CLAMP in Japan Expo – Day 2

A week later (sorry about that! XD), here’s my report of the 3rd day of Japan Expo, 2nd and final day of CLAMP’s activities.


Picture by Stephane Viallon

They did two signing sessions and one public conference at the end of the day.

I can’t make a faithful transcript of the conference because I can’t speak french, but I will try to point out the highlights.

I was in the 4th or 5th row, but the stage was really high so it was very difficult to see it even at the front row. The hall supports 15.000 people but I don’t know how much of its capacity was used, but there was a lot of people in there.

They screened CLAMP IN WONDERLAND 2 twice, the audience cheered every time a popular character appeared (CCS and TRC got the loudest feedbacks). Then the hostess (the same as the CLAMP Cosplay Contest) appeared and introduced the CLAMP members. They bowed to the audience and introduced themselves.

They sat on chairs and the talk show started. Before starting asking the questions submitted through Japan Expo official website, they were asked about their first impressions about the country. They answered that they were very happy to be there and that the architecture and the people are beautiful.

Then the questions. The most asked question was the meaning of CLAMP’s name. Nekoi answered that it means a “pile of potatoes” and Ohkawa completed saying that it wasn’t any of the four of them who came up with it.

Some of the other questions included:

– How they met each other:

Mokona answered that Satsuki, Nekoi and herself studied in the same school and they met Ohkawa through a mutual friend.

– Who does the home tasks such as cleaning and cooking:

Satsuki answered that at the time of their debut, they all did home tasks. Nowadays they no longer live together so they are responsible for their own homes.

– Why most of CLAMP’s main characters are orphans:

Ohkawa answered that these characters are more vulnerable and it’s easier for the reader to feel attracted to them.

– Continuation of CLOVER:

Ohkawa said they were very sad to answer such question, but it will be finished one day and they are aware of its popularity.

– Continuation of X:

Same answer for CLOVER, “it will be finished one day”. Ohkawa joked in protest saying to the other CLAMP members “why is it always me the one answering this question?”, and they replied “that’s the leader’s job”.

This was very funny because after she gave her answer, Ohkawa LEANED sideways laughing, almost reaching the translator’s lap, which was sitting next to her xDD She was totally expecting the question and feeling a little embarrassed about it xD

You can check them answering this question at the end of this video.

– What was the “business” that Syaoran had to take care of at the end of CCS:

Ohkawa said that we’ll have to check out their future works if we want to know the answer. She also asked everyone in the hall to not post this on the internet xD

– Why there are no kisses in their works:

Ohkawa pointed to Nekoi and the latter answered that there is one small kiss in Wish and Ohkawa (I think) added the one in CLOVER too. Ohkawa then said “but maybe that’s not enough for the french people?” (audience laughs). She also said that they have never been asked this question in Japan.

– Favorite works:

They went with the usual “we like them all” answer, but later they went into details.

Mokona said she liked working in Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, Nekoi likes XXXHOLiC, Satsuki likes Duklyon and Ohkawa’s answer was CLOVER.

– Sources of Inspiration:

Ohkawa replied to this one saying the usual answer that she has no major sources of inspiration, but sometimes dreams serve as such. The others mentioned a few manga titles that inspired them that I don’t recall right now. Mokona’s inspiration comes from Fine Arts which she used to skip school and go watch exhibitions at museums, she actually said she didn’t read manga when she was younger.

– Turning points in their 20 years of career:

For Satsuki it was when she moved to Tokyo for the first time after their debut. Her parents were very worried, but they called to tell her they saw her manga in the bookstore (I thought that was the sweetest answer).
For Mokona it was seeing her work in a bookstore shelf.
For Nekoi it was seeing her work in a tankoubon instead of being just in the magazine.
For Ohkawa, everything the other 3 said, plus their visit to France (this was followed by huge cheers from the audience, of course).

After the questions, they were asked to draw an illustration live. It was a XXXHOLiC illustration with Watanuki, Yuuko and the Mokonas, so the drawing was made by Mokona and Nekoi at the same time, with Satsuki’s assistance.

While they were drawing, the hostess and Ohkawa kept exchanging a few words. She asked why Ohkawa doesn’t draw, for which she replied “you would be disappointed”. Upon hearing Ohkawa’s answer, the hostess then asked if the other 3 members wouldn’t want to ever write the scripts for their mangas. Ohkawa said that the scripts are only written by herself, but Satsuki writes essays and she mentioned her book that was recently released in Japan.

When the drawing was almost done, the hostess asked Ohkawa to check if the drawing was “Ok”, and Ohkawa replied that since the director of XXXHOLiC is Nekoi, she should be the one to answer that question (but Nekoi didn’t say anything because she was still drawing xD).

Ohkawa said that they aren’t used to draw in that size of paper and when they are drawing, they can turn the page around to meet their needs, but they couldn’t do that this time. The frame was also a bit shaky so Satsuki was holding it all the time.

It was really a precious moment to see all 4 of them working together, looking at the same paper, with Ohkawa coming in and out to give the other 3 some directions (she really looked like a boss, just coming from time to time to check them on xD).

Ohkawa asked if all mangakas that come to Japan Expo must draw something and the answer is yes.

It took them around 20 minutes to finish it. You can check some great pictures of the drawing in this link.


Picture by Benoit Gilbert

After that, the CLAMP members walked to the front of the stage and the whole audience stood up and greeted them. For me this moment was very special, it was like a mentor-student situation. My biggest idols, CLAMP, up above the stage and myself, long-time admirer, standing up and clapping to them. I was clapping for all the joy they have provided me for the last 8 years. And I felt proud of them to see the entire huge room clapping them.

Next, the hostess said they had a surprise for them, that’s when Yui Makino (Sakura’s seiyuu) appeared on the stage.

Yui Makino was wearing a Kimono that she borrowed from Mokona. She said that as soon as she found out she would be going to France, she asked Mokona to borrow a few of her Kimonos. Also, all the coordination (jewelry and stuff) was given by Mokona.

Later Makino said that she actually asked Ohkawa to come into their conference (so it wasn’t really a surprise xD).

The hostess asked Yui Makino to say something in Sakura’s voice, and she goes “What should I say, Ohkawa-sensei?”. Ohkawa has a hard time to remember any lines and Yui adds “You can’t remember Sakura’s lines?” or something xD

Then, Ohkawa says that Yui Makino will say a line that is not in the manga at all, which turns out to be “Syaoran daisuki!” (I love you, Syaoran!), Ohkawa said that it was “specially for France”.

Yui Makino goes to the front of the stage and says the line. And the audience goes crazy.

Before she leaves, Yui Makino says that she was doing her live show a few hours before and she noticed how popular Tsubasa is and so she is very thankful to CLAMP for creating the manga. And then she leaves.

Next, the hostess asks CLAMP to show a few of the exclusive CLAMP products being sold at Japan Expo (t-shirts, postcards, etc). I thought this was a very weird moment and rather unnecessary, with the CLAMP members showing up the t-shirts (as if they needed this sort of advertisement).

Finally, they show the extra costume that CLAMP designed for the Tekken 6 game. They said to be very satisfied with the 3D outcome as they knew it would be hard to do it.

Mokona joked that in the original plan for the costume, the lion on Jin’s shoulder spills champagne xD And the knees spill wine and red wine xD She added that she doesn’t think these features are available in the game, though. But she concluded “if someone from the game staff is hearing this, please take it into consideration” xD

Before leaving, they thanked everyone for coming to the conference and the sign sessions, and also that they were inspired by France’s architecture and for that reason we might be seeing some of it on their future drawings.

And then they left the stage followed by another huge wave of clapping.

In my opinion this wasn’t a very insightful conference as very little new information was given. My favorite moment was probably seeing them drawing live, that was one of a kind. I would like to thank Benoit who was sitting next to me and translating the whole conference to me ^^

In the upcoming days I’ll be sharing the complete audio recording of the conference.

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47 thoughts on “CLAMP in Japan Expo – Day 2

  1. It makes sense for Ohkawa liking CLOVER the most, it’s possibly the most artistic one in terms of storytelling and that’s her job. I admit the answers to CLOVER and X just left me yawning. :/

    However, I’m not French and I think the lack of kisses and physical displays of affection always seemed a bit… well. I don’t want to say strange. Uncommon? Uh. 8|

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    • I think she said she liked it because of the songs, but I’m not sure.

      I admit the answers to CLOVER and X just left me yawning. :/

      Me too, they were a little evasive =/

      However, I’m not French and I think the lack of kisses and physical displays of affection always seemed a bit… well. I don’t want to say strange. Uncommon?

      I kind of like it, it’s CLAMP’s style, and makes the kiss more special =D

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  2. Je suis heureuse que tu as rencontré avec tes idoles. ^^ I’m happy that you met your idols. I hope you had fun just being in France, too.

    Even though it’s blurry and seen from behind, I love Mokona’s kimono. (So pretty!) It’s so cute, that Yui Makino was wearing a kimono from Mokona. ^^

    Thanks for the report! It sounds like you had a great and memorable time.

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    • In my next posts I’ll post videos and pictures and you’ll be able to see her kimono clearer ^^

      Being in France was absolutely amazing, plus I got to see CLAMP, it really was like a dream ^^

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  3. Thanks for the info!

    She asked why Ohkawa doesn’t draw, for which she replied “you would be disappointed”

    I didn’t really get that..8D But I am quite interested why Ohkawa doesn’t draw..Is because she doesn’t know how to, or because that’s not her job? *confused*

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  4. Thank you very much for sharing, I felt it very intese, it is so detailed and well narrated although I was not there, I’m happy to know a little more of them in little details like these ones ^^

    I always though Mokona was the boss, but since a couple of years and now more than ever I see it is Ohkawa!
    Although somewhat I felt a little sad knowing no one of them already live together, I knew it of Mokona and Ohkawa, I wondered if Nekoi and Satsuki still did! I wonder what was of their cats too…

    By the way, I must find photos of that Kimonos x///D

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  5. it must be an honor to have CLAMP-sama at Paris. 😀 betcha in the future, their works are gonna inspire France (maybe settings, etc. XD)

    whoa! how long did it take for them to draw THAT picture so beautifully, so clean?! *o* sugoi~!!!

    > She also said that they have never been asked this question in Japan.
    Never? what took them so long? XD but it’s ok, at least there are a few kissing scenes in their works (in the past).

    awww, i wanna hear yui makino saying that line… *3* but you have that on audio, right? XD can’t wait to hear it. anyways, glad you had fun~! i’m looking forward for more posts bout your trip. 🙂

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    • whoa! how long did it take for them to draw THAT picture so beautifully, so clean?! *o* sugoi~!!!

      Around 20 minutes ^^

      Never? what took them so long? XD

      I think the japanese people are too embarrassed to ask such question to them xD

      awww, i wanna hear yui makino saying that line… *3* but you have that on audio, right? XD

      Yes! Please wait for it in the next few days ^^

      Like

  6. Glad to see you back!
    I hope you enjoyed your stay in France~
    Your updated layout is also pretty nice 😀

    As for the conference, the one thing that really strongly impacted was, obviously, the question about CCS|Syaoran and Honk Kong, which I’ve been wondering about since FOREVER!! It almost feels unreal that I will finally get an answer to that, after so many years I ended up convincing myself I was thinking too much and should forget it *but I never did…* XD XD I guess this should happen in either TRC or Holic~

    Thanks for your hard work redacting all this!

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    • And,and yeah, the OBVIOUS lack of display of affection in their work…no wonder coming from the 4 mangakas who officially declared they had a sort of distaste for romance and even wondered how could some mangakas make whole books of it =___=
      Well, if Clamp made regular shoujo, it would be boring, but yeah, some kissing and hugging once in a while wouldn’t kill anyone, not me at least ^^;;

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      • I sort of like it *gets shot* XD It’s like it became their style, you know? And makes these moments of affection much more special. When you have too many of them, they become ordinary.

        But I do understand your point, a few more of them wouldn’t kill, at all ^^

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        • I agree about it being a lot more precious and, indeed, it’s their style~ but…it’s not about having a few kisses, there are, like, none ^^;;;
          Though, at this point, it would actually feels really weird to have them draw that now aha~ XD

          Like

    • Thank you so much cutesherry! I am slowing getting back to my everyday life xD

      About the CCS question, I always wondered that too! And I loved Ohkawa’s answer xD Demo, I don’t think the answer will be given in TRC or XXXHOLiC, she said that it would be in a future work (not “current”).

      Back then when we didn’t know much about Jr or the clone and there was the possibility of real!Syaoran being CCS!Syaoran, I thought the Hong Kong trip would have something to do with it. But now we know exactly who they are so I threw that possibility away ^^

      Ohkawa likes to get the little gaps that she left open on previous works and wrap them in her new stories. Like, Clow going to Clow country instead of immediately dying like we thought he had in CCS ^^

      Thanks for your hard work redacting all this!

      You’re welcome!!! It really was a hard work ^^;;;;

      Like

      • Well, the ‘future work’ part might be a bit doubtful ^^;
        I talked it over about with a french person who went there, and she said that he had to take it with a grain on salt, since the translator who was passing Clamp’s words might not have been perfect…another translation from another french girl did not even include the “future work” part and only says “it will be revealed very soon” ^^;;;;

        And I really don’t see in which works they would do it then…and I seriously don’t think they gave such a gigantic spoil as giving away they would be making a manga in the *near* future in which it would be revealed.
        Furthermore, I still find it every weird that we’ve seen every single ‘Sakura’ and ‘Syaoran’ possible whether they are cloned, real, abnormal, reincarnated, babies or parents, and did not see the actual original CCS|Syaoran in all this…my last point is that in the latest chapter, Clone|Sakura words were changed, and better then saying that she only met CCS|Sakura, she actually implied that she met BOTH CCS|SxS, leaving obviously open the possibility that CCS|Syaoran might appear and have some role in all this (CCS|Sakura gave her staff, did he gave his DNA? :P)

        But, more then anything, didn’t they overuse those 2 characters already? *not that I’m complaining but…* and Clamp might as well make something like the US comics: Amazing CCS, The spectacular CCS, CCS Unlimited, Ultimate CCS and so on ^^;;

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  7. Olá, Chibiyuuto! :D/
    I’m glad to hear you returned safely!

    I’m really happy you made your dream true. ^^

    The drawing they made was really wonderful. O.O

    Thanks for your recap of events! 🙂

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  8. I’m glad you had such an amazing time!

    I never thought it strange that there was so little kissing in CLAMP’s works–to be honest, it wouldn’t seem right if, say, Sakura and Syaoran kissed at the end of TRC. Perhaps it’s because they so often focus on the higher aspects of romantic relationships?

    …they were inspired by France’s architecture and for that reason we might be seeing some of it on their future drawings.

    I would love to see something like that in one of the dreamscapes of Gate 7.

    Ohkawa said that we’ll have to check out their future works if we want to know the answer. She also asked everyone in the hall to not post this on the internet

    I bet someone was posting it on the Internet via cellphone at that very instant. XD

    Like

    • Perhaps it’s because they so often focus on the higher aspects of romantic relationships?

      I think so too, and as I told to someone above, it’s like it became their style, you know? And makes these moments of affection much more special. When you have too many of them, they become ordinary.

      I bet someone was posting it on the Internet via cellphone at that very instant. XD

      I know, right? XD And she was just joking. If she wasn’t supposed to say it, she wouldn’t have said it at all ^_~

      Like

  9. IMO because they rarely draw the kisses, therefore it become more precious. 😀 Not like some other shoujo craps whose heroine keep kissing some guys (no offense to anyone but just not my cup of tea). But even if they don’t have kisses, they have lots of way to display affection – even sweeter because it’s often shown in discreet. XDDD

    That was a nice drawing, would love to see the vid of it XDDD It will be worth it to watch how Ohkawa act like a boss :p

    Yui Makino appearance was indeed unexpected. XDD Will be looking forward upon your recording! XDDD Thankies for sharing all these. XDDD

    Like

    • IMO because they rarely draw the kisses, therefore it become more precious. 😀 Not like some other shoujo craps whose heroine keep kissing some guys (no offense to anyone but just not my cup of tea). But even if they don’t have kisses, they have lots of way to display affection – even sweeter because it’s often shown in discreet. XDDD

      I couldn’t agree more!

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  10. Welcome back!! 😀

    Thanks for the info!!, eventhough we did learn a few new things, I would have been so much happy just cuz I was able to be there *o*, hahaha…. U_U

    -“Ohkawa then said “but maybe that’s not enough for the french people?” (audience laughs). She also said that they have never been asked this question in Japan.”-

    FGS! I course we want kisses!; all of us!, not only the french people T-T.

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    • Hahahaha yeah, I know brazilians would like kisses too xD

      I’m fine with how they deal with it, honestly, it doesn’t bother me. Although I wouldn’t mind if they put a little more attention to kisses ^^

      Like

      • Everyone would like that!!!

        I’m still waiting for my Syaoran+Sakura kiss!, which is,my guess, one of the most expected/longed kisses in the entire CLAMP fandom :O

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  11. WELCOME BACK ^____^ Thanks for providing this lengthy piece of report *hug*

    – Continuation of X:
    Same answer for CLOVER, “it will be finished one day”.Ohkawa joked in protest saying to the other CLAMP members “why is it always me the one answering this question?”, and they replied “that’s the leader’s job”.This was very funny because after she gave her answer, Ohkawa LEANED sideways laughing, almost reaching the translator’s lap, which was sitting next to her xDD She was totally expecting the question and feeling a little embarrassed about it xD

    >>>That’s exactly how I pictured them XDXDXD “the leader’s job” hahaha!!!Ohkawa-sensei can easily guess that she will need to answer this whenever they appear in public, isn’t it?

    – Why there are no kisses in their works:
    Ohkawa pointed to Nekoi and the latter answered that there is one small kiss in Wish and Ohkawa (I think) added the one in CLOVER too. Ohkawa then said “but maybe that’s not enough for the french people?” (audience laughs). She also said that they have never been asked this question in Japan.

    >>>Yes, I bet people from Japan will ask other questions rather than this one (But the point is the chance of them asking questions is still rare =___=) Well, maybe Asians can more easily accept the more “subtle” way of showing love in their manga rather than kissing,,,I personally think it’s nice, to reserve this “very precious moment” for really important moments~~~~Hard to understand for everyone??? ^ v ^ If you compare the amount of kissing in a Japanese/Asian drama to that of a Western one,,,well,,,that’s a bit of cultural difference, is it? (No offend ^ ^)

    It took them around 20 minutes to finish it. You can check some great pictures of the drawing in this link .
    >>> I guess they finish it quite soon,,20 mins for this,,,why do we have such a slow speed of manga release now???

    After that, the CLAMP members walked to the front of the stage and the whole audience stood up and greeted them. For me this moment was very special, it was like a mentor-student situation. My biggest idols, CLAMP, up above the stage and myself, long-time admirer, standing up and clapping to them. I was clapping for all the joy they have provided me for the last 8 years. And I felt proud of them to see the entire huge room clapping them.

    >>>This must be a really special moment for every Clamp fan,,,I feel happy for you ^__^ The feelings back then must be hard to describe as well as hard to forget =) So good to have this kind of unforgettable moments in life =)

    Yui Makino was wearing a Kimono that she borrowed from Mokona. She said that as soon as she found out she would be going to France, she asked Mokona to borrow a few of her Kimonos. Also, all the coordination (jewelry and stuff) was given by Mokona.

    >>>Clamp they are really friend with the seiyuus, aren’t they? The all girls’ party last year, the Mokona+Ohara Sayaka trip to Kyoto, the radio and so on…It’s so good to hear that they have such a good relationship ^__^

    Then, Ohkawa says that Yui Makino will say a line that is not in the manga at all, which turns out to be “Syaoran daisuki!” (I love you, Syaoran!), Ohkawa said that it was “specially for France”.
    >>>Isn’t there a line like that appear in the recent TRC manga??? =____= When the clones are about to reborn…

    Next, the hostess asks CLAMP to show a few of the exclusive CLAMP products being sold at Japan Expo (t-shirts, postcards, etc). I thought this was a very weird moment and rather unnecessary, with the CLAMP members showing up the t-shirts (as if they needed this sort of advertisement).

    >>>Exactly,,,I think the same way as you XDXD Clamp they really don’t need to waste time on that!!! They just design a product and everyone will go to get it >.< (Everything with the name CLAMP will surely have splendid sales, right? with hardcore fans all over the world…

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  12. Thanks for the report!

    Wow, seeing CLAMP draw live… a special event indeed. I think it’s awesome they can draw so well spontaneously (comes with practice though I suppose XD).

    Like

  13. Amazing report i hoped you had a blast!One day an angry X-fanatic is going to ask “that” question get the same answer,scream and chase them for their dear lives.(that would be me….)

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing. One of my friends from New Zealand went, and managed to pull out a winning ticket to get their autograph. Man, just what she shared with me made me cry. ^^

    I’m happy for everyone that got to witness the joy of seeing CLAMP. Thanks for sharing. (:

    Like

  15. ZOMG as i told you before, you were so lucky!!! *O*
    I don’t know what to think every time they ask CLAMP about X and Clover, they never say something ‘clear’ :/
    Thank you n_n

    Like

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