Rumiko Takahashi was born in 1957 in Niigata, Japan. She had a deep love for manga her entire life, and when she attended Niigata Chuo High School she was the founder of the school's manga appreciation society. In her junior year of high school she had decided to make manga her profession and made her debut two years later with the story Katte Na Yatsura (Overbearing People) in the magazine that she would call home for the rest of her career, Shonen Sunday. She studied comics at a Japanese college with Kazuo Koike, the author of Crying Freeman and also worked as an assistant to Kazuo Umezu of Makoto-chan.
In 1978 Urusei Yatsura was released, which ran until 1987. Urusei Yatsura is the story of a young man named Ataru Moroboshi that is chosen to play a game of tag with an alien Oni named Lum with the fate of the world at stake. Ataru manages to win, but inadvertently asks Lum to marry him in the process. Following Urusei Yatsura was another very successful manga, Maison Ikkoku. Maison Ikkoku was written with a young adult audience in mind, and was therefore puplished in Big Comic Spirits, rather than Shonen Sunday. This series began in 1982 and ran parallel to Urusei Yatsura. Maison Ikkoku focuses on a young student, Yusaku Godai, who has fallen for his apartment mangager, Kyoko Otonashi while trying to fend her other suitor, Shun Mitaka a man that can offer everything Godai can not.
1987 was a big year in Takahashi's career because it saw the beginning and ending of her three most well known stories. Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku both bid their final farewells after 34 volumes and 15 volumes respectively. Both series did very well and saw Takahashi's writing and artistic abilities improve over the years.
As both series wrapped Takahashi began work on Ranma 1/2 a series about a teenaged martial artist named Ranma Saotome that has become cursed and transforms into a girl whenever he is splashed with cold water. Ranma 1/2 ran the longest of all of her series, 38 volumes, and came to an end early in 1996.
As she had previously done, Takahashi quickly began her next series, Inu-Yasha Sengoku Otogi Zoushi (Inu-Yasha A Feudal Fairytale) only a few months after the end of Ranma 1/2. The story focuses on a young girl named Kagome Higurashi who falls down a well and ends up in feudal Japan. There she meets a half-demon half-human named Inu-Yasha and they begin a quest for pieces of the missing Shikon Jewel.
Takahashi has also had quite a few short stories over the years such as One or W, Maris the Chojo, and Firetripper (which have been collected in Rumic World and Rumic Theater) along with the more lengthy short works of the Mermaid Saga which deals with elements of immortality and One-Pound Gospel a love story focusing on a Catholic nun and a young boxer.
Shonen Sunday, the manga magazine of which Ms. Takahashi's work is almost exclusively featured, usually includes comments from the author each week. Ms. Takahashi often talks about her favorite baseball team (the Hanshin Tigers), discusses her favorite music group (Shazna), or recounts childhood memories.
Over Takahashi's 20+ year career she has been considered the first major female to do work on boys comics, and has earned the title "The Princess of Manga". She won the Shogakukan sponsered "New Comic Artist Award" in 1978 and won the 1994 Inkpot Award in America.