CLAMP Interview – Ani-Wave magazine (July/2011)

Special interview with CLAMP about GATE 7

Tong Li Publishing will publish the Chinese version of the newest work GATE 7 by the popular manga artist group CLAMP. They are known for their works such as Tsubasa – RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE – and XXXHOLiC. Fans in Hong Kong can read their latest work GATE 7 serialised on New Teen weekly magazine in April! GATE 7 talks about Chikahito Takamoto, a student who loves history, bummed into a barrier during his trip in Kyoto, where he met Hana and begins his mysterious journey in Kyoto. With the support of Tong Li Publishing, we got to interview CLAMP before publishing the first compiled volume. Let’s see what CLAMP think about GATE 7 and Kyoto.

Why did you intend to create a story like GATE 7? What has inspired you to do this?

We have always wanted to create a story in Japanese style. We want to have Kyoto as the background setting because three of us were born there. Kamishichiken, where the characters live, will be related to the characters’ society, Urashichiken. There are other reasons as well, but they are left for the readers to find out themselves in the story.

How do you design and create the characters?

We settled on the designs on Hana first. The design for this character was our first priority, then we created the supporting characters that go well with Hana, so we have Tachibana and Sakura. As for Chikahito Takamoto, before the serialization began, we have considered whether to let him appear.

Can you briefly tell us about the developments of GATE 7 in the near future?

This series will show readers Japanese customs.

GATE 7 is more in traditional Japanese style than your previous works, is there any special reasons for it to be set in Kyoto?

We set it in Kyoto because many traditional Japanese shrines and temples are preserved in Kyoto. Though there are more modern architectures recently, but historic architectures and landscape are preserved well.

How is GATE 7 different from Tsubasa and XXXHOLiC?

The images are already different (laughs). Among all our works, GATE 7’s pages cost the most time in production.

Will GATE 7 include characters from other works, like it happened in Tsubasa and XXXHOLiC? Will there be plotline about multiverse?

About this… (laughs)

Are you influenced by any music or works when you are working on GATE 7? Can you introduce us?

No particular works, but we listen to traditional Japanese music when we work on it.

You did not use kanji to express Hana’s name, is it significantly related to the plot? Or is it genderless like Ashura?

About this, please stay tuned for the story development.

The illustrations in GATE 7 are stunning, what inspire you to draw the illustrations? Did you take reference from related categories? GATE 7 reminds me of RG Veda, are they related?

No, it is not related to RG Veda. Maybe we are just deeply inspired by Japanese culture.

Can you say a few words to our readers in Hong Kong?

It is a new serialization after a long time, we look forward to it too. Please look forward to GATE 7. Japan is a nice place, particularly Kyoto. Thus, if possible, please visit places and shops that appear in this work.

Aren’t you more excited after reading this special interview with CLAMP? The first volume will be released in the coming book exhibition. Do not miss it!

Translated from Chinese by Fione Lo.


Interview originally published in Ani-wave vol.243, released on July 30, 2011. Original text available upon request.

If you found mistakes in this translation or would like to contribute with translating other interviews, please contact me.