The following is a transcript of the CLAMP Focus Panel, which took place on July 1st, 2006 in Anime Expo, at the Anaheim Convention Center, California (USA).
NOTICE: Audio recording was not allowed so this transcript was made using the memory of its authors, only. The way the sentences are written might differ from what it was originally said, but the meaning is the same.
Are you going to continue with Kobato.?
Ohkawa: Yes, the serialization will restart in Newtype by the Autumn.
How much time is spent in the production of each chapter (20 pages)?
Ohkawa: The script takes 8 hours to be written, 12 hours to draw the storyboard and 2 days for the actual pages to be finished. However, when it comes to X, it takes 4 days to draw the pages.
Do you write the story as you are serializing it or has it been decided since the beginning?
Ohkawa: The scripts are written one chapter at a time, but the end is decided from the start. Therefore, the endings of Tsubasa and XXXHOLiC have already been decided.
Why did you pick Syaoran as the main character of Tsubasa?
Ohkawa: Picking Syaoran was very natural because, usually, CLAMP’s works don’t have a very happy ending, and he came from a work that had a happy ending. Syaoran will have to go through a hard-time to get his happy ending in Tsubasa.
Many of your works share the same world and are linked to each other, can you tell us more about it?
Ohkawa: For all our works except our fantasy works, everything occurs all in one universe. In the case of our fantasy worlds, we wanted a way to link these worlds, and that is where Yuuko comes in in XXXHOLiC.
How is decided who’s gonna take charge of scripting, storyboarding, drawing, toning, etc?
Ohkawa: It depends on the work. But the plot and script are always done by me. And in the case of XXXHOLiC, Mokona is often in charge of drawing the females while Nekoi is in charge of drawing the males.
Which was the manga you had more fun while doing it?
Ohkawa: Many of our early manga ended tragically with characters dead, so I think Card Captor Sakura was a fun production.
Igarashi: Well, while we’re making manga, there’s always deadlines to meet, so usually it’s not until after that that we like the work. But I think I had the most fun while working on Duklyon.
Nekoi: I think I enjoyed working on Duklyon the most as well.
Mokona: And unanimously, I agree on Duklyon as the most fun work we’ve done.
Do you ever get so frustrated with a picture that you just crumple it and start from scratch?
Mokona: An artwork usually is never thrown away completely. Because I do a pencil drawing first, then ink it and color it, I can fix any errors in the pencil stage.
Igarashi: Nekoi likes to doodle a lot and throw away the papers, but we sometimes un-crumple them and submit them on our site.
In Tsubasa is there a theme of black and white, or yin and yang, or opposites attract with Kurogane and Fye? Is there a possibility of this pairing becoming official? (fans cheer)
Ohkawa: *laughs* Does the cheering mean there’s a desire for this pairing? *laughs* Well, we made Syaoran the main character and he’s still developing and maturing, so we wanted him to have adult companions. Kurogane is the one who is seen as ‘black’ and Fye as ‘white’. Kurogane lives up to his name and likes to wear mostly black, and he is more straightforward, while Fye is more mysterious and represents white. And right now in the more recent Japanese chapter, Fye is in a tough spot…
Where do you get inspiration for your stories/characters?
Igarashi: Deadlines are the best inspiration. (audience cheers) So it seems everyone has experienced this.
Why has the artwork for your more recent works like Tsubasa and XXXHOLiC become thinner and taller? (Which is still beautiful by the way.)
Ohkawa: Thank you, first of all. The style for XXXHOLiC was meant to be similar to the traditional Japanese ukiyo-e paintings, which are tall and thin, and because it crosses over with Tsubasa, Tsubasa had to have the same style.
How did you all decide that you wanted to be mangaka?
Ohkawa: Everyone excluding me were classmates in high school, and I was introduced through a mutual friend. We then got together to make doujinshi and we were discovered by various publishers.
Why is Yuuko’s symbol a butterfly?
Ohkawa: (explains about how it’s based on Japanese symbolism and legends).
Transcripted originally by hoshisenshi. Revised by Chibi Yuuto.
If you found mistakes in this translation or would like to contribute with translating other interviews, please contact me.