Arina Tanemura, creator of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Full Moon O Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, and a host of other shoujo manga, is ending her exclusive agreement with the Japanese manga magazine Ribon, which has been publishing most of her work up to now. Tanemura said she will continue to work on her current series, Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura, which runs in Ribon, until it is finished.
What does this mean to American readers? Hopefully nothing, but Shueisha, the publisher of Ribon, is also one of the parent companies of Viz Media, which means that American readers have had a direct pipeline to Japan for Tanemura's works. Viz has published almost all of Tanemura's manga series as well as the anthology Short-Tempered Melancholic, a collection of some of her short stories, in the U.S. As long as Tanemura continues to be published by Shueisha's magazines, there should be no problem; if she moves to another publisher, however, the business picture might become more complicated.
Tanemura launched her own website this morning, with a beautiful piece of art and a link to her blog. Alas, it's all in Japanese, but she posts a fair number of pictures, so it's interesting to see what she's thinking about.
Tanemura recently finished work on another series, Fudanjuku Monogatari (The Fudanjuku Story), which ran in another Shueisha magazine, Margaret. Fudanjuku Monogatari is the story of the all-female idol group Nakano Fujo Sisters, seen through the eyes of their male alter ego. Tanemura started this series after going to see the group in concert.
Tanemura came to the U.S. in 2007 for San Diego Comic-Con, and at the time she gave an interview to Anime News Network in which she said her favorite manga are the shoujo stories in Ribon and Margaret; she also spoke of her love of idol groups.