Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Poe" was born - Interview by Moto Hagio I

There is a website called "Ishinomori Shotaro Complete Comic Works" run by Kadokawa, which is dedicated to the late Shotaro Ishinomori. It includes interviews with such notable people as Go Nagai (Cartoonist), Katsuhiro Otomo (Cartoonist/Animator), Sakyo Komatsu (SciFi Novelist), Yasutaka Tsutsui (SciFi Novelist), Mamoru Nagano (Animator), Hiroshi Fujioka (Actor), Shinichi Suzuki (Animator), Hideaki Anno (Animator), Jun Miura (Critic), Keiko Takemiya (Cartoonist), and, of course, Moto Hagio. You may recognize some of these names and be very curious about what they say, but this time I am going to focus on Hagio and only those bits that I find interesting to keep it short.

The interview is about Ishinomori, so it is not of our immediate interest, but there are some passages that reveal a great deal about Hagio. So I am going to translate only those passages that are relevant to our topic of interest: Hagio. Her interview was posted to this website on Nov 15, 2005.

Moto Hagio Interview (Installment 1)
*009 was my idol

—Today I would like interview Ms. Moto Hagio about Mr. Shotaro Ishinomori's personality and his works. Hagio-san, I assume you read Ishinomori's work in your childhood. Do you remember any works of his that impressed you back then?

Hagio: Yes, back when I was in elementary school, there was a rental bookstore nearby. "Yesterday Comes No More, But Neither Tomorrow…" (1961) was in an extra issue of some magazine and I was blown away when I read it. Around that time, I rented "Shojo Club" regularly and had read "Emiko Story" (1962). And I then read "Funny Funny Funny That Girl" in "Weekly Margaret" (1964—). Then a bit later, I got obsessed with "Mutant Sabu" and "(Cyborg) 009."

—What was it that impressed you in "Yesterday Comes No More, But Neither Tomorrow…?"

Hagio: A girl comes from the future and she grows older and bigger (each time she appears); that idea, of a sort of time-layered structure, was in itself intriguing to me and I was wowed by it. I had also been reading "Ghost Girl" on and off since the second grade. It was about the 4th dimension, and the answer to the question, "How could she get inside the enclosed room?" was also based on the time gap (idea), and so I was interested in that one too. Besides, his drawings were cute.

—Not only was Ishimori popular among women in his shojo manga era, but also for his shonen manga works like "009," wasn't he?

Hagio: Yes, [the rest is omitted from translation]

(Continues to Installment 2)

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