Itaru Hinoue Interview @ Anime Expo 2015
During Anime Expo 2015, The-O Network had a chance to interview VisualArts/Key illustrator/character designer Itaru Hinoue whose extensive portfolio includes AIR, Rewrite and more recently her own project Holy Breaker! Famous for their heart-wrenching high school drama and magical endings, Itaru's amazing artwork has been prominently featured in Key's numerous anime and visual novels, and have been known to bring even the coldest of souls to tears. With the upcoming release of Key's CLANNAD this November on PC/Steam, find out what the multi-talented artist had to say in our sit down interview with her!
Itaru: Hello, I am Itaru Hinoue an illustrator from VisualArts/Key. I currently have a pet lizard, but my favorite animal is a bird. If I could be any animal, I would like to be a 'central bearded dragon.'
T-ONO: Obviously, you’ve had an extensive career working with Jun Maeda and Key. Out of all the works you’ve done alongside them, which series was your favorite to draw?
Itaru: Although everything that we’ve worked on together has been memorable, the one project that stands out the most for me is AIR. We had to hold in our laughter when we worked on that project.
T-ONO: Are there any characters that are hard to illustrate due to fine details or emotions?
Itaru: I would have to say Misuzu’s emotions from AIR were hard to illustrate.
T-ONO: Aside from being an artist, you recently created your own visual novel series, Holy Breaker!, that was released on mobile devices (and PC). Although it started as an April Fool’s Joke, a lot of fans reacted positively. Was the design process any different from Rewrite, another visual novel that you created the idea for? Second, do you think that there will ever be an English translation for it?
Itaru: Since Holy Breaker! was not from Key, it’s a bit different. To me, the design process was a tie between Rewrite and Holy Breaker! Since I was trying to advance my art skills and following current trends, between Rewrite and Holy Breaker!, there might be a slight differentiation in the art styles.
Unfortunately, I cannot say anything about a translation for Holy Breaker!
T-ONO: Does the mobile format lend itself or are there issues with it compared to PC? What format do you prefer as an artist and creator?
Itaru: Since I’m not on the programming side I can't really answer that question. However, I personally prefer the PC format over the mobile format.
T-ONO: Earlier this year, Sekai Project's Kickstarter campaign for Key’s CLANNAD got funded through crowd sourcing. Did it surprise you how quickly the campaign made money?
Itaru: I was very surprised and glad when my manager pointed out to me how much the campaign was raising. It made me very happy to see that there were many fans out there that supported this campaign.
T-ONO: And lastly, for all the CLANNAD fans. What’s cuter: a starfish or a Dango?
Itaru: *laughter* Dango is cuter!
All images published with consent from the publisher/distributor.