Industry Responds to Chibi Maruko-chan Manga Creator Momoko Sakura's Death

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Chibi Maruko-chan manga creator Momoko Sakura passed away on August 15 due to breast cancer. Since the announcement of Sakura's death on Monday, various members of Japan's entertainment industry have responded on Twitter.

One Punch Man manga artist Yuusuke Murata said Sakura's death was "too soon." He recalled reading Sakura's manga when his older sister bought Ribon magazine when he was in elementary school. Prolific voice actor Shigeru Chiba also offered condolences and noted that Sakura's passing was "early."

Golden Bomber visual kei band member Yutaka Kyan said on Twitter, "Momoko Sakura, passing away this young.... Chibi Maruko-chan has taken care of me from when I was small up to now in my daily life." He added that it was "thanks to Ms. Sakura" that Golden Bomber was able to perform their version of the anime's opening theme song "Odoru Pompokorin" and also appear in the show.

Actress and singer Sakurako Ohara said she was able to remember the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu in elementary school with the help of a Chibi Maruko-chan book that explained the poems. She added that she "never thought" Chibi Maruko-chan would become connected to her work life as an adult. Ohara performed the song "Kimi wo Wasurenai yo" (I Won't Forget You) for the Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen anime. Ohara noted in her tweets about Sakura's passing that she cried when she first read the song's lyrics.

One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda drew an illustration in Sakura's memory. The image shows Luffy sharing barbecue with Maruko-chan. The accompanying tweet adds that the two creators got along well in both their professional and personal lives and that Oda is praying for Sakura.

Prolific manga creator Leiji Matsumoto shared a photo of himself holding a framed sketch of Maruko that Sakura drew for him in April 2016. Matsumoto shared his shock at Sakura's sudden passing and expressed his "sincere condolences."

Many fans also expressed similar remarks online, emphasizing their shock at the creator's passing at a young age and the impact Sakura's work has had on their lives. One fan said, "I'm surprised. It's a shock. I liked [the anime] since it came out, and my grandmother bought me a tape of 'Odoru Ponpokorin.' I've recently watched [the anime] sometimes too, so it's a real shock. I pray for her happiness in the next world."

Update: Leiji Matsumoto's message added

Sources: Yuusuke Murata's Twitter account, Shigeru Chiba's Twitter account, Yutaka Kyan's Twitter account, Sakurako Ohara's Twitter account, Anime! Anime! (Taichirō Onose)

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