"As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a manga artist"

—Hiro Mashima, when interviewed during San Diego Comic-Con[1]

Hiro Mashima (真島ヒロ, Mashima Hiro) was born on May 3, 1977 and is a Japanese manga artist recognized for his fantasy manga Rave Master, Monster Soul, Fairy Tail and Edens Zero.

He was a notable guest at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con. He won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga in 2009.[2] He was also given the Harvey Awards International Spotlight award in 2017 and the Fauve Special Award at the 2018 Angoulême International Comics Festival.[3]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Hiro Mashima grew up in the Nagano prefecture of Japan. When he was young, he dreamed of becoming an artist, particularly one who dealt with manga. His passion for drawing encouraged his grandfather to search for discarded manga for him to read and trace pictures with.

Two manga series in particular were the main inspiration for him to become a professional manga artist: Dragon Ball, a well known manga produced by Akira Toriyama, and Ultimate Muscle (still ongoing), created by Yudetamago. Hiro Mashima especially enjoyed parts featuring the main characters getting into trouble, but somehow always managing to win in the end. He also liked the fierceness depicted in battle scenes and this later encouraged him to incorporate his own style of fierceness into his works.

After high school, he decided to further pursue his dream career, so he attended an art school which specialized in teaching manga artists. He believed this would help him in learning how to improve his manga drawing ability. However, he ended up detesting the approach, and left without completing the studies. He stated that while it taught him the basics, he felt it would not help as a professional.[4] At the end, he decided to teach himself.

Manga Career[edit | edit source]

Early Years[edit | edit source]

Around the year 1998, Hiro Mashima had created a 60-page original work called Magician that he took to editors to review. Soon afterward, it won him the amateur manga artists' competition.[1][5] He made his official serialization debut the following year with Rave Master.

Rave Master (1999-2005)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Rave Master

Also known as RAVE, the series debuted in 32nd issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1999. Rave Master ran until 2005, that is 6 years without pauses between issues, and was adapted into an anime titled Groove Adventure Rave from 2001 to 2002.

In 2002, while still producing Rave Master, Mashima began to write a Rave spin-off featuring Plue and titled Plue's Dog Diaries. It was serialized in Kodansha's Comic BomBom. Then, in 2003, Mashima assembled some of his one-shot titles in two volumes, under the title Mashima-En, including his original work Magician, and Fairy Tale, a sort of prototype for his latest work.

In 2005, after Rave Master had concluded, he began to serialize the title Monster Soul in Kodansha's Comic BomBom. It was around this time that Mashima drew the prototype for what would become Fairy Tail.

Fairy Tail (2006-2017)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Fairy Tail

While producing Fairy Tail, Mashima continued to run the series Plue's Dog Diaries and Monster Soul, until they both concluded in 2007. He also published the manga series Monster Hunter Orage (2008-2009, Kodansha's Monthly Shōnen Rival), and the two one-shot manga Nishikaze to Taiyou (2010) and Hoshigami no Satsuki (2014). Also in 2008, he drew a remake of Atsushi Kase's gag manga Chameleon for the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Magazine.

In 2011, Mashima created a crossover manga between Rave and Fairy Tail published in the May issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine.[6] It was adapted into an original video animation released in August 2013.[7] Two years later, a special 2013 issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine featured a small crossover between Fairy Tail and Nakaba Suzuki's The Seven Deadly Sins, where each artist drew a yonkoma (four-panel comic) of the other's series.[8] An actual crossover chapter between these two ran in December 2013.[9]

Since 2014, there are also two Fairy Tail spin-offs written under Mashima's supervision, but while Mashima personally draws Fairy Tail: Zerø himself, Shirato Yuusuke is the artist behind Tale of Fairy Tail: Ice Trail. Two other Fairy Tail spin offs, Fairy Tail Blue Mistral and Fairy Girls, also started in 2014, however, Mashima is not personally involved in them.

Mashima also collaborated with Miu Kawasaki to write two light novels: Fairy Tail: The Color Residing Within The Heart(2012) and Fairy Tail 2: After the Grand Magic Games, Each Single Day (2014).

Edens Zero (2018-Current)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Edens Zero (Series)

In June 2018, Mashima began publishing his latest manga series Edens Zero.[10]

Works[edit | edit source]

Edens Zero[edit | edit source]

Crossover manga[edit | edit source]
Light Novels[edit | edit source]

Completed Manga[edit | edit source]

  • Magician (One-shot, 1998) (First work, later included in Mashima-En, vol. 1)
  • Rave (1999–2005) (Published as Rave Master in North America)
  • Plue's Dog Diaries (2002–2007)
  • Mashima-en (12/2003)
    • One-shots included: Magician, Fairy Tale, Cocona, Plue's Adventures (Pt. II), Bad Boys Song, Magic Party, Christmas Hearts, and Fighting Group Mixture
  • Monster Soul (2005–2007)
  • Fairy Tail (2006–2017)
  • Chameleon (One-shot, 3/2008) (remake to Atsushi Kase's title) (Only art; retelling story by Atsushi Kase)
  • Monster Hunter Orage (2008–2009)
  • Nishikaze to Taiyou (One-shot, 2/2010)
  • Fairy Tail: Zerø (2014-2015)
  • Hoshigami no Satsuki (One-shot, 9/2014)
  • Mashima HERO'S (2019) (crossover of Rave, Fairy Tail, and Edens Zero)

Other Works[edit | edit source]

Speed[edit | edit source]

Hiro Mashima's drawing and production speed are well known in the manga community. A typical workload for a Weekly Shōnen Magazine manga artist (him included) may be about 20 pages of completed draft, 20 pages of rough drafts, and maybe a colored page. However, this was also the point in time when he was producing a monthly manga called Monster Soul, for which he had illustrated 43 pages of completed drafts, 69 pages of rough drafts, and 4 full-colored pages in a single week.[11] His record is 65 completed pages (3 of which were colored) within one week.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Mashima revealed his schedule for Fairy Tail was script and storyboards on Monday, rough sketches the following day, and drawing and inking Wednesday through Friday. In addition to coloring, the weekend was for Monster Hunter, and currently for Fairy Tail Zero; working on a quarter of the story each weekend and finishing by the end of the month.[1][12] In 2011, he stated that he worked six days a week, for 17 hours a day.[13]

Assistants[edit | edit source]

Mashima has six assistants in 2008 that worked in an 8,000 sq. feet area with seven desks, as well as a sofa and TV for video games. Mashima's assistants included Miki Yoshikawa, together with whom, in 2008 developed a crossover one-shot story called Fairy Megane where characters from her Yankee-kun to Megane-chan decide to find part-time jobs at the Fairy Tail guild.[14] Other assistants who have gone on to work on projects of their own were Shin Mikuni, who published Spray King, and Ueda Yui, who published Tsukushi Biyori.

Current Assistants[edit | edit source]

  • Bobby Osawa (Chief Assistant)
  • Sho Nakamura (Vice-chief Assistant)
  • Kina Kobayashi
  • Kain
  • Asami

Former Assistants[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Hiro Mashima's main characters are named after the four seasons:
    • Magazine Serializations
      • Rave (Haru = Spring)
      • Fairy Tail (Natsu = Summer)
      • Monster Soul (Aki = Autumn)
      • Monster Hunter Orage (Shiki = Four Seasons)
    • Oneshot (Mashima-En, volume 2)
      • Fighting Group Mixture (MaFuyu = Mid-Winter)
  • Hiro Mashima has never served as an artist's assistant.[15]
  • When asked about Gray's habit of stripping, during his visit to San Diego's Comic Con, Hiro said that he used to be like that.[16]
  • Originally, Hiro Mashima planned to finish Fairy Tail around the 10th volume. That, however, changed from both the fans, and he wished to draw even more of Fairy Tail.
  • Mashima's assistants often refer to him as Superman for the following reasons:
    • Even after the assistants had finished working around midnight, he still continued to work on the manga.[17]
    • His level of focus and the sudden transition from video games back to working is second to none.[17]
    • The first thing he does when he wakes up is grab his tools and begin the day's work on the manga.[17]
  • Despite his busy schedule, he still gets at least seven hours of sleep per day. For some reason, most other manga artists envied him in this.[18]
  • Switched from traditional coloring to digital coloring in 2005.[19]
  • Morita Hiroaki, former Chief Editor of Weekly Shonen Magazine, considers Mashima the ideal manga artist for his art skills for characters, stories, and production capability.[20]
  • Stated that his Zodiac sign is Taurus, which is why he made him a strong character to begin with.[21]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://manga.about.com/od/mangaartistinterviews/a/HiroMashima.htm
  2. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-05-12/33rd-annual-kodansha-manga-awards-announced
  3. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-26/fairy-tail-manga-creator-hiro-mashima-wins-angouleme-special-award-in-france/.126964
  4. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interview/2008-08-17/hiro-mashima
  5. Mashima En Vol.1 Magician Author's Note.
  6. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-04-20/fairy-tail-x-rave-crossover-manga-1-shot-published
  7. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-04-15/fairy-tail-x-rave-master-crossover-manga-gets-anime-dvd
  8. http://natalie.mu/comic/news/101712
  9. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-12-06/fairy-tail-the-seven-deadly-sins-get-crossover-1-shot-manga
  10. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-05-29/hiro-mashima-new-manga-gets-tentative-title-simultaneous-release-in-5-languages/.132062
  11. Fairy Tail manga, Volume 9 Author's Note
  12. Monthly Fairy Tail, Volume 3
  13. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2011/new-york-comic-con/9
  14. http://myanimelist.net/manga/3537/Yankee-kun_to_Megane-chan/moreinfo
  15. http://activeanime.com/delreyblog/?p=129 Del Rey Manga.
  16. Fairy Tail manga, Volume 12 Author's Note
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Fairy Tail+ Interview of the current assistants
  18. Fairy Tail manga, Volume 7 Author's Note
  19. Hiro Mashima Twitter: January 4th, 2013
  20. Monthly Fairy Tail: Volume 9
  21. http://kodanshacomics.com/2016/02/16/creator-interview-hiro-mashima-on-fairy-tail/

External links[edit | edit source]

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