The Romantic, Passionate Japanese in Anime: A Look at the Hidden Japanese Soul

By Eri Izawa

Presented at the 1997 Japanese Pop Culture Conference at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Published in Japan Pop! Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture, edited by Dr. Tim Craig.

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited

To say that the Japanese are romantic --- imaginitive, sentimental, individualistic, passionate! --- might earn one strange glances in the U.S.. The word "romance" symbolizes the emotional, the grand, the epic: the taste of heroism, fantastic adventure, and the melancholy; passionate love, personal struggle, and eternal longing. Yet many Westerners see Japan as a cold, calculating land of ant-like workers, brutal efficiency, and overwhelming bureaucracy. Students are seen as oppressed slaves to their studies, pounded down like nails until their imaginations and individuality are gone, or until they are driven to suicide. World War II brought home the image of the fierce Japanese samurai warrior in the kamikaze planes, fanatic to the point of suicide. Japanese social culture is often seen as blanketed under stifling layers of politeness and formality, characterized by endless bowing[1]. And finally, it seems taken for granted that Japan cannot produce anything original of its own. Even material considered "romantic" might be only an imitation of the West.

Of its modern media, Japan's production of animation is becoming particularly well known in the West. Though commonly known as "Anime," the media is actually a conglomeration of: The manga (comic book) industry, the anime (animated video and film) industry, and the video game (e.g., Nintendo and Sony Playstation) industry; they are tied together by their reliance on a characteristic art style. Much of the limited anime and manga material that trickles into the U.S., however, does little to help the heartless, flat image of Japan. Many animated videos that come into the U.S. seem almost obsessed with sex and violence. The video games also tend to highlight violence, such as Capcom's Street Fighter series.

Certainly all these stereotypes are not completely undeserved, and those who accuse Japan of trade wars, racism, or sexism have quite an arsenal of supportive facts at their disposal[2]. It hardly helps that the Japanese do not often share their private thoughts with outsiders; they display instead the faces they are taught to display to each other out of habit: brusqueness to perceived inferiors and equals, and polite submission to social superiors.

But there is another way to explore the soul of Japan --- if one bothers to look at what many Japanese themselves seek in their own private time and create for their peers.

Romanticism in Japan is hardly new or unusual, and is found in many media. The Lady Murasaki, who lived at the turn of the millennium, is reknowned for having written what may have been the world's first full novel, the Tale of Genji, rich in poetic emotion and imagery. Though the feudal years pushed the arts into the background of Japanese thought, historic figures like the tragic warlord Yoshitsune were eventually touched by a legendary, Arthurian edge. In the meantime, Japanese folklore remained rich with fairy tales of fantastic creatures, ghosts, and monsters, aided by belief in gods and spirits from Shinto and Buddism, and given depth by Taoism. Even World War II era Japan, geared up for war and battle, fell in love with "romantic" music about soldiers' experiences in China. Akira Kurosawa's films helped inspire such movies as "The Magnificent Seven" and even "Star Wars." And up to the present day, Chinese legends and literary classics, like the Shui-hu Chuan (known in Japanese as "Suikoden" and in English as "The Water Margin"), have been heavily romanticized by the Japanese and have spawned everything from traditional artwork to a computer game.

So, one asks, why look at anime in particular?

Of course, one primary reason is its modern popularity both in Japan and abroad. But the nature of the medium itself is a compelling reason. It is an ideal story telling mechanism, able to combine aspects of art, prose, characterization, cinematography techniques (even in the comic books), and all sorts of literary narrative techniques; the video games and animated films also incorporate music. Drawn by hand, anime is also separated from reality by a crucial gap of fiction. Drawn characters and worlds can depict fantastic and otherwise impossible scenes; the stories and images are theoretically "safe" for exploration without either disrupting or being disrupted by real society. The images are also simple enough, unlike some forms of highly detailed traditional art, to allow people to project their own ideals onto the images. And, like any other media, they can be explored alone, in the privacy of one's mind, free from outside observation. By these traits, the anime-based media provide an ideal path for escapism, and hence, a look at what people are seeking at a deep, personal level that the "real world" cannot touch.

Perhaps more importantly to Westerners, though, the pictures make following the story generally easier and more exciting than reading just plain text, and the expressiveness of the characters' faces are sometimes proof that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Even better, since many manga and anime faces and situations do not look specifically Japanese, Western audiences can immerse themselves into the Anime world with relative ease.

For real inquiry, we must push past the narrow sample of anime material that makes it into the U.S. and look deeper. Past the pure combat games we find the plot-rich epic fantasy role-playing games and social interaction games, only a fraction of which make it into the U.S.; on the Japanese bookshelves and movie screens and in the VCRs there are many works that may contain, but which reach far beyond, the slapstick humor, the sex, the violence. Beneath the surface lies the less visible and more surprising, the secret beneath the politic exterior.

First, let us examine three particular works from the realm of Anime.

Final Fantasy III

Perhaps one of the best examples of the romantic anime production is Final Fantasy III, originally released as Final Fantasy VI in Japan. Final Fantasy III is a video game (a Super Nintendo game, to be exact) that contains the classic elements of Japanese "roman," aspects that are echoed throughout other works again and again.

One of Final Fantasy III's most striking features is its music. Music plays a key part in the game; each major character has his or her own theme song (in fact, in the game's plot, one of the characters must sing her theme song in an opera!). Most of the tunes are melancholy, reflecting the tragic histories of their characters; one player's mother even insisted he turn down the sound, because it was too "depressing[3]." In the barren, snowy wastelands, the music is mysterious and lonely; in a bustling town, the music is lively and simple; when the heroes' air ship flies through the skies after the final victory, the music is proud and triumphant and yet still a little sad.

Visually, too, Final Fantasy III distinguishes itself. At a small level, even the characters --- as small as they are on the screen --- somehow manage to display surprise, joy, and sadness. The scenery, too, builds up a tangible atmosphere. A town of thieves is dark and rainy and decrepit. An enemy castle is austere and colorless, built of imposing stone and metal. An ancient ruin is filled with magnificent but bizarre statuary and walkways. And certain scenes make a permanent impression, such as seeing one of the characters hurl herself into the ocean in lonely despair.

The story itself is romantic. The setting is that of a fantasy world, where magic and technology are intermixed, yet where swords are still the weapon of choice. Mythical monsters and spirits haunt the world, and hidden treasure abounds. A group of people, brought together by desperation and need, band together to stop an evil empire --- and then, when disaster occurs, they band together once more to fight the evil plans of a powerful madman.

The characters are themselves romantic figures; tragedy has haunted their lives, and tragedy sometimes strikes them even within the game. One of them has a mysterious past that has made her into a target in the present; one is haunted by memories of how he was unable to save his girlfriend from death; another had lost his entire family to war; another had been abandoned by an insane father. The characters struggle through their grief and anger and uncertainty, torn by different demands and fears. They have to learn to work with one another. At the end of the game, they have not only won against the enemy, but against their own failings.

The very word "game," though, tends to imply shallow pastimes --- arcade games, or sports games, or board games --- not long, epic quests filled with grief, passion, and even personal growth. Yet that is exactly what Final Fantasy III provides --- and it is hardly unique in the world of Anime.

Fushigi Yuugi

Fushigi Yuugi perhaps speaks as another prime example of the romantic work. A recent girls' comic by Yuu Watase, Fushigi Yuugi's main character is Miaka, a school girl who travels to a magical version of ancient China via a mysterious book. She despises her life in the real world; she is a "jyuken" student, trapped in "examination hell," where her test scores will determine (she thinks) the rest of her life.

This ancient China is a land of enchantment, the Eastern equivalent of Western high fantasy: handsome people in beautiful clothing, spectacular magic, strange monsters, and fascinating legends. But terrible forces are struggling for power, leaving bloodshed in their wake, and Miaka becomes a key player in the contest. With death so commonplace, striking even her powerful friends, Miaka discovers what is truly important to her. Though she falls in love with one person in particular, caring for all of her friends and protecting them become her first priority. But she also learns that there are other things just as important than those friendships --- one's duty to persevere. The death of her friends must not stop her mission, because those same friends are trusting her to not waste the sacrifice of their own lives. Even when it hurts, she must continue.

Galaxy Express 999

Few authors have so focused on the "romance" of space drama as Leiji Matsumoto has; he is well- known for his works such as Captain Harlock and Uchusenkan Yamato (known as "Starblazers" in the U.S.). Arguably, however, one of his best pieces of work is the Galaxy Express 999 series. Our hero in this boys' manga (which also spawned off a TV series and two movies) is young Tetsuro, a destitute Earth boy who is suddenly swept up into high science fiction adventure. The mysterious and beautiful woman Maetel asks him to accompany her, on board the legendary Galaxy Express 999, to a distant planet where people are given eternal, mechanical bodies for free. Tetsuro willingly agrees, since he wants immortality to help him accomplish his many goals in life.

The setting and the imagery is at once fantastic and yet familiar: the space-going train is modeled after a classic steam locomotive; the scenery passings its windows, however, is of strange planets and swirling star-scapes. The people Tetsuro meet range the gamut from friendly to treacherous. Each train stop yields a new story: stories about the pettiness of the shallow-minded, the cowardice of the greedy, the desperation of the destitute, the courage needed to break free of beggary and to fight for one's needs, the power of young people who dare to dream. Dreams are lost, found, and sometimes made true. And throughout his experience, Tetsuro finds, over and over, that immortality is not what he needs --- it is the ability to dream and to strive for the dream that matters instead.

What do Galaxy Express 999, Fushigi Yuugi, and Final Fantasy III have in common, aside from the "Anime" style? As we have seen, they share many things: the magical, fantastic world; the epic story; the focus on the characters' inner struggles, passions, and tragedies. These works are hardly alone. As we shall see, these themes are everywhere. But where is the romanticism pointing? What is the final message?

What are the common threads that bind these works together? Let us start with a look at music.


Though not all Anime music has even a remotely romantic theme (and though manga has no music, obviously), some works are distinctly so: passionate, mysterious, sometimes melancholy. The original 1981 Gundam TV series' music sang of the burning wrath of justice and the grandeur of space. Many of Leiji Matsumoto's animated movies and TV series had music that matched the themes of the stories, singing of desperate quests, the passing of the centuries, the vastness of space, and humanity's lost dreams. Even the comedy series Ranma 1/2, known for the way it turns serious moments into laughable fiascos, has songs that sing, completely seriously, of the preciousness of both happy and sad memories, of walking through a cold rain and reflecting on having failed a loved one, of the need to stand tall in the face of adversity, and so on.

The music, then, spans the personal to the super-personal. It is, in some sense, connecting the individual's heartfelt emotions, whether regarding heated battle or gentle nostaliga, to a wider, broader, deeper reality, such as the sheer enormity of space or the fleeting passage of time. Superimposed over human emotions are words and images that convey something more.


Of course, the anime world relies primarily on visual images. Some images, however, provide an exceptional distillation of the romantic element in just a single scene or frame. We might see, for example, eternally youthful Locke (Chojin Locke)[4], staring out into a night sky of brilliant stars, alone upon an alien landscape; the young traveler Tetsuro (Galaxy Expresss 999) watching the lights of a mysterious planet fading through the space-faring train's window; the swordswoman Oscar (The Rose of Versailles), astride her war horse with her sword raised, commanding her men forward to war during Revolutionary France[5]; post-holocaust warlord Sarasa (Basara), engulfed in a gust of cherry blossom petals, weeping for friends killed by her negligence[6]; cyborg Gally (Gunnm) perched upon a high smokestack, overlooking the moonlit maze of a metal city and thinking of the incompatible mixture of machines and life[7]; the slowly unfolding view of the ancient, proud, vast ruins of a floating castle, as yielded by the clearing clouds (Laputa: Castle in the Sky).

The settings are disconnected from the viewer by a vast chasm of time and space, and yet somehow remain understandable: the images capture in one glance a sense of loneliness, grandeur, history and future and even timelessness --- at once moving, stirring, and somehow profound.

The Stage

As with many pieces of European romantic literature like Frankenstein, many stories from the Anime world are touched with the brush of fantasy. Final Fantasy III, Fushigi Yuugi, and Galaxy Express 999 are just a small fraction of the works founded in fictitious worlds. This is not much of a surprise for U.S. audiences exposed to Japan's fascination with science-fiction, via TV shows like Ultraman, Robotech, Battle of the Planets, Voltron, Captain Harlock. Many more manga and anime stories, however, touch upon more mundane fields like baseball, student life, firefighting, medicine, or cooking. Yet even these are often touched by the extra-ordinary, the super-natural: Kimagure Orange Road, at first glance, might be any other boys' "soap opera," set in modern day, normal Japan --- except that the hero has psychic powers. Daigo, an otherwise normal firefighter (Me Gumi No Daigo), has a remarkable sixth sense for finding lives in danger.

Again, we see the formation of a connection from the normal and the familiar to the grand and unfamiliar. The sense of "beyond the everyday" is undeniably present.

The Characters

The core of the Anime world, however, still remains the characters. Here is where, perhaps, the ingredients that attract the Japanese are most apparent.

Though the West may see Eastern thinking as quashing individuality, the mental and emotional plight of the individual character in the Anime world is almost never forgotten. In fact, it is often central, and their emotions, even if not center stage, are often the lights that illuminate the action and give meaning. The examples from Final Fantasy III may be exceptional for the pervasive air of tragedy, but the tendency to highlight the individual struggle is still powerful in the world of Anime.

Even stories about "normal people" are made into dramas of human experience. A young baseball player's struggle to prove himself and to form a working team takes on the proportions of greatness (Major). A young golfer, through sheer love of his sport, manages to transform the lives of his friends and competitors on the golfing greens (Dan Doh!!). A high school girl helps a high school gang member remember his long-twisted dreams of becoming a boxer (Rokudenashi Blues). These characters' thoughts, actions, the very expressions on their faces --- joy, sorrow, humiliation and triumph --- are magnified by the lens of cartoon art and writing. The seemingly minor trials of life are given a fresh glory, impact, and meaning.

Many other main characters lead unusual lives touched by the "lone wolf" brush, and burdened with hidden powers or knowledge or scars that distinguish them from others. One of the most recurring themes in the world of Anime is that of the stranger in a strange land. From Osamu Tezuka's Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) in the 1960's, to the modern animated production of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell, anime has been replete with the stories of those both blessed and cursed by the extra-ordinary.

Many of these characters fight secret battles beneath otherwise normal exteriors: young students Yuusuke (Yuu Yuu Hakusho) and Ushio (Ushio To Tora) fend off ravaging demons while at first trying to hide the danger from their school friends. A more subtle battle smolders quietly within the maverick surgeon Black Jack (Black Jack); though heartless on the surface, inside he still cares --- sometimes in spite of himself. But beyond even heavy burdens, the Japanese seem particularly fascinated by the extra burden of immortality. Immortal or nearly-immortal characters inevitably find that the passing years sometimes bring more pain and frustrated longings than one might expect. The demon high school girl Souko (from Ao no Fuuin) and 3-eyed Pai (from 3x3 Eyes) seek nothing more than to become human and live a normal life; and even eternally 13-year-old Miyu (Vampire Princess Miyu) secretly weeps for her old, human life. Powerful, ever-young Locke is dragged unwillingly time after time into galactic conflict, though seemingly more fond of simple farm life. And for manga writer Leiji Matsumoto's characters, such as Maetel (Galaxy Express 999), immortality is either a plunge into a meaningless existence or a lifetime of bittersweet moments.

Trying desperately to fit in, to understand, to change, to save others; these people fight fervently for the right to exist as what they are, or were meant to be. In an early story of Chojin Locke, Locke says to a psionic woman warrior who had long considered herself a mere throw-away tool for another's war: "Why don't you live as a human being? ... [Or] will you live on as just a tool...?"[8] In Dragon Quest, the young warrior Dai leaves his friends behind and goes off alone to seek clues to his powers, saying, "It seems that people won't be friends with me if they find out I'm not human .... so I want to go find the truth by myself. I don't want [you] to hate me [when I find out]."[9] The Rose of Versailles finds Oscar, a woman raised as a man, suffering from her secret love for Axel Fersen. "Do all humans endure their desires and hide their love, all alone, like this...?" she wonders[10]. In Vampire Princess Miyu, the now immortal heroine cries deep beneath within herself for her old life as a mortal girl; as she sends a foe to his eternal rest, she asks, "I have no world in which to rest. I wonder ... which one of us suffers more?"[11] For the immortal characters, at least, sometimes it seems there is no rest; only an eternal search for solace instead. In these cases, the curse of immortality has been turned into a romance of sorrow and longing.

So what does all this mean for the reader? The pattern is the same: connecting the reader to the epic and the grand. Even a normal child's passion for golf can have aspects of grandeur, while even the immortal being can envy the normal child. Life's struggles are important, whether small or big; and perhaps it isn't so much what one is that matters, as what one wants to be.


At this point, one might just step in and ask, "Isn't this all about escapism?" The adventures, the exotic landscapes, and the exciting struggles and passions are designed to be fun to read or watch or play. The world of anime is distinctly commercial entertainment, which is almost by definition an escapist activity. However, there are many different types of entertainment, some of which are considered, by today's standards, to be good --- and some of which are now considered to be barbaric (or worse). Thus, in reply to the question, it could also be asked: What is the reader escaping from? And what is the reader escaping to? What is it the reader of romantic anime seeks --- or perhaps needs?

Perhaps it is because of the burdens of conformity, academic pressure, and a dissatisfaction with mundane life that so many young Japanese seek escapism in romantic fantasy. But the question of what these anime stories actually provide is still not answered. Perhaps a clearer answer --- if there is a true, single "answer" --- can be found after considering the discussion below.

The Moral of the Story and the Secret Message

We have seen that aspects of anime romanticism --- the sweeping emotions and vast scale --- are all serving to connect the reader to something "larger than life." But what is life? What if life were larger than it appeared to most people, those caught up in the cares of day-to-day living? Might the cares of day-to-day living be worthy of song --- or in this case, story-telling? What is important, then, for the reader to learn about, regarding those very cares?

Struggle Is Not Easy

If one warning is sounded about struggle, it is that the fight is not easy. The path is not always clear; sometimes the heart falters and fails; even triumphs are mixed and bittersweet. The pirate Captain Harlock's battle to save Earth is rewarded by hostility and mistrust (Captain Harlock). The high school tennis player Love (Love) loses again and again to both her body and her male opponents. Locke's seemingly eternal struggle for peace is set back time and time again by senseless wars and genocide. The game Lufia II ends with the deaths of the heroes. Circumstances are cruel; victories come with penalties; and our heroes stumble and fall into fits of despair, anger, and apathy; sometimes they die. Yet they fight. And often, the character finds that he must conquer himself before he can take on the world. It is this dynamic, passionate, continuing struggle of the individual characters that gives these stories life; it is this struggle that not only keeps the audience intrigued, but also encouraged. Never give up, no matter what happens.

Individuality and Teamwork: Interdependence

Obviously, then, characters in the world of Anime are anything but simple "cogs in the machine." They wake up to their own unique burdens, tragedies, joys, triumphs and dreams. It is almost a glorification of individual, private struggle, a glorification that perhaps helps a reader re-assess his or her own life.

It is also true, though, that one of the most commonly presented "moral of the story" bears the superficial title of "teamwork." The "moral" is so common, one might almost think it national propaganda designed just to create an internally harmonious society. But a closer look adds an important insight. One finds that the trumpeted Japanese emphasis of "teamwork" and "duty to others" is, at least in the Anime world, a product of friendship, love, and mutual respect, not just some convenient technique used by large corporations. Even the tragic lone wolf main character finds that he fights best when he fights to save others --- more, he learns it is his salvation and his strength. Dragon Quest trumpeted this idea; Ruroni Kenshin; Major; Fushigi Yuugi; Ushio To Tora; Yuu Yuu Hakusho --- the theme is constant, ubiquitous, and never changing. A real team, according the Anime world, is a group of friends united by ties of love and a common purpose of good, and the true warrior is a member of a team, who is made wiser and stronger by it. The message is caring over cruelty, teamwork over selfishness, truth over fleeting lies --- yes, the theme is that very same famous, universal theme that says that love conquers hatred and light dispels the darkness.

Something More....

Sometimes, though, there is more: sometimes the hero glimpses something even beyond that. Recall that, in the manga Fushigi Yuugi, the heroine is a young girl named Miaka, a troubled student, perhaps a bit like the average reader of the manga itself. And, a bit like the reader of this fantasy manga, Miaka has traveled to a fantasy world through a mysterious book. At last, though, Miaka must return to the life she once hated, leaving behind many of the friends she knew and loved.

But Miaka suddenly realizes something: there is hope for her own life in the real world. There is meaning. There is help. "Believe in oneself, love others, know that one is loved,"[12] never stop dreaming --- and life, even painful, boring life in the everyday world, might just yield its hidden treasures.

Hidden treasures; a connection to something vast, epic --- perhaps even infinite. This is one of the best-hidden, secret elements of these stories. Somewhere, someday, there might shine a joy that outshines transient pain and pleasure, an eternal love that perhaps survives even death. This is the treasure worth living for and worth seeking, the secret answer to a desperate search. This is the search that has taken the Anime world's visitor across the boundaries of time and space, through mysterious realms, through epic histories, through the lives of characters who laugh and cry and dream, through emotions and experiences too profound for words ... and then gently back to reality, carrying the priceless and encouraging echoes of the message of hope, summarized as follows: "The future will be glorious, if only we remember what is truly important and persevere no matter what." Surely this message strikes a chord in the hearts of the audience, for it is repeated quietly in manga after manga, movie after movie, and even through the video games. How many people have found solace this way, and the will to survive their own small and large sufferings --- maybe even conquer them --- with the hope for something far better? The message now has surpassed notions of mere "romanticism"; it has sailed on into the very edges of the divine.

These, then, are some of the secrets of the Japanese soul, which many in the West rarely see, but with which, undoubtedly, many could sympathize. Within the heart of the "salaryman" or "office lady," the corporate samurai, the housewife, and the high school student cramming for exams, the soul's yearning for something profound and beautiful glimmers fitfully. Of course, just like any other people on the planet, the Japanese too often forget these secrets, and the consequences of the loss add fuel to the stereotypes. It is hard to maintain something seemingly divine in this world; it is too easy to forget. Anime serves to remind.

[1] --- Remarks by Ross Perot. References to bowing: "Go to Japan, bow nicely and say, we will take the same trade deal we gave you. Can't be fairer than that, right? Or let's send you over there and that doesn't work, bow again and say we will take the same trade deal you negotiated in Europe."

[2]This site is a good example of this: has a copy of the paper "Japanyes," by Louis Leclerc. It contains quite a collection of warnings about Japan's warlike economic tactics and social drawbacks

[3][Private email correspondence from 1996]

[4]Hijiri, Yuki. (1981). Chojin Locke. Hit Comics (Shonen Gahousha). Book 2 ("Majo No Millennium"): pages 254 - 255.

[5]Ikeda, Riyoko. (1974). Berusaiyu No Bara (The Rose of Versailles). Margaret Comics (Shueisha). Book 8 ("Kami Ni Mesarete"): page 73

[6]Tamura, Yumi. (1991). Basara. Flower Comics (Shougakukan). Book 1: page 184

[7]Kishiro, Yukito. (1992). Gunnm. Business Jump (Shueisha). Book 2: ("Fight 9: Iron Maiden"), pages 74 and 75

[8]Hijiri, Yuki. (1981). Chojin Locke. Hit Comics (Shonen Gahousha). Book 2 ("Majo No Millennium"): page 195

[9]Horii, Yuji. (1992). Dragon Quest. Jump Comics (Shueisha). Book 9 "Doragon No Kishi": page 112

[10]Ikeda, Riyoko. (1974). Berusaiyu No Bara (The Rose of Versailles). Margaret Comics (Shueisha). Book 4 ("Kuroi Kishi O Toraero!"): page 113

[11]Kakinouchi, Narumi. (1989). Vampire Miyu (Vampire Princess Miyu). Horror Comics (Akita Shoten). Page 62

[12]Watase, Yuu. (1995). Fushigi Yuugi. Flower Comics (Shougakukan). Book 13: (Story 76 "Kiseki No Tsubasa"), page 145

The following manga, games, and movies were referenced in this essay. The year represents the publication date of the relevant material, and does not necessarily indicate the entire time period during which the work in question was being produced.

Fujita, Kazuhiro. (1996). Ushio To Tora. Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan).

Hijiri, Yuki. (1981). Chojin Locke. Hit Comics (Shonen Gahousha).

Horii, Yuji. (1992). Dragon Quest. Jump Comics (Shueisha).

Ikeda, Riyoko. (1974). Berusaiyu No Bara (The Rose of Versailles). Margaret Comics (Shueisha).

Ishiwata, Osamu. (1996). Love. Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan).

Kakinouchi, Narumi. (1989). Vampire Miyu (Vampire Princess Miyu). Horror Comics (Akita Shoten).

Kishiro, Yukito. (1992). Gunnm. Business Jump (Shueisha).

Matsumoto, Izumi. (1984). Kimagure Orange Road. Jump Comics (Shueisha)

Matsumoto, Leiji (1981). Captain Harlock. Champion Graphic Anime Comics (Akita Shoten).

Matsumoto, Leiji (1981). Ginga Tetsudo 999 (Galaxy Express 999). Hit Comics (Shonen Gahousha).

Mitsuda, Takuya. (1996). Major. Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan).

Miyazaki, Hiyao. (1986). Tenkuu No Shiro Laputa (Laputa: Castle in the Sky). Studio Ghibli.

Moria, Masanori. (1996). Rokudenashi Blues. Shonen Jump (Shueisha).

Netsuki, Nobuhiro. (1996). Ruroni Kenshin. Shonen Jump (Shueisha).

Shinohara, Chie. (1994). Ao no Fuuin. Flower Comics (Shougakukan).

Soda, Masahito. (1996). Me Gumi No Daigo. Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan).

Takada, Yuuzo. (1993). 3x3 Eyes. Young Magazine (Koudansha).

Takahashi, Rumiko. (1996). Ranma 1/2. Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan).

Tamura, Yumi. (1991). Basara. Flower Comics (Shougakukan).

Tezuka, Osamu. (1976). Black Jack. Shonen Champion Comics (Akita Shoten).

Togashi, Yoshihiro. (1993). Yuu Yuu Hakusho. Shonen Jump (Shueisha).

Tomino, Yoshiyuki and Yasuhiko, Yoshikazu. (1980). Kidou Senshi Gundam. Nippon Sunrise.

Watase, Yuu. (1995). Fushigi Yuugi. Flower Comics (Shougakukan).


Squaresoft. (1994). Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III). Squaresoft.

Taito. (1996). Lufia II. Taito.

Text Copyright 1997 by Eri Izawa. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. To be published in a book compilation in 1998 or 1999; posted here with permission of publisher and editor.

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