Mangaka You Should Know: Tachibana Higuchi

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 26, 2008 in Comic Books |


If you’re into anime at all, you’ve probably heard of its most famous manga creators Shirow Masamune (Ghost in the Shell), CLAMP (Magic Knight Rayearth, X, Tsubasa Chronicle), and Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, InuYasha). You may even know Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball Z), Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina), and the godfather of manga himself, Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy, Black Jack). But these are only the most famous few drops in a sea of manga creators: Here is one of picks for the ten mangaka you really need to know— and keep an eye on:

Tachibana Higuchi

You may not have heard of Tachibana Higuchi or her manga Gakuen Alice just yet, but TOKYOPOP is guaranteeing that you will. They’re positioning it to be the new shoujo hit, to replace the uber-popular Fruits Basket when it ends in 2009.

The series features Mikan, a young girl whose best friend, the uber-intelligent Hotaru, leaves town to go to an exclusive school. Mikan, desolate without her friend, runs away to attend the same school: Gakuen Alice. At the school, she learns that “Alice” isn’t just a name, it’s a magic power— one that every student at Gakuen Alice has, but its form varies with each student.

Gakuen Alice isn’t Higuchi’s first manga, but it’s her first to be released in English, and is being positioned to be a big hit in the U.S. if TOKYOPOP gets its way. With fun characterizations, an interesting plot surrounding a mysterious school and its student bodies, and Higuchi’s cute art, the odds are certainly in its favor.

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at or hire her at

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