Yumi Tamura was born September, 5 in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. English-speaking readers know her mostly for stories like Basara and 7 Seeds. She focuses on the shoujo or josei genres, often based on adventure plots diluted with sci-fi and horror. Tamura's debut, Ore-tachi no Zettai Jikan (This is the Time for Us, 1983), in Bessatsu Shojo Comic was awarded the 1983 Shogakukan Grand Prize (new artists). So far she has written 50+ short story volumes and series still in print:
* 7 Seeds
* Ano Natsu ga Owaru
* Bishop no Wa
* Hare Tokidoki Yami
* Madonna ni Tsugu
* Megami ga Ochita Hi
* Roppongi Shinjuu
* Toorima 1991
* Wangan Jungle
* Wild Com.
For 1987-1990 she completed an 8-volume Tomoe ga Yuku! (Run, Tomoe!) not yet translated into English. In this Romeo-and-Juliet-like situation Tomoe, an ex-roller skater, enters the Green Ship, a well-known stunt male troupe soon to become a mistress of its head, Kazusa. Tomoe reveals the Green Ship as a terrible crime gang and her dear as an assassin. In her struggle with the gang Tomoe also tries to escape Kazusa's deadly arms!
Tamura's currently biggest manga is a 27-volume (Legend of) Basara in print for 9 years since 1990. This adventure series brought her the 1993 Shogakukan Manga Award as the best shojo manga. It based a 13-series anime covering the manga's 1st 5 volumes. The Viz Media publisher has produced all the 27 volumes in English. Basara is new freedom against the establishment. A 21st-century catastrophe turns Japan into a desert. Little Tatara is a promised savior from the country's plight and empire tyranny. After his death his twin sister Sarasa takes on his role in raising the downtrodden.
In 1999 a 1-volume Wild Com. with horror elements was released. It's a collection of 3 short suspenseful stories.
In the 1st story (Psychic Squad Wild Com.) the lead character can't convince people in her psychic powers causing life or death around.
The 2nd (The Beasts of June) is a poem of urban injustice corrupting 2 spirits.
The 3rd (The Eye of the Needle) is a shocking thriller shaped as a fame-twisted romance.
Chicago (2000) is Tamura's 1st manga published in English in North America. Unlike Basara as a girl manga, these 2 volumes target mature women. It's an adventure sci-fi story happening in the mid-21st-century Tokyo expanding even to Tokyo Bay. A horrible earthquake ruins its new urban area calling Self-Defense Force Rescue Squad 4 for help. But continuing destruction leaves only 2 rescue workers alive, fearless Rei with her cool partner Uozumi. For support in learning what killed their squad they come to a bar, Chicago. Among Tokyo's ruins Rei and Uozumi search for survivors but find a strange string of corpses with bullet holes. A sudden gunfire from the air makes the pair flee barely alive. Later they discover their squad served as cannon fodder with empty records.
2002 released a 3-horror-story collection, Wangan Jungle, which plots start with an invitation letter arriving.
7 Seeds released in 2002 has reached 16 volumes still in print. Like Chicago, it has an adventure plot featuring sci-fi, horror, mystery and psychological elements. In 2003 Tamura got a 2nd Shogakukan Manga Award for 7 Seeds. There a world summit launches a 7 Seeds project to save mankind against an upcoming meteor. Each country freezes some healthy people to survive the disaster. After Earth analysis by computers the lucky ones will be released into a somehow safe world. Japan's government prepares 5 seasonal survivor groups of 7 members and 1 guide with a suicide neck poison. In 7 Fuji refuges they'd find seeds and survival guides for wilderness.
Tamura is a fan of RPG video games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and others. No wonder her most stories have adventure plots with fantasy and sci-fi elements. She loves mystery books and chatting online with the fans. Only few of her mangas have been English-translated. So let's hope for the rest to be published pleasing her readers.
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