About Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi

About Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi, born March 15th, 1967, is a Japanese manga artist who debuted with her first work, “LOVE CALL” in 1986. “LOVE CALL” won Kodansha’s 2nd New Manga Artist Award, which helped launch Naoko’s career. She published mostly one-shot works until a collaboration project with another famous manga artist, Marie Koizumi, titled “Maria”, based on Jean Webber’s story “Daddy Long Legs”. The manga was a big hit, and gave Naoko Takeuchi more opportunities at Nakayoshi magazine to release longer, serialized stories. From there Naoko’s career took off; her series “The Cherry Project”, “Codename: Sailor V”, and “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” all became big hits, with “Sailor Moon” becoming her most well-known work world wide.

Before becoming an internationally known manga artist, Naoko Takeuchi received her degree from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy in Chemistry, and became a licensed pharmacist. In high school she also had a keen interest in astronomy and worked part-time as a miko for the Shiba Daijingu Shinto shrine; these experiences later became inspirations for characters and themes in Naoko’s literary works.

Naoko Takeuchi is married to another manga artist, creator of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, Yoshihiro Togashi. The couple have two children together, and live in Tokyo, Japan.

Timeline of Collected Works:

Images

from spa magazine

from figure king magazine 2000

from ROLa magazine
sources: 1

from blogs
sources: 1 | 2 | 3

Sources of Inspiration

Naoko Takeuchi is a big fan of figure skating, fashion, and Takarazuka theater.

Figure Skating Inspiration
All thoughout “The Cherry Project”, Naoko Takeuchi wrote liner notes in her publications about watching her favorite figure skater, Midori Ito, perform in the 1991 World Championships and 1992 Albertville Olympics. Midori Ito was the first female figure skater to ever perform a triple/triple jump combination and a triple axel in competition. Naoko Takeuchi’s love of Midori Ito inspired her to model her protagonist, “Chieri”, after this world famous figure skater; in “The Cherry Project”, Chieri becomes the first ever female junior skater to perform a quadruple jump. Many of Chieri’s outfits and performances are based on Midori Ito’s routines and costumes. Here are some examples:

Fashion Inspiration
Naoko Takeuchi has written in her liner notes for Sailor Moon about how much she loves couture fashion. And, her love for it found its way into many different Sailor Moon art pieces. Tumblr user fukufashion has done an excellent job of compiling illustrations by Naoko Takeuchi and comparing them against runway pieces from the early 1990s. There are many striking similarities! Naoko Takeuchi also took inspiration from famous advertisements and art pieces – here are some examples:

Black Lady pose & Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume ad
Black Lady pose inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume ad Black Lady pose inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume ad
Koan & Thierry Mugler Fashion Week 1992
Calaveras & Christian LaCroix Fashion Week 1992 and 1993
Setsuna & Chanel 1992
Hotaru & Thierry Mugler Fashion Week 1992
Christian Dior 1992 Palladio dress & Serenity
Tankouban Vol 3 Liner Notes & 1992 September issue of Vogue Italia


images from: fukufashion + sm obss + lilith-et-adalia + badchichi + peachybeam + ribbonchocolate

Takarazuka Inspiration
Takarazuka theater is a century old tradition in Japan, featuring all-female actress performances of many famous and original musical performances. It reached a peak of popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and the popularity of that style of theater continues today. When Naoko Takeuchi published “The Materials Collection” in 1999, she made reference to the characters Haruka Tenou and Michiru Kaiou both being based off of Takarazuka actresses, though she did not specify which.

Haruka Tenou inspired by Takarazuka theater actress Michiru Kaiou inspired by Takarazuka theater actress Famous Takarazuka Revue actress Yamato Yuuga in the role of Tuxedo Mask in La Reconquista

At NicoNico Douga’s Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Talk Show Event Part 2, the producers of the Sera Myu musical “La Reconquista” were asked why the cast was all female. The producer responded that Naoko Takeuchi is a huge fan of Takarazuka theater, and she wanted her production to be all girls in that spirit. The actress portraying Tuxedo Mask in the 2013 Sailor Moon musical, Yamato Yuuga, is a famous Takarazuka Revue actress coming out of retirement to take on this role.

Art Inspiration
As evidenced by the number of instances where Naoko Takeuchi’s work was a direct parallel to pieces by famous artists, it is fair to say that she is a huge art history buff. Here are some examples where Naoko’s art work for Sailor Moon was inspired by famous masterpieces in their own right:

Robert Maplethorpe’s “Self-Portrait” + Endymion
Robert Maplethorpe's Robert Maplethorpe's
Maxfield Parrish’s “The Latern Holders” + Usagi w/Chibiusa
Maxfield Parrish's Maxfield Parrish's
Alphonse Maria Mucha’s “F. Champenois” + Sailor Moon
Alphonse Maria Mucha's Alphonse Maria Mucha's
William Blake’s “Satan in his Original Glory” + Super Sailor Moon
William Blake's William Blake's
Alphonse Mucha + Sailor Moon
Credit to ironlithium on Tumblr
Alphonse Mucha + Sailor Moon Alphonse Mucha + Sailor Moon
Idol Group “Ribbon” + Sailor Moon
Credit to fehyesidollica on tumblr
Idol Group Idol Group


images: eternalsailormoon.org + manga style

Translated Interviews

From time to time I will add translations of interviews with Naoko Takeuchi. They are few and far between, but I will do my best to include all that I can find. :)

Naoko Takeuchi Interview in Spa Magazine Issue 5.25 1994
Naoko Takeuchi Interview in Spa Magazine Issue 5.25 1994
read here
5 Amateurs Turned Professional Interview Translation: Naoko Takeuchi
5 Amateurs Turned Professional Interview Translation: Naoko Takeuchi
read here
Naoko Takeuchi in ROLa magazine September 2013
Interview w/Naoko Takeuchi in ROLa magazine September 2013 Issue
read here
Naoko Takeuchi in ROLa magazine November 2013
Naoko Takeuchi in ROLa magazine November 2013
read here
Naoko Takeuchi and Fumio Osano Interview in ROLa magazine January 2014 Issue
Naoko Takeuchi and Fumio Osano Interview in ROLa magazine January 2014 Issue
read here
Naoko Takeuchi Article in Flash Magazine 1993
Naoko Takeuchi Article in Flash Magazine 1993
read here

Naoko’s “Punch!” Series

Between the years 1999 and 2004, Naoko Takeuchi published a series of short comics about her daily life in Shueisha’s “Young You” monthly magazine. They are called the “Punch!” series because each title has the word “punch” in the title – for example, there is “Naoko Takeuchi’s Back to Work Punch!!”, and “The Prince and Princess’s Balloon Punch!!”. Here are some English translations of Naoko Takeuchi’s “Punch” series that I have created:

Naoko and Yoshihiro’s Baby Punch Round 2 Princess Naoko and Prince Yoshihiro’s Baby Punch Round 2
Done by request for forum users Lilly-chan and Kungpow1234, this translation recaps the story of Takeuchi Naoko’s miscarriage experience in between the births of her son and daughter. This story gives us a rare glimpse into the personal life of the creator of Sailor Moon, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
click here to read the comics
Princess Naoko and Prince Togashi’s Baby Punch Round 3 Princess Naoko and Prince Togashi’s Baby Punch Round 3
Done by request for forum member mikoru, this volume tells the story of Takeuchi Naoko’s second pregnancy and birth. This story gives us a rare glimpse into the personal life of the creator of Sailor Moon, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
click here to read the comics

Mailing Address

If you would like to send fanmail to Naoko Takeuchi, please keep in mind that she does not speak English very well. Therefore, it is best to write to her in Japanese. (If you can’t, e-mail [email protected]; I will translate letters for a minimal fee.) You can send a small letter or gift with prepaid postage to:

Naoko Takeuchi
Nakayoshi Editorial Dept
P.O. BOX 91
Akasaka Post Office
Tokyo 107-8652
JAPAN

Naoko is a big fan of homemade items, fanart, and doujinshi, so she would definitely appreciate getting some along with a note about her work from fans abroad!

15 Responses to “About Naoko Takeuchi”

  1. Luke

    Awesome tribute-site. Interesting and informative, and I think I’ll start reading all her works now in chronological order.

    Thank you :3 I love this site so much :D

  2. Daniel

    Thank you so much! very interesting read :) i loveeeed it since we don’t get much detailed info about Naoko :D I hope that on day we can get the whole Punch series translated.

    • Elly

      I would LOVE that! Actually, I’ve been trying to find the issues of Young You magazine where her “Punch” series was published…but so far, no luck. I’ve NEVER seen ANY of the issues for sale! D: And I don’t know anyone who owns any who might scan for me. It’s a total bummer; I’d love to translate the whole series. Naoko is such a witty character, I’d love to read more about her life.

  3. Flerendra

    I was wondering, since the illustration on the announcement of their second child is a rabbit, then it might mean that their second child is a girl…. I mean, Naoko draws herself as a rabbit, and Yoshihiro is always drawn as a dog, and their son is always drawn as a dog, too…

  4. Andre

    Very good work!!

    It’s weird how none of her post-Sailor Moon series ever picked up. I absolutely LOVE the PUNCH! series, I wish there were more translations online.

    • Elly

      I wish there were too! I’d love to make more translations of the “Punch” series, but finding the originals in Japanese is next to impossible! D:

  5. Rafael

    Wow, fabulous work!

    That picture of Satan and Sailor Moon gave me a lot to think about.

  6. Ruva

    dear Naoko sama thank you once again for creating a lovely story of the planets hope 2 meet someday arigato gozaimasu.^^

  7. Lauren

    Is the fanmail address still current? And what do you normally charge to translate the letters? My Japanese is a bit rusty lol

    Thanks for all this info on her. I LOVE seeing the inspiration pictures! Love! Xo