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Izumo Matsumoto To Return with New Manga After Illness

Date: 2005 September 03 06:58

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According to Mainichi Daily News, the popular cartoonist Izumo Matsumoto, 46, who made his debut at the age of 23 with the famous manga "Kimagure Orange Road" will return with a new Manga after battling with an illness for the past 6 years.

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Matsumoto was forced to give up work six years ago because of heavy headaches caused by depleted cerebrospinal fluid now says he wants to produce comics that help promote understanding of the disease.

His first work "Kimagure Orange Road" helped him become one of the most popular cartoonists in Japan after it ran on top Manga Magazine ‘Shonen Jump’. Once referred to as "the bible for Japanese youth in the 1980s," the series about school life was adapted as a TV cartoon and as a movie.

Matsumoto said that in early June 1999 he started feeling hot flushes in his neck when he was lying at home and experienced paralysis in the lower part of his body. It was then he began suffering from headaches. He described what he felt at the time as if he was "carrying a 100-kilogram weight" on the back of his head and neck.

"I felt terribly weary and didn't want to do anything," he said. "I felt that I needed to draw something, but I couldn't hit upon any idea."

He visited over 40 Medical Institutions who explained his symptoms in various ways. He was told he was depressed, lacked exercise and even that his condition was due to the fact that his teeth were not well aligned. After seeing a newspaper article about depleted cerebrospinal fluid in May 2004, he visited Sanno Hospital in Tokyo's Minato-ku in July that year, where doctors discovered a fluid leakage.

Matsumoto started experiencing stiff shoulders after he was hit by car at age three and a Sanno Hospital Doctor said "It's possible that his cerebrospinal fluid began leaking because of the accident. I guess his condition worsened because he worked very hard,"

Fans of Matsumoto were expecting his new work in autumn of 1999 after a Manga Magazine said it would run his project, but it never appeared.

Now that his condition has improved, Matsumoto is talking with a publisher about the possibility of starting work again. And he plans to draw a manga about his disease.

"I think many people around the world who suffer from depleted cerebrospinal fluid often don't understand the cause of their pain," he said. "I want to boost awareness of this disease around the world through a cartoon."

Source: Mainichi Daily News
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