Naoko Takeuchi

Last updated
Naoko Takeuchi
Born武内 直子
(1967-03-15) March 15, 1967 (age 54)
Kōfu, Yamanashi, Japan
Area(s) Manga artist
Pseudonym(s)Sumire Shirobara [1]
Notable works
Awards Kodansha Manga Award (1993)
(m. 1999)

Naoko Takeuchi (武内 直子, Takeuchi Naoko, Japanese:  [ta.keꜜ.ɯ.tɕi naꜜ.o.ko] ), is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known as the author of Sailor Moon, one of the most popular manga series of all time. [2]


She has won several awards, including the 1993 Kodansha Manga Award for Sailor Moon. [3]

Takeuchi is married to Yoshihiro Togashi, the author of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter .

Early life

Takeuchi was born in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan, to parents Kenji and Ikuko Takeuchi. She has a younger brother, Shingo. She gave the names of her relatives to the characters she created for Sailor Moon, and mentions this in interviews and in several comic strips she produced in place of author notes.

Takeuchi attended Kofu Ichi High School. [4] She wore sailor suit uniforms and joined the astronomy and manga clubs. [5] These experiences influenced her work for Sailor Moon, in addition to her other pieces such as Love Call and Rain Kiss. Her formative high school experiences influenced her trajectory to become a manga artist. Takeuchi's father encouraged her to pursue other career paths in case she wouldn't find success as a professional artist, which is why she attended university to study chemistry.

Takeuchi graduated from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, where she received a degree in chemistry and became a licensed pharmacist. Her senior thesis was called "Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound". [6]


1986–1997: Early work and success

Before becoming a manga artist, Takeuchi worked as a miko at the Shiba Daijingu shrine near her university. [7] This experience later became the basis for one of her characters in Sailor Moon, Rei Hino. [8]

After graduating from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, at the age of 19, Takeuchi entered the manga industry by submitting to Kodansha her work Love Call, which received an award. She worked steadily on one-shot pieces until writing Maria, which was published in Nakayoshi from early to mid-1990. She based this work, her first serial comic, loosely on Daddy-Long-Legs and on her friend Marie Koizumi, who helped her write it.

After completing Maria, Takeuchi worked on the ice-skating series The Cherry Project which was serialized in Nakayoshi from late 1990 to 1991. While working on The Cherry Project, Takeuchi wanted to do a manga on outer space and girl fighters. Her editor, Fumio Osano, asked her to put the fighters in sailor-suits. This concept would later become a one-shot called Codename: Sailor V , which would later begin serialization in RunRun. When Toei Animation planned to adapt her manga into an anime series, she reworked Sailor V and added four other superheroines.

In December 1991 Nakayoshi began serializing Sailor Moon, which became an instant hit. The success encouraged Takeuchi to work on both Sailor Moon and Sailor V from 1991 to 1997. However, RunRun was canceled with the November 1997 issue, and the planned Sailor V anime adaptation was canceled with it. [9] During that 6-year period, she produced 52 chapters that were collected in 18 volumes. The success of the manga led to a 200-episode anime adaptation, three animated films, numerous video games, and wide-ranging merchandising.

At the series' end, Takeuchi worked on PQ Angels for Nakayoshi. This gained a fair amount of popularity but was canceled due to Kodansha losing seven pages of her manuscript. Takeuchi said that Toei Animation had the manuscript, therefore it would have been possible to create an anime adaptation of the series. [10]

Takeuchi's own studio is called "Princess Naoko Planning" (PNP). Takeuchi established PNP to manage her properties, mainly Sailor Moon. The studio later encompassed Yoshihiro Togashi's work as well and appeared in the credits for such anime as Level E and Hunter × Hunter . Its name also appears on the musical credits for Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu and other projects.


Following the loss of seven pages of Takeuchi's PQ Angels manuscript, Osano departed Kodansha and the plans for the Materials Collection were canceled. [10] Takeuchi departed Kodansha for Shueisha. [10]

On August 13, 1998, Takeuchi made her first appearance in the United States at the San Diego Comic-Con International convention for three days. [11] That same year, she published the first Sailor Moon artbook since her departure from Kodansha, Sailor Moon Infinity Collection Art Book with limited releases.

While working on her short comic strip Princess Naoko Takeuchi Back-to-Work Punch!!, Takeuchi met Yoshihiro Togashi at a Weekly Shōnen Jump meeting hosted by Kazushi Hagiwara, and had a meeting arranged between them by voice actress Megumi Ogata. [12] [13] She collaborated with 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, and Takeuchi left Shueisha as a result.

Around this time Takeuchi conceived the idea for a one-shot called Toki*Meka, which eventually turned into Toki*Meca . [14] 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 Takeuchi showed in Toki*Meca volume 1.

Togashi and Takeuchi married in 1999. From this marriage, the couple have two children: a son, born in January 2001, and another child, born in 2009. [15]

After Kodansha's rights to Sailor Moon expired, Takeuchi returned to the publisher in 1999 to develop and publish the Materials Collection. She also began serializing Love Witch, but it was cancelled. Takeuchi started to work on the reprints of Sailor Moon and Sailor V, and published Toki*Meca in Nakayoshi.

In 2003 Takeuchi became heavily involved in producing Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon , a tokusatsu television series based on Sailor Moon. Takeuchi had an interest in learning more about the anime industry. [16] This culminated in the creation of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. The series displays a plot that is heavily reliant on the manga and also explores many themes that the manga was unable to explore. She showed up at the official conference with a fist up, meaning "good luck", in Act Zero.

After the production of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon ended in 2004, Takeuchi continued to work on Toki*Meca. During the manga's serialization, Osano returned as her editor. [14] Takeuchi also worked more closely with managing PNP and gave talks to college students. [17] At the same time, she wrote a children's book titled Oboo-nu- to Chiboo-nu- as a birthday present to her son. (Togashi illustrated the children's book. She made mention of it in the back of volume 1 of Toki*Meca.) She still works on the website, updating it about once a month with new flash animations or profiles. [18]


In 2012 it was announced that a new Sailor Moon anime adaptation was in development. [19] With it, Takeuchi started a Kanzenban version of the manga which was announced by Osano, which will include fixed mistakes from the past and new covers for the manga. Color pages are also included for the title pages. There was also an artbook announced and she has been working on merchandise which was announced by Osano on his Twitter feed.

The new reboot anime debuted on July of 2014, titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal . It streamed on Niconico bi-weekly, and ended on July 2015, total of 26 episodes, covering the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arc of the manga. [20] Takeuchi wrote the ending theme song, titled "Moonbow" (月虹, Gekkō), under the her penname, "Sumire Shirobara". [1] The series eventually gained its 13-episode third season titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Season III, covering the Infinity arc of the manga (subtitled Death Busters), and aired weekly on Japanese television from April to June 2016. [21]


In 2020, the two volumes of official "All Colored Eternal Edition" (オールカラー完全版, Ōrukarā Kanzenban) of the Sailor Moon manga was released on June 29th, with Takeuchi providing new illustrations for both covers. [22]

In 2021, Takeuchi chief supervised the production of the two-part anime film, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie , which adapted the Dream arc of the manga (subtitled Dead Moon), and acted as a "fourth season" to the Sailor Moon Crystal series. Both films were released in 2021 in Japanese theaters, with the first film on January 8, and the second film on February 11. [23] Takeuchi also provided the theme song lyrics, titled "Moon Color Chainon" (月色Chainon, Tsukiiro Chainon), under the name of "Sumire Shirobara". [24]



Chocolate Christmas (チョコレート·クリスマス, Chokorēto Kurisumasu)1987–1988A story about a girl who falls in love with a DJ over Christmas. It appeared collected into a single tankōbon volume.
Maria (ま·り·あ, Ma-ri-a)1989–1990A story loosely based on the book Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. She released a pocket edition of the book in 1994, which was co-written with her friend, Marie Koizumi.
The Cherry Project (Theチェリー・プロジェクト, Za Cherī Purojekuto)1990–1991A figure-skating-themed manga, spanning 3 volumes, involving the young skater Cherry's quests to become a professional skater and to win the heart of a boy. The series was released by Kodansha in 3 collected volumes between 1991 and 1992. One of its characters also appears in Sailor Moon.
Codename: Sailor V (コードネームはセーラーV, Kōdonēmu wa Sērā Bui)1991–1997This series follows the adventures of costumed "magical girl" Sailor V. It directly preceded (and became something of a prototype for) Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, introducing Minako Aino, alias "Sailor V", who would become a significant character in the latter series. Takeuchi concluded the series she had already finished Sailor Moon; Sailor V featured an ending that tied the two series together. Originally released in 3 volumes, Codename: Sailor V was re-released in 2004 in a deluxe two-volume "Renewal Edition" (新装版 Shinzōban) format. In 2014, Codename: Sailor V was published in a two-volume "Eternal Edition" (完全版 kanzenban).
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon , later known as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn)1991–1997Known to International audiences simply as Sailor Moon, this manga became Naoko Takeuchi's most famous work and spawned two animes, several films, stage musicals, a live-action television series and video games of various genres. A fusion of styles between the mahō shōjo and sentai genres, Sailor Moon tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, a girl who discovers one day her identity as the reincarnation of a celestial heroine fighting for love and justice. This series was largely responsible for the late-1990s resurgence of "magical girl" anime and manga. The series was originally released in 18 volumes but was re-released in 2003 and 2004 in a deluxe 12-volume "Renewal Edition" (新装版 Shinzōban) format, with two supplementary volumes containing side stories to the main work. In 2013, the chapters were once again re-released in 10 "Eternal Edition" (完全版 kanzenban) volumes to commemorate the manga's 20th anniversary, which includes digitally remastered artwork, new covers and color artwork from its Nakayoshi run. Characters from her previous work, Codename Sailor V, return in this one.
Miss Rain (ミス・レイン, Misu Rein)1993A collection of 5 short manga, including the title work.
Prism Time (プリズムタイム, Purizumu Taimu)1996–1997A collection of one-shot stories from early works to those from the late 1990s. It is available in 2 volumes, released in 1995 and 1997, respectively.
PQ Angels (PQエンジェルス, PQ Enjerusu)1997Features two alien girls, able to turn into cockroaches, who are searching for their princess. The series was a complete disaster for Takeuchi: it was discontinued abruptly after only 4 chapters, and Kodansha lost the proofs of the portion that had been written. It has therefore only appeared in its original serialization, from September to December 1997.
Princess Naoko Takeuchi's Return-to-Society Punch!!1998–2004A collection of short strips detailing what Takeuchi did after Sailor Moon. It ran for a number of years under a changing title, giving details about her post-Sailor Moon slump and recovery, as well as her meeting, marrying, and starting a family with fellow manga creator Yoshihiro Togashi. The comic ran in Shueisha's Young You magazine, rather than a Kodansha publication, and has not been collected since its original serialization. There are similar "____ Punch!" comic strips in the same format at the end of some of the Sailor Moon "Renewal Edition" volumes.
Toki☆Meka! (とき☆メカ!, Toki☆Meka!)2001A one-shot story about a robot (Mecha), her creator, and their adventures.
Love Witch (ラブ・ウィッチ, Rabu Witchi)2002A story where a girl receives a perfume bottle and becomes a witch, but with a heavy price. It ran in Nakayoshi magazine from April to June 2002, with a side story, Sister witch, in September 2002. It was discontinued after 3 chapters with no explanation. It has yet to be reprinted in any sort of compilation.
Toki☆Meca! (とき☆めか!, Toki☆Meca!)2005–2006A serialized version of the original one-shot which began after the completion of the Sailor Moon and Sailor V re-releases. The first portion ran from the January to April 2005 issues of Nakayoshi, after which the author went on hiatus, promising that she would return to the series later. The second phase of the series started in November 2005. One collected volume, released in August 2005, has been published thus far. The serialization officially ended in May 2006. This makes Toki☆Meca! the first series that Takeuchi has completed since Sailor Moon and Codename: Sailor V.


Sailor Moon (90's series)

Sailor Moon Crystal (2014 reboot series)


Written books

Song lyrics

Takeuchi wrote the lyrics for a number of songs featured in the Sailor Moon anime and live-action series. Though mainly character-based image songs, they include a few theme songs. [25] These include:


Takeuchi has won several awards, including the 2nd Nakayoshi Comic Prize for Newcomers for Yume ja Nai no Ne in 1985. She also won for "Love Call", which won Nakayoshi's New Artist award which debuted in the Nakayoshi Deluxe September 1986 issue. In 1993 she won the 17th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo for Sailor Moon. [26]

Related Research Articles

<i>Sailor Moon</i> Manga series by Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997; the 60 individual chapters were published in 18 tankōbon volumes. The series follows the adventures of a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino as she transforms into Sailor Moon to search for a magical artifact, the "Legendary Silver Crystal". She leads a group of comrades, the Sailor Soldiers as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the Solar System.

Sailor Moon (character) Fictional character from the franchise of the same name

Usagi Tsukino, better known as Sailor Moon, is a fictional superheroine who is the main protagonist and title character of the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. She is introduced in chapter #1, "Usagi – Sailor Moon", as a carefree schoolgirl who can transform into Sailor Moon. Initially believing herself to be an ordinary girl, she is later revealed to be the reincarnated form of the Princess of the Moon Kingdom, and she subsequently discovers her original name, Princess Serenity.

Sailor Venus Fictional character in Sailor Moon

Minako Aino, better known as Sailor Venus, is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. Minako is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Mars Character from Sailor Moon

Rei Hino, better known as Sailor Mars, is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. In the series, Rei is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Pluto Character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Pluto is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. The alternate identity of Setsuna Meiou, she is a member of the Sailor Guardians, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Saturn Character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Saturn is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is the alternate identity of Hotaru Tomoe, a young Japanese schoolgirl and a member of the Sailor Guardians, supernatural female fighters who protect the Solar System from evil. Sailor Saturn is the tenth and last of the Sailor Guardians to be discovered, possessing powers associated with silence and ruin, nothingness, destruction, death, and rebirth that made her a potential threat as she can wipe out a planet and even an entire galaxy or reset its evolution.

Tuxedo Mask Character in Sailor Moon

Tuxedo Mask, also known as Mamoru Chiba, is a fictional character and one of the primary protagonists of the Sailor Moon media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. He disguises himself in order to support the series' central heroines, the Sailor Guardians. Wearing a mask to conceal his identity, he interferes with enemy operations, offers the Sailor Guardians advice, and sometimes physically aids them in battle.

Sailor Uranus Fictional character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Uranus is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon media franchise. Sailor Uranus' alternate identity is Haruka Tenou, a teenage Japanese student. Haruka is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Neptune Character from Sailor Moon

Sailor Neptune is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon media franchise. Her alternate identity is Michiru Kaiou, a teenage Japanese schoolgirl. Michiru is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Dark Kingdom Group of fictional antagonists in the Sailor Moon franchise

The Dark Kingdom is a group of fictional characters in the Sailor Moon manga series by Naoko Takeuchi. They are the chief villains of the first story arc in every version of the series, and were first introduced in the first chapter of the manga, "Usagi – Sailor Moon", originally published in Japan's Nakayoshi on 28 December 1991. In some English adaptations, the Dark Kingdom's title was changed to Negaverse.

Dead Moon Circus Group of fictional antagonists in the Sailor Moon franchise

The Dead Moon Circus are a group of fictional characters from the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. They serve as the main antagonists of the fourth arc, called Dream in the manga, Sailor Moon SuperS in its first anime adaptation, and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie in the second anime adaptation. They are first introduced in chapter #34 "Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream", originally published in Japan on September 6, 1995. In the original English dubbed anime, they are called the "Dark Moon Circus".

<i>Codename: Sailor V</i> Manga created by Naoko Takeuchi, Predescesor to Sailor Moon

Codename: Sailor V is a manga created by Naoko Takeuchi. The series revolves around the character Minako Aino, a cheerful schoolgirl who finds out that she has magical powers that she must use to protect the people of the Earth. Codename: Sailor V is the basis for its sequel, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon.

<i>Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story</i> Sailor Moon video game released in 1995

Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story is a role-playing video game developed and published by Angel exclusively for the Super Famicom in Japan on 22 September 1995. Based upon Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon shōjo manga and anime series, the game takes place between the third season and fourth season of the anime series, which adapted the third and fourth arcs of the manga respectively, as players take control of either the five Inner Guardians or the four Outer Guardians in order to protect Crystal Tokyo by fighting against a group of rebels and several of their previously defeated enemies once again that were resurrected by the sorceress Apsu.

Chibiusa Character in the Sailor Moon franchise

Chibiusa is a fictional character from the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is one of the main characters of the series. She is introduced in Chapter 13, "Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangere", first published in Nakayoshi on February 3, 1993. She is a small child from the 30th century who travels to the past to seek help from the Sailor Soldiers. She later returns, a few years older, in order to train as a Soldier herself—Sailor Chibi Moon, translated as "Sailor Mini Moon" in the DIC and Cloverway English adaptations.

Sailor Jupiter Character from Sailor Moon

Makoto Kino, better known as Sailor Jupiter, is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. Makoto is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Mercury Fictional character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Mercury is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is the alternate identity of Ami Mizuno, a teenage Japanese schoolgirl, and a member of the Sailor Guardians, supernatural female fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

<i>Sailor Moon Crystal</i> Original net animation series produced by Toei Animation

Sailor Moon Crystal is a 2014 original net animation adaptation of the shōjo manga series Sailor Moon written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, produced in commemoration of the original series' 20th anniversary. Produced by Toei Animation and directed by Munehisa Sakai and Chiaki Kon, the series was streamed worldwide on Niconico from July 5, 2014 to July 18, 2015. Season 1 and 2's episodes were released twice a month. Instead of remaking the 1992–97 anime series preceding it, Toei produced Crystal as a reboot of Sailor Moon and as a more faithful adaptation of the original manga by omitting much of the original material from the first series. The story focuses on Usagi Tsukino, who is a young girl that obtains the power to become the titular character. Other Sailor Guardians join her in the search for Princess Serenity and the Silver Crystal.

<i>Sailor Moon Eternal</i> 2021 Sailor Moon two-part film directed by Chiaki Kon

Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie is a 2021 Japanese two-part animated action fantasy film based on the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi, that serves as a direct continuation and a "fourth season" for the Sailor Moon Crystal anime series. The two-part film is directed by Chiaki Kon, written by Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, chief supervised by Naoko Takeuchi, and produced by both Toei Animation and Studio Deen. The first film was released on January 8, 2021. The second film was released on February 11, 2021.


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