The credit is as follows. If Mina Kaye would like me to pull this down, please tell me! Leave a message on my blog or e-mail me. I tried to e-mail you, but the e-mail didn't work anymore.
Kappa Magazine #62
Translated by Mina Kaye
Kia Asamiya [the creator of Silent Mobius, Dark Angel] interviews Naoko Takeuchi in Kappa Italian Magazine #62.
Kia Asamiya - Do you remember us knowing each other?
Naoko Takeuchi - How could I forget? I remember being your fan. I also remember a certain day - thanks to my editor - where we exchanged autographs. I keep yours still. It is on the desk in my study. I look at it when I work.
KA - You nutcase. I am your fan. Sailor Moon is a smash hit! It is one of the biggest anime ever!
NT - You're the nut.
KA - How did Sailor Moon start? Was Sailor Moon straight from the manga, or was it modified for the anime?
NT - In the begining of the manga, the protagonist was Sailor V, though the anime is centered around Sailor Moon. The manga was changed to making Sailor Moon the protagonist. This is an agreement that I came to with the producers at Toei Animation. They liked my style, but wanted to see a group of girls joined together. Sailor Moon was modified from the manga for the anime series, again at the request of the producers.
KA - Did the Sailor Moon manga come first?
NT - When Toei came up with the idea to make a anime series out of one of my works, a media mix was decided upon. The manga would be released at the same time as the anime series. Toei had limited permission to alter the story a little for the anime. I had spoken with my editor and decided that it would focus on one champoin of justice, but there would be other girls comprising a team. Then, Sailor Moon began being published in Nakayoshi, leaving the manga of Sailor V in Run Run. The anime was released a little after that.
KA - These modifications have rendered the series one unique with fighting ...
NT - Exactly.
KA - But in the history of fighting, the heroes are always large, burly men ...
NT - The protagonists of the shojo manga are generally rather common girls, and therefore I was not accustomed to male characterizations, and above all to their personalities. My editor therefore suggested that I just make the protagonist strong and intelligent. When Usagi fights with the group she has a clear personage, and and seems to have everything center around her, so she appears to be the authoritarian.
KA - Why did you add a Shinto priestess to the group?
NT - The presence of a person in the position to tell the future is particularly stimulating. Divination is very popular, therefore I had decided to insert Rei Hino, an exorcist, into the storyline.
KA - Who wins the tile of being the most popular Sailor Moon charater?
NT - There is no real winner. For the moment, it is Usagi with her Loves and Culprits. But others have appealed to the public as well, even Makoto. When I thought up Sailor Jupiter, I was inspired by the Toei Sentai (a Power Rangers type television show). Makoto corresponds to the character dressed in yellow; it likes to eat [cook?] and has some difficulty in the tasks that it carries out. When she appeared on TV, Makoto became equally as popular.
KA - Sailor Moon's five series has been aired with stoppping and the manga has been published uninterruptedly for five years. How can you put up with such tiring work? Between one series and another I feel the physical need to stop working, and usually want to travel. In this way, I am open to other jobs and such ...
NT - It appeals to you to travel?
KA - It appeals to me a lot. But I have time only to travel a little ...
NT - So jobs in the pauses, between a trip and other things.
KA - How do you even manage to complete thirty pages [of manga] in a month? As if that weren't enough, you also make supplements. Incredible!
NT - Effectively the beautiful supplements are an engagement. However to me it does not seem as if you are particularly slow in designing.
KA - To complete an episode in ten days is enough for me. The true problem is that I never want to start up a new episode.
NT - But you have no problems with your music [episode soundtracks]?
KA - The music is easy. It is the kind that I listen to on the radio. Radiodramas get me passionate about work; they are very fascinating.
NT - Radiodramas?
KA - Until midnight they transmit Edogawa Ranpo (the pseudonym of a horror writer). If you have not never tried the cable broadcast, then I warmly urge you to!
NT - I usually watch television, at least when those assistants of mine work. If they need help and I must design, I prefer to listen to radio (FM). As for now, it is not easy to find good assistants. Do you have the same problem?
KA - I have few assistants. Labor is lacking, unfortunately.
NT - One time a lady convinced me to take her daughter as an assistant. I was expecting a skilled person, but instead I got a kid still attending elementary school!
KA - It had to be a Sailor Moon fan ...
NT - Therefore, I have many girls working for me.
KA - It must be a beautiful responsibility to work for a young public.
NT - It makes it hard. I must pay careful attention not to make [gramatical] errors. I once invented a word to describe a facet of Usagi. I sounded right when applied to Usagi, but a child's mother wrote to the publishing house suggesting the correction of the word and demanding that 'Master Takeuchi' [probably Takeuchi-sensei] was mistaken. There is always a battle between manga and the parents of the young readers.
KA - Accidents happen!
NT - Unfortunately, this causes problems. I suppose its best to use proper language when writing for a young public.
KA - There are parents amoung the fans of Sailor Moon, is that not true?
NT - Yes, and they do indeed enjoy it! In the begining, I didn't believe they were fans, but at a Toei animation festival I saw it with my own eyes!
KA - Let's take a dive into the past. What were your childhood favorites? I never missed a single episode of Uchu Senkan Yamato.
NT - I agree! I have gone to the movie theatre to see Saraba! I followed the works of Leiji Matsumoto including Uchu Senkan Yamato (Good Bye Yamato).
KA - What about your memories? I remember the at the end of the seventies was the "mook" (Mivue-book)[?], a book dedicated to manga. I had those of one war series. They were just beautiful.
NT - I collected several. I have one of Yamato as well as some image albums. I remember reading Megazone 23 in "Kurikuri," the supplement to the newspaper "Mainichi."
KA - We have similar tastes indeed! I cannot believe that you have never listened to a radiodrama.
NT - If I must be sincere, I have a memory of a Queen Emeraldas.
KA - It was transmitted on the station Bunka Hoso?
NT - It appealed to Chojin Locke and me. I have spendid memories of the character design of Hijiri Yuki's anime. Naturally, I read the shojo manga as well.
KA - The work of Hijiri is very feminine, perhaps too much so. Don't you find that nearly all shojo manga is?
NT - You have reason to think so. Hijiri's work appealed to a feminine side of me. I also read "Shonen King." You know that Road Leonm and Shin Sekai Sentai have been anime?
KA - I have seen Road Leon. The voices don't seem to match the faces of the people [criticizing voice assignmnet for characters] but the result is remarkable. The voice acting is indeed good.
NT - Very true. Rock changes from sad to sure, and the voice emphasizes this change. I also remember Kido Senshi Gundam. Throughout the first series I was an avid otaku [fan] and I did not miss a single episode.
KA - The boys of my generation preferred Yamato to Gundam, and only shonen manga. It is only recently that they have gotten passionate about shojo manga. My preferred author was Waki Yamato.
NT - To me they appealed to the style of Hagio Motion and to Keiko Takemiya, indeed the two most popular authors of the seventies.
KA - What manga are you reading now?
NT - I have read Guyver and I like it, even though I have not seen the anime yet. When a manga has a corresponding anime, I notice that the anime always has a little [character?] design modification.
KA - My fans have that exact worry.
NT - You? The sure one? Your style of design is a model for animation for me.
KA - It does not seem that way for me. When I have presentations before the character design of Silent Mobius I don't get much praise. I've been criticized about the variation in the faces in the manga by many. Michitaka Kikuchi became preoccupied with the outcome of the anime (laughs).
NT - If Michitaka Kikuchi had to say it (even laughs). Also the pettinature [?] were rather various ...
KA - But all the fans have become accustomed to me it seems (laughs again).
NT - On the topic of Silent Mobius, the background and the scene reconstructions are very clear and precise. What instruments do you use to do this?
KA - I don't want to use a ballpoint pen. I tend towards one Pigma 0.05. It's manageable and the ink lasts. For straight lines and finer things I use another pen.
NT - I use a G-pen for everything. I do not have particular requirements in the way of marks [?], or for the paper.
KA - I usually use the sheets of paper that the publishing house supplies me with directly. Lately, paper costs way too much! While we are speaking of jobs, what time of day do you find the most convienient to work?
NT - Night. I raise myself from habitual laziness [nap?] of the late afternoon to work. When I finish working [for the day], it is usually four in the morning before I go to bed.
KA - It appeals to me as well to work at night. But I find find myself falling asleep at six in the afternoon! I cannot work when I am sleepy and am grouchy when I don't get enough sleep. It's difficult to break old habits.
NT - I can understand early evening sleep, especially when you're tired. If that's the case with me, I just go to sleep and let my assistants work all night.
KA - I do not envy to them [assistants]. Do you already have in mind what to do now that Sailor Moon has concluded?
NT - The last years have concentrated on Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon alone. I had to give up many things. This year I would like to make a little time for them. I want a little job that pays well. Naturally, the economic ends will have to be more than what I get for compensation from Kodansha (laughs) ...
KA - I still have four or five series left to carry out and I have taken various jobs with other editors as well. My new series will pay homage to the spirits and the manga of my generation; it will be very amusing.
NT - Your plans are very ambitious. I wish I could follow your example! Maybe I could come work for you. I can color. Do I need a contract?
KA - It would be nice to make a series with you. We need to get together again soon and catch up some more.
NT - I agree! Something fantastic could be born of our collaboration. Goodbye for now and thank you for this wonderful chat.
KA - It was a pleasure for me as well and I am convinced that it will be one for our readers. 'Til Later.