TerepaInterview9: Creation Interview with Japanese Yuriai manga artist Sunao Minakata
Nickname: Sunao Minakata
Star sign: Sagittarius
Blood type: AB
Career: Manga Artist
Representative works: "Riddle Story of Devil", "Roll Over and Die: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!" (Japanese: 「お前ごときが魔王に勝てると思うな」と勇者パーティを追放されたので、王都で気ままに暮らしたい) manga version.
『Riddle Story of Devil』Original Story：Yun Kouga Illustration：Sunao Minakata
Gen Z learned digital draw by self-taught, from doujinshi illustrator to a professional manga artist!
── Let's start the first question! What led you to become a manga artist?
I saved up to buy a computer in my first year of high school and started updating my digital drawings on homepage, the editors who saw it while commissioning me to draw manga and illustration, then I gradually became a manga artist.
──So how did you light up your manga skills?
It was almost self-taught, and taking on relate jobs gave me a lot of hands-on experience, learn through trial and error.
Riddle Story of Devil』Original Story：Yun Kouga Illustration：Sunao Minakata
──What has been a happy or painful experience of becoming a professional manga artist?
I grew up immersed in manga and games, naturally I thought I would find a job relate to drawing. Manga was a wonderful and precious thing to me, like a guidebook to my life, I never think about becoming a manga artist because manga have a special place in my heart.
It’s an idiot's daydream that who drawing manga like me, I always overcautious at beginning, felt my technique can not handle situation. but look back, I think I worked hard at that time, now I make peace with myself and my previous works, I am a manga artist.
For say what makes me happy, there is nothing more than the support of readers. Manga artist is a profession that can only be recognized by being seen and read, so I'm really grateful for that, and it's encouraging to be affirmed by people.
── Your characters are great in terms of pose, expression and composition, is there a secret?
Thank you. I've always preferred derivative work more than OC, and I want my favourite pieces to be cute and cool! I think the attitude makes reader feel that I am particular about it.
Touhou illustrations are also very popular! Open up a new worldview with passion for minor genre "Yuriai".（girl’s love)
── It looks like you're experimenting with various manga genres, do you have any personal scenes or characters you'd like to draw?
"Currently, I'm working on a manga with the original light novel "Roll Over and Die: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!", and within 2 volumes of some creations are allowed based on the plots I received.
"Roll Over and Die: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!" light novel written by Kiki, manga by Sunao Minakata, character designed by Kinta.
However, characters personality and emotion becoming fuller in the manga as the plot develops, I am very grateful to the editor and kiki for allow me to continue with that plot direction, they giving me a lot of freedom to play with the plot since volume 3. Of course in "Roll Over and Die" I intend to put the scenes and emotions I want to draw base on respecting the original, please read and enjoy it! Especially after the 14th chapter has achieved good responses, I also felt the strong emotions among the girls!
── Is there any special way to get inspiration for manga meme?
I think it's easy to imagine the things when I'm in the shower. Maybe I didn't realize that I was in a relaxed state of thinking, it just came to me naturally.
── If mention of Sunao Minakata conjures up images of Touhou Project illustrations, we are clearly see you really likes the Touhou themes. Would you like tell us your favourite Touhoul character or series?
My favourite OC are from“scarlet Devil Mansion”! I was fascinated by the aesthetic worldview(mostly fantasy), the strongly, cool and beautiful master-slave relationships, the sisters, colleagues, friends, the difference lifespan between humans and demons, the blood sucking, and rich emotions only by girls, they still live inside my heart today.
I often played“Imperishable Night”. Although I am not good at playing games, “Imperishable Night”is a game that is user-friendly even for beginners. Touhou only be played on Windows, but as I am a Mac user, I even bought a laptop for Touhou at the time.
However, my laptop was broken by water damage, and I also had to put down the game because my manga“Riddle Story of Devil”started serialization. Although I am very busy every day, but I'll get back to Touhou someday!
── Most of your works are about“yuriai”, do you have a particular preference for this genre? Have you ever had an "awakening to yuriai" or an experience?
I would feel happy when I played games with girls in a friendly atmosphere in high school, so maybe that was the beginning. later I learned that it was a group called“yuri”, and“yuri”were a niche group at that time, so I can only satisfy myself through drawing the“yuriai“illustrations.
I like the yuri relationship where spiritually equal, and feel“all I need is that person, no one replace”, also I think the premise of develop a romantic relationship is feeling of acquaintance and liking, they must be strong fetters or irreplaceable relationship. (The step is very, very important to me!)‘A girl be considerate and wanting the person she likes to be happy ’which is my favourite emotional drama.
The writer I admire is Mr. Yun Kouga, who I worked with on“Riddle Story of Devil”!
── Please tell us the title and genre of your favourite music, film or game.
'The Demon Girl Next Door ' is a manga I highly recommend, which is really good! I can say it changed my life. There's always something new to discover as I read, I learned a lot and am amazed at the author's wisdom and knowledge, as well as his way of doing it. Every character has subtle emotions, every frame has actions and expressions as if they have a living will, and reasonable foreshadowing, as if everything has a reason. It showed me a world that nothing is futile and unwanted, my soul was healed by it. By the way I really like Momo, she is hot.
Also I've been addicted to“Chiikawa”（Nanka Chiisakute Kawaii Yatsu） for a while now. Those warm softy characters showing the darkness of labor and inequality, sometimes even heavy plot developments or emotions that make people care too much to distract attention.
I really like Hachiware chan.
── Do you have a creator you admire, or a manga artist , illustrator you aspire to?
The manga artist I respect is Mr. Yun Kouga. Although he is an old-timer, he is always picking up on new values and sensibilities, even getting awesome every year.
Once upon a time, he was a big senpai who was active for a long time and initially I thought he was an unreachable, but he was very kindly and took care of me in a very gracious way. I'm really grateful to Mr. Yun Kouga, I won't become me now without him, he is a special presence to me.
『Riddle Story of Devil』Original Story：Yun Kouga Illustration：Sunao Minakata
── Thank you for telling stories. Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank you for reading, I still have many shortcomings as a manga artist, but I will continue to figure out and make better work, and I would appreciate more advice in the future.
In the end, advance information of Sunao Minakata's first figure product has been released! Touhou Project of Sunao Minakata illustrations "Flando - Scarlet Uniform Ver." and "Remilia - Scarlet Uniform Ver." will launch as figure products! GENEARZ Co., Ltd. the operating company of HobbyTerepa will participate in the product planning and supervision of this project, please look forward to the follow-up!