CLAMP Interview – CLAMP No Kiseki vol. 5 – Gakuen Tokkei Duklyon (January/2005)

© CLAMP/ 講談社

© CLAMP/ 講談社

What triggered the idea for this series?

Ohkawa: All of our original members loved tokusatsu [Special Effects shows], so we’d been wanting to try it out if we ever got the chance. Nekoi and I wanted something like Uchuu Keiji Gyaban (Space Detective Gyaban) and Kidou Keiji Jiban (Mobile Detective Jiban) from the Space Detective genre, while Mokona and Igarashi were for the sentai genre [Live-Action; think of the Power Rangers]. Nekoi loves, most of all, tokusatsu with spaceships. We decided to confine the story to a small range… that there are two protagonists and their names, Kentarou and Takeshi, is the direct influence of Choujin Barom 1 (Super-Person Barom 1).
Nekoi: Except that, maybe due to  a generation gap or something, most of our readers didn’t catch the reference.

How about the other settings?

Ohkawa: Erii is a character Nekoi created back during our doujinshi days. In an another tokusatsu story there was a heroine, and she had an assistant named Eri-chan.
Nekoi: Erii is her younger sister. They’re both aliens. *laughs*

When did you decide to have Nokoru be the director?

Ohkawa: We chose that from the beginning. We thought that when he was away from the Student Council Office, he’d be over at the Command Room. *laughs* We also decided to have a romance to move the story along. We decided from the beginning to slowly decrease the Duklyon activity scenes as the story progressed. We wanted to make it a joke how the main characters got switched halfway through. *laughs*

Who was the easiest character to design?

Nekoi: It was great drawing the monsters.
Mokona: It was way too much fun! Remember Uogeruge and Kamakira? If you stick “Geruge” to anything, it sounds like it’s a monster, hence “Uogeruge” *laughs*
Ohkawa: That’s another way Barom 1 influenced us. Most of the kaijyuu (magicians) are named something-geruge.
Igarashi: The cutest of all the monsters was the sheep one, wasn’t it? It had a sign proclaiming it to be 100% wool, I love that.
Mokona: I’d often write that monster’s catch phrase behind them. “Sting in one!” (the bee) or “Tore tore pichi pichi!” (the fish) *laughs* But since we’d planned on phasing out those scenes in the second half, once they start fighting the Female Commander there were fewer monsters.

Which story was the most fun to write?

Igarashi: The girl’s fight, maybe? (2nd volume, chapter 3: Stand Tall! Campus Defenders Duklyon) The last chapter. I think you can tell by paying attention to how much effort we put into the tone work.
Mokona: Mine was the explanation behind the transformation process (2nd volume, chapter 6: Farewell! Campus Defenders Duklyon). I remember being surprised, “so that’s how they transform?” when I received the script from Ohkawa.
Nekoi: I love the scenes where they’re coming out of the bakery’s oven, and also when the obaa-san had to throw water on them because the oven was hot from baking bread (1st volume, chapter 2: A Hair Width’s From Crisis! Campus Defenders Duklyon).
Ohkawa: It’s not from our story, but I was thrilled that Michiaki-san, who’s famous for his tokusatsu creations, handled the music for our drama CD.
Mokona: Listening to it, your courage starts to swell up, doesn’t it? *laughs*
Nekoi: It’s a good song, I listened to it often at work.

Were there any difficulties?

Igarashi: Putting tone on the suits. *laughs*
Nekoi: The shadows on their faces are so dark because we stuck on a lot of tone. We took a lot a lot of time to draw the humor scenes for this series.

Did you have any goals for this work, besides actually creating it?

Ohkawa: We wanted to borrow characteristics from the older tokusatsu detectives genre. Like having them have set poses, and then in that direction there’s an explosion…
Mokona: And against the light would be a silhouette.
Nekoi: And how someone can change appearances just by putting on sunglasses.
Ohkawa: That’s how Sukibayashi gets away unrecognized as Commander by doing no more than putting on make-up and changing outfits. *laughs*
Igarashi: And there was one phrase we definitely wanted to have at the end: “Fight, our Campus Defendors Duklyon!”

How do you feel about the series as you look back on it?

Ohkawa: Looking it over, it’s a very silly work, but… I love Duklyon. *laughs*
Mokona: I think it’s the series we got the most excited over.
Nekoi: We loved so much that we even had a fight or two while creating it.
Igarashi: If we were offered to do it again, we would.
Nekoi: Definitely! *laughs*
Mokona: “Duklyon Returns!” or something. This time they protect the peace of the corporation? They could show up when the office ladies are being sexually harassed. *laughs*
Igarashi: Nowadays it’d be their kids, wouldn’t it? The kids of the original Duklyon would team up together.
Ohkawa: Generally we prefer humorist over serious works. The more rambly and exciting the series is, the more worked up we get. *laughs*

Translated from Japanese by Bell (usomitai).


Interview originally published in CLAMP No Kiseki vol. 5 (Kodansha), page 23, released on January 21, 2005. Original text available upon request.

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