Tariji Sasaki, the artist responsible for the covers of CoroCoro Comic, the premiere monthly manga magazine for young children in Japan, has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for setting a record for the ‘longest career as a magazine cover designer for the same magazine’. How many years you ask? Since 1986. He designed the magazine’s covers for 34 years straight.
Even the more hardened western manga veterans have only a passing familiarity with the magazine, as very few of its series ever get licensed out in English. We’re 100 percent sure you’ve heard of that beloved Italian plumber Super Mario, but have you ever heard of Super Mario-kun? In an age where Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi are all independent memes in their own right, the phrase ‘Mario Manga’ tickles the funny bone something fierce. Believe it or not, there’s been an ongoing ‘Mario Manga’ running in the magazine since 1991.
Tariji Sasaki is looking quite good for someone who’s been in the industry that long! Now, this doesn’t mean he does all the actual cover illustration (probably the manga artists and what not have that honor), but cover design is an unsung hero for every publication. The specific award won was for ‘Longest career as a magazine cover designer for the same magazine’ anywhere. It’s a Guinness world record, not specific to manga or Japan.
Nearly all manga magazine covers are filled to the brim with illustrations, logos, and texts; a cacophonous experience on the eyes. However, Corocoro Comic and Tariji Sasaki could potentially win a Guinness World Record for ‘most crammed magazine cover ever’. Children tend to like striking imagery, and Tariji’s covers alone can provide young children hours of entertainment. Just look at this thing! You’ve got Mario, Wario, Sonic, multiple Street Fighters, and a whole bunch of characters we certainly can’t name. Objectively it’s a mess, but Tajiri’s made it work for over thirty years and he’s got the Guinness World Record to prove it.