Big interview with CLAMP!
RG Veda and Rayearth have been completed one after another, the X movie will be released this summer, new works are starting, and CLAMP are also challenging themselves with a novel. Let’s deliver CLAMP’s latest comments and thoughts to Puff readers!!
☆We will always remember the time when we stayed up all night drawing the first chapter of RG Veda.
■About Magic Knight Rayearth.
Magic Knight Rayearth 2 (serialization ended in the April issue of Kodansha’s Nakayoshi). In Rayearth three girls, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu, are summoned to another world called Cephiro. The girls are given the role of saving Cephiro as legendary knights, and their adventures and struggles begins. Rayearth was CLAMP’s first work to be published in Nakayoshi, it was also made into a TV anime and received enthusiastic support from a wide range of people, from small children to their big friends (laughs). An OVA series will start this fall. In the OVA a new story with a new setting in which Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu attend the same school will be available in three parts (45 minutes each one). The first part is scheduled to be released this fall. The director is Toshihiro Hirano, the same as the TV series. The script is by Nanase Ohkawa.
Q: How do you feel about the completion?
A: We feel relieved to have finally finished drawing it to the end.
Q: What was your favorite scene?
A: The one that left a deep impression on me as I was drawing it was Mokona’s double-page spread in the third volume of Rayearth 2 (laughs).
Q: What are your memories of Rayearth?
A: Since the second part was running at the same time as the anime, many people got confused between the original work and the TV series, and we were all surprised when we read the letters from fans. By the way, we got a lot of questions about this as well, but in the manga, Umi-chan doesn’t say “I love you” to anyone, so Clef and Ascot are both “people she loves” at the moment, but they are not “potential lovers” (laughs).
Q: What was the most impressive fan letter about Rayearth?
A: It was a letter from a mother whose child had autism. The child had been receiving treatment at a specialized hospital, but it was not going well, and both parents were really worried. Then, it seems that the broadcast of Rayearth began on TV… The child was encouraged by the bouncing Mokona and Hikaru-chan and friends, who were trying their best, and while being examined by the cathode-ray tube, the child started to imitate Mokona’s “PuuPuu” sounds. The mother wrote to us to say that her child has recovered to the point where the child can now hold a simple conversation. The child is about to enter elementary school and is still good friends with Mokona, even sleeping with Mokona’s stuffed toy. We always hope that the illustrations of our works can cheer someone up… we were really happy to read that letter.
■About RG Veda.
RG Veda (serialization ended in the May issue of Wings magazine) was CLAMP’s debut work in their professional career. Because of this, many fans may have many fond memories with its completion. For the past 300 years, the heavenly world, where gods and humans live together, has suffered from the misgovernment of Taishakuten, a rebel who took the place of the previous emperor. But finally, a small movement to confront that dictatorship begins. Guided by a prophecy, Yasha-oh, the strongest warrior in the heavenly world, meets Ashura, the child of destiny. Fighting together against warriors in search of the Six Stars, Yasha-oh and Ashura’s journey begins. As CLAMP’s longest-running serialized work, this is an unforgettable work that has grown up with CLAMP and will be remembered by fans for a long time.
Q: How do you feel about the completion?
A: It was our debut work, and it’s the work we’ve been with for the longest time, so we are truly deeply moved.
Q: Was the ending decided from the beginning?
A: For all of our works, the end of the story is decided from the beginning, so it was the same case. However, RG Veda is a little different from other works, there are some chapters in the middle of the story that were changed from what we had originally planned; I guess you could say that the story has grown along with us, the artists.
Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: All of them are cute, even the soldiers who get beaten up (laughs).
Q: What are your memories of RG Veda?
A: RG Veda has come this far through trial and error. There are so many memories that it is hard to sort them out (laughs), but we will never forget the time when we stayed up all night drawing the first chapter.
Q: What does RG Veda mean to CLAMP?
A: It is a work that will never be forgotten, no matter how many years pass. It is the first creation that CLAMP made together.
■ About the X movie.
X (serialized in Kadokawa‘s ASUKA). It is the story of an epic battle over the end of the world. It is an acclaimed densely populated work with 14 main characters and eventually over 200 characters. This summer, the long-awaited movie will finally be released.
Q: You have gathered a strong staff. What is your message to them?
A: We are worried about the health of Director Rintaro, Nobuteru Yuki and everyone at Madhouse. We are sincerely supporting them along with all of you who are looking forward to the film.
Q: Do you have a message for your fans who are eagerly awaiting the release date of the film?
A: We would be very happy if you could see Kamui and the other characters from X on the theater screen.
Wish (currently serialized in Kadokawa‘s Mystery DX), written by Nanase Ohkawa and drawn by Mick Nekoi. One day, Shuichiro Kudou, a cool and nice guy, picked up an angel. The angel, whose name is Kohaku, says that it will grant Shuichiro’s wish in return. Thus began their strange life together. This is Mick Nekoi’s first full-length serialization. Volume 1 was released on May 1!!
Q: What is your favorite scene?
A: We have only just started, but it is the first work in a long time that has made us smile, so we are all enjoying drawing it.
Q: What has been the most impressive response from fans?
A: Many women think Kohaku is a boy and most men think is a girl. I wonder why? (laughs) Which do you, the Puff editor, think it is?
(Puff editor’s note: I thought it was a boy.)
■ Regarding the new serialization from the June issue of Nakayoshi (scheduled to be released in early May)
A: This time, the main character is a fourth-grade elementary school girl. The art and story will be different from Magic Knight Rayearth, we will do our best giving a new feeling, so please take a look at it!
■About Tokyo Babylon Illustrations Collection
A: We have been waiting for a long time, but it will be available in mid-April. It is A4 size and costs 2,200 yen.
■About the novel (Yumegari published in Asuka Novel magazine No. 6).
A: We wanted to try a slightly sexual story with a girl as the main character, so it was fun for us, but how was it for you? We are planning to write another novel in the future, so please let us know what you think.
■A message to Puff readers.
A: We hope that 1996 will be a good year for all of you who are reading Puff.
 Actually, Ohkawa co-wrote the script with Manabu Nakamura. However, for unknown reasons, credits are only given to Nakamura.
 The text refers to their first original work that they created as professionals, not their doujinshi (fanzine) days.
 Nobuteru Yuuki was the character designer for the X movie. He also did the character design for the CLOVER music video, which was released in 1999.
 The first chapter of Card Captor Sakura was released on May 1st of 1996 inside the June issue of Nakayoshi magazine.
 The artbook, Tokyo Babylon Photographs, was released on April 25th of 1996.
Translated from Japanese by shidouhikaru15.
Interview published in Puff May 1996 issue (Zassosha), released on May 1, 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.