Naoko Takeuchi

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Naoko Takeuchi
Born武内 直子
(1967-03-15) March 15, 1967 (age 53)
Kōfu, Yamanashi, Japan
Area(s)Manga artist
Notable works
AwardsKodansha Manga Award (1993)
(m. 1999)

Naoko Takeuchi (武内 直子, Takeuchi Naoko, Japanese: [ta.keꜜ.ɯ.tɕi naꜜ.o.ko] born March 15, 1967) is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known as the author of Sailor Moon, one of the most popular manga series of all time.[1]

She has won several awards, including the 1993 Kodansha Manga Award for Sailor Moon.[2]

Takeuchi is married to Yoshihiro Togashi, the author of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter.

Early life[edit]

Takeuchi was born in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan, to parents Kenji and Ikuko Takeuchi. She has a younger brother, Shingo. She gave the names of her relatives to the characters she created for Sailor Moon, and mentions this in interviews and in several comic strips she produced in place of author notes.

Takeuchi attended Kofu Ichi High School.[3] She wore sailor suit uniforms and joined the astronomy and manga clubs.[4] These experiences influenced her work for Sailor Moon, in addition to her other pieces such as Love Call and Rain Kiss. Her formative high school experiences influenced her trajectory to become a manga artist. Takeuchi's father encouraged her to pursue other career paths in case she wouldn't find success as a professional artist, which is why she attended 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".[5]


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.[6] This experience later became the basis for one of her characters in Sailor Moon, Rei Hino.[7]

After graduating from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, at the age of 19, Takeuchi entered the manga industry by submitting to Kodansha her work Love Call, 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 superheroines.

In December 1991 Nakayoshi began serializing Sailor Moon, which 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.[8] During that 6-year period, she produced 52 chapters that were collected in 18 volumes. The success of the manga led to two anime adaptations, three animated films, a live-action adaptation, numerous video games, and wide-ranging 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.[9]

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


Following the loss of seven pages of Takeuchi's PQ Angels manuscript, Osano departed Kodansha and the plans for the Materials Collection were canceled.[9] Takeuchi departed Kodansha for Shueisha.[9]

On August 13, 1998, Takeuchi made her first appearance in the United States at the San Diego Comic-Con International convention for three days.[10] That same year, she published the first Sailor Moon artbook since her departure from Kodansha, Sailor Moon Infinity Collection Art Book with limited releases.

While working on 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.[11][12] 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.[13] 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 another child, born in 2009.[14]

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 it was cancelled. Takeuchi started to work on the reprints of Sailor Moon and Sailor V, and published Toki*Meca 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.[15] This culminated in the creation of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. The series displays a plot that is 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 the production of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon ended in 2004, Takeuchi continued to work on Toki*Meca. During the manga's serialization, Osano returned as her editor.[13] Takeuchi also worked more closely with managing PNP and gave talks to college students.[16] 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.[17]

In 2012 it was announced that a new Sailor Moon anime adaptation was in development.[18] 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 was announced by Osano on his Twitter feed.



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, Za 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 (コードネームはセーラーV, Kōdonēmu wa Sērā Bui) 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. In 2014, Codename: Sailor V was published in a two-volume "Eternal Edition" (完全版 kanzenban).
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, later known as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) 1991–1997 Known to International 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. In 2013, the chapters were once again re-released in 10 "Eternal Edition" (完全版 kanzenban) volumes to commemorate the manga's 20th anniversary, which includes digitally remastered artwork, new covers and color artwork from its Nakayoshi run. 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) 1996–1997 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 (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, Sister witch, in September 2002. It was discontinued after 3 chapters 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 which began 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.


Sailor Moon (90's series)

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (Reboot series)


Written books[edit]

  • Oboo-nu- to Chiboo-nu- (illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi)
    • A children's book written for her son's birthday.

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.[19] These include:


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.[20]


  1. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. (1999). Dreamland Japan (2nd ed.). Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 9781880656235.
  2. ^ Hahn, Joel. "Kodansha Manga Award". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  3. ^ Glover, Alex. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved October 27, 2006.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Glover, Alex. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved October 27, 2006.
  6. ^ "Minato City Sightseeing database". Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (October 23, 2003). "Rei-chan & Mako-chan Punch!". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon shinsouban Volume 3. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-334783-4.
  8. ^ 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?"
  9. ^ a b c "Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! Round 1".
  10. ^ "Naoko Takeuchi at the San Diego Comic-Con!". Smile. Mixx Entertainment: 30–31. December 1998.
  11. ^ Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! - Round 2
  12. ^ Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! - Round 2
  13. ^ a b Takeuchi, Naoko (August 23, 2005). "Author Notes". Toki Meca Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-372061-6.
  14. ^ "Sailor Moon's Takeuchi, Hunter X Hunter's Togashi Have 2nd Baby (Updated) - News". Anime News Network. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  15. ^ Kappa Magazine #62, translated by Mina Kaye. Kia Asamiya interviewed Naoko Takeuchi. Naoko Takeuchi expressed an interest in coloring for Asamiya.
  16. ^ ひみつのお部屋
  17. ^ Bacon, Michelle (July 7, 2007). "Manga Style". Retrieved 2006-10-01.
  18. ^ "Kodansha USA Announces the Return of Sailor Moon". Press release. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  19. ^ Bacon, Michelle. "". Retrieved 2007-01-28.
  20. ^ Fox, Emily; Makousky, Nadia; Polvi, Amanda; Sorensen, Taylor (2005). "Naoko Takeuchi" (PDF). University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. Voices from the Gaps. Retrieved October 27, 2006.

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