After four decades of hits, one year off was apparently enough for the legendary manga star.

If you’re an anime or manga fan, you might have felt like something was off this year. And you’d be right, because 2018 was the first full calendar year since 1977 in which legendary manga creator Rumiko Takahashi didn’t have a weekly serial running in publisher Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday anthology.

Takahashi made her major debut in 1978 with science fiction comedy Urusei Yatsura, which ran in Shonen Sunday until 1987 and was quickly followed up by martial arts gag/romance extravaganza Ranma 1/2, which lasted from 1987 to 1996, which in turn was succeeded by fantasy period piece Inu Yasha from 1996 to 2008 and supernatural high school story Rin-ne from 2009 to 2017.

In other words, the 61-year old Takahashi spent 40 consecutive calendar years creating serials for Shonen Sunday, and we didn’t even cover her non-Shonen Sunday series like Maison Ikkoku, One-Pound Gospel, and the various Mermaid series manga she drew during that time. But while Takahashi has definitely earned a full year off, apparently one was enough for the seemingly tireless Niigata native, as it’s been announced that she’ll be starting a new serialized manga, once again in Shonen Sunday, in the early spring of 2019!

▼ The announcement, with Takahashi’s Ranma and Urusei Yatsura star Lum posing next to her name in kanji (高橋留美子).

▼ Takahashi, at work in the 1980s, and pretty much nonstop ever since.

The news of Takahashi’s return was met with loud cheers on Japanese Twitter:

“Today I learned something wonderful: Rumiko Takahashi has a new manga coming out.”
“Soooo looking forward to this(*≧∀≦*)!!”
“If you’re an otaku, this has got to be on your reading list.”
“She’ll be churning out hits for her whole life.”
“New Takahashi series!!! Is it gonna be gag-based, or story-based? Can’t wait to find out!”

Aside from its projected debut date and anthology home, no details have been released regarding the new series. However, the fact that it’ll run in Shonen Sunday suggests some level of youthful hijinks or fantasy, as opposed to the comparatively more grounded or somber tones of works that appeared in other anthologies. For more details, we’ll just have to wait, but the news is exciting enough that we’re pretty much ready to go line up at the bookstore right now.

Source: Comic Natalie via Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@locodonto

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s already keeping his fingers crossed that Megumi Hayashibara or Kappei Yamaguchi gets cast in the inevitable anime adaptation of Takahashi’s new manga.