Mia Ikumi (征海未亜 (2000 - 2018) / 征海美亜 (2019 onward) both are pronounced as "Ikumi Mia")
is a Japanese manga artist best known for the manga Tokyo Mew Mew she created with Reiko Yoshida.
Her birthday is March 27 and she is from the Osaka Prefecture. She often wears cat ears to her book signings, and interesting costumes. Mia's first manga, The Sleeping Beauty of Strawberry Forest, was written when she was just 18 years old.
- Tokyo Mew Mew (illustrator)
- Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode
- Tokyo Black Cat Girl
- Super Doll Licca-chan
- The Wish That Surpasses Every Request
- Koi Cupid
- Bunnies Dropping Stars (translated as Rabbit Starfall by Tokyopop)
- The Sleeping Beauty of Strawberry Forest
- Girl's Fight* Only One Wish (2009)
Reception of her work
Tokyo Mew Mew was generally well received by reviewers, who described it as cute and entertaining. Critics praised Mia's artwork in both Tokyo Mew Mew and the sequel Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode. Her "free flowing" style and character designs were seen as a perfect fit for the series. Criticism of her art focused on images which regularly spilled out of panel borders and speech bubbles with ambiguous speakers.
Patrick King of Animefringe, an online anime magazine, stated: "one of the most attractive aspects of Tokyo Mew Mew is easily Mia Ikumi's ultra-cute artwork. Big eyes, cat ears, fuzzy tails, and short skirts all come together in a cuteness combo that's hard to resist." According to Carlos Santos of Anime News Network, "Mia Ikumi's artwork is perfectly suited to the story, and it's not even all that wispy and frilly compared to other shōjo material. Like many budding manga artists, Mia's greatest strength is in carefully posed character portraits, and her prolific use of tones creates unique effects while also sidestepping the challenge of backgrounds."
Production of Tokyo Mew Mew
Mia Ikumi spent a year designing the Tokyo Mew Mew manga before the release of the first volume in February 2001. The story she originally presented to her editors, Tokyo Black Cat Girl, featured a heroine named Hime Azumi. An intergalactic police officer named Masha (not the same Masha seen in Tokyo Mew Mew), gives her the ability to transform into a cat-girl and asks her to aid him in defeating alien invaders called the Bagu.
After the production team decided to focus on five female superheroes, Mia was asked to reconstruct the lead character. She had reservations about the changes, as the character was originally designed for a more dramatic series. As Tokyo Mew Mew became a viable project, Kodansha, a manga publishing company, hired Reiko Yoshida to be the series' scenario writer and story supervisor. Reiko and two other editors determined each volume's plot, created a scenario by adding stage directions and dialogue, and presented it to Mia. Mia added her own ideas and changes, creating the manuscript's first draft, which was taken to the publishers for final review and approval. This differs from most manga series, in which the manga writer also creates the scenarios and stories before submitting to their editor for approval.
Written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi, Tokyo Mew Mew manga was first serialized in Nakayoshi magazine between September 2000 and February 2003. The twenty-nine chapters were then compiled into seven tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The first volume was released on February 1, 2001, with the final volume released April 4, 2003. After the first volume's release, a two-day Tokyo Mew Mew festival was held during the Golden Week holiday (a week long span in late April and early May during which four public holidays occur) to promote the series. Events included a Tokyo Mew Mew art gallery and the release of new merchandise. Mia created a special poster for the event, featuring all twelve characters. She also dressed up as characters from the series, as Minto Aizawa on one day and Retasu Midorikawa on the other.
Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode
In April 2003, a sequel called Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode premiered in Nakayoshi. Running until February 2004 and written solely by Mia Ikumi, the sequel was published as two volumes.
Tokyo Mew Mew Playstation Game
Both Ringo Akai and Gâteau du Roi were created by the manga's artist, Mia Ikumi, following design specifications from Takara. The game uses voice actors from the anime series, with the two new characters voiced by Taeko Kawata and Ryoutaro Okiayu, respectively. Ikumi was pleased with how both characters turned out and expressed a desire to use Ringo as a regular character in a future manga series. Ringo later joined the other Mews Mews in the Petite Mew Mew bonus story in the second volume of Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode.
Some of Mia Ikumi's original artworks.
- In 2019, it was revealed that Mia Ikumi slightly changed the spelling of her pen name.