Momoko Sakurai, Creator of ‘Chibi Maruko-chan’ Has Died

Momoko Sakura, the creator of Chibi Maruko-chan, has passed away due to breast cancer at the age of 53. Her family has already held a private wake and funeral.

Chibi Maruko-chan

Few manga creators have left an impact as large as Sakura. She first launched Chibi Maruko-chan in 1986 and it has been turned into the second-longest running anime in history. The story, which is based on Sakura’s youth, follows the daily life of a third-grade girl.

The anime debuted in 1990, and has defied modern trends – the anime maintains a large TV viewership in Japan despite falling numbers for other shows. Chibi Maruko-chan has also stood the test of time with its optimistic, charming, and relatable story.

Chibi Maruko-chan

Sakura also created Coji-Coji, a multimedia franchise that follows a talking snowman.

While Sakura’s name or landmark series never gained a fandom outside of Japan, her influence has been felt. Many shoujo and slice-of-life stories attempt to mimic Chibi Maruko-chan‘s tone and format while adding modern twists.

You can thank Sakura for laying down the foundation for the slice-of-life genre.

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