Tokiwa-so (トキワ荘) is an apartment building in Shiinamachi, Tokyo, where now legendary but then up-and-coming mangaka such as Tezuka Osamu, Shotaro Ishinomori (Ishimori) and Fujio Akatsuka once lived, worked together, shared knowledge, and basically meeting up with colleagues and pitting their skills against each other.
In 1954, two young mangaka, Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko, moved into Tokiwa-so. The duo, better known by their pen name of Fujiko Fujio, worked alongside the likes of Tezuka, and went on to create Doraemon, which became one of the best-selling manga in the world. While Fujimoto, also known as Fujiko F. Fujio, passed away in 1996 due to an accident, Abiko, Fujiko Fujio (A) is still active in the manga scene.
An interview with Fujiko Fujio (A) was recently published in Shueisha's Jump Square magazine. In the interview, Fujiko Fujio (A) talks about the days he spent at Tokiwa-so, as well as his memories of his colleagues:
A new book titled 2112 September 3rd, Doraemon is Born! (2112年9月3日、ドラえもんは本当に誕生する! ) was recently release in Japan. The book, written by Japan's first science navigator and sakurAi Science Factory's host Susumu Sakurai, claims that technologies found in Doraemon, such as the fourth-dimensional pocket, time machine and dokodemo door (a teleportation device), can become a reality through Einstein's theory of relativity.
On May 29th, Shogakukan announced that the 37-year-old amateur mangaka apologized to Shogakukan and Fujiko Production, and swore that such things will never happen again. Also, the mangaka admitted to his gaining of illegal profits from the work, and paid back a portion of his sales.
What does it take to be a good manga artist? A popular answer is "experience in life." According to many famous manga and anime creators, in order to become a good creator, an otaku should stop shutting themselves in their room, step outside, and live their life. However, Doraemon creator Fujiko F. Fujio disagrees...
Fujiko F. Fujio's View on Manga and Manga Artists
Osamu Tezuka: "Someone who doesn't have sufficient human relations skills will not be able to create manga, because manga is a conversation between the mangaka and his readers."
Last month Shogakukan requested a doujinshi artist to cease publication of his work, a doujinshi titled Doraemon - Final Episode. The doujinshi was released at Comiket 69 (Winter 2005). The work was drawn and written so well that many fans thought it was the official conclusion to Doraemon.
Although the doujinshi's author has stopped distributing the work, the Mandarake store in Akihabara has put up a poster that says: "Doraemon - Final Episode for 8,000 yen."
In January, a manga appeared on Yahoo! Auction with a starting bid of 1,000,000 yen. The manga in question is Fujiko Fujio's first manga Utopia - The Last World War, published in 1953 under the pen name of Ashizuka Fujio. In the end, the extremely rare and valuable manga was sold for 1,500,000 yen to the highest bidder.
Source: Animated Cartoon
A doujinshi titled Doraemon - Final Episode was released at the end of 2005. Since then the work has sold over 15,500 copies and received many praises. However, recently Shogakukan, the copyrights holder of Doraemon, has announced that this doujinshi work is infringing their copyrights, and requested the doujin group to cease publication of their work. Moreover, Shogakukan is also claiming compensation, and even considering prosecution.
The winners of the "Doraemon Secret Tools Design Contest" were announced on December 21st 2006 during an episode of the Doraemon anime. However, a woman who won the "Nice Idea Prize" was angered by one of the sponsors, TV Asahi, when she called up TV Asahi's customer service desk and was treated rudely. Later the woman complained about the incident in her blog, which raised many discussions regarding the topic.