Daily Yomiuri Asks A Question…

And Naoko Could Be An Answer?!

Yesterday, the Daily Yomiuri (one of Japan’s largest newspapers) posted a very interesting article on their website asking the question “Who is the artist who played the greatest role in the ‘globalization’ of Japanese manga?” And before we started reading the rest, we took a step back and tried to think of who we thought was the spark that started the manga boom around the world in the last 10 or so years. The names that came to our mind were Osamu Tezuka (famous for Astro Boy among others), Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), and Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon). The article written by otaku and journalist Kanta Ishida mentioned most of these names, along with Fujio F. Fujiko, most famous for Doraemon. However, it argues that the one person we missed, Rumiko Takahashi, is probably that spark. Rumiko Takahashi is known best for many different works, such as Inu Yasha, Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkoku. The article takes a different angle than we all expected, saying that the globalization of manta is really just the globalization of the feeling of sparks of love. Rumiko was the first female mangaka to write boys’ manga in boys’ magazines which later created a boom in romantic comedy manga in the 80s. We can understand that she was a big pioneer but when talking about globalization, we think the author forgot to mention when these works spread out to the rest of the world beyond Asia and we don’t necessarily agree with his choice. Fans, who do you think is the artist who played the greatest role in the ‘globalization’ of Japanese manga?

3 Responses to “Daily Yomiuri Asks A Question…”

  1. Kevin T. Rodriguez Says:

    I feel Rumiko has had, and continues to have, the biggest influence in manga. Behind her I’d say CLAMP (even though I don’t think CLAMP is as great as some people say). Whatever you feel about these people though their names are common among the manga community. Sailor Moon may be a popular name, but her author isn’t, therefore I don’t think I would consider her as important to the globalization of manga as some others.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Although Naoko Takeuchi played a huge role in globalizing anime, I didn’t think the Sailor Moon manga ever gained much popularity in the US. (Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock but…)

    Arguably, without the Sailor Moon manga we would not have the Sailor Moon anime, but I think that Rumiko takes the gold.

  3. sailordees Says:

    Sailor Moon Manga wasn’t as popular as manga is now in North America (since the fanbase has grown a lot since). But I can tell you that it was as popular as it could have been back in that day because Tokyopop still occasionally talks about getting the rights back. I have a feeling that one of the reasons they might be actively pursuing that is because manga is a lot popular now than it was back then and the series could potentially have the success it deserves. Tokyopop though still recognizes Naoko as a spark which helped them in their beginnings make a name for themselves and a force in Manga.

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