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Naoko Takeuchi

After going to the post-recording parties, I realized that Sailor Moon has come to life! I mean they really exist - Bunny and her friends!! I felt like a goddess who created mankind. It was so exciting.

          — Sailor Moon, Volume 3

Biography / Criticism

Naoko Takeuchi is best known as the creator of Sailor Moon, and her forte is in writing girls' romance manga. Manga is the Japanese word for “comic,” but in English it means “Japanese comics.” Naoko Takeuchi was born to Ikuko and Kenji Takeuchi on March 15, 1967 in the city of Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. She has one sibling: a younger brother named Shingo. Takeuchi loved drawing from a very young age, so drawing comics came naturally to her. She was in the Astronomy and Drawing clubs at her high school. At the age of eighteen, Takeuchi debuted in the manga world while still in high school with the short story “Yume ja Nai no ne.” It received the 2nd Nakayoshi Comic Prize for Newcomers. After high school, she attended Kyoritsu Yakka University. While in the university, she published “Love Call.” “Love Call” received the Nakayoshi New Mangaka Award for new manga artists and was published in the September 1986 issue of the manga magazine Nakayoshi Deluxe. Takeuchi graduated from Kyoritsu Yakka University with a degree in Chemistry specializing in ultrasound and medical electronics. Her senior thesis was entitled “Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound.” Takeuchi worked as a licensed pharmacist at Keio Hospital after graduating. While working at the hospital, her editor encouraged her to continue drawing manga. These manga continued to be serialized in the girls' manga magazine Nakayoshi.

After completing The Cherry Project, a figure skating manga, Takeuchi wanted to write a manga about girls with magical powers for Kodansha's Run-Run magazine. Her new editor, Osappi, suggested she draw the girls wearing sailor suits like the traditional school uniforms in Japan. Codename Sailor V, which was introduced in Run-Run's August 1991 issue, was the product of this idea. It became immensely popular, and Toei Animation wanted to make it into an animated cartoon, called anime in Japan. Kodansha, Takeuchi's publishing company, and Toei proposed that Takeuchi create the manga while they simultaneously created the anime. Takeuchi decided to create a new story for the anime with a team of sailor-suited girls instead of just one. Thus, Sailor Moon was born. It was first published in Nakayoshi in 1992. Takeuchi created Sailor Moon as a character her young girl readers could relate to. During an interview at the 1998 San Diego International Comics Convention, Naoko said that the sailor uniform was a symbol of junior high and high school girls in Japan Takeuchi knew junior high was a difficult time, and she wanted to empower her young readers with a schoolgirl hero. In an interview published in Kappa Magazine (51, September 1996), Takeuchi says that there is a part of her personality in each of her Sailor Scouts. She also says that love is essential in every manga she writes, explaining why she writes so much romance manga. Sailor Moon won the 17th Kodansha Manga Award for girls' comics in 1993. In Japan, Sailor Moon has sprung 18 manga books, 200 television episodes, three movies, and a live theater musical, known as Sera-Myu. The Sailor Moon anime became popular all over the world and was shown in Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Canada, and the United States. Takeuchi often refers to herself as Sailor Moon's biggest fan. She not only wrote the story for the Japanese Sailor Moon anime; she wrote the lyrics for many of the show's songs as well.

After the devastating Kobe earthquake in January 1995, Takeuchi used her position as a celebrity to help raise funds for the victims. Takeuchi drew caricatures of people who bought tickets through an auction and used the caricatures as models for minor characters in her comic books. The event was very popular, as many fans wanted to meet Takeuchi and have their likenesses used in her manga. On January 6th, 1999, Takeuchi married fellow manga artist Yoshihiro Togashi, the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho. The couple's love of manga was apparent in their wedding celebration. Many manga artists attended the wedding, as well as the voice actresses of Sailor Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus from the Japanese anime TV series. These actresses sang the Sailor Moon theme song, “Moonlight Densetsu,” at the wedding. Takeuchi and her husband honeymooned in Spain and Turkey. They have one son nicknamed “Petit Ouji,” meaning “Little Prince.” Takeuchi's hobbies are dancing, collecting antiques, and shopping for designer clothes. For relaxation, she likes to drive her custom red Ferrari Spider named Poru-poru-kun to see the night view from the Rainbow Bridge in Chiba Bay. She currently lives in a house in Azabu Juuban, a district of Tokyo and the setting for Sailor Moon. Although very famous in Japan, Takeuchi is not so well-known in the United States. Even though her work is popular, there is very little scholarly criticism on Naoko Takeuchi, but there are a lot of fan-based websites about herself and her works.

Summaries of Takeuchi's Most Popular Works

princess naoko

Maria is a manga based on the book Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. The story begins with a fifteen year old girl whose father died when she was young. Suddenly her mother becomes terribly ill and is hospitalized. Immediately following, Maria is warded a scholarship to go to a prestigious quality academy, Green Academy, that is being paid for by a mysterious man called Daddy Longlegs who she also finds out she is betrothed to. Maria eventually falls in love with a classmate who has a secret past with her. The beautiful romance unfolds while Maria is determined to find out the true identity of Daddy Longlegs.

sailormoon

Sailor Moon is about a fourteen year old girl named Usagi (Serena in the English translation) who, like ordinary girls, goes to school, hangs out with friends, and talks about boys. On the other hand, when evil strikes, she turns into a female super-hero called Sailor Moon. Usagi discovers that she is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, the princess of an ancient moon kingdom. Her role as defender of the Solar System has been reissued to her in light of the reemergence of the evil force that originally destroyed her kingdom, the Silver Millennium kingdom. She fights using the identity of Sailor Moon. As the series progresses, Sailor Moon is reunited with other reincarnated defenders: the princess's guardian soldiers (Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto). She is also reunited with her lover, Prince Endymion, who serves equally as romantic interest and primary protector. Sailor Moon began its run in Nakayoshi with the February 1992 issue and ended in March 1997 with 52 acts/18 volumes.

Selected Bibliography

Works by the Author

Manga Series

Short Story Manga Collections

Songs for the Sailor Moon Anime

College Thesis

Awards

Works about the Author

Related Links

"What's So Interesting About 'Romance of Color'?"
Information about other "romance" writers on VG.

Naoko Takeuchi's Official Site
This is the official website of Naoko Takeuchi. It is in Japanese.

Hitsuji Kinno's Naoko Takeuchi Site
This is the unofficial website of Naoko Takeuchi, in English. This website provides the most detailed information on Naoko Takeuchi.

MSN Groups
This is a website in Spanish created by Naoko Takeuchi fans with ratings and opinions of Takeuchi's comics.

iEspana
This is a website in Spanish with personal information on Naoko Takeuchi.

Sailor Moon
This is a Sailor Moon home page created by a fan. It provides basic information on the Sailor Moon series and gives related links about Naoko Takeuchi and manga comics.

Tripod
This website gives background information on Naoko Takeuchi and lists the names and publishing dates of Takeuchi's most famous works.

Geocities
This website gives background information on Naoko Takeuchi including the awards she has won for her comics and information on her most recent work, Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch.

Love of Anime 
This website gives a brief biography of Naoko Takeuchi as well as a chronological listing of her published works.

Station Information
This website gives a brief biography of Naoko Takeuchi as well as information on her manga creations and trivia.

Manga Guide
This website provides brief background information on Naoko Takeuchi including recent awards she has won and information on her recent works.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia's entry on Noako Takeuchi gives a brief biography of her and also provides links to her most famous manga creations. It also gives English and Japanese external links.

Interview with Kappa Magazine
This website has a personal interview with Naoko Takeuchi that was published in an Italian magazine. The questions are regarding Sailor Moon.

Exclusive Interview
This website has a personal interview with Naoko Takeuchi by Charles McCarter. All of the questions are related to Sailor Moon.

The Black Moon
This website has an article reporting on Naoko Takeuchi's appearance at the 1998 San Diego International Comics Convention. It is complete with photographs of Takeuchi at the convention, as well as artwork from her most famous comic series, Sailor Moon. This website

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Contributors

This page was researched by Emily Fox, Nadia Makousky, Amanda Polvi, and Taylor Sorensen for the Freshman Composition Course taught by Maria Zavialova and submitted on 8/05/05.