Saturday, May 5, 2007

SF Online Interview with Hagio (Part II-2)

They Were Eleven by Moto Hagio - DVD Cover(Continued)


In retrospect, "On the Porch a Girl With a Puppy…" was also SciFi, as well as "Asobidama (Marbles)" [Note 1], but I think what really established you as a "SciFi cartoonist" in the public mind was, after all, "They Were Eleven." When I read it, I instinctively sensed, "Ah, Hagio-san is paying tribute to the 'SciFi' that she grew up reading." Perhaps it was because this work appeared to contain exactly all the symbolic elements of "SciFi" that non-SciFi readers have vaguely in their mind. At least that's how it seemed to me. (laugh)

[Note 1] An early and long-lost SciFi piece by Hagio; some say it is a prequel to Keiko Takemiya's "To Terra". My husband never got to read this, to his deep regret.


"They Were Eleven" was about young people fighting for their survival within a confined situation, but in its sequel the theme was like society doesn't get better through mere individual efforts—it turned into a rather disillusioned, or a rather more measured story, right? Was that because of the restrained viewpoint that you've mentioned, in response to a more positive view of the future like that of Asimov?


No, I wasn't thinking that deeply, because the idea first came to me in my high school days. The SciFi plots I did back when I was doing "They Were Eleven" were generally in that vein; there were lots of characters like those wholesome, young, male protagonists. So I was thinking of a lot of adventure stories for such characters, but when I finally penned "They Were Eleven," the "model student"-ness of the hero really got on my nerves and I didn't see this as a good thing. So I did the sequel thinking perhaps I could do better next time, but it still didn't work out. (laugh) I thought to myself that I couldn't keep depicting those wholesome characters, and I junked all the other SciFi ideas. So I think there is timing in everything, the right moment to do things.


Ah, I see. So "They Were Eleven" was from the early stages of "SciFi" addiction, when you hadn't developed any resistance and had severe symptoms (laugh), that type of "SciFi" for you. Mmmm, it wasn't completely off the mark then that I saw it as "paying tribute."


What are you talking about? (laugh)


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