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Α forum dedicated to Hino's Matsuri best-seller manga Vampire Knight and the manga we love

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We and the Youtube

Poll

would you like to read a sequel of vk?or is hino thinking of writing one?
59% 59% [ 24 ]
27% 27% [ 11 ]
15% 15% [ 6 ]

Total Votes : 41

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    Matsuri Hino's interview as published in Shojo Beat

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    Matsuri Hino's interview as published in Shojo Beat

    Post by Administration Team on Wed May 12, 2010 11:56 am

    Official source: http://www.shojobeat.com/features/21/020.php


    Online Exclusive-Expanded Interview with Matsuri Hino!

    VAMPIRE DAY AT SHOJO BEAT
    Talking With Matsuri Hino, Creator of Vampire Knight

    by Laurenn McCubbin and Nancy Thistlethwaite
    Vampire Knight, the newest series by MeruPuri creator Matsuri Hino, is a favorite not only of our readers, but also the staff of SB. Intense discussion of who’s hottest—Kaname or Zero— has been known to interrupt an editorial meeting or two, and “What do you think will happen next?!” is the perennial question around the office. Can you imagine our excitement at getting to meet the manga-ka who has set our heads spinning?
    We sat down with Ms. Hino (and her editor, Ms. Ide), to talk vampires, love scenes, and what’s coming next for this exciting creator. We even got to watch her draw, and if you check out page 24 of the magazine (March 2007 issue), you can see her SB drawing tutorial.
    Shojo Beat: The world that Vampire Knight takes place in looks a bit like our world, but it is different in some interesting and important ways—for example, St. Valentine’s Day versus St. Xocolatl’s Day. How did you come up with a concept for the setting of Vampire Knight?
    Matsuri Hino: I tried to create a world that is not too realistic, yet still not too far away from our real world. Since Vampire Knight is a fantasy, you have to keep this subtle distance from the real world. So if you say “Valentine’s Day,” then it would be too realistic. Suddenly the world becomes unsuitable for vampires. But that sort of day or event itself is very appealing, so I really wanted to have that in the story. I talked with my editor, Ms. Ide, and tried to find a word that would convey the same meaning. Then she suggested the word “Xocolatl” and it became “St. Xocolatl’s Day.” If we have things like this come up again, then we will again find words that are neither too close nor too far away to use.
    SB: For St. Xocolatl’s Day in particular, did you choose the alternative word for its Mexican origin or just because the word had “X” in it?
    MH: I didn’t even know the spelling of the word. The image that Japanese people have for the word “chocola” is exactly “chocolate,” but if we just called it “St. Chocola Day,” then it would sound too normal. So I’d been working with my editor to come up with an unusual word. When we did find one, we used it without knowing where it came from.
    SB: We thought it was very cool, since Valentine is a Roman Catholic saint and Xocolatl is the Aztec word for chocolate—such a nice mix.
    MH: This is very educational for me! MeruPuri combines a German word and an English word, of course [“Märchen” and “Prince”]. I’m Japanese and not really literate in other languages, but I use that to my advantage and tend to use combinations of different words from different countries [laughs]. Perhaps it looks unnatural to people outside of Japan. I wonder…
    SB: Yuki is a forgiving and nurturing character, and at the same time she is incredibly strong. Is she based on anyone you know?
    MH: Airi from MeruPuri is very energetic and a girly girl. Of course, I avoid creating similar types of heroines, so I wanted to make my next heroine someone who has a very strong sense of justice. I was thinking that first. Next came her kindheartedness, and her girly side that would slowly be revealed. All this while I was looking for inspiration for her appearance. Her outspoken character is definitely based on my editor, Ms. Ide. In addition, I gave Yuki the forgiving and nurturing characteristic that I yearn for.
    I also want to mention that the characters surrounding Yuki are all very dark and gloomy, tormented by agony or troubles, so I was hoping that Yuki would be the healing and soothing character.
    SB: You’ve commented that your theme for Vampire Knight is “blood-covered school love,” and you do an amazing job of balancing out the bloody scenes with truly romantic, loving scenes. Is it difficult for you to find this balance in the story, or does it come naturally?
    MH: Right—I have difficulty with the combination of genres, like combining comedy and serious stories. My first serialized title, Toraware no Minoue [Captive Circumstance], was exactly such a combination, so I had great difficulty working on that title. Vampire Knight is completely serious, and the bloody and romantic scenes come out more naturally. Perhaps it’s because I have vampire movies in my mind. I think they are all well balanced.
    SB: Are there other vampire stories you enjoy? How about the American TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel—are you a fan of those?
    MH: I have difficulty remembering names of movies, but I have no problem remembering names for TV shows...Star Trek, Knight Rider, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Columbo. I watch a lot of detective shows…The Bionic Woman, Amazing Story, The Twilight Zone. I’ve seen all of the vampire movies: Count Dracula, Nosferatu. I’ve probably seen Buffy on video. Among recent movies, I love Blade. Others I’ve seen are Queen of the Damned and Interview With a Vampire.
    SB: Many fans at San Diego Comic Con commented to us about how you are unique among manga writers in your ability to balance love and sexuality—they say that many writers are all about just one or the other. How do you achieve that balance?
    MH: I love both, that’s all I can say!
    SB: Do you listen to music to set the mood when you draw manga? If so, what music do you listen to when you are working on Vampire Knight?
    MH: In the beginning, as a joke, I played Baroque music, Bach, or hymns, but I got tired of them immediately. I really don’t listen to anything. I think better when I don’t listen to music. I go to the donut shop nearby to think, or sometimes I go to the library. Or I have the TV news on low volume all the time. Otherwise, I watch movies when it’s “This is it!” time. I go see a movie and immerse myself in it and then start thinking. It doesn’t matter what genre it is, as long as I can get immersed in it.
    SB: How many assistants do you have on Vampire Knight, and what kinds of work do they do on the manga pages?
    MH: Usually three, plus two to three temporary helpers. When everyone’s at work, four people are there besides me. I normally have three people, but I add one more temporarily when it’s busy. One of my assistants is my mother. She understands my work. She takes care of the cooking, cleaning, and other little details. She’s my lifeline because I may work 24 hours straight. My mother also helps erase and does simple screen-tone pasting. The other two assistants are still amateurs, but they can draw manga, so I have them draw backgrounds and other complicated areas.
    SB: Starting out as a beginner, what were some of your favorite things to draw?
    MH: My first drawings were, of course, in crayon on sketch paper. I drew houses and trees and flowers, my mother, my father. I remember drawing them. That was before I entered elementary school. After I started elementary school, I drew girls in dresses. Then I was introduced to manga. I started drawing manga-like characters in pencil in my notebook around the 5th or 6th grade. In middle school, I met a friend who was drawing on manga paper. That person introduced me to the whole set of art tools. From then on, I started to draw more seriously.
    SB: You drew girls in dresses? What kind?
    MH: I used to watch Cinderella and Snow White, so I drew lots of ribbons and frills. Sometimes with horse-drawn wagons on the side.
    SB: Can you talk a bit about how you started creating manga for Hakusensha?
    MH: In the beginning, I wasn’t preoccupied with creating manga. Perhaps I wasn’t serious yet. I searched around for job opportunities, but I was not considering a manga job. Then I failed in my job search and was really disappointed. Thinking back, I think I wasn’t really serious about job hunting. The first time I wanted to seriously work was when I thought about drawing manga. I thought it would be fantastic to work with manga that I love. I drew manga seriously and applied to Hakusensha. The reason why I picked Hakusensha is because it publishes the manga I read. There was no doubt in my mind.
    SB:So you became successful immediately?
    MH: No, not at all. I certainly made my debut. My editor at the time told me to work hard, but I was just taking it easy. I graduated in the spring, and by summer I debuted. After that, for about five years, I was only able to place a single one-shot story in the magazine each year. I was confused. I didn’t know what I wanted to draw.
    SB:In Vampire Knight, the character Yuki pulls out yellow and red cards to keep the vampires in check, which is very similar to what the referees do in soccer. Are you a soccer fan? If so, which teams do you follow?
    MH: I personally like to play soccer, but I don’t really enjoy watching it. I think the card system they use in games is interesting. So I had it appear in the manga as a joke [laughs]. There’s no profound meaning to it. If I were to name a favorite team, I’d say the Brazilian team—they amaze me. There is a local second-league team called the Consadore Hokkaido*, so I can say that I support them.
    SB:How did the Japanese fans respond to Zero feeding off Yuki’s blood in chapter three?
    MH: “Just like I thought,” was the main response. People who are used to reading manga can foresee and predict what will happen. But about the same number of people were surprised. Normally, the fact that the hero or heroine is actually a vampire would be revealed at the climax, at the end of the manga. So if I reveal that fact early on, people think the story is already coming to an end!
    SB:Are the Japanese fans still divided 50/50 in favor of Zero or Kaname, or has their preference changed as the series has gone on?
    MH: It changes depending on the current story, but in the beginning, Zero was popular. Now it’s Kaname. There isn’t a big gap between the two, but there is an obvious gap. Yes, I wonder how it will be in the US?
    SB: When we asked the fans at Comic Con, it was an even split between Zero and Kaname. On another note, is there a Matsuri Hino illustration book or calendar in the works in Japan?
    MH: No, there isn’t any.
    SB:Please, Ms. Ide? [SB team looks at Hino’s editor with begging eyes]
    Ms. Ide: Since it’s requested a lot from readers, the next time an art book is published, that would be a good candidate. But Vampire Knight is still new, and there aren’t many color pages—so if we’re doing it as Vampire Knight alone, we would need more color pages.
    SB:The school uniforms in Vampire Knight are so beautiful—a real favorite of ours and of our readers. What inspired you to create that look?
    MH: They are one of my favorite parts [of the manga]. I like cuffs, ribbons, ties. I like high collars, black clothes, and white lines. It’s as if I collected all my favorite things and ended up naturally with this. I also wanted to bring out a fantasy atmosphere, since it’s about vampires. When you think of vampires, you think Gothic, and when you think Gothic, you think straight lines. Straight lines show well as decoration. So I’m consciously using straight lines. And the pointed metallic parts are supposed to resemble fangs.
    SB:Do you feel that there is any resemblance between you and your characters?
    MH: All of the characters resemble me. Zero exemplifies my hesitant nature. Kaname exemplifies my bad nature, Yuki shows my sense of justice, and Airi perhaps displays my noisy side. I think I’m the type that gets noisy if left alone. I’m not calm. Aram and Jeile don’t share any aspect of my personality. Maybe that’s why they are my favorite characters.
    SB:When you write something funny, do you have a particular person in mind who you are trying to make laugh? How about when you write something sad?
    MH: If it’s something funny, I use that moment’s passion and just do it. When I was in elementary school, I yearned to become a comedian since I was good at making jokes. I went through that phase. For serious and sad scenes, I try to see from the reader’s perspective. I always think about what the readers will think about something when they read it. So it’s not anyone specific.
    SB:What did you think of San Diego Comic Con?
    MH: My candid feeling is that the Japanese otaku and American otaku exert the exact same aura. I can even tell from a distance. I really enjoyed it very much. The fans here, young girls—and there were others, too, which surprised me—are very powerful, very honest and expressive about their feelings, and I got energized from them. I felt glad that I came, honored to be invited.
    SB:What magazines are your favorites—besides Shojo Beat, of course?
    MH: I’m reading CanCam right now. Also Gothic Lolita Bible. I flip through KERA** at the bookstore. I read all of the basic ladies’ magazines. I do look at men’s fashion magazines, like Leon or Men’s Nonno. And Men’s EX.
    SB:Do you use them as reference materials?
    MH: The magazines I choose for reference are a bit on the older side, because the characters that appear in Vampire Knight don’t wear trendy clothes, but more traditional clothes.
    SB: What about our magazine, Shojo Beat? What do you think?
    MH: I was very surprised that it was different from the Japanese manga anthologies. The title logo and tag lines are so cool! They’re very cool. Each issue shows this coolness. On the inside, the paper is very good quality [laughs]. Sorry, my impression started with the feel [of the magazine paper]. [Editor’s note: She’s commenting on the paper because Japanese magazines use very coarse recycled paper for anthologies.] And the readers’ pages, such as fan art...I find them very interesting. I felt the enthusiasm of your readers. When I read the editorial page, I realized that the gothic lolita look is popular over here, too. I feel like there is a familiarity. It was so surprising to be in the same magazine with other publishers’ [Shogakukan and Shueisha] manga. It’s unthinkable in Japan. It’s a real honor.
    SB:We know that you are still working on Vampire Knight, but everyone we talked to at Comic Con wanted to know: Do you have any ideas for your next project?
    MH: Not now. When I made a transition from MeruPuri to Vampire Knight, it was so hard for me, I almost felt like I was bleeding in pain [smiles wryly]. Next time, I’ll probably suffer again. It’s difficult for me to turn around. By the time I get close to the end of Vampire Knight, I will probably love my characters so much that I won’t be able to think about the next characters. When I start planning for new characters, I always start off like, “I don’t care about you guys!” It’s really hard to force myself to switch to the new characters.

    SB: Do you have any message for the American fans?
    MH: I’m all tense! Um, thank you for reading MeruPuri. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy Vampire Knight just as much. Vampire Knight is more serious, with some bloody scenes. But there is romance... and a lot of secrets scattered throughout. I want you to enjoy discovering those secrets, so please, look forward to it. Thank you.
    *Ms. Hino lives in Hokkaido, the second largest island and largest prefecture of Japan.
    **CanCam and KERA are Japanese fashion magazines for young women.

      Current date/time is Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:03 am