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Japanese Gag Manga
Author of "Asari-chan" / Muroyama Mayumi

Muroyama Mariko

< 24, Jun, 2014 >


Brothers or sisters, it is just like a drop of sweat running through your lock because it is close, sometimes disgusting, and finally beloved. Muroyama Mayumi is the author of “Asari-chan,” a Japanese gag manga serialized from 1978 to 2014. Muroyama Mayumi consists of Muroyama Mayumi and her 2 years younger sister Muroyama Mariko.

We have interviewed with Muroyama Mariko on June 7, 2014. On “Muroyama Mayumi,” how does Mariko work? This is a precious interview to know her charge and color. And also her words lead you to getting what her older sister and Muroyama Mayumi are.



■ I’m pretty honored to interview with you, ma’am. Well, in 2014 February, “Asari-chan” finished with reaching to volume 100 of the comics. When on earth did your work end actually?

Muroyama Mariko: The beginning of February. We had worked until the last moment for completing previously unpublished pictures.


■ How about the moment of the end? Completely exhausted?

M: We never burnt out. It had been a previously planned program to finish with volume 100. So that’s our entire planning act.


■ On 2014 July of Monthly Flowers, I heard your work, “Omake-no Shibako” is going to be printed.

(C) Shogakukan / Muroyama Mayumi
M: Yes. We’ve written a 16 page complete-in-one-issue. That was made only out of want to illustrate Shiba Inu. Usual magazines like Monthly Flowers have been far away from us until this “Omake-no Shibako.” Our manga had got in other kinds of manga magazines when we were young. For a long time, we have written nothing but “Asari-chan” like an inflexibly uniform. So we kind of feel we are getting back to a newcomer now. Very fresh!


■ Never thought of trying to challenge a new genre except gag manga? In 1990s, for limited time, you gave your readers some rewritten yaoi manga originally written in your student days.

M: Oh, we did. We were able to do it since we were strong enough at the time. We have been in the field of gag manga and so sometimes we, my older sister and me, thought “Are we really able to illustrate usual pictures without gag pictures?” Then, the yaoi manga was what we tried in 1990s. It didn’t become a case of success.


■ Oh, really? Why?

M: We are perfectly unable to get out of control by “Asari-chan.” Vulgar pictures were not illustrated. Anyway, we got few of the applicants LOL.


■ Your words make me guess “Asari-chan” exists at the core of your activity, ma’am.

M: We are nothing without “Asari-chan.” We need to study again, trying to make a manga different from gag manga, and have to bring it to a publisher, saying “We are able to write an’ illustrate a manga like this. Please use us.”


■ That case is upon even a great veteran like Muroyama Mayumi.

Muroyama Mariko (Manga Artist)
Who Made Debut In 1976 As "Muroyama
Mayumi," With Her 2 Years Older Sister.
Having A Pineapple Allergy.
(C) Shogakukan / Muroyama Mayumi
M: We are in the bitter field not to give us work as long as we are still. We finally have to make action somehow.


■ Then, are you planning to make manga as complete-in-one-issues for a while?

M: No. An extra issue of “Asari-chan” is going to publish on July 29, 2014, during summertime vacation. That is what I would like to appeal most.


■ Extra issue?

M: Yes. 60 pages or so, we are writing and illustrating new stories. Then, we are worried about how to make it. It will be some of short pieces. Because they are after we have done “Asari-chan” with volume 100, Asari is a fifth grade student at the new stories.


(C) Shogakukan / Muroyama Mayumi
■ It means Tatami is in the first grade at junior high school, and Asari is in the fifth grade of primary school?

M: Right. Not so different because it is a family manga LOL. We decided to do so in new episodes, anyway.



■ In “Asari-chan,” Hamano Asari had always been in the fourth grade. You try to move the still hand of the stopped clock?

M: We are trying. Then, it is just the time that we are worried about how to do it together LOL.


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