Hiromu Arakawa is the creative prowess behind many successful manga, the most prominent for Americans being Fullmetal Alchemist. Although it is hard to find a lot of information on Japanese manga atists, it is actually harder to find information on her, due to her having a very private nature.
Arakawa is a woman who seems to have more in common with me the more I learn from her. At first, I thought she was this funny woman who created a world that was incredibly complex, violent, and depressing, but had to have this fun-loving side because she ended up with blurbs at the end of each manga volume where she drew herself as a cow with glasses. However, when learning about her agricultural background, I began to realize we both share a strange love of farm animals.
Growing up in Hokkaido, she attended a high school where the students actually help run a large scale agricultural center that involves dairy, meat, and vegetation. Later, she even used this experience to create a hit series called Silver Spoon. After graduating from high school, she moved to Takyo and began working under a manga artist before she created a one-shot story for Square Enix that developed into the series Fullmetal Alchemist.
As an artist working with a series marketed toward the male demographic, she created the pen name Hiromu, rather than her given Hiromi, to sound masculine. However, as her success became widespread, eventually becoming international, her gender has since been revealed and she is still accepted as a large competitor in the manga industry.
In her personal life, she has married and had three children, attending an interview just some days after she had given birth,
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