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06 November 2007 @ 10:52 pm
X-posted omg crazy- but I thought MaMa fans would appreciate this too! Especially since there is mention of Maora and Maguri and Arina's picks for their live-action drama actors~! Anyway--

If you pick up the newest issue of Shojo Beat (November Issue), there's an Arina Tanemura interview and drawing session. This was mentioned back in July at Comic-con '07 (during the infamous Fan Q & A session) and now it's finally in~! Of course, the interveiw is different than the ones from Comic-con (I don't think Shojo Beat will cover Comic-con at all), but it is still a wonderful section in this issue. As a bonus, there is a drawing second on the bottom of the pages with tips and hints given by Arina, a cute Fan-art judging where Arina gives positive praise to some art sent in, and breif information on how to win the shikishi (drawing board) Arina was signing at Comic-con! So, if you weren't able to go, you can still win one! On top of that, the special Shinshi Doumei Cross ties that were given to a select few fans is a bonus prize with the winner's signed shikishi! Go to ShojoBeat.com to enter before December 12th!

For anyone who is unable to get their hands on Shojo Beat's issue, you can download it over at dokidoki_doujin (join please). I took the time to scan just incase some people couldn't get it. Along with the download is an updated version of the Comic-con panel with Arina that impassionable and I wrote up.

If you want to use the pages on a website, just let me know or credit.

For those who can't download, I typed up the interview for reading pleasure (can you tell I love sharing Arina info~! *GUSH*). Enjoy~ and pick up your copy of ShojoBeat if possible~!

All about Arina
Arina Tanemura and Shojo Beat talk art, books, manga, and life

In July of this year, SB (Shojo Beat) was lucky enough to have manga-ka Arina Tanemura (creator of Full Moon, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, and The Gentlemen's Alliance +) as our special guest at San Diego Comic Con. While in California, Tanemura-sensei sat down with the SB staff for an interview, step-by-step drawing session and SB fan art judging. Read on for the results, plus a contest to win special shikishi (drawing boards) signed by Tanemura herself!

Shojo Beat: This is your first time visiting the US. What are your impressions of this country?
Arina Tanemura: I think that dynamism and delicacy intermingle and coexist here. Some of my friends tell me that I have the same kind of character, so this place suits me.

Shojo Beat: First of all, how did you decide on the title for The Gentlemen's Alliance +, and what does it mean?
Arina Tanemura: Well, I like the word "gentlemen" to begin with. "Ladies and gentlemen" is one of my favorite phrases. Haine and Ushio are the only girls amog the student council members and some aspects of them are very masculine. This is more from the perspective of the art, but I actually wanted to draw the illustrations of the student council members wearing men's suits.

Shojo Beat: Even the girls?
Arina Tanemura: Yes. Girls dress up as boys-- no skirts. That's the illustration I've always wanted to draw. It's not done yet, but I am keeping up my excitement to draw this image someday.

Shojo Beat: You went to Tokyo's presitgious Aoyama High School to do some research for Imperial Academy [the private high school in The Gentlemen's Alliance +]. Which part of Imperial Academy is your favorite?
Arina Tanemura: I didn't simply use Aoyama High School for background images-- it was just for reference. Imperial Academy is extensive, so the background images of it are different every time. It is rare to see two scenes [of Imperial Academy] with the same background. Recently, the backgrounds reappear intentionally, for flashback scenes. The entire design of the Academy has not been shown clearly, but overall the design is supposed to make you feel like: "I want to go to that school!"

Shojo Beat: Reading the picture book The Unforgettable Song of the Witch had a big impact on The Gentlemen's Alliance + heroine Haine at a very young age. What were the stories that touched you deeply as a child?
Arina Tanemura: Mochimochi no Ki (Mochimochi Tree) is my favorite one. The story is about a grandpa who goes to a mountain to get something for a grandchild. I liked all the books from that creator, including Hanasaki Yama (The Flowering Mountain). And 100 Man Kai Ikita Neko (The Cat with One Million Lives) is another favorite. My sister had a huge masterpiece picture book series-- there were about 4,0000 books, both Japanese and international. They were all full of color illustrations and each story had a different art style. I liked that series and I read them all the time... Famous stories like Cinderella were included, but lesser-known stories were also in the collection. I liked the princess stories, and I used to think, "I want to draw a beautiful dress like this some day!"

Shojo Beat: Do you think the idea of The Unforgettable Song of the Witch in The Gentlemen's Alliance + was influenced by what your were reading as a child?
Arina Tanemura: Yes. I wanted to creat some symbolic item, then I thought about the picture book. I want to draw a picture book-like story for each character in the manga some day.

Shojo Beat: We are looking forward to reading them! Maora and Maguri are very popular among American fans. Who are the popular characters in Japan?
Arina Tanemura: Is that so? In Japan, Komaki, Haine's younger sister, is the most popular character, folled by Haine. We had a fan vote for the characters and Komaki was the No. 1.

Shojo Beat: If The Gentlemen's Alliance + is made into a live-action drama, which scene do you want to see in particular?
Arina Tanemura: Let's see... I would want there to be a scene in which all the student council members are chatting and laughing in a lively way in the student council room. I would also want to have a comedic sensibility in the drama.

Shojo Beat: If the drama was made in the US, which actors would you want to see?
Arina Tanemura: I would like unknown rookies to be in the drama. I would want them to become famous from this drama.

Shojo Beat: What about Japanese actors?
Arina Tanemura: Mokomichi Hayami for Maguri. His height, the shoulder width, and the texture of his hair are exactly like Maguri's. To me, he just looks like nobody else but Maguri... For Maora, my hair stylist's suggestion is Teppei Koike of J-Pop duo WaT. He's cute so he would look good even if he dresses up like a girl. He would look good with a girlish hairstyle like Maora's.

Shojo Beat: What kind of music do you listen to when you are drawing The Gentlmen's Alliance + to keep upbeat?
Arina Tanemura: Morning Musume. I love them. I also listen to Berryz Kobo-- they are like the younger sister group of Mo-musu. One of the members of Berryz Kobo was my fan. She asked for my signature when I was working on Full Moon and I gave it to her. She gave me their CD as a thank you gift, and I became a fan of them after I listened to the CD.

Shojo Beat: Would you tell us how many assistants are working on The Gentlemen's Alliance + and what they do?
Arina Tanemura: There are 4 to 5 assistants. First I draw all the rough drafts and give the pages to an assistant to add the panel borders. I add links after that. Then the assistant who is in charge of backgrounds draws the rough draft of the background. Next I ink either the parts with no background, the completed draft of the background from my assistant, or the parts where I am drawing the background myself. I then pass the page to the screen tone assistant to apply screen tones for each panel.

Shojo Beat: Your storylines are always so compelling and full of excitment and suspense; do you have any advice to offer to aspiring manga-ka about how to come up with an exciting plotline?
Arina Tanemura: A plotline with such a strong impact that even I am surprised-- that is a good one. My advice for plotlines is to use something you think of as a joke but don't know what you'd do if it actually happened.

Shojo Beat: Does that mean that it is beyond your imagination?
Arina Tanemura: My hands start moving without my control... they move too fast and I get totally surprised. Even if I plan on making a specific character us a certain kind of dialog, or if I think that specific character's wouldn't say certain things, they start saying things that I don't expect, one after another.

Shojo Beat: So, you create the beginning but the character create the story by themselves?
Arina Tanemura: Yes... When characters start saying things and acting by themselves it means that readers can imagine what each character would say even if there was no manga creator. It proves that the characters have grown in the readers' minds so much that they can imagine being with that character.

Shojo Beat: Do you know the ending, or other creatin things you want to accomplish with the plot?
Arina Tanemura: Well, I gradually shift to that kind of mood in the middle, like, "This way, this way!" But without being noticed [by the characters]. I am like a school teacher with kids. They are where they are without knowing why.

Shojo Beat: Since when did you want to become a manga-ka?
Arina Tanemura: I think I wanted to become a manga-ka since I was small, but I was too withdrawn to say so. I grew up with friends who had nothing to do with manga, so I was too shy to say it in public. I kept it to myself. I couldn't say anything even when I started to submit my manga.

Shojo Beat: Is this when you were 15 years old?
Arina Tanemura: Yes... I was submitting my manga to become a manga-ka, but I couldn't tell anybody "I want to be a manga-ka."

Shojo Beat: Were you thinking that you want to become a manga-ka even before you turned 15?
Arina Tanemura: I had a feeling that I would become one. This is strange, but I felt like someone was calling to me the whole time I was in high school, and I couldn't really concentrate on my high school life. I felt like someone was telling me "This isn't where you should be." I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be there even when I was with my friends. Maybe my future self was telling me to make my dream come true soon.

Shojo Beat: Do you have a message for your US fans?
Arina Tanemura: It is such an honor to be invited outside of my country and I am touched. I will keep drawing, so please support me!
Robert Chenmaradori on November 8th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
omg!! thanks for the heads up, definitely getting a copy of SB (please accept my join request to the comm)