Active Anime interviews BL author Hinako Takanaga, author of Little Butterfly, as she answer questions about herself and her latest projects.
Greetings and thank you for joining us today to answer a few questions for Active Anime and your fans. First, please let us know a bit about yourself.
Can you please tell us how you began in manga and yaoi specifically?
I’ve liked manga since I was little, and that’s when I started drawing. I went on to an arts college, but thinking there was no way I could become a manga-ka I didn’t draw a single manga during my college years. After that I graduated and took some illustration and design jobs, and when my illustrations appeared in a certain magazine I received an award. That was when the editor of the magazine asked me, “Why don’t you try drawing manga?”
Who were your idols growing up? Who in manga did you most look up to and most influenced your work?
I like Suzue Miuchi [artist of “Glass Mask”], Yun Koga [“Earthian”] and Range Murata.
What do you most hope readers take away with them after reading your books?
I would be honored if they were enjoyed not just by BL manga readers, but by the many readers of regular manga.
In regards to your graceful and beautiful art style as seen in Little Butterfly, how did you refine your art style? Who most influenced your talent?
I don’t really know myself, but I reference the manga I’ve read, I don’t compromise, and I take care to do decisive and subtle work.
How do you, as a woman, relate to your main characters, such as in Little Butterfly, who are both two young gay men?
BL manga is fantasy (a world of delusion), so I think of stories that expand the imagination as the characters continue to develop.
In Little Butterfly, hard hitting emotional issues such as abuse, suicide, and a young person coming to grips with their emerging sexuality are all dealt with in the manga. This is conveyed in a very poignant and candid manner. This mature and sophisticated story telling proved very emotionally moving and much deeper than the average yaoi manga. Was this move away from the more mainstream style of yaoi a conscious move on your part?
I draw BL manga because I like it, but I also feel that I want to go on to draw other kinds of manga without focusing on BL.
What inspired you to create captivating yaoi stories over other manga genres? What about shonen ai appealed to you over that of other manga genres?
I think that if you’re a girl, no matter who you are, you usually love to see the coolest boys getting along with each other.
And because BL is about love affairs between men, there are many problems and barriers.
I also think many women love the type of man who will overcome any obstacle no matter what.
I’m simply attracted to cool men together, and so I like to draw them.
What do you hope to convey the most in your stories, to impart to your readers?
I’m always careful with the tempo and readability of my manga. I think a well-paced, readable manga can be enjoyed not just by BL fans but also by others.
Any future projects you can tell us about?
Right now I’m busy serializing Bukiyo na Silent. With the December edition it’ll be three episodes. The next volume of “Koi no Bokun” is also going to be published.
May you continue to inspire and touch readers hearts with more such beautifully rendered stories in the future. You are an immensely gifted artist and writer. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Active Anime.
Active Anime would like to thank Digital Manga Publishing for coordinating with this interview