Rumiko Takahashi, who was born in 1957, is considered a pioneer woman. She pushed past patriarchal limits to achieve her goals and share her creations. Despite the hardships she endured, her victories helped to create the platform for other voices to enter anime and manga.
Although anime has been around for a while, streaming has made it easier than ever. Because it’s more available than ever, anime has become more popular than ever, not only making the demand for more anime content grow, but also requiring a more diverse span of perspectives to cater to a broader audience.
To find more diverse stories and characters, viewers often turn to older, more recent anime. But, such anime and manga were already being made before the demand for diversity was real. Takahashi was one of these writers.
Takahashi is considered one of Japan’s most successful mangakas, often even referred to as the “Princess of Manga.” Of course, as the entertainment industry usually goes, her success in the written arts carried over to the media arts and her work quickly became popular among the anime scene, too. Her writing didn’t just stop at becoming globally popular, but also won her several notable awards and titles.
Success wasn’t all that Takahashi’s work received credit for, though. She was often the heroine of stories because her characters were strong, intelligent girls and women. Her late 80s series was even more impressive. Ranma ½, LGBTQ+ community have praised the film for being one the earliest pieces of representation. It features a main character with both a male identity and a woman identity.
While Urusei Yatsura Takahashi’s first adaptation to anime of her tales, one of her most popular and successful works. Inuyasha, Maison Ikkoku, And Mermaid’s Scar. Most of her popular romantic comedies were romantic comedies, which often featured relationships that were based on mutual respect and balanced. These stories were popular, especially among female viewers, because they featured a more realistic and honest female perspective.
One factor that has commonly been credited with Takahashi’s legacy as an author of diverse perspectives was the wisdom she received from her early mentor, Kazuo Koike, who often expressed the importance of intriguing characters. Takahashi’s ability to capture completely unique characters with bold and complex emotional responses, not only makes her characters intriguing, but it also makes them relatable. She seems to have learned a lot from her mentor, along with her natural talent and understanding about people. This is especially important considering the difficulties she faced in getting taken seriously early on in her career.
Takahashi’s legacy was in her ability to create more diverse stories, but still, she also wrote stories that were intended for a primarily male audience, like Maison Ikkoku. This series features a male protagonist but it is still romantic and features a female love interests. Takahashi managed to create a story men could relate to and also learn from. Even though the stories featured male characters and were meant for a male audience, the female characters in Takahashi’s stories were stronger and more intelligent than those in anime. The male viewers could still be exposed to more realistic female characters, even though they were written as such.
Despite being one of the wealthiest women in Japan, Takahashi has remained relatively humble considering the amount of success that she’s achieved in life. Even now, with the wealth she’s accumulated, she spends much of her time writing new content. Her reputation as an author with characters fans can relate to is growing as her fan base increases. It’s hard to deny that giving a voice to underrepresented voices in anime is part of her calling as a creative, and because of this, she seems to feel an obligation to continually create such content.
Some believe Takahashi is the first woman to enter and have a major impact on Shonen. Rumiko Takahashi’s creative ability will likely last for as long as her storylines, even though she may not be writing as fast as she once did. Her legacy will also last.
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Source: Wikipedia – Rumiko Takahashi