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Moto Hagio (萩尾 望都 Hagio Moto?) is a manga artist born on May 12, 1949 in Ōmuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, though she currently lives in Saitama Prefecture. She is considered a "founding mother" of modern shōjo manga, especially shōnen-ai. She is also a member of the Year 24 Group.[1] She has been described as "the most beloved shōjo manga artist of all time."[2] In addition to being an "industry pioneer", her body of work "shows a maturity, depth and personal vision found only in the finest of creative artists".[3]

Publishing career

Moto Hagio made her professional debut in 1969 at the age of 20 with her short story "Lulu to Mimi" in Nakayoshi.[4] Nakayoshi's publisher Kodansha wanted "bright and lively" works, and rival publisher Shogakukan sought her out.[5] Keiko Takemiya introduced Hagio to Takemiya's editor, Junya Matsumoto, who accepted all of Hagio's works that Kodansha had rejected.[6] When Hagio began drawing manga, she cut large sheets of "manga paper" to B4 size, and she still uses a G-Pen and a Maru-Pen. When she began drawing manga, she used India ink and a brush, but now uses Copic markers.[7] Later, for Shogakukan Publishing, she produced a series of short stories for various magazines. Two years after her debut, she published Juichigatsu no Gimunajiumu 11月のギムナジウム (The November Gymnasium), a short story which dealt openly with love between two boys at a boarding school. The story was part of a larger movement by female manga artists at the time which pioneered shōnen-ai, a genre of girls' comics about love between young men. In 1974, Hagio developed this story into the longer Thomas no Shinzō (The Heart of Thomas). She was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1976 for her science fiction classic Juichinin Iru! (They Were Eleven) and her epic tale Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Family).[8] In the mid 1980s, Hagio wrote her first long work - Marginal.[9][10] Prior to writing Iguana Girl in 1991, Hagio had not set her works in contemporary Japan.[11] Moto Hagio had a role in the 2008 film Domomata no Shi (Death of Domomata).[12] On June 11, 2009, a party was held in Moto Hagio's honor, "celebrating her 40th year as a professional manga artist". Approximately 200 people attended.[13]

Personal life

Hagio is a science fiction fan, and considers Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein to have influenced her,[5] and she has adapted Ray Bradbury's short story "R is for Rocket" into manga format.[14]


  • Ruru to Mimi, 1969
  • Seireigari, 1971–1974
  • 11-gatsu no Gymnasium, 1971
  • Poe no Ichizoku, 1972–1976
  • Tottemo Shiwase Moto-chan, 1972–1976
  • Thomas no Shinzou, 1973–1975
  • They were Eleven, 1975–1976
  • Alois, 1975
  • Hyaku Oku no Hiru to Sen oku no Yoru, 1977–1978
  • Star Red, 1978–1979
  • Mesh, 1980–1984
  • Houmonsha, 1980
  • A-A', 1981
  • Hanshin, 1984
  • Marginal, 1985–1987
  • Flower Festival, 1988–1989
  • Aoi Tori, 1989
  • Umi no Aria, 1989–1991
  • Roma e no Michi, 1990
  • Abunai Oke no Ie, 1992–1994
  • Zankokuna Kami ga Shihai suru, 1993–2001
  • Barbara Ikai, 2002–2005

Works in English

Little of her work has been translated from Japanese. Following is a short list of those which have been translated:

  • A, A', which is currently out of print and includes three stories titled A, A' (A, A Prime), 4/4 (Quatre-Quarts), and X+Y parts one and two (all originally published in 1981).
  • They Were Eleven (original date of publication 1975), which was part of the 1996 anthology Four Shōjo Stories. They Were Eleven is available on DVD as an anime, in both dubbed and subtitled formats. Like most anime based on manga, there are various minor changes and omissions.
  • Hanshin (original date of publication 1984), a short story, which was published in issue 269 of The Comics Journal alongside an interview with Moto Hagio conducted by Matt Thorn.

A, A' and They Were Eleven have science fiction settings, and both They Were Eleven and X+Y include transgender elements. The science fiction aspects in particular have led to Hagio's work appealing to manga readers who do not generally like shōjo manga.

A forthcoming anthology, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, will collect the following stories:[15]

  • “Bianca” (1970)
  • “Girl on Porch with Puppy” (1971)
  • “Autumn Journey” (1971)
  • “Marié, Ten Years Later” (1977)
  • “A Drunken Dream” (1980)
  • “Hanshin” (1984)
  • “Angel Mimic” (1984)
  • Iguana Girl” (1991)
  • “The Child Who Comes Home” (1998)
  • “The Willow Tree” (2007)

These were selected by translator Matt Thorn to be a representative sample of her whole career,[16] with the input of a mixi fan club for Hagio.[7][17]

Video game works

Moto Hagio did the character designs for Quintet's video game Illusion of Gaia.



  1. Thorn, Matt (2005). "A History of Manga". Animerica: Anime & Manga Monthly 4 (2,4, & 6). Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. Thorn, Matt (February 1996). "Introduction". Four Shōjo Stories. Viz Communications. ISBN 1-56931-055-6. 
  3. Deppey, Dirk. "The Comics Journal #269: Editor's Notes". The Comics Journal 269. Archived from the original on 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  4. Randall, Bill (2003-05-15). "Three by Moto Hagio". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Moto Hagio Focus Panel - San Diego Comic-Con 2010". Anime News Network. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  7. 7.0 7.1
  8. 8.0 8.1 "小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  9. Thorn, Matt. "The Hagio Moto Interview by Matt Thorn". Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  10. Ebihara, Akiko (2002). "Japan's Feminist Fabulation Reading Marginal with Unisex Reproduction as a Key Concept" 36. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  11. Kawakatsu Miki. "Iguana Girl Turns Manga Legend" (PDF). Japanese Book News Vol. 63. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  12. "Manga Creator Moto Hagio Makes Film Acting Debut". Anime News Network. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  13. Thorn, Matt (2009-06-20). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Moto Hagio Party, Handley update". Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  14. Thorn, Matt (2010-07-30). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Comic-Con 2010 Report". Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  15. Thorn, Matt (2010-03-09). "Matt Thorn's Blog · Moto Hagio collection, Takako Shimura’s “Wandering Son”". Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  16. Garrity, Shaenon (27 July 2010). "An Interview with Moto Hagio". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "日本SFファングループ連合会議:星雲賞リスト" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  19. Manga Award for Excellence: Hagio Moto "Zankoku na kami ga shihai suru" Exhibition
  20. "Nihon SF Taisho Award Winners List". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  21. "Moto Hagio Receives Inkpot Award from Comic-Con Int'l". Anime News Network. July 23, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 

External links

ca:Moto Hagio ko:하기오 모토 ms:Moto Hagio pl:Moto Hagio ru:Хагио, Мото zh:萩尾望都