  • "Girl on Porch with Puppy" (1971)
  • "Autumn Journey" (1971)
  • "Marié, Ten Years Later" (1977)
  • "A Drunken Dream" (1980)
  • "Hanshin" (1984)
  • "Angel Mimic" (1984)
  • "Iguana Girl" (1991)
  • "The Child Who Comes Home" (1998)
  • "The Willow Tree" (2007)

These were selected by translator Matt Thorn to be a representative sample of her whole career,[19] with the input of a mixi fan club for Hagio.[7][20]

Other works[edit]



  1. ^ Thorn, Matt (2005). "A History of Manga". Animerica: Anime & Manga Monthly. 4 (2, 4, & 6). Retrieved January 2, 2008.
  2. ^ Thorn, Matt (February 1996). "Introduction". Four Shōjo Stories. Viz Communications. ISBN 1-56931-055-6.
  3. ^ Deppey, Dirk. "The Comics Journal #269: Editor's Notes". The Comics Journal. 269. Archived from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
  4. ^ Randall, Bill (May 15, 2003). "Three by Moto Hagio". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Moto Hagio Focus Panel – San Diego Comic-Con 2010". Anime News Network. August 1, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  6. ^ Aoki, Deb. "Interview: Moto Hagio". The New York Times Company. p. 5.
  7. ^ a b Santos, Carlo. "A Conversation With Moto Hagio". Anime News Network.
  8. ^ a b 小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  9. ^ Thorn, Matt. "The Hagio Moto Interview by Matt Thorn". Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  10. ^ Ebihara, Akiko (2002). "Japan's Feminist Fabulation Reading Marginal with Unisex Reproduction as a Key Concept". 36. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  11. ^ Kawakatsu Miki. "Iguana Girl Turns Manga Legend" (PDF). Japanese Book News Vol. 63. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  12. ^ "Manga Creator Moto Hagio Makes Film Acting Debut". Anime News Network. August 1, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Thorn, Matt (June 20, 2009). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Moto Hagio Party, Handley update". Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  14. ^ "Manga Creator Moto Hagio to Teach at Joshibi U." Anime News Network.
  15. ^ Thorn, Matt (July 30, 2010). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Comic-Con 2010 Report". Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  16. ^ Long, Margherita (2014). "Hagio Moto's Nuclear Manga and the Promise of Eco-Feminist Desire". Mechademia. 9 (1): 3–23. doi:10.1353/mec.2014.0003.
  17. ^ "Moto Hagio to Launch New Manga Serialization in August". Anime News Network. July 14, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  18. ^ Thorn, Matt (March 9, 2010). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Moto Hagio collection, Takako Shimura's "Wandering Son"". Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  19. ^ Garrity, Shaenon (July 27, 2010). "An Interview with Moto Hagio". The Comics Journal. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  20. ^ "Matt Thorn's Blog · Moto Hagio collection, Takako Shimura's "Wandering Son"". March 9, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  21. ^ "時空の旅人 -Time Stranger". Official Madhouse Toki no Tabibito -Time Stranger- film website (in Japanese).
  22. ^ a b c 日本SFファングループ連合会議:星雲賞リスト (in Japanese). Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  23. ^ Manga Award for Excellence: Hagio Moto "Zankoku na kami ga shihai suru" Exhibition
  24. ^ "Nihon SF Taisho Award Winners List". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  25. ^ "Moto Hagio Receives Inkpot Award from Comic-Con Int'l". Anime News Network. July 23, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  26. ^ "40th Japan Cartoonist Awards Honor Moto Hagio". Anime News Network.
  27. ^ "萩尾望都が紫綬褒章を受章、少女マンガ家では初". Comic Natalie. April 28, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  28. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]