Question 1: How was the plot of this manga developed and why?
The first time I came up with the plot of Elfen Lied, I was wondering to myself why all the primitive men, the intermediate stages between humans and monkeys, were extinct.
I started from this question and it started to unravel.
Was it possible that humans had felt a strong aversion towards these creatures, very similar to them, to the point of killing them?
In other words, I wondered if humans had not been the ones to extinguish the monkey-men.
And if, by chance, a new species came to be in place of humans, what would happen?
Would not the latter be destroyed by these new creatures?
This thought was the inspiration from which I started to write the basis for the plot of Elfen Lied.
Question 2: Your work deals with many subjects, but one of the most common themes is the "splatter" connotations. What is the position of the violence in the Manga? Has it caused trouble? Is it there as a protest?
I was often asked if I like the splatter, given it's great presence in Elfen Lied. But, to tell the truth, I ave no particular affection for it.
In the beginning, in fact, I had thought of Elfen Lied as a love story, only that I could not construct a good plot for it. So in the general framework I had included, among other things, a secret society.
While, in the basic structure, I wanted to keep it as a romantic comedy, I tried to think about how I could make the plot more interesting. And then it occurred to me that it would be fun if the main heroine was actually a murderer, to see how that would develop in a typical romantic comedy situation.
However, come in the first chapter, I had put too many "splatter" scenes in it, then in the second chapter, I designed a normal love story that the editors did not approve of, and so I had to continue with the blood and the fights.
And that's how it went...
Question 3: We see the protagonist endure violence many times, only to react with equal violence. What is the reason for answering pain with pain?
Lucy is pretty violent, because I wanted to create a strong character that would spit energy.
Beyond that, however, there is no particular social message.
I simply used violence to highlight the strength of the protagonist
Question 4: Many characters in Elfen Lied seem affected by psychological disorders. Have you designed their psycholofical issues based on previous knowledge of psychology, or have you done research while constructing the plot?
Actually, I have not done any particular studies of psychology. I simply wrote the plot thinking of how it might be interesting on the basis of the actions of the characters, or trying to figure out how a certain character would have been involved in such a situation.That is how I outlined the psychology of all the characters.
Question 5: Who is your favorite character in Elfen Lied and why?
The character that I like the most is Nana.
Because when she is there, the plot becomes more enjoyable.
She is an easy character to move in the story.
I had fun drawing her.
Question 6: Elfen Lied openly attacks racism, which is ultimately a core element of the story. What do you define as racism?
Obviously, racism is something deeply wrong, which we need to get rid of.
But it is also true that people often behave in a discriminating manner against other humans, even unconsciously.
It is the essence of an extremely primitive part that I see in humans, which must be controlled with education and logic in order to suppress it.
As for the manga, although in the modern society there is racism, I always try to create characters and protagonists who do not make anyone inferior.
Question 7:Why pick Kamakura of all places?
I lived some time in the Kanagawa Prefecture, where Kamakura is located, so I'm very familiar with the place.
Tokyo and Kamakura are only about an hour and a half away, so when I had to choose a convenient place to get the photos to be used as comics references, I immediately thought of Kamakura.
Question 8: You worked for Bandai, how did you wind up making Manga?
Well, when I was in elementary school, my dream was to become a mangaka.
But to get such a job, it's not enough to want it.
When I finished high school, as I was very fond of video games, I decided to become a video game programmer to create them with my own hands.
I was hired by Bandai and started working in the field of production.
Unfortunately I found out that Bandai does not care about the real creation of the games, but it does offer them to house software.
Personally, however, rather than dealing with game supervision, it was the idea of building them that I was interested in.
I wanted to be doing the drawings and writing the plots. So I realized I wanted a more creative job, I left Bandai and came back to my old dream of becoming a mangaka.
If we talk about the difference between these two trades, I must reiterate that in Bandai, I was more of a supervisor, rather than working in the actual production.
Instead, as a mangaka I can create my own stories and draw them the way I want. The work is one hundred percent of my responsibility and it is just what I like and what I want to do in life.
Question 9: Why does your manga contain so many elements to Germanic culture?
Honestly, I have never been to Germany or know German culture very well. But I like the sound of their language, that's why I often used it for manga titles or other names.
Question 10: To finish, Brynhildr in the Darkness returns to the topic of young girls with superpowers. How do you plan to continue with it?
After finishing Elfen Lied, I designed a manga called Nononono, which was not of the fantasy genre, but a sports manga which had the ski jumping as the main theme.
Once finished, I spent some time wondering what kind of story I wanted to go after.
One day as I was eating, a friend of mine told me that my fans wanted to do me another Elfen Lied style work.
So, I've been thinking a bit about it and finally came out wth the story for Brynhildr in the Darkness.
Here too, as in Elfen Lied, there are very strong girls as protahonists, and even if we do not talk of racism, we are still under the theme of certain characters who are being chased after and who, using their strength, are able to escape from a lab.
Note: This is the barebones translation of the Italian Interview. Further edits shall be made in the near future