CLAMP Interview – Comickers magazine (June/1996)

Magic Knight Rayearth Completion Commemorative Special Interview

52 questions for CLAMP-sensei.

In a unique format of a four people team, the creative group CLAMP continues to create one hit after another.

Their total involvement in the production process of their works, from pre-serialization planning and setting up the designs, has opened up new possibilities for the future of the manga artist profession.

This time, we asked CLAMP-sensei, who has just finished the serialization of Rayearth, to take some special time to talk to us about various aspects of their works.

This is the first feature article on the four artists, filled with valuable stories that you can’t usually hear, such as how the four met, memories of their school days, how they work, and a message to aspiring manga artists!

PROFILE

01 – CLAMP composition

Satsuki Igarashi (In charge of design and drawing).
Nanase Ohkawa (In charge of original story, script and design).
Mokona Apapa (In charge of drawing).
Mick Nekoi (In charge of drawing).

02 – How did you start drawing manga?

Mokona: I have always loved to draw. I was in the art club in junior high school. I think it was when I was in high school that I started drawing manga with proper frame layouts and dialogues.
Nekoi: It was not until I entered high school and met Mokona that I started drawing using frames (laughs). When I was a kid, I wondered what would happen if I used the colored pencils I had lying around in the back of the drawer or the opaque watercolors we used at school. I loved trying things. I just wanted to experiment with painting materials (laughs), so I was not very good at drawing, but I have always loved painting in color.
Ohkawa: Igarashi and I have never drawn a manga with split frames.
Igarashi: I was in the art department in high school, but after that I went to a Computer Graphics vocational school.
Mokona: Nekoi-chan is really knowledgeable about art materials, and she even taught me how to use an airbrush.

03 – How did you all meet?

Ohkawa: The three of them, except for me, were high school classmates.
Igarashi: We were all in the same Astronomy Club.
Ohkawa: My friend from high school befriended these three first. After that, we often enjoyed cherry-blossom viewing and ate lunch together. It was more like a party and playmate, rather than someone in a group of friends who drew pictures. In those meetings, there were always at least 12 or 13 people, and we were all of different ages.

04 – Formation of CLAMP

Ohkawa: Among the group of playmates, there were people who were doing doujinshi (fanzines). They were in different circles, but since we got to know each other so well, we decided to make a doujinshi together to commemorate the occasion. The name of the circle we used at that time was CLAMP.

05 – What kind of things did you do for fun? 

Igarashi: Whenever I was on vacation, I would suddenly receive a letter, telling me what day we were meeting, and what the concept of this game (meeting) was (laughs). 
Mokona: That was the signal to gather.
Nekoi: There was also a horror camp where we watched horror movies.
Igarashi: I made bookmarks for the number of people in the group (laughs).
Ohkawa: Tamayo Akiyama has been my best friend since kindergarten, and she likes to make bookmarks for these camps (laughs).
Igarashi: It was a beautiful bookmark.
Nekoi: I kept it (laughs).
Ohkawa: Tamayo-chan is a horror movie fan (laughs). Then, she would pick the one she particularly liked, gather everyone together, call it a training camp, and show the movie all night (laughs). At that time, my house was used for the training camp, we’’d watch the movie, each one wrapped in a blanket, with all the lights off and only candlelight (laughs). I think we were watching A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Nekoi: Then we would all go to Osaka Castle in the middle of the night. 
Igarashi: I was not allowed to drink alcohol at that time, but for some reason the cooler box I brought had alcoholic beverages in it (laughs).
Nekoi: Each of us brought a lunch box and ran around with fireworks (laughs).
Mokona: Running without worrying about the others! (laughs).
Ohkawa: Yes, running between us! (laughs).
Mokona: We played together until late at night.
Ohkawa: We often stayed up all night (laughs).

06 – What made you decide to work as a group instead of individually?

Ohkawa: I am sure those who work alone will have trouble when asked, “why are you working alone?” (laughs). Just as it is easier for a person to work alone, it was easier for the four of us to work together. It is often said that it is unusual for women artists to work in a group, but we don’t think it is anything special.

07 – Rules for getting along well

Ohkawa: It is a promise within CLAMP that we will never touch each other’s territory. We do ask each other’s opinions when we are in doubt, but all four of us believe that we should take responsibility for our own work. In the end, it’s all about creating one piece of work, but I believe that because each of the four of us can do our own work in our own way without relying on anyone else, we can all be satisfied with the work we create. Also, when another member asks for an opinion, we always tell the truth. It is important for the four of us to be able to honestly tell each other if we think something is strange, or if it is not interesting. Both the one who says it and the one who listens to it can mean it with seriousness, and because we can listen and discuss it with honesty, all four of us can create works that we are satisfied with, which often leads to good results. Of course, it may be because the four of us trust each other.
Nekoi: When you say it like that, I feel a little nervous (laughs). 
Ohkawa: No, I was nervous too (laughs).
Mokona: But it is true.
Igarashi: It’s important when creating things is part of your job.        
Nekoi: That is a promise among the four of us. 

08 – If you could suddenly take a month off

Mokona: My parents have moved out and I need to go pick out furniture for my room as soon as possible. My mother even buys furniture for my room (laughs). 
Nekoi: I would sleep for about eight hours (laughs). After that, I would do the coloring…
Ohkawa: I thought that was your job (laughs).
Nekoi: No, I just want to try drawing using colors. Oh, and I have to fix the black-and-white sketch…
All: That is still your job (laughs).
Igarashi: First of all, I would clean up my room (laughs).
Ohkawa: I would like to see a movie if I can get some time off.

09 – Average Sleeping Time

Nekoi: When I’m at work, it’s about four hours a day. When I’m not working, it’s about six hours a day.

10 – How long do you endure the four-hours sleep days?

Igarashi: About 20 days out of a month, we sleep four hours.
Nekoi: I used to be anemic due to lack of sleep, and when the doctor told me to sleep eight hours a day, I thought, “What? If I sleep that much… I won’t be able to work” (laughs). 

11 – Takeshi Okazaki-sensei

Nekoi: He is more like an older brother than a friend. He takes care of his four younger sisters who are not very good at anything (laughs). When he was working for a magazine called Newtype, he was in charge of it. He introduced me to that magazine.
Mokona: We met for the first time at a barbecue restaurant.
Ohkawa: Occasionally, he would come to check on the condition of the computer at my working station or bring an interesting game.
Igarashi: He is really like an older brother.

STUDIO & TECHNIQUE

12 – Materials

Ohkawa: We don’t have a lot of materials in our house.
Mokona: Only a few books.
Igarashi: I am often asked about it, but there are hardly any books on occult related material.

13 – Art materials used for monochrome drawings

Mokona: I use a Kabura pen and a Maru pen. It depends on the weather that day, so draw a line and decide which one is better. For backgrounds, I often use Pigma 0.05. I also have a kind of magic marker with pigment ink called Prockey, which I use to draw letters on the paper. I use Pentel‘s water-resistant brush pens for the solid areas such as the hair.
Nekoi: I use different nibs for the Maru pen and the G-pen. I use the Kabura pen for concentrated and close straight lines. I use Pigma 0.05 for backgrounds too. I also use an eraser to reduce the tones. Recently, I have also used sandpaper to reduce large areas of tone. A very fine-grit sandpaper will decrease it nicely. However, it does not allow for fine adjustment, so I’ll fix it with an eraser later.

14 – Since the strength of the lines is clear, I was wondering if Mokona-san was using a G-pen

Mokona: I have unusually strong writing pressure (laughs), so a G-pen is too soft for me. I’ve tried using one, but it’s hard to adjust, so I prefer to use a harder pen.

15 – Paper used for monochrome drawings

Igarashi: The paper is made by Daieidou Printing, a printing company with which we have been in contact for some time. All of us have strong writing pressure, so we chose thick paper. It is about three times thicker than commercially available manga paper (laughs).
Mokona: The paper size is also slightly different for each work, so the manga paper is sorted for each one.
Igarashi: We use an illustration made by Nekoi-chan. She drew one for each work, it is like a mark to differentiate them.[1]

16 – Paper used for color illustrations

Nekoi: I use whatever paper I have at hand (laughs).
Igarashi: Like the wrapping paper in the trash (laughs).
Mokona: I usually use Watson paper, BB Kent, the back of a manga paper, or copy paper.
Nekoi: The back of wrapping paper, bits of cardboard that have fallen around, the back of cosmetics boxes, envelopes from publishers… (laughs).
Mokona: For example, the wrapping paper when you buy a cup of tea is Japanese style (laughs). It looks a bit like Japanese paper, but if you look closely, you can see the name of the store printed on it (laughs). I used it for an illustration with a dragon in X.

17 – Why so many different kinds of paper?

Nekoi: When I have a blank sheet of paper, I get nervous and don’t know what to draw (laughs).

18 – Compatibility of art materials and paper

Mokona: Some art materials have specific combinations. For example, Rayearth uses Copic markers, so I choose white paper or paper with a faint pattern. For X can be anything. It can be wrapping paper, cardboard, even tea wrappers (laughs). X doesn’t have a specific material.

19 – About Copic markers

Mokona: At first, Okazaki-san showed me a set of all Copic colors (laughs) and recommended that I try them.
Nekoi: That was before the brush pen type came out.
Mokona: When I was a student, Copic markers were expensive, so when I saw all the colors lined up, it was spectacular (laughs). When I tried them, I found them easy to use and convenient because there were so many colors. But at the time, there were only two types of tips, so I thought it would be difficult to choose the right one for the illustration, and when the brush pen type came out, I immediately bought it. That time, I told Okazaki-san I had got a better one (laughs). He was very disappointed (laughs). At first, I had a habit of adding dark shadows even when I painted with Copics, but with alcohol-based products, there is a limit to how many colors can be layered, so it’s nice to be able to save money. 

20 – About color tones

Mokona: As for color tones, I only used them in Tokyo Babylon as my main art material.
Ohkawa: For Tokyo Babylon, we wanted to create a flat feeling and a cool impression, so after consulting with Mokona, we decided to go with color tones.

21 – Drawing direction

Ohkawa: At CLAMP, before we start drawing a work, we decide on the flow of the story up to the end, as well as the materials to be used for color and monochrome drawings, and the direction of the illustration. At that point, we also decide on the binding of the comics. Rayearth has a lot of young readers, so if the illustration is too cluttered and dark, they won’t know where to look; therefore, we decided to use Pigma 0.005 to avoid thickening the main line.
Mokona: I wanted to make the drawing a little lighter. As I mentioned earlier, I have a strong writing pressure, so a pen would give me a thicker line.
Nekoi: Even if it’s unavoidable to have double-page spreads in the scenes where magic is used, I was careful not to overdo the tone.

22 – I heard that you also do the design yourselves

Ohkawa: Igarashi-kun and I do it together. One of us directs the work, and the person in charge of drawing for that work will draw a rough sketch, which is discussed and decided upon. 
Mokona: We often decide on the design first then I draw the illustration later.
Ohkawa: Tokyo Babylon is an example of that.

23 – To what extent do you specify?

Igarashi: We do everything (laughs), from format, paper, phototypesetting specifications to color specifications. We also do our own calendars and illustration collections. 

24 – You use very elaborate paper

Ohkawa: Both Igarashi and I like acid-free paper. We love the sandy texture. On the other hand, we don’t like smooth art-coated paper, so we don’t use it very often.
Igarashi: For a book, you have to consider the feeling of holding the book in your hand, so if the paper is too smooth, the texture will not be the same.

25 – Process of launching a serialization

Ohkawa: The first step is to decide on the major storyline and then work out the details of the characters later. I also consider the number of chapters needed to tell the story. Next, I have a meeting with Mokona-chan or Nekoi-chan to decide on the design of the main characters. I ask them to give me their character designs, and once they are finished, we go over them one more time. Once the main characters are completed, the next step is to decide on the detailed settings for those characters.

26 – Character settings

Ohkawa: We will go into detail about the food they eat, special skills, how and when they do things, how they grew up when they were young, and their hobbies.    
Mokona: The type of house they live in, whether it is Japanese or western style.
Nekoi: If they sleep wearing pajamas or negligees.
Igarashi: We also decide whether they like sweets or not.

27 – Food comes out often

Ohkawa: Yes. I often write scenes where they eat food (laughs). For example, if a character drinks black tea, Japanese tea, or only coffee, you can tell the background of the character. If the character likes sweets, it means that the character grew up in an environment where sweets can be easily eaten. If the character has long hair, it will be different depending on whether it is tied up or untied. If the character keeps long hair, it means that the character is still going to school.[2] It’s in these details that we can see the character’s way of life and policies.

28 – Health measures

Mokona: We bought some things to avoid getting sick (laughs).
Igarashi: I haven’t used them (laughs).
Nekoi: Like the sauna that the four of us bought together when we had just debuted (laughs).
Mokona: Later, the aerobic bike (laughs).
Ohkawa: No one is pedaling (laughs).
Igarashi: I think you should pedal or walk outside for at least 30 minutes (laughs).
All: Muscle aches after a day of walking (laughs).
Ohkawa: In the worst cases, I walk 200 steps a day (laughs). The only time I walk is when I’m chasing cats (laughs).

29 – Cats

Ohkawa: When we all went to a pet store to relax (laughs), Igarashi-kun found a palm-sized little cat that had just arrived at the store and hadn’t even been put on the sales floor yet.[3]
Nekoi: You asked me to let you hold that little one (laughs).
Igarashi: The moment I held him, I thought I was going to take him home (laughs).
Ohkawa: I thought he was a quiet child. But, to tell the truth, he was just a rambunctious child who had just been transported by airplane and was not in a good mood (laughs).
Nekoi: Since he didn’t like people touching him, he ran.
Mokona: It was like if you held him in your arms, he was going to kill you (laughs).
Nekoi: That’s right, there’s a cat’s sleeping place on my desk, for some reason (laughs).
Ohkawa: When the cat arrived, it seemed to think that Nekoi-chan’s desk was the place to sleep because it was clean and empty (laughs). Afterward, everyone noticed and frantically cleared their desks, but it was too late (laughs).

30 – Recently played games

Ohkawa: I did it yesterday after not playing in a while. I was so scared; I was playing Twilight Syndrome.[4]
Nekoi: At night, when all four of us were silently looking at the screen, all of a sudden, a clear voice asked, “Why are you running away, sisters?” (laughs). I was stiff (laughs).   
Igarashi: If you listen to it with headphones, you might die from fear. All four of us were afraid (laughs).
Mokona: It was so scary that I have only solved one mystery (laughs).
Ohkawa: But I really like scary games (laughs).

31 – What game consoles do you have?

Ohkawa: PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Super Famicom (Super Nintendo), Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System), Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), Mega CD (Sega CD), Game Boy, Game Gear, and of course the 32X (Genesis 32X, Mega Drive 32X, Mega 32X)[5] (laughs).
Igarashi: But for some reason, there is a Famicom Disk System[6] (laughs).
Ohkawa: PC games are more common these days.
Mokona: The erotic ones (laughs).
Ohkawa: I have some (laughs). Games about beautiful girls (laughs).
Nekoi: You are so proud of it (laughs).
Ohkawa: I’m proud to say that I have as many as I can (laughs). Nearly a hundred. I haven’t finished them all. I tend to fast-forward through the erotic parts by hitting the buttons repeatedly. I’m more interested in the game scripts because that’s where the writers’ abilities really come out. There are some very good scripts.

TALKING ABOUT YOUR WORK

32 – Completing the serialization of RG Veda

Mokona: It’s finally over (laughs).
Ohkawa: Really, finally (laughs).
Mokona: The very first time I heard the storyline was seven years ago. It took us so long to reach the end. It’s been a long road.

33 – The beginning of Rayearth serialization

Ohkawa: We received a request from the Nakayoshi editorial department. We were happy. It was a magazine we used to read.

34 – Biggest challenges

Nekoi: It was the first time I had ever seen a furoku (magazine gift). I was stunned for a moment to realize that there are so many cuts in the furoku[7](laughs).

35 – The playing cards with all 53 different pictures were amazing!

Nekoi: After all, I tried my best to make all the pictures different… I also thought that I was going to die (laughs).
Mokona: Even so, we did everything by ourselves, from the design of the border of the playing cards to their back and the design of the box (laughs).
Igarashi: I didn’t know how the box would fold anymore (laughs).
Ohkawa: Even if you give me a diagram, I wouldn’t know (laughs).
Igarashi: In the end, I ended up folding the paper and actually making the box (laughs).

36 – Female protagonists

Mokona: It was a delight. It’s glamorous when the girls are the stars of the show. 

37 – Rayearth theme

Ohkawa: It means that there are no absolute values. Rayearth has neither absolute justice nor absolute evil. It is just that each person has acted on what he or she thinks is right, and as a result, it has become a conflict. I depicted each person’s thoughts and feelings, and I hope readers will wonder why this person did what he or she did. I created the story with the hope that readers would think “Why did this person do this?”   

38 – Why did you choose three main characters instead of one?

Ohkawa: In Rayearth, Princess Emeraude loved everyone, but I don’t think she believed in them. She took all the responsibility on herself but did not choose the path of consulting with everyone and trying to work things out with everyone. In Hikaru-chan’s case, she, Umi-chan, and Fuu-chan went through a difficult experience together and came to a different conclusion than Princess Emeraude. Not two, but three. This is because three people are the number of people who make up the smallest group. It’s the minimum number of people who can have a majority vote and exchange multifaceted opinions. Therefore, three Magic Knights were necessary.

39 – The ending of the first part was shocking

Ohkawa: Many people thought it was very CLAMP-like (laughs), but I also received an opinion from the editor of another magazine that this should never be done in a book that children with dreams and hopes are reading. There were so many opinions. However, I am very grateful to the Nakayoshi editorial department for approving and publishing that last part of the story. I think some people simply assumed that Hikaru-chan and her friends were good people if they were called by the princess and bad people if they were said to have kidnapped the princess. So, they fight to save the princess, thinking that they are on the side of justice. But the problem was not that simple. There are those who think that Emeraude is wrong, and there are those who say that Hikaru and her friends are wrong. At the end of the story, I think the protagonists also understood that there are no absolute values ​​and there is no absolute justice.

I am sure that the readers felt Hikaru-chan’s line, “This can’t be happening!” when they saw the last part of the story. I think the readers felt sorry for the Magic Knights. But I think that the main character and the readers were finally able to synchronize completely there. You can’t just be summoned to another world and say, “Oh, I see,” and expect to fight seriously. Hikaru-chan and her friends may have been serious in their own way, but they still believed they were right. But they were not. What to do then? It’s like they used some of this belief to create a real reason for the Magic Knights to fight.

40 – The ending of the second part

Ohkawa: When it was completed, some people said that it was too difficult for Nakayoshi readers, but we believe that is not true. We have received many letters from children, who are the target audience of Nakayoshi, and they understand what we were trying to do. On the other hand, it might have been more difficult for people with a preconceived notion that if they have these kinds of characters and these kinds of feelings, it would be like this, or because it was a fantasy, it had to be like this. Therefore, I think that the happy ending was most appreciated by the children, the Nakayoshi readers. Those who had read CLAMP’s previous works were probably much more surprised that the second part had a happy ending (laughs).

41 – Rayearth is completed

Ohkawa: At my parents’ house, my mother told me that it was a refreshing work that didn’t look like others (laughs).

LIFE AND PHILOSOPHY 

42 – Tokyo Tower is often depicted as a symbol of Tokyo

Ohkawa: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is too new to be used as a visual symbol of Tokyo. When it comes to something that will remain after all these years, I think it’s probably Tokyo Tower. Also, Mokona has a weakness for tall buildings and beautiful architecture (laughs). 
Mokona: I get dizzy when I see tall buildings, but I think they are beautiful (laughs). Tokyo Tower has a beautiful red steel frame. I liked the precarious feeling of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building halfway through construction more than the current completed model.
Nekoi: Even if the city of Tokyo collapses and turns into a desert, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building would be just another collapsed building, but you would recognize the Tokyo Tower.
Mokona: No matter how many Kaiju (giant monsters) come across, they always damage the Tokyo Tower (laughs).

43 – When do you think people become strong?

Ohkawa: It is when we follow our desires (laughs). People are strong when they are doing what they love.

44 – I think this can be said in common with all of your works, but it is rare to see such a strong depiction of the individual. Especially in fantasy works, there are many stories about how to self-sacrifice and save the world.

Ohkawa: This is my personal opinion, I’m not very fond of self-sacrifice. For example, if there is one hero who sacrifices himself to save the world, I wonder what the rest of the people who are saved should do. You can’t just forget about the sacrificed person and live happily from the next day as if nothing happened. My theory is that there is no group happiness without individual happiness. Is a group that cannot protect individual happiness really happy? In Rayearth, Emeraude is a symbol of self-sacrifice, but I don’t think that self-sacrifice is necessarily the best path.

45 – I’m always surprised by the final development. It’s also something I look forward to.

Ohkawa: I am always told that I keep repeating things (laughs). We don’t intend to make any strange changes, but rather to let the story move forward in a very natural way from the beginning to the end. Each character chooses the path that they have to take and their decisions lead to a consequence. Of course, I want readers to look forward to reading the story, so there are hints and mysteries scattered about the ending, but I have tried to make the story in such a way that readers can guess what will happen if they read the story carefully.
Mokona: For example, in RG Veda, you should be able to find out in Volume 2 that Kendappa-oh was the last of the Four Heavenly Kings. After Bishamonten first said that he had sent an assassin to the Four Heavenly Kings, Bishamonten’s assassin went with Kendappa-oh (laughs).

46 – Characters who passed away

Ohkawa: It is often said that we kill a lot of characters. But it’s only at the end of RG Veda that a lot of characters really die. But at the end of Tokyo Babylon, people were already suffering (laughs). Maybe Hokuto’s death was so intense.

47 – Do you dislike happy endings?

Ohkawa: No, it’s not like that. Basically, all the characters live and die true to themselves, so I don’t think it can be said that they all have unhappy endings. Certainly, I am also opposed to the easy choice of death. However, CLAMP’s characters live their lives by choosing their own path. Even if they are unhappy in the eyes of others, it is the life they have chosen. I don’t think it is up to others to decide whether they are happy or unhappy. Oh, of course, if it makes the characters feel better, it doesn’t have to make you feel better. I understand the anger of the readers who say, “I’m not happy even if it makes the characters happy!” (laughs).

48 – True Happiness

Ohkawa: I think that happiness depends on the person. Some people don’t want to get married and have children, which is often said to be a woman’s happiness. Even if they are not married, they are working hard and have established their own identity in their respective fields. Also, it is impossible to think exactly the same thing because each person is different. We usually don’t know where the average is, and in some cases, people think they are happy even if others think they are unhappy. I think it is enough if you are happy first, and then the people who love you are happy, instead of wishing to be happy with everyone praising you.

49 – About the new series

Ohkawa: A new series called Cardcaptor Sakura will start in the June issue of Nakayoshi. It will be a completely different story from Rayearth, both in terms of the artwork and the storyline.
Igarashi: If Hikaru-chan has slanted eyes, Sakura-chan has drooping eyes (laughs).
Nekoi: I agree. It is rare for an illustration drawn by Mokona-chan.
Mokona: That’s right. It’s all round (laughs).

50 – Planned future activities

Ohkawa: X will be made into a movie for the summer vacations. We will do our best to make sure that the original work is not outdone by the movie.

51 – The most joyful moment of drawing

Mokona: I feel happy every time I reach the last chapter. The final scene is decided from the beginning, so I draw like a marathon runner until I get there. I guess you could call it the excitement of crossing the finish line (laughs).
Nekoi: The most fun thing is… reading the original script (laughs). I am also happy when the final chapter ends, and the book comes out.
Igarashi: When I am looking at the color proofs (laughs). I am happy when I can say, “I am almost done, if I just check this, the book will be published!”
Ohkawa: I would say that when the book is ready too. And then, I wonder if that is truly the last installment.

52 – Finally, please give advice to Comickers readers who are aiming to become professionals

Ohkawa: We often receive letters from fans. I was asked directly at an event once, “I want to become a manga artist, but my parents won’t let me. What should I do? Do you think I can be a manga artist?” to which I answered, “I don’t think you can be a manga artist. If your desire is to give up because someone tells you to stop, it may be difficult to keep wishing for that dream to come true”. Becoming a professional in any field is really tough. If you give up when someone else tells you to stop, you may not be able to endure the even more painful reality that lies ahead. To be a pro is to remain a professional. If you cannot continue to present works that are professional enough, you will never be able to become one. If the quality of your work declines, you may not be in a position to present your work as professional five or ten years from now. I think it’s really wonderful to want to be a person who creates and expresses something. I hope that those who earnestly wish to do so will accomplish their dreams and publish their wonderful works. We are also manga fans who love manga. A strong wish to never give up, to never be defeated by difficulties, no matter what, it is a wonderful power in itself.

Notes

[1] In order to differentiate the papers used for each work, Nekoi made illustrations. These were like marks to quickly classify the papers. This is an example of that:

© CLAMP・Shigatsu Tsuitachi CO.,LTD. / 講談社

[2] Please note that Ohkawa is just giving an example, it doesn’t mean that it’s a rule that all characters with long hair still go to school.

[3] CLAMP are talking about their cat, Kakyou.

[4] Twilight Syndrome is a horror-themed adventure game released only in Japan. The game is about high school girls investigating paranormal urban legends. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_Syndrome

[5] Depending on the region or country the name of the consoles changed.

[6] The Famicom Disk System was an accessory for the NES. It was only released in Japan. It used floppy disks which added a new high-fidelity sound channel for supporting games. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famicom_Disk_System

[7] Some furoku had several “cuts”, these helped to separate the parts making it easier to fold the cardboard and assemble it. These are some examples:

© 講談社

Translated from Japanese by Shidouhikaru15.

Source

Interview originally published in Comickers (Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha) magazine, June issue, 1996, pages 14-21, released on June 15, 1996. Original text available upon request.

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