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Meet Moto Hagio #2

  • Posted by: K★R
  • 2012/03/17 Sat 22:41
  • Life
Yes, writing "Meet Moto Hagio" #2 before the first one... because this one is actually shorter to write (●´Å`). I will link to the first report once I'll be done writing it. >__<

Today was the second time I've met Moto Hagio. I'm still sorry I couldn't talk with her directly ! ;_; This is not a complete report of everything she said today, since most of what she said was already mentioned in the conference (Meet Hagio Moto #1, still being written). But here we go :

I started sketching a fanart for her 30 min before catching the bus. Not a really good idea... Then I tried to rush the watercolour for it. *cries* Worst idea ever ! I ended up not having anything good to give her. orz

^ Mosaics above because it's... just too bad 8'|

Rest is under the cut.

Then, I arrived at the location for the Salon du Livre. (Book festival ; this year was dedicated to Japan, one year after Fukushima and 30 years after the link agreement between Paris and Tokyo). The place was full of people, noisy, and I had quite a hard time finding where the meeting with Moto Hagio would be... I ended up waiting almost one hour, trying to find a place in the public - after waiting for a -let's say it, not very good- noisy cosplay event. Sighs ! Noise proved to be a huge factor against focusing on the conference. :(


Moto Hagio was the sweetest and wittiest woman ever. The picture above was the cleanest I could get with my camera, but she doesn't really look like she's looking down on anyone, really :9

This time, compared to the conference at the centre Georges Pompidou (for the Planète Manga festival), she didn't present her works at the public... but only answered a few questions with Olivier Fallaix (from a famous anime/manga magazine in France called Animeland.) Basically, the public was a lot made of fans that already knew her works from Japan/outside of France, since none of her works have been published here yet.

She first answered questions about her career and how she started ; I will evocate it in my report #1 (or meanwhile, you can read her interview with Matt Thorn, because it's in there !). I took note though that younger, she read everything, every genres - but more specifically shounens, "the ones that were famous and going on by the time" just as Black Jack, Astroboy... a lot of Osamu Tezuka.

By the time she started, the censorship in comics was really huge in Japan. No one could draw a boy and a girl kissing, it was considered as unhealthy and even immoral... ! It slowly evolved towards what was authorized, after the works of many mangakas from the glorious "year 24" ; this generation of mangakas, considered as "pioneers", had been called like this not by themselves but by critics because they were all coming from the year 24 of the imperial Showa era.
The group itself was known to hold reunions where they'd all discuss about manga (what they thought of comics, in the context (a bit like political parties)) but Hagio-sensei wittingly indicated that she wouldn't participate to those parties, she was too busy drawing comics instead ;D

Actually, in her interview with Matt Thorn, she indicates that as soon as she discovered a true passion for manga and comics after reading Osamu Tezuka's Shinsengumi, she stopped thinking about all those worries that usually make people refrain from actually drawing comics. She became serious about cartooning, and started working hard, giving her time, body and energy to drawing comics.

(A drunken dream, a book with a few translated-to-English oneshots and a very, very interesting interview of Moto Hagio by Matt Thorn.)

"Why do you create stories that are set in foreign countries ? Why not Japan ?" : to this question, Moto Hagio answered that she did so because she had problems with her parents (and still does actually, they don't know that she's a mangaka and think of her as just as some kind of an art teacher...) - and who didn't like her touching to the japanese heritage. So she first started studying other countries ; while watching TV or reading books (a lot of occidental books were translated into japanese), she noticed how different the culture was and got fascinated by it. In a way, that was fun to imagine how there was current hot water going through a pipe (something that did not exist where she was by the time, it seems) or how in western countries we would have window shutters. "How curious !", she thought. From there was born a love for foreign countries and cultures. Then, around 1972 she could visit Europe (Stockholm was the first city she visited) and noticed how the atmosphere and sky/"air" color was litterally so different from Japan ; everything seemed brighter, with more contrast. "I felt like I was in a picture, a painting".

Also, Moto Hagio studied in a fashion/stylism school costumes and had a recollection of fashion history, which helped for her comics.
To the question "So.. it can't be helped, we need to ask you about yaoi : you're said to be a pioneer for Boy's Love comics-" Hagio-sensei chuckled, saying that she wasn't the one who first started drawing Boys Love, but Keiko Takemiya, and gave some titles of her works. (More on this in the other report.)

And then : "France is nowadays the 2nd country in the world to read manga the most. How do you feel about it ?" - Moto Hagio answered that since France has a pictural tradition, with paintings, arts in general, cinema, and comics, it's just normal that french people also get interested by mangas. Especially since they're so good and interesting !

At the end of the conference, someone asked "Hello Hagio-sensei, I am a huge fan of your sci-fi works. Do you think it's because of humanity's declining - or raising difficulties - that nowadays, our imagination is getting nowhere ?". Moto Hagio answered that back in the sixties, there were a lot of sci-fi stories (comics, novels, animations, movies etc) because it was by the time Youri Gagarine was sent in the space and it led to quite a lot of hypothesis - just as kingdoms on Mars, or other populations in other galaxies. Things like that. But now that our science developed a lot, people have become more rational and it's more difficult to replace sci-fi since we know the truth today.

(Damn, this woman has an answer to everything. LOL)


After the mini-conference, I had to follow Moto Hagio quite a moment while she went back to a huge booth, for signs. I was lucky enough to get my book of A drunken dream signed, and a picture with her ! There were only 30 limited slots... Ahhh I will cherish those forever.


and her lovely, lovely sign !! <3 <3 <3

There were a few books (bunkou size) put on her table, in case people wanted her to sign it (and buy it afterwards). Sadly there was not Toma no Shinzou... ;_;
(which I kept referring as "Thomas no Shinzou" with my horrible pronounciation.)

So... this time I bought They were Eleven instead ; I couldn't get a second sign (I didn't ask, but they thought I was) ; instead I was given a free translation of her latest book, and a free novel ?!!

(Notice the Moto Haguio... haha.)

There was actually another conference going on from 7 to 9pm, but I couldn't stay that late by myself. >__< (especially since there are not many trains / and I didn't know the place at all) sob !

Let's hope to see her again on July, and that I will - finally - be able to give her a drawing...

Moto Hagio has become one of my most favourite mangakas at all times, I am very grateful to my friends to have me introduced to her.
Meeting her was comparable to a blessing from the comics gods (*´_⊃`)

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