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Gray Ark Translations: Hoshino's interview part 1

Part 7: Hoshino creates an era. (pg 191- 235)

192-205:Hoshino X Y-shi (Past editor) and N-shi (Current editor)

Black and White Seminar (ryuu: Or interview, but I think seminar is more appropriate)

The seminar where Hoshino-sensei, editors Y-shi and N-shi will participate is taking place!

They reveal the raw details of Hoshino-sensei’s journey from the start of “D.Gray-man” till now!

Meeting with Y-shi, obstacles before becoming a mangaka.

N-shi: As the current editor, I would like to hear from the both of you things regarding the process of serializing “D.Gray-man”. Firstly, Hoshino-sensei’s first editor wasn’t Y-shi, was it?

Hoshino: That’s right. At the beginning, the editor was from the same batch (ryuu: as in the editors entered the job as around the same time) as Y-shi, T-shi. Ever since I submitted the manuscript for D.Gray-man directly to the editorial department in JUMP, I’ve been working with T-shi for almost a year.

N-shi: Do you discuss the details of the draft with T-shi?

Hoshino: Of course. One to two months after T-shi became my editor, even though I’m very enthusiastic about making the draft, I only discuss about the draft with him a few times because I live in Kyoto.

In this kind of situation I though “I don’t think it’s good if this goes on” so I started thinking about plans for the future. I never thought that I could ever become a mangaka. (forced laugh) so I never really thought about it. And it was because I respect T-shi that I send the draft to him. (ryuu: probably referring to the very first draft of her manga). Also, through my friends, I got introduced to a video game company as an animator to find work. About this, has Y-shi heard about it before?

Y-shi: Yes, I heard about it before.

Hoshino: So at that point of time, I was faced with a critical decision of either getting a stable job (ryuu: as an animator) or to become a mangaka where I face a risky career of and may need to take a side job to make ends meet. After discussing with T-shi, the T-shi who is usually very warm and caring said to me very sternly, “please continue to draw manga.” Afterwards, I made up my mind and rejected the offer from the video game company. But after that, I got a call saying that T-shi is going to transfer out of the editorial department and “Hoshino’s editor will be Y-shi”.

Y-shi: Because T-shi and I are of the same batch, when he was about to be transferred, I heard that “Hoshino-shi is very talented”. After looking at the draft, I thought “Yeah, it’s true”. And with a “Leave her to me!” I became her editor. (ryuu: Usually it’s up to the supervisors to decide which editor goes to which mangaka but because the supervisor had no idea about Hoshino’s talent, Y-shi became her editor)

Hoshino: At that time, I was prepared to follow T-shi for life, so I had the feeling “I was abandoned”. Furthermore, I had no clue what Y-shi was like and I thought my mangaka career was over!

N-shi: Why did you think that your career was over even before meeting each other? (laughs)

Y-shi: That’s because she’s too stupid! (Laughs)

Hoshino: I’m not stupid! It’s just that every fledgling mangaka would always have this sense of insecurity. Because T-shi is really great, I just thought that there would never be another editor as brilliant as him in this world…

N-shi: Then, when did you actually meet with Y-shi?

Y-shi: It should be a month after the department transfers, I suppose?

Hoshino: It’s about the time I found a part time job and came to Tokyo! Y-shi and I arranged to meet at a fast food restaurant (ryuu: Not referring the Mcdonalds or KFC or restaurants like that) within the city. I entered the restaurant first and then I encountered young man with hair dyed brown and wearing a lot of jingling jewelry and gave the impression of a delinquent.

N-shi: And then you found out that that person was walking towards you. (laughs)

Hoshino: Exactly, and I thought that this can’t be possible! T-shi was very well dressed and looked sophisticated. But Y-shi was wearing a T-shirt and had a fierce look on his face. I thought that that couldn’t have been him! He gave me quite a shock, and I got really really scared…Also, at the beginning, Y-shi was silent.

N-shi: He never said anything at first? 

Hoshino: Whatever it was, we decided to eat first. And Y-shi just silently ate for around ten minutes.

Y-shi: Well, it was a shop that was like a batayaki store. (ryuu: They have to cook their own food), but what we talked about at that time…

Hoshino: That time I was really scared and anxious so I said a lot of things that I shouldn’t have said, like how I just want to get out of that situation. Because of this, I couldn’t even savor what I was eating even though it was a really good store. And I don’t usually get to eat meat…(regret)

Y-shi: Because you just rejected the offer from the video game company, so when we were eating, you kept bringing up things about “Can I survive like this?” and so I said “Ah…yes yes yes, you can if you work hard.” And stuff like that. How is that “silent”?

Hoshino: That’s why don’t just say “Ah…yes yes yes.” If you had said some reassuring words, I think for me, that incident would have become a pretty good memory! (Emphasizes good memory) It was as if no matter what I said, he would just brush it off. We had nothing in common to talk about. Also, from when we first met, I knew that Y-shi was the type of person whom I’m the worst at dealing with, I was begging T-shi for help in my mind. Even when I think about that incident now, I’ll still break out into cold sweat.

N-shi: You got traumatized. (laughs)

Hoshino: It was really scary!

Y-shi: I understand. (laughs) Because even if I keep my usual look, people will call me scary, so I gave up. (ryuu: trying not to look scary)

Hoshino: You should work hard to smile more! Even if it’s just a small smile, I will feel more relaxed. At that time, I was working really hard just to get you to smile.

Zone manuscript appearing in the much anticipated Akamaru

N-shi: What kind of process did you two go through to produce your debut work “Zone”?

Hoshino: When I first discussed the draft with Y-shi, my main work was working on the original draft of the second short story “Continue”, a story about zombies. And the prototype for an Exorcist story, “Zone”, was just supposed to be a filler for the zombie story. I only drew it for a change of pace. I never had any intention to submit it… (ryuu: she never wanted to submit Zone! 0_0) When Y-shi told me, “Bring the drafts”, I was suddenly driven by this threatening thought “If I don’t bring a lot over, I’ll be killed” (laughs) So to make look as if I was carrying a thick stack of manuscripts, I bought it (Zone) along. As a result, Zone’s prototype draft was the one that led Y-shi to say with feeling “This is the one.”

Y-shi: Yes. I want her to “draw this” and I added “just put the zombie story aside first” (laughs)

Hoshino: Exactly. I actually wanted to draw zombies. And then later, in order to decide if we wanted to draw a zombie story or an exorcist story, we debated for quite a while, but we still decided to go with the exorcist story. Well, since it’ll just probably end in one chapter, I just drew it in a very relaxed manner. I was just going by the feeling that “After I’m done with this, I can draw the zombie story” (laughs) So I drew the draft for Zone very seriously.

Y-shi: And also, I was supposed to publish it in Akamaru after its completion, but who knew she couldn’t even complete the manuscript.

Hoshino: Huh, but this was the first manga I drew using a Dip pen. (ryuu: the kind of drawing pen which you have to dip into ink before using) Before that, I always thought “Using this sort of tool to draw is the type of abnormal activity you can only see in movies. You won’t see this sort of thing in modern times.”

Y-shi: When you were still an assistant for Kawashita-sensei (ryuu: mangaka for Ichigo 100% and Hatsukoi Limited), you actually asked something like “That’s a dip pen over there right?” (laugh)

N-shi: Wow personal attack.

Y-shi: As I was saying. I was thinking “What? So T-shi didn’t tell her?”

Hoshino: At that time, I was taken by surprise. I won’t be able draw unless I use a ballpoint pen. (forced smile) Because T-shi only saw the drafts and I never gave him my manuscripts, so when I submitted them, I didn’t know what was the proper way to draw manga. I used ballpoint pens, I didn’t use screen tone, and none of them were completed works. So everything about a proper production of a manuscript was a first time for me. We had to spend a lot of time because I didn’t even know you had to leave a binding space.

Y-shi: About that, when I went to collect the manuscript, I also thought “doom” (laughs)

Hoshino: The manuscript was almost completed, and Y-shi found out that there was no space left for binding. And then he scolded himself “What am I doing?”, that sort of feeling.

Y-shi: Yeah, I was thinking something along the lines of “Damn, what am I doing?”

Hoshino: Because at that time, I didn’t get what the book binding margin thing was about. I actually wanted to say “Why is Y-shi reprimanding himself?” (laughs)

N-shi: You must have thought that this guy is weird right?

Hoshino: That’s right. After that, when I asked, “What is a book binding margin?” Y-shi probably thought that it's faster to explain this with a demonstration and suddenly brought me to the nearest convenience store, took the JUMP from the magazine rack, flipped it open and pointed out “This is the book binding margin.” (laughs)

Y-shi: Eh, I did something like that?

N-shi: So extreme! (laughs)

Y-shi: Afterwards, I wanted to say “Nevermind”. I took matters into my own hands and took the manuscript back.

N-shi: Because the drawing’s done, even if you wanted to change it, you can’t do anything about it.

Y-shi: I returned to the editorial department in the middle of the night and shrunk the whole manuscript page by page by myself in order to prevent the dialogue boxes and panels from getting cut off during printing.

N-shi: This manuscript contains a lot of ammo for personal attacks on all levels.

Hoshino: Don’t talk about it anymore. This time, to put Zone inside this book, I got my assistants to re-paste the screen tone on areas that were too dirty. At that time, everyone was complaining, “These screen tones (ryuu:the original ones) were done by an amateur.

Y-shi: Because it was really done by an amateur.

Hoshino: Urgh… it was as if when they took off the screen tones from one area, the other screen tones on the same page were going to get pulled off as well… When they were doing that, you can hear “Wah” or other cries of agony similar to that…I was very uncomfortable, I had the feeling of “I’m sorry.”

Y-shi: However, according to the results, Zone is quite good. It actually got third in the popularity votes.

Hoshino: Once we knew the results, Y-shi actually said continuously that he couldn’t believe it. Even though I never expected these sort of results, “At least praise me.” (laughs) I worked very hard, but I didn’t even get a word of congrats. You should say some happier things and stuff like that.

Y-shi: Let me clarify, I think I said “That’s great” afterwards.

N-shi: Because only the painful parts were remembered. (laughs)

Hoshino: That’s right. If you want to talk about my most memorable incident with Y-shi, rather than saying it was getting praised by him, it was more about these embarrassing incidents (regret)

Actually has little knowledge about the supernatural? Crying and researching at the same time.

N-shi: Come to think of it, Hoshino-sensei chose to draw a story about exorcists because you like the supernatural?

Hoshino: No! Actually I don’t actually like the supernatural.

Y-shi: In fact, she hates scary things. (laughs)

Hoshino: Yeah! Horror movies are really scary. I don’t dare to watch them at all. But because I needed to draw things about “exorcism” so I decided to expose myself to this subject. When I watch movies like “The Exorcist” I would scream “Yiiiiiii!” at the same time. (Laughs) (Ryuu: I watched this movie 3 times between 12 and 13 yrs old and I found scary and amusing) But because of watching these movies, I got my concept design. In conclusion, the design of demons (Ryuu:AKUMA) is to be a little gross to be better. So from this, I got the thought that if machinery sounds were produced from a human body, it would be pretty gross, wouldn’t it?  Or thoughts that machines can also be biological beings.

N-shi: Where did you get the idea that AKUMA should be machines?

Hoshino: When I was working with T-shi, we normally drew stories with SF material (Ryuu: Sci-Fi) so it was easy to design AKUMA as machines. But how to link up machines and the supernatural was the troublesome bit.

N-shi: You liked SF for a long time?

Hoshino: Yes. And most of my thought originated from SF. Like when I designed the Noah’s Ark, rather than supernatural, the design concept was more of a sci-fi idea.

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