Last month saw the opening of a webpage called Murakami-san no Tokoro (Mr. Murakami’s Place), a kind of question and answer/advice column by none other than Haruki Murakami, probably the most famous Japanese author in America and the writer of such books as Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and 1Q84.
One reader sent Murakami a question regarding anime and manga. The user, a 33-year-old government employee, had read somewhere Murakami doesn’t read manga or watch anime, and he wanted to know why.
Murakami responded that it’s largely a matter of free time. He wrote that while he was an enthusiastic reader of manga when he was a child, he has found that as he gets older, he has needed to cull his hobbies down to only what he likes best.
Furthermore, he denied any disrespect for anime and manga, acknowledging they aren’t something to be taken lightly and are fully matured storytelling media.
Though none of Murakami’s works have ever been directly adapted to anime or manga, many have served as indirect inspirations. Haibane Renmei, the 2002 anime series conceived by Yoshitoshi ABe, shares many elements with Murakami’s novels, including a walled-off city and travels to the bottom of wells.
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