Arina Tanemura Holds Annual Birthday Party For Fans
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Last Saturday was famous shōjo manga artist Arina Tanemura's (Full Moon O Sagashite, Phantom Thief Jeanne) 38th birthday. And, as she does every year, she spent her special day with her fans at a birthday event.
For the price of 6,500 yen (about US$58) per ticket, fans had the chance to attend her birthday bash. The entrance to the ballroom in the Hotel JAL City Tamachi in Tokyo was surrounded by bouquets of congratulation, including ones from the Comic Zero-Sum editorial department (seen top left), manga creator Ai Minase (Hachimitsu ni Hatsukoi) on behalf of Shogakukan (seen top right), Hakusensha's Lala and Melody editorial departments (bottom far left), and manga creator Eri Sakondō (bottom center).
A giant bouquet from Shueisha's Margaret magazine's editorial department was also present (seen above).
Each guest was given a different coaster with an illustration by Tanemura depending on their ticket number, as well as an original art board signed by Tanemura.
The coaster was not just a decoration, however. The art on the coaster was also a seat assignment, with each table marked by the corresponding illustration.
Arina Tanemura appeared on stage in a gorgeous (but huge) ball dress , and thanked all of her fans for coming to the party. A large buffet was prepared for all of the guests, with salmon being a prominent item as it is the author's favorite food.
While fans served themselves food, Tanemura talked about her adventures in Singapore, mentioning that she enjoyed tasting kaya (a coconut based jam) for the first time. She also showed off some of her photos from childhood, commenting that she always looked like Chibi Maruko-chan. Tanemura then mused about her recent adventures in the manga industry. She explained that she was told that the issue of the Melody magazine with her cover sold much better than other recent issues, and she expressed her joy at being praised by her senior manga creators in the magazine on her success.
Tanemura went on to hold a question and answer session for fans. One of the fans in the audience who asked a question was in fact Tanemura's interpreter while she was overseas in Taiwan. He asked the manga creator if she had plans to end any of her manga soon, to which she explained that she is allowed to continue her series as long as she wants to, but can also end then whenever she wants to. However, she clarified that she has no plans to end any of her manga at the current time.
Another fan noted that there was a time when Tanemura was really into Cross Ange, and asked if there was anything she's gotten into lately. She replied that she doesn't have much time lately, but has been watching old sets of Chibi Maruko-chan DVDs.
Near the end of the party, Tanemura held a lottery of various goods, ranging from signed Idolish Seven art books and CDs to furikake (rice seasoning) she bought while on a vacation.
At the very end, Tanemura showed her love for her fans by walking around the entire ballroom, shaking hands with each and every fan at their table. However, the MC complained that she was taking too long, so the manga artist began high-fiving her happy fans instead. It took a good five minutes of circling tables and getting her dress caught on them, but she finally greeted every visitor, and thanked her fans for a wonderful birthday celebration. She also noted that while she took lots of varied jobs last year, she will turn down other jobs this year so she can focus on her manga.
Fans that didn't choose to take a Polaroid picture with Tanemura for an extra fee didn't forget to take a picture or two of the lovely decorations before they left.
Arina Tanemura has posted additional photos of the event at her official blog.