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NEWS: Manga Creator Mio Murao Passes Away at 69




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jroa



Joined: 08 Aug 2012
Posts: 522
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 12:41 am Reply with quote
Rest in peace.

I don't recall reading any of his works, but remember seeing his name somewhere.
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Bvick00



Joined: 17 Jan 2022
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 1:59 am Reply with quote
RIP
A shame he didn't get to finish his latest manga
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-Matthew-



Joined: 12 Mar 2022
Posts: 309
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:13 am Reply with quote
Rest in peace.
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:35 am Reply with quote
During my first trip to Japan I came across some yellowed copies of his early 80s shounen romcom manga such as Kekkon Game, Munesawagi no houkago and Zoku Sneaker Street. They have been part of my collection ever since, like a dozen manga by Azuma Hideo, another important creator who passed away at age 69 a few years ago.
Rest in peace, Murao-sensei.
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danpmss



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 691
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:25 am Reply with quote
Loved his art, quite the old school sexy style. Circle Game is severely underappreciated, despite being one of his longest manga series (behind only "S to M" iirc, which was a big reason for me to even attempt a 69 joke). His works never got anime adaptations, and the ones that did get adaptations at all, were usually movies or mini TV series, likely the reason he is rather unknown outside Japan.

He was an author that actually used ecchi in a rather "classier" way, with a focus on a more sentimental note with the character's interactions, instead of the usual unidimensional fap-bait 70s to early 90s ecchi manga used to be like (a particularly infamous one as per today's standards would be Maicching Machiko-sensei, which is from where the whole "sexual assault as a funny prank" trope people complained in series like Mushoku Tensei, came from), and that's considering a lot of those were also romcom manga with a rather brainless plot (like Cash Boy).

When it came to ecchi in his shounen manga series he sure was very light on them though, unlike for example Go Nagai, which around the time Mio was starting his long-running publishing, was pumping out stuff like the rape-y Hanappe Bazooka. It wasn't even close to the likes of the pervert voyeur Oh! Toumei Ningen manga either.

For starters, while Tokimeki no Jin still had the more generic characterization manga in the early 80s usually had, even as early as that (his first weekly serialization), you could already see some rather avant-garde chemistry from the cast than what you would usually get in romcom, at least as far as shounen manga went (those were more in the lines of shoujo manga of the time, except without the overdramatic embelishment those used to have, courtesy of Rose of Versailles, for better and for worst).

In short, he was sort of an early Rumiko Takahashi figure when it came to sexy shounen rom-coms... though in Rumiko's case, the sentimental writing would only really come around from Maison Ikkoku (her monthly seinen manga published at the same time from 1980 onwards, which also had quite a few shoujo elements integrated in terms of character interactions) a few years later, Urusei Yatsura was more of a cynical comedy with "romance" sprinkled here and there for a while.

Naturally, Mio Murau was overshadowed by Orange Road, much like most other non-Rumiko shounen romcoms and copycats it gathered since, despite him arguably, possibly having been a positive influence on it and Urusei Yatsura alike (which despite starting in the late 70s, only really got itself going with proper characterization later, and not the same sort as the more mature one from Maison Ikkoku).

Anyway, a shame such a big name left us, and most people outside Japan won't even know much about him (except for maybe some few scanlations of some of his manga series, like aforementioned Cash Boy).


Last edited by danpmss on Thu Apr 21, 2022 5:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 5438
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 1:14 pm Reply with quote
RIP Murao-san.
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 2:34 pm Reply with quote
@danpmss

Wow, you're quite informed about Murao Mio!

danpmss wrote:
For starters, while Tokimeki no Jin still had the more generic characterization manga in the early 80s usually had, even as early as that (his first weekly serialization), you could already see some rather avant-garde chemistry from the cast than what you would usually get in romcom, at least as far as shounen manga went (those were more in the lines of shoujo manga of the time, except without the overdramatic embelishment those used to have, courtesy of Rose of Versailles, for better and for worst).

I haven't read Tokimeki no Jin yet, but the other early 80s romcoms I've mentioned before were rather generic in my opinion and nowhere as good as those by Adachi Mitsuru or Rumiko Takahashi. The whole plot device in Kekkon Game for example is a high schooler who starts living together with his crush, his new homeroom teacher, because she turns out to be his fiancee, and now he has to keep that a secret at school. How many times have we seen and read tropes like that? More than we can count, I guess. Nevertheless, I was fascinated to find such "old" manga back in the late 90s in Japan and I couldn't resist to buy them, just to have a glimpse in early 80s shounen romcoms besides the most well-known ones.

Quote:
Naturally, Mio Murau was overshadowed by Orange Road, much like most other non-Rumiko shounen romcoms and copycats it gathered since, despite him arguably, possibly having been a positive influence on it and Urusei Yatsura alike (which despite starting in the late 70s, only really got itself going with proper characterization later, and not the same sort as the more mature one from Maison Ikkoku).

One author of an early 80s romcom, who definitely had that sentimental touch in his writing you're describing, was Akira Ôze with Hatsukoi Scandal.
Interestingly enough, one of Murao's earliest shounen romcoms was called Kimagure my Road. There is no way Izumi Matsumoto wasn't influenced by Murao in some way or another.

I totally agree, it's a shame that he passed away. He was a very prolific author and virtually unknown outside Japan.
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danpmss



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 691
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 6:52 pm Reply with quote
Swissman wrote:

Wow, you're quite informed about Murao Mio!

Read my fair share of old school manga while researching the history of ecchi manga in Japan. I blame my obsession for Ranma 1/2 back then (which honestly, wasn't really much of an ecchi thing, much more of a battle shounen parody with romcom and nudity usually played for comedy) haha

Quote:

I haven't read Tokimeki no Jin yet, but the other early 80s romcoms I've mentioned before were rather generic in my opinion and nowhere as good as those by Adachi Mitsuru or Rumiko Takahashi. The whole plot device in Kekkon Game for example is a high schooler who starts living together with his crush, his new homeroom teacher, because she turns out to be his fiancee, and now he has to keep that a secret at school. How many times have we seen and read tropes like that? More than we can count, I guess. Nevertheless, I was fascinated to find such "old" manga back in the late 90s in Japan and I couldn't resist to buy them, just to have a glimpse in early 80s shounen romcoms besides the most well-known ones.


These shortcomings have hit shounen manga harder than the other demographics back then. A lot of shoujo manga were surprisingly mature and realistic despite overdramatic, and the demographic was rather indistinguishable from seinen manga at one point (while shounen was basically some sort of an evolution from Tezuka's manga for children rather than his adult works, then deconstructed by Nagai's own influence into over-the-top sexual display (the problematic Harenchi Gakuen for starters) and hyper violence, which as it escalates later on with Hokuto no Ken and alike, it also became a problem, and are not exactly the mature counterpart one would expect from the demographic), which already had a bigger variety of subjects and also usually much better developed bildungsroman stories than it, since much earlier.

In the case of shounen romcoms, they were very new and rough around the edges for the most part, even ones that aged like wine are not exactly free from some usual storytelling shortcomings.

Adachi and Rumiko were actually not-as-derivative golden standards to this day despite that (Adachi breaking the shounen mold with a "herbivore kind of protagonist", probably the first of the many that came after in the harem genre particularly, compared to the ongoing theme of manliness that shounen has had since Ashita no Joe and Ring ni Kakero, which were usually quite the contrast lol).

The 80s shounen romcoms (something that we didn't really have before just then, except maybe some obscure Tezuka manga or Urusei Yatsura before it actually applied, in the late 70s) are what actually started a bigger interest in shounen manga that have more sentimentality (taken notes from shoujo manga), like your other great example, Hatsukoi Scandal, and case in point, Mio Murao's manga works (which actually were also on the ecchi side, which made them extra unique).

Quote:

One author of an early 80s romcom, who definitely had that sentimental touch in his writing you're describing, was Akira Ôze with Hatsukoi Scandal.
Interestingly enough, one of Murao's earliest shounen romcoms was called Kimagure my Road. There is no way Izumi Matsumoto wasn't influenced by Murao in some way or another.

That one is likely one of the earliest examples of romcom in shounen manga, much like Murao's early works (but as I said above, what impresses me the most is that even before Orange Road, he already had ecchi works that had that sort of sentimentality applied to them, in a sea of souless unidimensional riské mangas, and applying some genuine sentimentality to many of those ecchi works, which is actually rare even nowadays).

But I must say I actually was not aware of Murao's Kimagure my Road, depending on how it goes, that would explain a whole lot, considering how many right notes I've seen Orange Road take from his early manga works, I will definitely check it whenever I can.

Quote:

I totally agree, it's a shame that he passed away. He was a very prolific author and virtually unknown outside Japan.


I'm just sad that considering how many 80s romcoms got translated in several countries, his were never considered as far as I'm concerned in the West.
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iamthevastuniverse





PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:26 pm Reply with quote
I hope he was at peace in his life sudden cases of passing away are never easy to handle.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6766
Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Anyone thinking about making numerical-based jokes about the author's age upon death should think again.

And no, I wouldn't be posting this if I hadn't seen and deleted such content from an otherwise good post.


Last edited by Zalis116 on Tue May 10, 2022 4:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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