In Memoriam ’23] “I like Britney, Pink, and Beyoncé,” Takeichi Terasawa told this magazine about his “fascination with the female body. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

In Memoriam ’23] “I like Britney, Pink, and Beyoncé,” Takeichi Terasawa told this magazine about his “fascination with the female body.

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He also revealed that he had received an offer from Hollywood to make a live-action version of “Cobra” (June ’08).

Manga artist Takeichi Terasawa (68 years old) passed away on September 8 from a myocardial infarction. His masterpiece “Cobra” was a big hit, selling more than 50 million copies worldwide as of April ’18.

In 1976, Mr. Terasawa applied for an assistant position at Tezuka Productions. He was once rejected from the selection process because his drawing style was different from that of Osamu Tezuka, but his work caught the attention of Tezuka himself and he was hired. In 1977, his work was selected as an honorable mention in the 13th Tezuka Award, and he made his debut with “Cobra,” a one-part story in the extra issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, followed by the serialization of “Cobra” in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1978.

Cobra” is a science fiction action story featuring Cobra, a lone wolf space pirate who is active throughout the galaxy with a special ray gun “psycho gun” in his left hand. The film’s pop art-like drawings, which used elaborate drawing techniques such as airbrushing in the style of American comic books, and its space opera-like worldview, similar to that of the then blockbuster Star Wars, were shocking.

However, because of the high quality of his drawings, Mr. Terasawa was also famous for being a slow writer. He continued to serialize his work in a style that could be considered exceptional for the “Shonen Jump” magazine of the time, which was to take a certain amount of time off between serialization periods to write more.

He is also known as a pioneer in the introduction of digital technology in the creation of manga. In 1985, he published Japan’s first digital comic “Black Knight Bat. Terasawa talked about the difficulties of digitization in an interview with this magazine in ’95.

The problem is output. The system to make a positive print from the data cost 30,000-50,000 yen per frame. That’s more than the cost per page of the manuscript.

(Laughs.) Other problems were piling up, such as individual printers’ differences in color tones and the difference in color tones on monitors during the day and at night. Even so, with the overseas market in mind, the company decided that digitization was necessary.

Another attraction of “Cobra” is the “Cobra Girls,” female characters in sexy outfits and powerful proportions drawn with Terasawa’s unique realistic touch. When the manga was first serialized, the “Cobra Girls” were sometimes controversial for being too sexy and not appropriate for a boys’ manga. In “Cobra 30th Anniversary Special Edition” of this magazine in 2008, Ms. Terasawa had the following to say about attractive posing for women.

The basic idea is to curve the body. Venus de Milo is also S-shaped. If you stand straight, you look like you are standing on a pole. If you put roundness somewhere, it looks beautiful. I like the dynamic of Britney, Pink, and Beyonce. They have a body shape that Japanese people don’t have. I also like Salma Hayek.

Cobra” was serialized in “Shonen Jump” until 1984, and then was serialized intermittently in “Super Jump” and other magazines. During that time, it was animated several times. In 1919, a new episode was serialized for the first time in 13 years in the webcomic “COMIC Hu” (KADOKAWA). This episode was never completed and Mr. Terasawa departed. We would like to pray for his soul rest in peace.

Mr. Terasawa and the “Cobra Girls” at the presentation of the “COBRA THE ANIMATION” project to commemorate the 30th anniversary of “Cobra” (photo taken in ’08).
Kendo Kobayashi and Shigeru Matsuzaki, who sings the ending theme of the animation, also participated as the project’s cheerleaders (June ’08).
  • PHOTO Kazuhiko Nakamura

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