At Least This Nasty Rumor Put a Different Mystery to Rest!
Leave it to 2chan and wacky fanartists to start ridiculous rumors. Towards the end of August, the Asian tabloids had another field day after the popular message boards and other blog were abuzz with rumors of a divorce between Naoko Takeuchi and her husband, Yoshihiro Togashi. This time the banter began as a result of fans being angry with Hunter X Hunter going on hiatus again. The tabloid Shukan Gendai (the image posted on the right) had reported that the reason for the split were because Yoshihiro was experiencing a creative slump and he continually had to ask his publisher to push back his deadlines. Because he was still very popular, his editors gave in knowing that his fans would always come back when he did (and sales of his work would never decline). However, he may have been taking his editors for granted as he had become a video game addict and also traveled frequently overseas (the latter, is news to us!). This irresponsible behaviour frustrated Naoko and led to this rumored divorce. The fans were also coming up with all sorts of strange reasons for why this happened. Some thought he had joined the Unification Church to escape his creative slump, or that his assistant had left him because of some turbulence. What really got the discussion flared up was a post from someone claiming to be another mangaka, with some exclusive and confidential information. This mangaka posted (translated):
This is strictly confidential, he got divorced last year. They likely clashed because his wife was a considerably selfish person. Because of this his life has become fairly rough, in the future expect not to see him in print as often.
This mangaka was never identified. The photo you see on the left was also thrown around the thread. We bet it was the same person who drew those other silly drawings from before of Sailor Moon beating up on a dog. In an effort to dispel this rumor, a different article brought up this blog entry from a different mangaka, Ami Shibata. Ami is famous for her work on Blue Dragon ST, Bucky the Incredible Kid, and Papuwa. She is also a close friend of Naoko Takeuchi's, and she even drew Sailor Moon for Naoko in Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Original Picture Collection Volume Infinity. In her entry, she spoke of having lunch with Naoko after 8 or 9 years, and that she had moved to a new place that had made Naoko a neighbor in her town.
Let's put that nasty rumor to rest, for just a moment. If anything, the one article to cite Ami Shibata's post helped us to solve another mystery. Last December, Yoshihiro Togashi had revealed that a new addition arrived to their family the year before. While there were no details given on whether they had another son or a daughter, he drew a bunny. Naoko Takeuchi had always drawn bunnies in her comics, and many times they even represented girls. Was this a hint? Ami wrote in her entry that Naoko was the wife of Yoshihiro Togashi, the mangaka behind Hunter X Hunter that was currently being published in Shonen Jump. And, she also remarked that she was the energetic mother of a son and a daughter! We were happy to read this, and now we are wondering if there are as many bunny rabbits in her daughter's room as there were in Usagi's in PGSM :p. Ami Shibata also wrote about going shopping afterwards with Naoko, and purchasing 3-D paper art. The two had such a good time together, and nothing had changed at all in these many years!
We have to commend this article from Livedoor for doing a good job of finding this entry from Ami's blog, and using it to show definite proof that Naoko and Yoshihiro were definitely not divorced. With that, we officially debunk this rumor, and call everything that the tabloids, the fans, and this unidentified mangaka have said absolutely ludicrous. Shukan Gendai is also published by Kodansha, which is also the publisher behind Sailor Moon. You'd think, that they would have learned something from their turmoils with the Sailor Moon manga and not frustrate the creator any more and publish negacrud like this, but they still pushed ahead. But, there was a bright side to this rumor as we have finally learned a new detail we didn't know about the recent addition to Naoko Takeuchi's family. So we end this article offering additional congratulations to the couple on the arrival of their daughter!