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Shaman King's Hiroyuki Takei Shows Up to Autograph Session in Weird Mask

posted on by Eric Stimson
Promotes new manga, Nekogahara

Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King, Jūki Ningen Jumbor) showed up to an autograph session at Tokyo's Animate Ikebukuro store on September 21. It was the first autograph session he had held in three years, but that's now what made it most unusual: the manga artist emerged wearing a strange, bulbous mask. Modeled after the wooden fish drums used in Buddhist rituals, Takei made it himself and called it "Yori-tive," because he hoped it would make him "more [yori] active" by making him less shy about appearing in public. However, its eyes were filled in, and Takei couldn't see out of them, so he soon took it off.

Takei was at the autograph session to promote his latest manga, Nekogahara. It stars a cat (neko) in a feudal Japanese setting (-gahara is associated with Warring States Era battles like Sekigahara and Mikatagahara). It runs in the new manga magazine Shonen Magazine Edge. Takei explained that he chose a cat because "I wanted to make a symbol for the new magazine. I thought a normal person would be boring, so I drew a cat." He revealed in his question & answer session that his favorite cigarettes are Marlboro Black Menthols. Takei then drew three pictures of Nekogahara's protagonist, Norachiyo, and gave them away to three attendees who beat him at Paper-Scissors-Rock.

Takei was scheduled to appear this year at Baltimore's Otakon convention but was unable to attend due to a last-minute scheduling conflict.

Thanks to ravegrl for the correction

[Via Comic Natalie]

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