(name in western style) is the author, or mangaka - manga artist,
of Sailormoon. She became a mangaka in 1986 after winning Nakayosi's
art contest, new talents. It is common in Japan for magazines to
hold such contests, and many other mangaka have risen to fame this
way. Her first work was Chocolate Christmas, followed by Miss Rain,
Mariah, and The Cherry Project.
1991, Codename wa Sailor V was born (meaning Codename: Sailor
V), and because of it's moderate success, Ms. Takeuchi created Bishoujo
Senshi Sailormoon (Beautiful Soldier Sailormoon). Sailormoon
was so successful that in March an anime version aired in the Japanese
television channel Asahi. It was planned to be one season only,
but the success was so unexpectedly huge that it was enlarged to
fit the manga. The television series ended five years later, with
200 a total of weekly episodes.
was about her "daily routine". She projected her dreams of being
a bride, owning a car, and dating a doctor into it, claiming it
was a way to sort out her life. The Cherry Project was about figure
skating, and "determination". I have no idea what Miss Rain is about,
but I hear Chocolate Christmas was a one-shot manga, not a series.
Takeuchi graduated as a pharmacist. Her parents are actually named
Ikuko and Kenji, and her brother, Shingo (exactly like in Sailormoon).
Her favorite manga are Uchuu Senkan Yamato, or Space Battleship
Yamato, known as Star Blazers in the U.S.A., and Senjoo Manga Series,
a "battle-arena-type manga".
following interview comes from Animax, a now-deceased Brazilian
anime & manga magazine. I have written permission (by e-mail)
to reproduce and translate this interview. You may not use this
on your site, or you are subject to legal action. You may, however,
link to this page.
are in bold, followed by Ms. Takeuchi's answers.
R I V A T E L I F E
Japanese love cars. What model do you drive?
Ever since I bought an automatic, I've been addicted to driving.
In my old Porsche, the motor's scratching noise didn't exactly make
the car comfortable. Currently, my new "boyfriend" is a Ferrari
guess Sailormoon got you some money then, eh? Well, I heard on the
internet that you're a very mystical person. Do you believe that
stones have powers?
Definitely! Some time ago, I never realized they had practical results,
but once I was desperate about one of my works' due date and I ended
up putting the alarm clock at the front door, afraid of [accidentally]
turning it off and not waking up. I was sure I had slept on the
tatame [translator's note: straw-type floor matting, where the Japanese
sleep] , but I guess I rolled over to the marble floor and, even
in the cold, I felt so good in it that I remember dreaming... Maybe
that's the true power of stones. Of course, I never got the originals
[translator's note: copy of the manga she sends to the editor] done
Sailormoon, you frequently talk about this Game Center. What video
games do you play?
Currently, I haven't had much time to play games, but I love arcades.
R A W I N G T E C H N I Q U E S
materials do you use to sketch your work out? Some special pencil..?
No, I'm not very precise when it comes to pencils. I can use any
material, the important part is the final result. But if you're
asking what I'm currently using, it's a 0,5 Pentel mechanical pencil
about paints? [...]
Paints are easy to use and the colors are beautiful. But, maybe
because I like to paint soft colors, I feel that the prints on magazines
never look as good as the originals. It's very frustrating.
any other artists influence your work?
Reiji Matsumoto (Star Blazers). I love the women he draws. Their
legs are very long, thing... I also love his stories. My favorite
was Senjoo Manga Series. For [shoujo manga], I like Kimiko Uehara.
The beauty of her art, the fun dialogues, I read and re-read her
do you work] throughout the month?
From the 1st to the 4th days, I work for Run-Run magazine (publisher
of Sailor V) and fix my [tankoubon] for Kodansha Comics. From the
5th to the 6th, I usually have to do coloured illustrations. From
7th to 9th, I'm usually napping, shopping, and meeting friends...
[translator's note: I finally see why she says Usagi is like her
^^]. And from the 21st to the 30th, I go to work meetings, and finish
up the colored illustrations, and prepare the supplements.
me one thing you like to do [when working], and one you don't.
I love to create stories and to use the white paint [translator's
note: used to create an interesting effect on the black lines. Read
the next question]. What I don't like? To trace the ink and touch
up the final art. I guess I don't like that.
this white paint thing?
I use the white paint [translator's note: white paint can vary frm
artist to artist. CLAMP, for example, uses white-out] to correct
little mistakes in my sketches. Actually, I don't see the white
paint as simply a correction tool, I consider it a part of the illustration.
I love creating the effect of rays of brilliant sunshine. And the
color... well... when it's shoujo manga, even when I'm in a hurry,
I try to take time with skin color.
you tell us a bit about your old work, Mariah?
I was very square, then. I dreamt about being a bride, and ended
up putting these ideas and dreams in that manga. I dated a doctor,
went to lots of chic places... And that ended up being my "daily
routine" manga. It was a very spontaneous work, I like it.
what about The Cherry Project?
I love ice-skating. This title taught me how fun it was to draw
determined girls. And I dated a quiet, conservative man...
I wanted to have had more time on that. It was the first title where
I felt the responsibility of mass-producing. But this manga is very
prestigious, it'll be an anime one day [translator's note: =DDDD].
did you use Usagi for the main character in Sailormoon?
Sailor V's Minako had already been used. I thought of many things
for her, but I ended up turning her into a protagonist. I guess
I had a feeling.
the big Sailormoon "boom", did anything change in your life?
I got more work! Since it's something I do at my own table, it's
hard to realize any changes. But my profits grew too, of course!
does Usagi loose her powers when she becomes the Princess?
I felt that a princess was a creature that had to be protected not
theme do you want to follow in Sailormoon?
Love. And that girls should always be strong. I'm the type that
looks for subjects and exploring new themes during the series was
probably my main objective. I'm also the type that gets too involved
with the story, so I like to give the characters' a chance to find
their own objectives. I guess I want to continue drawing them until
they find it. I mean, I want each to make a journey in search for
don't your male characters fight that much?
Maybe because they lack love. Fundamentally, I like to draw beautiful
girls and since I have to share the space in the pages, I think
that I want to make more girls.
much do you think about a character when you create her?
The face, the name, the clothes... That's it. I like to begin through
the story, not the characters. When they began to produce the anime,
I was very confused when they asked me the height of each character!
you possibly analyze the reason of your success?
I produce my titles with honesty, thinking of a story for girls,
you produce art for younger people, how do you keep up with your
publics' feelings and thoughts?
There's always a lot that I still want to draw and I try to think
that one day I'll draw it all. I dare say that I'm sure my work
will follow a certain direction. My preference is for stories with
a less cheery mood and a more dramatic atmosphere, but I try not
to make my titles too heavy. I think I also have to make the stories
easier to understand (I haven't been making too much of an effort
at that!). And to have a happy ending. All that so that, at the
end, we can follow our path, no matter how hard and sad it is, because
there is hope at the end [of the path].
you think "I can't stand drawing anymore!", what keeps you going?
I guess I'm conscious of my professionalism. I keep thinking what
my readers will think if I give it all up. I once said I'd never
draw again, that was it, and I got my friends all nervous. They
told me "what about the magazine? and the anime?" I told them "I
don't know! I can't do this anymore so I'm quitting!" But when they
asked "what about the readers?" I stopped and felt I had to finish,
no matter what.
I also think about my assistants to whom I give so much work. Even
when I wanted (and did) cry, I though about them and how I had to
E R S O N A L P H I L O S O P H Y
do you expect from your friends?
Someone I can lean on.
is true strength?
The power to stop.
do children become adults?
When they feel love and passion.
your ideal man?
Someone very complicated, intelligent, wise, and taciturn.
if someday a cat like Luna came to you and said "You must fight
to defend the Earth!" What would you say?
type of titles do you want to work on now?
A new girls' manga and an erotic manga!
do you feel it was really worth having worked so hard on a manga?
When I receive a fan's letter. It's very thrilling, I feel like
I want to work even harder. When I see that Sailormoon has spread
to all the countries in the world, I feel it was really worth having
what message do you give your readers?
Read a lot, and cultivate your passion. And thank you all so much!