Interview with Yuri Manga Artist Hayashiya Shizuru

September 30th, 2012

Last December I suddenly had to opportunity to go to Japan for Winter Comiket. The *first* thing I did was find the table with the circle known as Jesus Drug, and was, at last, able to meet one of my favorite manga artists, Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei. I proceeded to be a blithering fangirl at her. (It was painful to watch, no doubt. ^_^;)

In any case, I was absolutely 100% sure that the next interview I wanted was with this woman who has inspired me in a hundred different ways and who makes me laugh until I hurt. I am, therefore very pleased to present to you an interview with creator of Hayate x Blade, Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei. Yay! \(^_^)/

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Q1: Please tell us about yourself
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Hello, my name is Hayashiya Shizuru. Before I grew up [and became a manga artist,] I was a character designer and original art planner for an adult game company.

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Q2: How did you get started in manga?
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When I was a child, I sort of vaguely thought I’d have something to do with working in comics. While working for a company drawing pictures, I was already getting more orders for personal work I was doing outside the company, so I was able to slowly but surely shift to supporting myself with manga.

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Q3: Which artists have inspired you?
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As far as manga goes, Fujiko (FA) Fujio-sensei and Takahashi Rumiko-sensei; as for illustrators, Nishimura Kinu-sensei and Yuki Nobuteru-sensei.

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Q4: If you were not a mangaka, what kind of work would you be doing?
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I’d be a bike racer or a nurse. Definitely! ….Maybe!

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Q5: What were your motivations for creating Yuri Manga?
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The truth is, I really don’t think about Yuri or drawing Yuri comics. For myself, I think of this the same as a heterosexual love comedy, or love story. From my teens on, Yuri and gay existed within me, like air. There wasn’t any special throb of excitement, it was just there.

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Q6.1: Please tell us a little bit about your process.
How long does a chapter take to draw?
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If we’re talking about a chapter for a serialized story, as opposed to a book to be read all at once, from storyboard to finished product the process takes roughly 2 weeks.

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Q6.2: How many assistants work with you? What is the first step in your process? What is the last step?
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I have one assistant. The first thing we do is the “Name” (the storyboard). The last task is when I kneel on the ground in front of the publishing company’s editorial staff and humbly hand over the manuscript. Just kidding. The last thing is when we apply screentone.

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Q7: Do you read any Yuri manga? If so, what series do you read?
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I like Oku Hiroya-sensei’s “Hen”.

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Q8:  Your work contains a great deal of physical comedy. What are you thinking when you’re creating it? What feelings do you want to convey?
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If, for instance, someone is feeling tired or is in a slump, when they read it, I want them to cheer up, raise up their spirit, so I want to draw characters that convey the feeling of “Come on, let’s play together!”

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Q9: Do you have anything you want to ask overseas fans?
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My manga, it’s probably full of a lot of gags that are only comprehensible to Japanese people, and there’s a lot of words but, I worry about to what extent overseas people can understand the humor and find it funny.

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Q10: Do you have any message for your overseas fans?
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By changing publishers, I caused the English edition of Hayate x Blade to be suspended. However, I would like to read the translated version. Therefore, please demand a continuation of the translation from Shueisha. These are comics for you to accept and read. And, one day I hope to come and visit an overseas comic event. Thanks for your support!

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Thank you, Sensei, for taking time to answer our questions and for drawing manga that raises up our spirits and makes us laugh!

You can write Shueisha to demand more Hayate x Blade in English at this address:2-5-10 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8050 JAPAN. (Don’t be shy – they may or may not be able to read the whole letter…but they will definitely be able to read “We want Hayate x Blade in English!” ^_^)

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13 Responses

  1. Edr3000 says:

    Awesomee you’re so lucky to meet her!! Do you take a picture? or how is she?

    I don’t care, I love her mangas @_@

  2. @Edr3000 Not “luck” at all. I purchased plane tickets and flew there, learned where her table was and went to it. Many thousands of other people did that the very same day. It’s not “luck” to meet people at public event when they post where they’ll be. ^_^

  3. Thank you for this interview! Hayashiya-sensei seems like a wonderful person, and it’s great to see where the unique sense of humor in her manga comes from. I hope- scratch that, plan to meet and get all embarassingly gushy over her someday too. ^_^

  4. @Katherine – I have no doubt you’ll make yourself understood with less fumbling. ^_6 She is a very nice person and has been very gracious to me.

  5. Edr3000 says:

    @Erica you’re right about that, but for me which I don’t know anything of japanese u_U but it was great to read something about her ^^.

    I want to know, the link of “fanmail” from FC2 is directly send it to her? is that how it works?

  6. @Edr3000 – Yes, that form goes directly to her.

  7. Mara says:

    Thank you so much for this engaging and interesting interview.

    “I’d be a bike racer or a nurse. Definitely! ….Maybe!”

    To me that answer explains so much about Hayashiya Shizuru’s manga. Even the answers she gives to questions make me laugh out loud when I read them.

  8. Cryssoberyl says:

    Great interview. As always, it’s great to get real answers to questions, instead of the usual industry-approved responses. Thanks again.

  9. snott says:

    Wonderful interview!

    I agree with @Mara, this made me lol: “I’d be a bike racer or a nurse. Definitely! ….Maybe!”

    I sincerely hope HayatexBlade is continued in english. I’ll send another email of begging (akin to a potion of mana, but specifically used for companies that discontinue manga that I love) – *fingers-crossed*.

  10. Ash says:

    Oh wow! She seems like a great person! I just got volumes 2-6 from my manga store and ordered volume 1 of Hayate X Blade from ebay. I can’t wait to read it.

    And I of course will send a message to the company. Though I’m not sure how it will go since they only work with Viz Media …

    By the way does she have a website or twitter? I tried looking around but any links seem to be dead.

  11. @Ash – No, she does not have a website or blog, just the mail form.

  12. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this awesome interview. You certainly did a great job translating her personality, too. You can really get the sense that she’s personable and kind. These could be the start of something: Interviewer of the Yuri Mangaka!

  13. @Kelly – This isn’t the beginning, I have several other interviews previously posted in the Interview category:
    http://okazu.blogspot.com/search/label/Interview

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