There is sad news coming out of Japan as we hear about the passing of manga creator Tomohiro Marukawa, who was only 53. He was the mangaka behind The World of Narue and Mahō Shojo Yon-gō-chan (which is translated as Magicannon Girl Mk.IV). He was also planning a brand-new manga.
Monthly Shonen Ace magazine, which is from Kadokawa, announced his passing. According to them, it happened on January 25, and it was due to ischemic heart disease. The American Heart Association explains:
Ischemia is a condition in which blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted or reduced in a part of the body. Cardiac ischemia is decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle.
What is ischemic heart disease?
It’s heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood and oxygen reach the heart muscle.
The World of Narue manga consists of 13 volumes, and also received an anime adaptation that was released in America by US Manga Corps. Amazon gave this description for the anime:
The World of Narue (2003) combines elements of two popular anime genres: teen romance and magical/alien girl. Fourteen-year-old Kazuto Izuka is good-hearted, nerdy middle school student whose life turns upside down when he meets Narue Nanase. To Kazuto’s amazement, this pretty, unassuming girl likes him. Although he’s willing to overlook it, she does have one minor problem: she’s half alien. Her father was an inspector for the Galactic Federation working on Earth when he met and married her mother. The mismatched pair begin a shy romance, despite the advice of Kazuto’s friend Maruo and the interference of UFO fanatic Yagi. Voice actor Jamie McGonnigal imbues Kazuto with a warm appeal that recalls Tenchi in Tenchi Muyo!, rather than Ataru in Urusei Yatsura (both young men faced with attractive aliens). Narue (Veronica Taylor) is naive to the point of simplicity, but the attraction is understandable. Unfortunately, the screenplays by Yuka Enatsu and Yuu Sugitani don’t really develop the romance or the possibilities for adventure and comedy the situation offers. There are some genuinely funny moments when Kazuto introduces Narue to the anime “Magical Girl #4,” a spoof of Sailor Moon. But the series never goes much of anywhere, despite the charm of the characters.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.