Mangaka Inu (犬) Interview

Mangaka Inu (犬) Interview

While traveling in Japan during mid August 2009, the staff of The-O Network stumbled upon Inu, creator of the popular Hatsu Inu adult manga. His purple haired vixen, Shion Fujimo, has become somewhat iconic in the hentai, or adult animation, community. Originally published in 2006 in three volumes, the overall popularity of the series led to a two volume revised Complete Edition released in 2010. The series has also received a hentai anime adaptation released by Pink Pineapple in 2007, with a second season released in 2008. See what Inu had to say about his works, life, and a little about his thoughts on the recent rise of fan groups translating and uploading doujinshis online.

T-ONO: So, when did you start drawing manga, and when did you start drawing doujinshi (unofficial fan work based on licensed material)?


Inu: I started drawing manga about six years ago when I was graduating from college. I started drawing my doujinshi around the same time. 

漫画を描き始めたのは6年くらい前です。大学を卒業する頃に描き始めました。同人誌を書き始め'のも同じ頃で 。


T-ONO: Did you have an interest in drawing anything aside from manga before that?


Inu: I had been doodling around before that. I was studying design and animation in college after all.

それより昔からラクガキしたりはしてました。 大学ではデザインとアニメーションを勉強していました。


T-ONO: How do you usually draw your works? Do you use a pen and pencil or are you all digital?


Inu: All of my black and white pages are physically drawn from start to finish. I use a computer to color my pages after I finish my inks on paper. I don't really like working with digital art.



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T-ONO: How long does it take for you to complete one chapter of a story? To assemble your Hatsu Inu book?


Inu: It takes me about eight to nine days to complete a 24-page story from the rough drafts up.

Hatsu Inu took about a year with me drawing one chapter every two months. I had to draw the cover and extra pages, which added up to about 10 pages, and that took another two and a half weeks to finish.





T-ONO: How about all the rough art and the planning stages?

Inu: Well, the outlines can depend on each one.



T-ONO: Do you have any assistance in drawing your manga?

Inu: I have assistants help me after the rough draft stage.



T-ONO: How many do you usually employ? Do you all work together at your home?


Inu: I usually have three people helping me. They usually help me with all the analogue work at my house, but I send the digital data for coloring and have it done off site.



T-ONO: What do you use to find inspiration for your work?


Inu: I sometimes think of something when I'm out for a walk. Oh, and I sometimes find new ideas when I'm just about to doze off.



T-ONO: Do you write down those ideas as soon as you can, or do you retain those ideas after you come up with them?


Inu: I always have a notebook with me, so I write whatever comes to mind.



T-ONO: Do you have any artists that you revere particularly?


Inu: I don't really revere anyone I haven't met in person, so I don't really have any artists I can say I do.



Thumbnail imageT-ONO: Out of all the stories you've drawn, which one did you enjoy doing the most?


Inu: I think I enjoyed doing the extra manga for Lucky Na Hi the most. (laughs)

楽しかったのは単行本「ラッキーな日」のあと き漫画です(笑)。


T-ONO: And the comic that you've had the most trouble with?


Inu: I think it was the Hatsu Inu series and everything else I've drawn since then.



T-ONO: Have you ever “used” your own work?


Inu: I have never used my own works to relieve myself after I finished drawing it.



T-ONO: So how about your characters? You draw a lot of female characters. Out of them, who do you like the most?


Inu: Mida from Hatsu Inu because her character is the most similar to me.



T-ONO: How is she like you?


Inu: It's how she's jealous of others and can't be frank about anything. It's that twisted part of her.



T-ONO: I'm sure it was pretty big news for you and your fans when Hatsu Inu was announced to become an anime. What did you think when you saw your own characters talking and moving on the screen?


Inu: I can't really sit and watch it because I feel too embarrassed to watch it seriously. I hit the fast-forward button without thinking. I wonder why...



T-ONO: How did you come up with the “Frog” from Hatsu Inu?


Inu: I have a lot of those things on my mind all the time, so I really didn't think too hard to come across it. It came to me normally, even naturally. I haven't actually seen a frog shaped vibrator in real life though.



T-ONO: Will Hiroe make anymore appearances in the manga?


Inu: Hiroe is currently on a deserted island (laughs), so she might make a guest appearance somewhere. For example: “if someone got stranded on a deserted island, she was there!” or something like that.



Thumbnail imageT-ONO: Until now, all of your work has been for adults only, but the fourth installment of Hohhedan!! (Inu' s doujinshi) doesn't seem to be erotic. What kind of story is it? Are the other Hohhedan!! stories erotic?


Inu: I primarily draw Hohhedan!! comics as a way to experiment with stories. The fourth installment has 4-panel comics and a more poetic format of comics. The other books are... erotic, but the main focus isn't as erotic as some of the commercial works.



T-ONO: Are you the only person working on the Hohhedan!! circle?


Inu: I do have a few people assisting me, but I am the only comic artist. I do say “dan” (Japanese for group) in my name, but I am pretty much the only member of this group.



T-ONO: You don't seem to update your site much, but do you have Pixiv account or something?


Inu: I don't have an account on Pixiv, but I do slowly update my site in small increments.



T-ONO: What kind of work are you doing now? Are you working on any new manga?


Inu: For the past year, I have not drawn any manga. I stopped working on drawing and am polishing my plans.

ここ1年ほど仕事では一切マ}ガ“描いてい*せん。‚ 活動を休止して家でひたすら企画を練っています。


T-ONO: Then is drawing manga not your main occupation?


Inu: No, I'm principally a manga artist, but for now, I am taking my time and working on drafting a new piece of work. I would like to announce something soon.



T-ONO: Then do you have any works aside from manga?


Inu: Not really right now, no.



T-ono: Well, going towards something a little more private if that's okay with you. Are you seeing someone right now?


Inu: I am.



T-ONO: You won't say much else about her, though…will you? (laughs)


Inu: (laughs)



T-ONO: You say you like playing guitar in a band on your website; but what kind of guitar is it, and for how long have you played it?


Inu: I play a weird fusion of jazz, funk, blues, and rock. I've been playing for 20 years, and I play an Epiphone Casino right now.



T-ONO: So what kind of music do you listen to then?


Inu: I listen to a lot of jazz, soulful jazz with guitars or organs. I listen to people like Grand Green, Pat Martino, Larry Young. Soulive is one of the more contemporary groups I listen to... I actually might have more taste in music rather than manga (laughs) 



T-ONO: What kind of anime and manga do you like? You seem to like surreal works, but are there any that really stood out for you?


Inu: I watch a lot of anime, so I can't really give a specific example, but I do see a lot of Hayao Miyazaki's works. Also, I do tend to watch things where the girls are drawn cutely (laughs).

I really can't give you anything specific about manga either: 3 X 3 Eyes, Jojo's Bizarre Adventures…things like that. I also read some more yaoi-like things, such as Hi Izuru Tokoro no Tenshi (Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun) and Earthian. That and I tend to read a lot of Yoshiharu Tsuge's work before I go to sleep. Recently, I've been reading works like Ashiarai Yashiki no Juunintachi (Those Who Live at the Ashiarai Estate).

It's not Japanese, but a piece of work that really impressed me was Yuri Norshtein's animated Tale of Tales. That was quite a shocking piece. Out of all the works I've seen, none have left me more impressed.





T-ONO: What kind of work was Tale of Tales?


Inu: Tale of Tales was a Russian animation. Its original title in Russian is Сказка сказок (Skazka skazok). It's a very difficult piece, so it's hard to describe. It's just that… although I don't know exactly what is going on, I feel something truly great is coming from it. It holds that kind of strong imagery. It's a beautiful piece of work, and if you haven't seen it before, I really advise you to take a look.

ロシアのアニメーション作家の作ったアニメーションです。英題「Tale of Tales」露題「skazka skazok」難解な作品で、内容を説明するのは難しいです。ただ、内容はいまいち理解できないのに何故か感動してしまう。強いイメージ力を持った作品でした。とても素敵な作品です。ご覧になったことが無いようだったら是非みてみてください。


T-ONO: You have quite a number of English speaking fans, what do you think of that?


Inu: I'm happy to hear that. Though I also wonder how people read or watched my works. Like, can they even buy my books? How do people get past the language barrier? I wonder about that.



T-ONO: To put it simply, they're being uploaded online. The scanned books are translated into English then posted on various English forums and sites. As of now I've seen the first and second volumes of Hatsu Inu uploaded on some sites. I won't step around the subject – it’s theft. Do you have any particular opinion of this?


Inu: That is a very big problem as far as copyright is concerned. It's hard to say how I exactly feel about it; given it is how people overseas are getting to know my works.

Though, I do think it's interesting that people are translating the works and posting them up on forums. I can sense some real dedication there (laughs). I might even like to see the English translation sometime.




T-ONO: Do you have a message for those fans out there?


Inu: I would like to draw many more things in the future, so I hope you all will look forward to them!


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Interview conducted by: Tomoaki Hirai
Questions provided by: Tomoaki Hirai, Theodore Mak, and fans

[All images copyrighted Inu 2006, 2009 / Issuisya  2006, 2010 / Pink Pineapple 2007, 2008]

Last modified on Thursday, 26 November 2015 23:55
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