Crunchyroll Expo is just around the corner, and to get you prepared for the event, we’re profiling guests you'll get to see there! Today we’re looking at the manga tandem A. Honda and S. Nagano, known as Akira Himekawa. Throughout their thirty years in manga, the two women have worked on award-winning manga, broke new ground by working on the first manga made in the United Arab Emirates, and have created numerous manga adaptations. Most notable is their work on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series, responsible for manga adaptations of ten Zelda games. Let’s take a closer look at some of Akira Himekawa’s other works as well as their history with manga.
The duo began working together in 1987 before debuting in 1991, creating a variety of fantasy and supernatural manga throughout the ‘90s. Their work through the years would allow them to work on some high-profile adaptations of anime, western cartoons, and video games. In 2003, the anime remake of Astro Boy released, and in order to give the manga the same flair, Himekawa were brought on to create the adaptation. Ten years later, they would be on another high-profile adaptation when Himekawa worked on the My Little Pony manga. However, those two weren’t the only big adaptations the team would work on and be known for.
In 1998, Akira Himekawa were the creators of a new manga for The Legend of Zelda series. The manga focused on the latest release in the franchise at that time, Ocarina of Time, providing their own take on the game's story. This would become a hallmark of their style for Zelda manga as certain titles, such as A Link to the Past and the Oracle of Ages/Seasons manga feature expanded stories and more characterization for Link and others within their respected games. Their unique vision would lead them to not only working on many of the games in the series, but becoming synonymous with manga versions of The Legend of Zelda.
Himekawa have worked on most of the games in The Legend of Zelda, with the titles mentioned above and also Majora’s Mask, Four Swords, The Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass, and a prequel to Skyward Sword. Four Swords would also see an expanded story (given the multiplayer nature of the original game) and the Skyward Sword prequel would be exclusive to the Hyrule Historia as a bonus for the book. They are currently working on an adaption of Twilight Princess that had been in the works since 2006, but was not originally published due to the game’s more mature and intense content that was not suited for younger children. The fifth volume of Twilight Princess is set for release on August 28 in Japan, and Himekawa have said that this is not the final volume of the series.
The duo have also had success in being nominated and winning awards for their work. In 2007, Himekawa was a jury recommendation from the Japan Media Arts Festival for Gliding Reki. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's manga adaptation won Germany’s 2010 Sondermann Award for best International Manga. That wasn’t the only award they won in 2010, as their work on Gold Ring—the first manga from the United Arab Emirates—won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children’s Literature.
Don’t miss your chance to see this legendary manga duo at Crunchyroll Expo! On Saturday, September 1st at 2:30 PM, there will be an interview with Akira Himekawa that you'll definitely want to check that out. There you will get to hear them discuss their thirty years in the industry, their work on various series such as The Legend of Zelda, and learn from creators who truly know their craft. Let us know if you are coming to Crunchyroll Expo in the comments, especially if you're excited to see Akira Himekawa!