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In my fruitless search for the evil-Pafu-issue-that-has-decided-to-hide-from-me that resulted in the previous best rankings post, I came across an issue from 2004 with Ouran running smack down the middle of the cover in very large text. I put it aside for further browsing at a later point. When I did finally take a look the feature was not all that interesting. It was (in my mind) an intro type of thing with a one page interview that didn't say much. Though...the character intros were interesting because they did an analysis of each character based on horoscopes and blood types. Typical Japanese obsession with those types of things. XD BUT the interview mentioned a previous interview from the 2003 rankings issue. I had that one in a separate pile already so I whipped it out.

Turns out Ouran started off as a one-shot, with the possibility for serialization if the reception was good enough. It won the one-shot award in 2002, which is why the Hatori-sensei was interviewed that year. Now that was a good interview with lots of those back-of-house type tidbits I enjoy learning about. When Hatori-sensei was first formulating the story/characters, Haruhi was supposed to be a guy. She (Hatori Bisco is a woman, right?) wanted to do an all-guy type of thing, and thought that having one girl would be a difficult proposition. Her editor had also brought that idea up but at that point she was adamantly against it. She felt that a female character in such a situation would have to be quite a character to be loved by readers. But the moment she thought of Haruhi's father and Haruhi's personality she was sold on having a female character. I'm glad she held out against her editor and went with her instincts. If Haruhi wasn't Haruhi I wonder if I'd like the series...

Ouran came into being when Hatori-sensei's editor asked if she wouldn't want to do a work that featured lots of boys. Hatori-sensei confesses that she had secretly wanted to a school club with a silly flavor to it ever since seeing the movie "Waterboys." I've never seen the movie, but from what I've heard about it I couldn't help but laugh that she was sort of inspired by it. XD

The characters were created in this order: Haruhi --> Tamaki --> the twins --> Honey --> Mori --> Kyouya. She didn't come up with any other characters as possible substitutes for the original seven.

I love how perfunctory the naming of the characters was/is. She had that commoner's perception that a rich person's last name was either long or noble sounding. She claims that Tamaki just looked like "Suoh Tamaki" when she sketched him. "Hitachiin" came from the place name "Hitachi." She wanted to use the nickname "Honey" so came up with "Haninozuka," same with "Mori" and "Morinozuka." Ohtori she pulled from a dictionary. Guest character names are pulled from the dictionary and/or place names.

One aspect of portraying a rich kids' school was that even as she wanted to draw rich people and their lives in such a way that made people vehemently deny such things were possible, she had to keep some sort of feeling of reality to ground it.

Hatori-sensei has a vague idea for the end of the series (or did at the time of the interview), but added that it might change because she wanted to respond to reader wishes and comments.

After that the interview got into more personal topics that frankly don't interest me at all. I wonder if she did more interviews after the two I discovered? I'd think so, especially since it has been animated. Hmmm....While having tons of back issues can be bad in regards to storage space, it's also really nice to be able to dig through and find stuff that didn't interest me at the time but now I want to know more about. XD

Speaking of the anime, I have episodes 25 and 26 on my computer but have been hesitating to watch them. I can't believe it's ending. I can't say for certain since I haven't seen to the end, but what an amazingly well done adaptation this has been. ^^

(no subject)

Date: 2006-10-11 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, Ouran was initially a one-shot? I would never have guessed - I suppose it does make sense since the first chapter is rather self-contained, but since a lot of Ouran chapters are like that, it didn't occur to me that it could be a one-shot. :p

I find it interesting how different Ouran is from her previous work, Sennen no Yuki. I haven't actually finished reading that series, but from what I read it was a rather typical shoujo manga - not bad but not particularly good either. But Ouran is just so amazingly hilarious - the setting isn't particularly innovative, but the antics the Host Club gets up to is just so priceless that it's amazing to think that one person can think up of so many funny scenarious. :p Sennen no Yuki had its humourous moments too but never in the same scope as Ouran. I really admire authors/mangaka who can manage more than one style of writing. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2006-10-28 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I totally didn't know Ouran was a one-shot, either. These little bits of trivia are why I like reading interviews.

I knew of her previous work, but if it's a typical shoujo manga...I have other things to read. Sadly enough, I'll digest tons of run of the mill BL but only have the patience to read good shoujo lately.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-11-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*nods* I agree, mangaka interviews or freetalks can sometimes be real eye-openers - I know I used to think that all mangakas must like their main characters the best, but then after reading a couple of freetalks, I realised that's often not the case; most of the time, the main characters are of a certain personality type since their editors think that's what would appeal most to the readers. These freetalks invariably also makes me realise how restricted the manga world can be sometimes, since it's not true that mangaka can just draw and/or develop their stories however they want. It's kind of sad, really, to think that they don't really have real freedom over their own story.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-11-24 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's interesting to see which characters the artist identify with the most, or find the easist/hardest to draw.

Though they don't have as much freedom in their professional works, they can resort to doujinshi to let their creativity out. It's amazing just how many of these artists do doujinshi and how open they are about them.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-12-04 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't really read doujinshi, so I didn't know that there were that many professional mangaka doing doujinshi - I always thought it was just a select few. That's quite interesting to know. But I suppose it makes sense that they do, since sometimes you just want to be able to create whatever you without having to worry about restrictions and commercial expectations.


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