Takachiho Haruka

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of Kimiyoshi Takekawa (1951-    ), a Japanese author of sf and heroic Fantasy. While still a social science student at Hōsei University in 1972, he co-founded the design company Crystal Arts. Renamed Studio Nue in 1974, it became an influential cog in the Anime industry, credited with contributions to {MACROSS} and Uchū Senkan Yamato. A writer in a team of designers and illustrators, Takachiho called on Studio Nue's resources with his first Crusher Joe novel, Rentai Wakusei Pizan no Kiki ["Crisis on Union Planet Pizan"] (1977), hiring the renowned artist Yoshikazu {YASUHIKO} to draw the cover, in the hope that an anime adaptation would hence be more likely. The release of the first Star Wars film in Japan turned sf into a new growth area, affording Takachiho the chance to churn out several sequels, and the out-of-sequence Niji-iro no Jigoku ["Rainbow-Coloured Hell"] (1983), a novelization of the inevitable anime Tie, the movie Crusher Joe (1983), directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko.

Takachiho's fiction is often tongue-in-cheek, cluttered with in-jokes and suffused with an affectionate pastiche of the Golden Age of SF. Several of his serials occupy the same universe, a venue for Space Opera in which a loose galactic federation is policed by the Worlds Welfare Work Association (3WA). In this milieu, the titular Crusher Joe is a mercenary and gun-for-hire. The "Lovely Angels" are a pair of 3WA troubleshooters, whose unerring habit of causing massive collateral damage has led to their unwelcome nickname, and series title, Dirty Pair, beginning with the Seiun Award winning novella Dirty Pair no Daibōken (February 1979 SF Magazine; 1980 trans David Lewis as The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair 1987). Clad in transparent, skin-tight spacesuits that have silver bikinis painted on only for modesty's sake, they soon achieved far greater success in their own anime spin-off, the television series {DIRTY PAIR} (1985). The later Dirty Pair Flash has been variously described as an Alternate World retelling of the Lovely Angels' younger days, or as a distaff sequel, set a hundred years later, in which the Lovely Angels codename is taken up by two new girls who are their predecessors' coincidental namesakes. The Shinken ["Divine Fist"] series features another 3WA troubleshooter, the martial artist Li Zuilong.

In many cases, his characters derive their names from various fighting sports: Joe's assistants the "Crush Girls" are named after a pair of real-world female wrestlers; the Dirty Pair are named for the real-world wrestlers "Beauty Pair", and Li Zuilong ["Li the Drunken Dragon"] is derived from Li Xiaolong, the real name of Bruce Lee. Such punning metatexts have been common in Japanese sf since the days of Osamu Tezuka, but can make translation infuriatingly difficult without appearing glib and insincere. The Dirty Pair have achieved far greater fame in English through a licensed Sequel by Other Hands, in the form of US comics by Toren Smith and Adam Warren from 1988-1991, thereafter by Warren solo to 2002, demonstrating a deeper subtext of social Satire than that of the originals.

The Hakobiya Sam ["Courier Sam"] series is another space opera [for titles see Checklist], set in a universe very similar to that of the 3WA, but with a new overseer organization, the Inter Stellar Police Organization (ISPO). Although the milieu is entirely different and the series title recalls an epic tale from Chinese history, the same old style can be found in his later Igyō Sankokushi ["Fantasy Three Kingdoms"] [for titles see Checklist], set on a Parallel World where a human continent must co-exist with rival domains occupied by sentient insects and reptiles.

Non-sf works include the Kyōsenshi Ai books (1993), set in the guerrilla-beset Ruritania of Uruputan, where Japanese military advisers get to live out an action-adventure nostalgia seemingly inspired by the period's Vietnam movies. Not included in the Checklist are a number of nonfiction books about biking. [JonC]

Kimiyoshi Takekawa

born Nagoya, Japan: 7 November 1951

died

works

series

Crusher Joe

  • Rentai Wakusei Pizan no Kiki ["Crisis on Union Planet Pizan"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1977) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Gekimetsu! Uchū Kaizoku no Wana ["Destruction! Scheme of the Space Pirate"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1978) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Ginga Kei Saigo no Hihō ["Last Galactic Treasure"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1978) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Ankoku Jashinkyō no Dōkutsu ["Cave of the Dark Demon Religion"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1978) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Ginga Teikoku e no Yabō ["Ambitions towards Galactic Empire"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1978) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Jinmen Majū no Chōsen ["Challenge of the Devil with a Human Face"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1979) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Utsukushi Maō ["Beautiful Devil King"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1983) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Akurō Toshi Kukuru ["Satan's City Kukuru"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1989-90) [2 volumes: Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Wormwood no Genjū ["Cryptids of Wormwood"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 2003) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Dairon no Seishōjo ["Girl-Saint of Dai Long"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 2005) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Niji-iro no Jigoku ["Rainbow Coloured Hell"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1983) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]
  • Gaiden: Dolroi no Arashi ["Untold Story: Storm of Dolroi"] (Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1986) [Crusher Joe: pb/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko]

Dirty Pair

Dirty Pair Flash

  • Tenshi no Yūutsu ["Melancholy of the Angels"] (Tokyo: Hayakawa Shōbo 1994) [Dirty Pair Flash: pb/]
  • Tenshi no Hohoemi ["Laughter of the Angels"] (Tokyo: Hayakawa Shōbo 1999) [Dirty Pair Flash: pb/]
  • Tenshi no Itazura ["Mischief of the Angels"] (Tokyo: Hayakawa Shōbo 1999) [Dirty Pair Flash: pb/]

Hakobiya Sam

  • Ginga Bangaichi ["Galactic Accession"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1980) [Hakobiya Sam: pb/]
  • Seijū no Tō ["Tower of the Holy Beast"] (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 1983) [Hakobiya Sam: pb/]

Ankoku-ken Seiden

Shinken

  • Yokōshu Majo ["Magic Castle of the Shining Night Pearl"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1991) [Shinken: pb/]
  • Kiian no Seihai ["Holy Grail of Kiian"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Shinken: pb/]
  • Mujō Tani no Aika ["Lament of Heartless Valley"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Shinken: pb/]
  • Bara no Majo ["Rose Witch"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1994) [Shinken: pb/]
  • Reijin Zatsugidan ["Beauties of the Various Techniques"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1995) [Shinken: pb/]
  • Tanrō ["Covetous Wolf"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1997) [Shinken: Legend of the Galaxy's Strongest: pb/]
  • Fujichō ["Phoenix"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1997) [Shinken: Legend of the Galaxy's Strongest: pb/]
  • Dakatsu ["Serpent"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1997) [Shinken: Legend of the Galaxy's Strongest: pb/]

Kyōsenshi Ai

  • Kyōsenshi Ai ["Bad Soldier Ai"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Kyōsenshi Ai: pb/]
  • Bōsatsu Kyōdan ["Murder Cult"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Kyōsenshi Ai: pb/]

Igyō Sankokushi

  • Norie ga Shogun!? ["Norie is a General!?"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Fantasia, 1992) [2 volumes: Igyō Sankokushi: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]
  • Gamos no Maken ["Magic Sword of Gamos"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Fantasia, 1995) [3 volumes: Igyō Sankokushi: pb/Haruhiko Mikimoto]

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