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Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi (武内直子, Takeuchi Naoko?, [take.u͍tɕi na.oko]) (born March 15, 1967), a manga artist (mangaka), lives in Tokyo, Japan. Takeuchi's works have a wide following among anime and manga fans worldwide. Her most popular work, Sailor Moon, rose to become as of 2011[update] one of the most recognized manga and anime products to date


Early life

Naoko Takeuchi was born to Kenji and Ikuko Takeuchi. She has a younger brother named Shingo. She used the names of her family members in the manga of Sailor Moon, and mentions this in interviews and in several comic-strips which she produced in place of author-notes.

Takeuchi attended Kofu Ichi High School.[8] She wore sailor suits and joined the astronomy and manga clubs.[9] This experience later influenced her work, Sailor Moon, as well as her previous manga such as Love Call and Rain Kiss. She wanted to become a manga artist at this age, however her father, Kenji, said that in case she did not make it she should find another profession, so she went to university to study for a degree in chemistry.

Takeuchi graduated from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, where she received a degree in chemistry. (Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy merged with Keio University in 2006.[10]) As of 2010[update] the buildings still exist. She became a licensed pharmacist. Her senior thesis had the title "Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound".[11]

While a tertiary student, Takeuchi did miko work at Shiba Daijingu shrine not far from the university which she attended.[12][13] This experience later became the ground-work for one of her characters in Sailor Moon, Rei Hino.[14]

Working for Kodansha

Naoko Takeuchi then worked for Kodansha, starting at the age of 19 when she published Love Call, which received an award. She worked steadily on one-shot pieces until writing Maria. She based this work, her first serial comic, loosely on Daddy-Long-Legs and on her friend Marie Koizumi, who helped her write it.

Takeuchi had another serial with The Cherry Project, which ran for three volumes and dealt with skating. Upon completing The Cherry Project she wanted to do a manga on outer space and girl fighters. Her editor Fumio Osano (nicknamed Osa-P) asked her to put the fighters in sailor-suits, and thus began Sailor V. When plans began to turn Sailor V into an anime she reworked the series and added four other Sailor Soldiers. This became Sailor Moon, which proved a hit. While she worked on Sailor Moon she also simultaneously worked on Sailor V. However the magazine that ran Sailor V was canceled. The project to turn Sailor V into an anime was canceled with the magazine.[15]

After Sailor Moon ended in 1997, she then worked on PQ Angels. This gained a fair amount of popularity but got suddenly canceled due to Kodansha losing seven pages of manuscript. It is possible[original research?] that it would have become an anime: Takeuchi has mentioned that Toei had the manuscript.

Working for Togashi and marriage

In her short comic-strip "Princess Naoko Takeuchi Back-to-Work Punch!!", Takeuchi states that she met Yoshihiro Togashi at a meeting and had a meeting arranged between them by Megumi Ogata,[17][18] the voice of Sailor Uranus as well as of Togashi's character Kurama. She worked for 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, so she ended up quitting.

Around this time Takeuchi conceived the idea for Toki*Meka, which eventually turned into Toki*Meca.[19] 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 Naoko Takeuchi showed in Toki*Meca volume 1.

They dated, then married in 1999. They have a son, born in January 2001, whose real name they choose not to disclose, but whom they have nicknamed "Petit Ōji," which means "little prince" in combined French and Japanese.

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