The Tragedy of P
Rumiko Takahashi is one of the most important female mangaka in Japan, and is known as The Princess of Manga. At the age of eighteen, Takahashi went to a women's college in Tokyo, where she attended a six-month course of manga techniques. Under the guidance of Kazuo Koike, she published her first dojinshi manga stories from 1975. These included 'Bye-Bye Road' and 'Star of Futile Dust'. In 1978, she won the title of Best New Author. She decided to make manga her profession and made her debut with the story 'Katte Na Yatsura'. Her next work, the series 'Urusei Yatsura', appeared in the manga magazine Shonen Sunday. This very successful science fiction comedy serial ran for nine years, and appeared in 34 volumes until 1987. During this period, Shonen Sunday also ran her stories 'Time Warp Trouble', 'Shake Your Buddha', and the 'Golden Gods of Poverty'.
With the romantic comedy 'Maison Ikkoku', published in Big Comic Spirits from 1980, Takahashi explored a new kind of manga, in which the characters have to face everyday life. At the end of this series, also in 1987, she started 'Ranma 1/2', about a boy who becomes a girl after being splashed with cold water. It is one of her longest series (38 volumes) and her most popular series abroad. One of her more darker serials is the 'Mermaid Saga', that was published between 1984 and 1994. Another sporadically running serial was the romantic sports manga 'One-Pound Gospel', that had installments published between 1987 and 2007.
Takahashi also focused on short story manga in the 1980s, resulting in stories like 'The Laughing Target', 'Maris the Chojo' and 'Fire Tripper', most of which were also adapted into video animations. Her fourth major work is 'Inuyasha, a Feudal Fairy Tale', that is also more darker themed, featuring action, romance, horror, folklore, historical fiction, and comedy. It also ran in Shonen Sunday, and was serialized between 1996 and 2008. It was followed by the serial 'Kyokai no Rinne' in April 2009. All the while she continued to make short stories, that have been collected under the title 'Rumic Theater' since 1987. Many of her serials have been published in English by Viz Comics, and have been made into TV Dramas.