There’s not too much to say as an introduction. I have been enjoying Fujieda-sensei’s work since 2004 when I encountered it in Yuri Shimai. That story would eventually be published as Kotonoha no Miko to Kotodama no Majyo to. I liked how cute his stories were and was charmed by the goofy humor of Iono-sama Fantics and the gentle calm of Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan.
I also believe that Fujieda-sensei has the best costume design sense in the entire manga industry. So, when he agreed to answer a few questions, you can imagine how thrilled I was. ^_^
Continuing my series of interviews with Yuri Artists, it is my unbelievable pleasure to present a short interview with Fujieda Miyabi-sensei.
Q1: Please tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Fujieda Miyabi.
Even though I draw mostly to make myself happy, I am glad that there are overseas fans who can enjoy my clumsy work.
Q2: How did you become a mangaka? Did you want to be one when you were a child?
Q3: Which artists inspire you?
Although I am ignorant about Fine Art, the manga art that most inspires me is Nagano Mamoru’s Five Star Stories. After that, the CLAMP-sensei, Kouga Yun-sensei and others whose work I admired in my youth.
Q4: If you weren’t a mangaka, what would you be doing?
A: Before I set my sight on being a mangaka, I thought I might become a chef.
Even now, I like to keep my hand in and do design work.
Q5: What was your motivation to start creating Yuri Manga?
A: When two women are happy together as a couple, I can say that that is the time I am at my happiest. In my middle school years, I became acquainted with the idea of drawing same-sex couples through CLAMP-sensei’s and Kouga Yun-sensei’s work, and I began to think about doing stories with female couples. Once I passed through technical school for drawing manga, I began to draw Yuri manga.
Q6: Can you tell us a little bit about your process?
On average I draw about 16 pages every two weeks, but my production schedule is pretty unsteady. Faster if I’m running out of time.
Q7: How were Iono-sama Fanatics and Ame-iro Kouchkan Kandan received by the Japanese audience?
A: Iono-sama Fanatics was not a romantic love story between two women, but was drawn to be a story about a loving Queen with a harem. Those people who prefer mainly comical series seemed to like it. Ame-iro is about only two women, the ones who like it are those who take time and read it slowly and gently.
As an author, these both make me happy. I think Ame-iro is more popular and has gained more readers, though.
Q8: It is not unusual for a man to draw Yuri however, your work has a gentle, feminine atmosphere. What are your thoughts on drawing women’s emotions and thoughts?
Of course, because I am a man, women’s feelings are difficult.
But, I think it’s the same as when it’s a woman and a man, that sense of wanting to be kind to one another. That’s my first thought. How much of that emotion, of feelings of kindness or happiness is just in my imagination depending on the scene that I’m drawing.
Q9: Is there something you’d like to ask your overseas fans?
A: To the fans who anticipate my next work, what kind of story would you like to see?
I’d like to hear from you.
Q10: Do you have a message for your overseas fans?
A: I am still inexperienced, but from here on, I will to the best of my abilities, continue to work as a Yuri manga artist. From far away, I will work hard to confer upon you happy hours.
Should you encounter my next work, I will be happy.
See you again.
Thank you Fujieda-sensei for taking time from your busy schedule and answering our questions – and thank you everyone for reading this interview.