Kore Yamazaki, manga artist and author or mangaka as they are commonly referred to, is proof that living your truth brings success in life with ease, and that an idea always comes in to being when the time’s right.
The 29-year-old mangaka, who has been drawing since the age of two and drawing manga since she was seven, is successfully making a living from what she refers to as “her hobby”.
The self-taught artist – behind the internationally acclaimed manga series, The Ancient Magus’ Bride – was discovered by a publisher having showcased her work online. Having spent sometime as an assistant to another mangaka, eventually the Hokkaido-born Kore Yamazaki was creating her own manga including Frau Faust, Futari No Renai Shoka, Transparent Museum and Denpatou.
Interestingly the series that was to turn Kore Yamazaki in to a manga “household name”, so to speak, was a story that she had written some time ago for a personal project. The story idea resurfaced again when a publishing deadline was fast approaching and so The Ancient Magus’ Bride manga came in to being.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a dark fantasy series which tells the story of Chise Hatori, an orphaned high school student, who is sold as a slave to Elias Ainsworth, a seven-foot-tall humanoid with the head of a beast. It turns out that Elias Ainsworth is a powerful magician who wants to make Chise his apprentice – and his bride. Chise is catapulted into a new life in England filled with magic, fairies, and other magical beings. As the series develops, the magician will either bring Chise the light she desperately seeks or drown her in ever deeper shadows.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride began publishing in Japan in Monthly Comic Blade magazine in November 2013, and was republished in English in 2015. It has since been translated into over 14 languages and has sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone. The Ancient Magus’ Bride was also turned into a popular anime series in 2017.
The series draws on magic, fantasy, folklore and faeries – subject matter that Kore Yamazaki has always resonated with since she was a child, fascinated by fairy tales and manga like Sailormoon and Gegege No Kitaro.
In an interview with Star2 she said: “I’m not an expert on fairy tales and mythology, but just learning about them from other cultures is interesting. What I find fascinating is that many cultures have stories that overlap. I really enjoy finding those and so want to know more about mythology.
“Part of me wanted to be a writer when I was younger, but it was a bit more difficult when you just have your words to create a setting. I found it was easier to get a reaction with a visual element.”
Drawing and telling stories is a natural part of who Kore Yamazaki is which is why she refers to “her work” as “a hobby”. The Ancient Magus’ Bride is also, in part, about self-development as she explains: “I’ve wanted to illustrate Chise’s growth from the beginning, but I also wanted to depict Elias’ growth as well. It’s fantasy, but I wanted to write a story about personal growth, which both children and grown-ups can enjoy.
“If I don’t keep drawing and creating manga daily, it’s possible that I might forget how to draw whatever I want to.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com