Kaoru Kurimoto, the author of the epic Guin Saga series of novels-- which inspired the corresponding manga, and most recently anime series –has reportedly died in Tokyo from pancreatic cancer.
Kurimoto was only 56 years old, but her Guin Saga is actually said to be the longest novel series by one author in the world, at 126 volumes of the main story and another 21 books of side stories. The first volume came out in 1979, so that means 147 novels in 30 years-- almost five books a year. About a half a book a month. A tenth of a book a WEEK. Can you even imagine?
We at Vice would like to express our condolences to Kurimoto's husband, Kiyoshi Imaoka, as well as to Vertical, Inc., who has been releasing the Guin Saga novels and manga in North America. (I just handed out a stack of them to a Fanime panel attendee, even.) I've been in touch with Vertical, and I'm told that it's as though everyone in the office just lost a relative. I think we'll be hearing some official word from them later today or early tomorrow.
I hope you guys take a few dollars and head out to your bookstore and pick up the first volume of the series. It's an amazing fantasy epic that's available in English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Korean, and Chinese, as well as its native Japanese, so I think most people here could do that-- it'd be a nice gesture and a good read to boot.