Professional manga artist learns that talent runs in the family.

Haruka Komowata has established an admirable career for herself as an illustrator and manga artist. Her professional resume includes super-deformed four-panel manga adaptations for popular anime franchises Angel Beats and Carlotte, and her artwork is bursting with the charming cuteness of the pint-sized aesthetic.

However, Komowata (@mokowata on Twitter) recently posted a series of illustrations with a very different look from her ultra-modern style.

The artwork isn’t the result of Komowata going retro, though, since she isn’t the one who drew this batch of fashionable ‘60s-style girls. In fact, you could argue that the artwork itself doesn’t technically qualify as “retro” either, since it was completed 50 years ago, and actually was drawn by Komowata’s mom!

While straightening up her home, Komowata’s mom came across a sketchbook she’d used 50 years ago, during her high school days. She’d thought she’d lost the book forever, and when she found it she excitedly showed her professional artist daughter, who was amazed by the quality of her illustrations.

“She was 100 times more talented than I was as a high school student,” Tweeted Komowata, who asked her mom for permission to share her artwork with her Twitter followers, who were equally impressed and left comments such as:

“Somehow, the designs don’t look old at all, just cute and fashionable.”
“Timeless cuteness.”
“That’s all it took. I’m now your mom’s fan.”
“The girl with the hairband on her forehead is so cute…”
“The design of their clothes is so well thought-out. You could totally sell character merchandise for them.”
“They’re like something out of an Osamu Tezuka manga.”

There’s definitely something reminiscent of Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy creator Tezuka’s artwork in the shape of the character’s heads and limbs. But another sheet from Mom’s sketchbook shows she was also drawing characters from hits of the day such as Star of the Giants and Osomatsu-kun.

Komowata’s mom was even working on an original manga with the working title Glass Jewel, with some dramatic perspectives and shadow work.

▼ Heroine Mika finds a gem-like object that shines like a diamond, and says she’ll treasure it.

“I really want to read what happens next!” said yet another commenter after the one-page preview for Glass Jewel. Unfortunately, Komowata’s mom never submitted her artwork to any publishers, and seeing as she’s now in her late 60s, probably isn’t likely to try shopping her idea to any of the major manga anthologies. Still, in the modern era self-publishing a digital manga is easier than ever, and you’re never too old to start a new creative endeavor, so maybe there’s still a tiny little chance for more Glass Jewel. But even if that never comes to be, we’ve still got the timeless beauty of Mom’s illustrations to enjoy.

Source: Twitter/@mokowata via Jin
Images: Twitter/@mokowata

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’ll refrain from posting any of his high school artwork, on the grounds that it’s terrible.