Interview with Rumiko Takahashi – Mangaka of InuYasha & Ranma 1/2
JPC: Hello Takahashi-sensei. Thank you for taking the time to interview us. It is a great honour for us, as well as for your German fans. Some of the questions are directly from your fans.
Takahashi: That makes me happy!
JPC: How would you describe your career in manga to someone? Do you think you’re drawing with more passion today than you used to?
Takahashi: My debut as Mangaka was with the title „Katte na Yatsura“ (Those Selfish Aliens), with which I won a prize in the manga competition at Shogakukan publishing house. In high school I started drawing manga and in high school I wanted to become a mangaka. When I was in the 3rd year of my studies, I got this prize. Since I wanted to draw a lot, I was very happy about the debut. My passion from then remained unchanged until today.
JPC: With Inu Yasha, Ranma ½ and many more Manga you have created a real life’s work and made an international name for yourself. Even the title Princess of Mangas. How do you and your works want to be remembered by people? Do you even ask yourself such a question when drawing or do you just draw by emotion and feeling without being great at a certain message or the like?
Takahashi: In my opinion, one way to remember is not to stop drawing. You draw new works and you exist in the manga industry. Old works are also read with it. I don’t have a certain message, but when I draw I think about how readers would enjoy reading in a relaxed way.
JPC: If, like Inu Yasha, you had a well that was the portal to the past, what time would you want to travel to and where would you go?
Takahashi: I don’t regret anything in the past, so I don’t look back. Takahashi-sensei thinks that the desire to travel to the past is for those who have made a mistake and regret it.
JPC: There are 500 years between the time of the quarreling empires and the modern age. What has become of the Yokai during this time? They should be able to live for several thousand years. What happened to Sesshomaru and Koga, for example?
Takahashi: Yokai already have a long life … But I didn’t have several thousand years in my head when I was drawing. The fact is that Kagome travelled back 500 years and I suppose that Yokai lived together with others in the Yokai way.
JPC: Over the years, the medium of manga has evolved a lot. How do you see the changes? What do you use to draw yourself?
Takahashi: I draw analogously with penholder, black (Beta nuri) and raster (foil). The digitization made it possible to draw without assistants and I think it’s good that the younger artists have more chances for a debut if they don’t have much money available.
JPC: In your career, you’ve already completed several works. Is there one that’s particularly close to your heart or that you remember? Why is that so?
Takahashi: Frankly, I like all the works of mine. When I draw a new work, I always try as hard as I can. That’s how I like the manga I’m drawing best.
But if I can name a manga that is particularly close to my heart, that would be my first series, „Urusei Yatsura. Without it I wouldn’t exist at all.
JPC: You’ve been in the manga business for over 30 years. Which event touched you the most here?
Takahashi: When my debut manga „Katte na Yatsura“ appeared in the magazine „Shonen Sunday“!
JPC: Finally, do you have a few words to say to your German fans?
Takahashi: Thank you for reading Japanese manga and having fun! I’m thrilled that despite some cultural differences the „human feeling“ seems the same!
JPC: Thank you so much for the interview. Finally, we also have a fan feedback here that we don’t want to withhold from you: „I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work. I am completely addicted to Inu Yasha, I love story, characters everything and because of one of your characters a fan club was founded.“
Takahashi: Thank you too! And thank you for reading manga like „Inu Yasha“, which is already 10 years old, even today. I am always drawing with new manga and would be happy if you would also read my new work!