Hello there. I’m Staffen. At the risk of appearing a little conceited, I’ve accepted the responsibility of being the first highlighted contributor for Mitsugimonogatari. It’s my understanding we have the honor of being the first ever English fanbook/fanzine/anthology/anything-whatsoever for this series. Please understand this will probably be a little wordier than the highlights which follow, as I wish to briefly explain why this project is being made.
And if I could summarize, it would be, quite simply:
The power of language is incredible.
In June of last year (that is, 2018) I visited Sweden, leaving my home country for the first time to meet old friends — one of whom had graciously, patiently mentored me as a writer over the course of more than a decade. During my time abroad I came to intimately appreciate something which I’d already understood for quite some time:
I’m extremely fortunate to speak English.
Everywhere I went in Sweden, every store clerk from every walk of life fluently understood English. They all grinned through my fumbling apologies as I gawped at simple questions like, “Debet eller kredit?” The road signs were dual-language. A flamboyant actor portraying Gustav Vasa at Örebro Castle greeted me in a perfect, sing-songy accent and in full character thanked me for my visit.
In my life, English has facilitated connections across hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of miles. I am increasingly cognizant of the fact I am surrounded by vastly more skillful people who put in the effort to learn my hot mess of a language; who bridged the gap and allowed me to live a richer life in their presence.
I, an American, was taught the steps of storytelling by a Swede. I can never claim to be a self-made man, nor would I ever wish to do so. I love my friends dearly, and I cherish my acquaintances. And — I value them all the more for the physical distances which separate us all. No person who has put in the effort to communicate in another language has anything less than my respect.
Having said this I am faced with an interesting problem: Monogatari is a series deeply rooted in its language of origin. So many problems across so many arcs are concerned with the nuances of names, words, and the various ways which these words can be written in Japanese. This dependency on local understanding — in and of itself a central theme of the series! — has frustrated localization attempts abroad. It seems to me that some people think it pointless to try and access this strange, foreign thing. Yet I think what makes Monogatari so special for everyone on this project is that, as a series of stories so strongly focused on characters, it has found a way to communicate to us across language and culture. We may, perhaps, find commonality through a new kind of language.
Put out of your mind the question, “What makes the Monogatari special to Staffen?” I could answer by saying, “I relate to this character, I like that moment.” With regards to the people who we highlight later, I think it’s an important question to ask— but in my case it’d be such a banal topic. Ask others we shall, and so too shall their answers be worthwhile and interesting. But as assuredly as I exist; as assuredly as I can attest that others will have valid explanations, big or small, for why they like Monogatari; my reply would bore you to tears. Instead, all I will say is that my valuing this series has made my life richer.
Just as my English facilitated countless friendships, Monogatari has once again facilitated new experiences with new people whose unifying characteristic is their appreciation for this franchise.
In a broad sense, Mitsugimonogatari was proposed in August of 2018, a month after my return from Sweden, as our way to show thanks for the emotions and thoughts and interactions this series has enabled over the last several years. The original idea was just to honor a select few friends’ enthusiasm, but over the months that “select few” started to swell until the number was so large and so logistically daunting we figured, “This has got to be everyone who really cares at this point… we’re the only ones who’ll be reading!”
We never realized just how many of you were out there!
Language truly is a wonderful thing. Community is a wonderful thing.
At face-value it is, to me, a little misleading to say this is the “first ever English Monogatari fanbook,” as a substantial number of the participants in this project are non-native speakers of English. Everyone comes from everywhere.
I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to call it a “Western Monogatari fanbook?” Or perhaps “English fanbook” is just perfect — we are, after all, tied together by the fact we speak it.
So, why a collection of fans short stories be the main feature? Why not just leave it at art?
While most interested parties in the West know it for SHAFT’s anime, Monogatari had its start as prose by one of the most frighteningly prolific authors ever seen by mankind. The fact the anime’s format effectively runs like an abridged, visualized audiobook of the series gives a feeling of greater legitimacy to fan-fiction. The writing is as important as the visual direction, though as a writer I’m speaking from a place of bias when I suggest the writing may in fact be even more important.
In closing, I’d like to take the opportunity to announce my contribution to MITSUGIMONOGATARI: Mayoi Godhead, a short story which, to probably everyone’s great surprise, has close to nothing to do with Kaiki.
Please look forward to it!
When asked what attracted her to the Monogatari series, Cam told me, “I got into it for weird reasons, to be honest.”
You might wonder, “What could be so weird?”
Cam clarified: “I collect anime figures, and I always liked how good the Monogatari figures by [Good Smile Company] were, so I started the anime to have an "excuse" to buy the figures.”
Starting a series for the sake of figures — I think that’s only as strange as two people talking across an ocean.
Perspective is probably key here.
In a sense, Cam started in on Monogatari because of the visual appeal of the characters. And having taken interest due to the character design, she explains,
“I got really into the show and loved it way more than what I thought. So basically I stayed for the characters and how unique the anime is.”
Cam, who we have the honor of counting among the 14 artists contributing to Mitsugimonogatari, hails from France.
“I don’t really know what got me started [as an artist], because I’ve been drawing since as far as I can remember,” she explained. “I got more ‘invested’ into art around 14 years old because that’s when I got my first digital tablet. But I was mostly still drawing traditionally. It’s only like 4 years ago that I started really using my tablet again because I wanted to draw fanart after not being able to draw for almost one year because of school stuff, so that’s when I started drawing consistently and developed my artstyle.”
In that time, Cam has nurtured an unmistakable style. Her art was some of the first I saw when I myself first took interest in Monogatari, and that impression stuck with me in the best possible way.
Currently, Cam studies language, having travelled a path from English literature into the fields of linguistics and translation. It occurred to me that language might have some bearing on her enthusiasm for Monogatari; I asked as much.
“Yes, it’s interesting to me,” she replied. “Related to that, when I first watched the series I was really surprised with the amount of text/narration there was (also… the puns).”
The franchise’s wordplay and verbosity are, to some, off-putting.
Not to Cam.
“It’s one of its strongest points to me,” she said.
As a series built around extensive dialogue, Monogatari is heavily focused on its characters; characters move the plot forward. This raises a question:
“Do you have any favorites from among the cast?”
“My initial fave when I started the show was Kanbaru. But now it’s Ononoki and Mayoi, also Sodachi.”
To anyone familiar with Cam, this answer may not be so surprising. After all, for a majority of the time I’ve known of her, she used Ononoki Yotsugi as an avatar.
“For Ononoki, it’s a bit different than for the others characters because I was neutral towards her at first, but she grew on me with her appearances because I thought her design was cool… then I watched Tsukimonogatari. I love that concept of her just being a doll/living corpse that still tries to act like a human (also I love her catchphrases, so cute). But I think the thing that struck to me was when she told Koyomi something like, ‘Do you think I have no feelings such as shame just because I’m a doll?’ Yeah, I think that’s how she became one of my favorites.”
She added, “For Mayoi and Sodachi it’s mostly because I’m an emotional person and their arcs really impacted me, especially Sodachi’s. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days... I also love that she’s the only girl whose arc wasn’t related to an oddity.”
It’s worth noting: it was at this point she apologized for saying too much. But if being wordy is an offense then, so I assured her, it would make me a capital offender. Therefore I indulged her further: putting aside Ononoki, Hachikuji and Oikura, does Cam have any favorite stories from the series?
“There’s a specific arc that I’ve always liked more than the others: Nadeko Medusa. Her dissatisfaction, the facade she puts up, how different she was compared to the first time we saw her, finally being able to see how she is without her mask… I just loved everything about this arc. There’s also Tsubasa Tiger. I gotta admit that I don’t remember every detail of it, because I’ve only seen it once. But it left me with this bittersweet sensation at the end, because even though Hanekawa finally faces herself it was a really sad moment.”
I find it interesting that, for both of us, Tsubasa Tiger was about around the time the series cemented itself in our minds. With the series having gone through something like 6 volumes at that point, the story had already done so much. For the series to continue, the writing needed to evolve — and with the two Nekomonogatari stories, it achieved that nicely.
With the interview starting to wind down, I showered Cam with praise for giving me her time, and for her participation in the project.
And what, you may ask yourself, is Cam doing for Mitsugimonogatari?
For your convenience:
“I’ll be drawing Ononoki Yotsugi and Hachikuji Mayoi for this anthology!”
Thank you to Cam for joining us on this project. And thank you for reading.
“I have a real rocky relationship with writing,” said Null.
“It's insanely difficult, but it's all I can do. Or rather, it’s what I have to do. My head's full of narrative all the time. It's got to go somewhere.”
The need to write; the need to create — far more than any preconceived notion of minimum output or process, these are the fundamental things which govern whether one is or is not a writer.
You think, therefore you are.
No matter how she might cut it, Null is the definition of a writer.
“I've always had an overactive imagination, and ever since I was a little kid I was obsessed with make believe. I think that's the root of my writing: make believe, the opportunity to create and explore your own world.”
Born in Tennessee, raised in California, as a child Null applied her imagination to the world around her through roleplay — roleplay on the schoolyard; at friends’ houses; roleplay over video games, and in time through text.
“Because roleplay is so much easier and more immediately exciting, you could say most of my foundation as a writer comes from roleplay… to be specific, it was Touhou RP on IRC that first got me really writing longform, I was producing an insane amount of prose all day every day. And that was with one specific partner as well — you could say roleplay is an expression of real closeness for me. I actually reconnected with that person recently and now I'm still doing that crazy Touhou RP. My interpretation of the Scarlet Devil Mansion has gone so far that I'm not sure it really has much to do with Touhou anymore…”
When it comes to roleplay, that’s a rather common occurrence; concepts tend to evolve in ways divergent from canon. The butterfly effect invoked by exploring what-ifs is in and of itself an artform.
So what was it that brought Null to Monogatari?
Null explained, “My first exposure was a Hachikuji MAD on Youtube where she sings ‘Araragi-san’ repeatedly.”
Incidentally, although the original has long since been deleted this was a fairly popular clip: the scene of Hachikuji being slammed face-first into the park sign from Mayoi Snail is used to establish a beat, which leads into Mog’s theme from Final Fantasy VI.
“I was taken by the visual style then, but I'm not sure I can recall specifically what siren song tempted me to go down the dark path of depravity that is becoming a Monogatari fan. I just decided to start watching it at some point.”
Isn’t it fascinating how fan media can reach people in ways that official advertisement can’t?
“That's certainly how it is with Touhou. There are so many fanworks all over the place that I ended up watching a bunch of them before even knowing what Touhou is. Though Touhou is righteous and pure, and Monogatari is the devil's anime; the forbidden fruit of temptation. It's too late now though, I've completely fallen to it, I'm a huge fan.”
The devil’s anime.
Used here, it’s almost poetic.
“The first time I saw one of those scenes with Hachikuji I went red in the face and had to take a break from it. But I willingly went back and chose to soldier through all the bad patches (which no one is obligated to do) and found one of the greatest anime I've ever seen. The writing is absolutely amazing, the characters are unparalleled, the visuals are gorgeous.”
Speaking of characters — out of the cast, who are some favorites for Null?
“I love Kaiki, because how can you not love Kaiki? He's fantastic. Koimonogatari is an absolute joy, seeing everything from his perspective. I love Kagenui, because she's rough and forthright and thinks in straight lines, like myself. I love Senjougahara for being such an incredibly finely-balanced depiction of a traumatized girl, simultaneously the strongest and most fragile character in the show.”
Then finally, Null added,
“... And of course, over everyone else, I love Ougi. Ougi. Ougi. Ougi. I love Ougi. I am Ougi. Everything is Ougi. Oshino Ougi is Oshino Ougi. Ougi pushes all of my buttons. Pallid skin, dead eyes, spooky and mysterious and strange, slowly pulling everything apart, taking control of the entire narrative itself. The most sincerely frightening, threatening antagonist in the whole story in a lot of ways. and then when we start to get into who Ougi really is, and why, and what that means... there's so much shocking depth there, I adore it. Ougi may as well have been tailor-made for me. Ougi.”
So — having put Ougi aside for a moment, what would be Null’s favorite arc from the series?
“The one that stands out the absolute most is Nekomonogatari Shiro, which is where I felt the writing suddenly went through the roof. The interactions between [Hanekawa] and Gahara-sama there are absolutely crucial, and I also like that the arc is allowed to play out without Araragi. That scene where Gahara finds her in the cram school... it's such an excellent look at other sides of both characters.”
Tsubasa Tiger really was the best start for Second Season, wasn’t it?
Speaking of writing… what about the story Null’s writing for *Mitsugimonogatari?* It would be unjust for Null to write about anyone else other than Ougi. And so writing about Ougi is precisely what she’s doing.
But what has that been like?
“The nature of Ougi definitely makes my job for the anthology a big challenge... there's a lot I'll have to fill in myself, and pull from myself. But I don't tend to defer too much to canon in fanworks; even if future information about Ougi conflicts with what I write now, this is my interpretation of Ougi, my own special version. It's the only way to stay sane when writing fanwork, rather than fussing endlessly over whether something is 'wrong' or not. I have to just use what's there in front of me as a foundation, and build my own piece atop it.”
In closing, Null explains precisely what her contribution to the project is:
“The story is called Ougi Parallel. It's probably one of the most challenging ideas I could have taken on for this: not only is it a story from Ougi's perspective, it's a story that psychoanalyzes Ougi. So it's just about as thorough of an examination of who Ougi is to me and what Ougi means to me as it could possibly be. Oshino Ougi is Oshino Ougi, that's the formula. This story is an attempt to define the variable. I don't think even Oshino Ougi knows who Oshino Ougi is, and it's time to find out.”
We’re grateful for having Null join us on Mitsugimonogatari. And as always, thank you for reading.
You can find Null on Twitter at @rinshankouhai
For Kreion, the urge to create transcends discipline.
“I guess to me writing and drawing have always just been ways to express things, so why wouldn't I do both if I could?”
Art, in all its forms, is hard. At least, that’s what people say. Actually sitting down and writing words on paper, or pencilling down a zigzagging line — these are straightforward and simple things. But what causes hangups for most people is probably the idea of message; of intention — just what are you making? Can you see a way to convey that properly? Constructing a concise message through artwork requires vision.
And maintaining vision through the process requires determination.
And Kreion most certainly has determination in spades.
“Aha, well it's true that some people tend to lean one side or the other but I've always seen them as both sides of the same coin.”
Kreion first started writing in secondary. He picked up drawing when he entered the English sixth form; in applying himself to illustration he averted from burnout as a writer. “I wrote less as I drew more through university, swapping out one for the other, but have always enjoyed both!
“I like bringing worlds to life and they both play into that.”
So Kreion enjoys worldbuilding. What are some aspects of that he enjoys?
“I think of, say, the original worlds which I have created or considered over the years it's generally started with liking some particular concept and just building the world around it. Sort of a 'okay, we have this one idea, how would the rest of the world react to that?' From a grand scale to a personal one, it's like filling in a painting. Building up the entire structure of the world is the interesting bit.
“From there it goes onto 'what characters might inhabit this world? why is this world like this and what's the direction of it?' but usually I think I like building the scaffolding of the world the most, before I have to deal with actually weaving a narrative into it.”
Unto its own self, this is a form of art; imagining a world that isn’t and how it would be, completely from scratch.
And in the process of erecting that scaffolding, the roots of a narrative take hold. But this raises a question: what kind of narrative is it? Regarding storycrafting, we are taught the idea that there are a set number of types of conflict in a narrative; man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self, and so-on... does Kreion tend to find he prefers a specific sort of story?
“I would have to say that I prefer that people caused the problem and people are going to solve it, or they are going to deal with it. It might be arrogant to say, but I think that at the end of the day it's all people — nature reflects what we do to it for the most part. Even the worst demon is scary because it's a reflection of us.”
A demon, such as a vampire, or perhaps a snake, or even a crab.
Monogatari is interesting in how it tends to blend those three aforementioned categories into one-another from arc-to-arc, “In the sense that oddities in the series are external representations of these characters’ anxieties and issues. Though I guess according to Yotsugi, Araragi would be the most devilish of them all.”
Araragi does certainly tend to create a lot of trouble for himself, and everyone around him.
What was it that first got Kreion into Monogatari?
“Well, it might be a surprise considering how much I love the series now, but the first time I started it back in university I stopped watching after Hitagi Crab, I think? Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but it just didn't grab me. Then maybe 6 months to a year later I tried again for some reason and couldn't get enough of it.
“I think it was just one of those series I saw recommended a lot but just passed up a lot of times because I was fairly new to anime and, honestly, not thinking that much about shows which I watched. As I grew older I started to like slower, more artistic shows and it was a perfect fit.”
Just what was it that finally pulled in Kreion?
“I think it was the atmosphere and how unique the direction of Bakemonogatari is, aside from maybe Kizu I still think it's the best looking season of the show. Up until then I think I'd never seen an anime which made as great use of its medium as that - though I later discovered some others!”
On that note, does Kreion have any favorite arcs?
“Ahh, Kizu, so Koyomi Vamp. I love the tragedy of it really, from a writing perspective and an aesthetic one it's standout. I liked Nisemonogatari in general because the whole idea of reals versus fakes is one of the more interesting points of any arc, I think. Thematically it was just a very interesting one, not taking other parts of that arc into consideration.”
“I find Tsubasa Tiger very interesting too! Another great character study on Hanekawa who gets unravelled more as the series goes on in such interesting ways.”
Tsubasa Tiger is an exceptionally good example of Monogatari’s atypical approach to introducing and resolving conflicts; and how in the process of doing so it focuses a spotlight on its characters — taking very simple concepts and exploring them in complex ways. This is something which Kizumonogatari also achieved in how it takes the classic story of a vampire demise and twists it, twice over. Kizu tops Kreion’s list, and for good reason:
“My absolute [favourite character] must be Kiss-shot/Shinobu. She is such a tragic figure and she underpins the whole story! Her design is one of my favs too. Personally I like Araragi a lot as a character and his flaws make him more enjoyable to me, but he isn't in his best state in that movie! Ultimately I think the series is hopeful though; that being happy isn't something that you can achieve without struggle.
“For Kiss-shot in this case, she could have just died. If she had, she'd never have known she could be happy again. Maybe she still doesn't want to live forever but at least she can die being happy. ”
As we come to a close, it’s important to note: Kreion is both writing and illustrating his own story for the anthology. But what is he writing?
“It's a story set after Nisemonogatari, focused on Senjougahara, and how she deals with meeting a certain someone whilst on holiday.”
And what’s it called?
“Hitagi Machine! You'll have to read to find out why…”
Thank you for reading. And — thank you to Kreion for joining us on Mitsugimonogatari.
You can find Kreion on tumblr at @kreionomonogatari
When you come across someone with such great passion, it’s usually best to let them tell their own story. So here, I present you with Theo’s story: as best told by Theo and gleefully commented on by Cake.
“I’m Filipino and a multimedia arts student. Bicolano on my dad's side and Ilocano on my mom's, if that matters to anyone, haha.”
Oh wow, as someone who’s not from there, I’m a bit ignorant on that. Are those regions?
“Yeah, it's the provinces my family's from. I've been to Bicol a few times but I've only been to Ilocos once a long time ago.“
What do you generally do as a multimedia arts student?
“These days we do a lot of web/graphic design and some coding, but we've done some basic photography and animation–a lot of fingers in a lot of pies basically.”
That’s pretty neat. I can’t believe you’ve done animation too. Are you into it at all? It seems intimidating to me.
“I'm pretty into most things, but I have to admit I don't do too well under pressure. Just doing the best I can and keeping the passion alive.”
Going back a bit, what got you started as an artist? Were there any breaking moments where you decided you wanted to keep at it or was it just something you've always enjoyed?
“I was always drawing when I was a kid!! Always getting in trouble at school for not paying attention in class. There was one time in grade school when my (beloved) English teacher confiscated my whole pencil case for the entire day. I'd probably blame that moment for encouraging me to just keep drawing forever.”
Normally, I would think an experience like that coming from a teacher you loved would keep you from drawing.
“She was one of the best, she taught English and helped me with a lot of confidence and anxiety issues. I felt a little surprised and frustrated, but I couldn't really blame her. I really was always drawing.”
You actually mentioned it had the opposite effect, that it encouraged you to keep drawing. Why is that?
“Oh, I guess it's the moment where I really thought about how much I loved art, that I let it get in the way of other things, and whether that was worth it to me. "Out of spite" isn't the right term for it… more like, "I can't be separated from this"”
It’s hard not to feel the passion radiating from your words. Honestly, Theo, you’re too powerful!
“I'm not!!! I just don't know how to do anything else”
So, everyone’s wondering, what made you get into a series like Monogatari?
“Honestly? I saw a Hanamonogatari poster thing when I was in high school and instantly fell in love with her design. For some reason I tend to get into things unexpectedly. I can plan on watching something for months, but then get distracted by something I've never even heard of before.”
Did you watch Monogatari in any specific order or did you just go by the air date? Or did you somehow watch Hanamonogatari first?
“I went by the air date!! Omg, imagine watching Hana first. [It was] a staggered airing order, since I dropped everything halfway through Nise then picked it back up a few years later. By the time I finally finished Nise, the Kizu movies came out at some point, so that was fun.”
What turned you off from Nisemonogatari? Aside from the obvious assumptions one might have.
“It was mostly the pacing. Bake had nice 2 to 3 episode arcs, but Nise seemed to go on forever. It didn’t help that Karen’s oddity problem was a big fake out anyway… (sorry Karen). But I think it was better in the long run that I postponed the show, since I feel like I can appreciate it a little better now.”
That’s completely true, Nise really did feel all over the place in terms of arcs.
“It was my first really long anime too, which might not have been the best choice. When I saw that there was an actual chart to tell you how to watch the series I kinda took it as a challenge, haha.”
Do you have any favorite characters from Monogatari?
I don't think I would've ever guessed that. Why Nadeko?
“Her arcs just kinda blew me away. I tend to get bored with most goody hero types and really like characters ranging from dickish to irredeemable garbage, and I love love love heel face turns. She's my favorite to draw, too.”
Nice, I agree, she's a really diverse character. Which Nadeko arcs did you like most?
“Medusa, but i definitely enjoyed her in [Hitagi End]. The realization that Kuchinawa was a hallucination smacked me right in the face and I loved every second of it. The best characters for me are the ones I can't help but root for even when they're doing something terrible.”
I love characters like that too.
“I feel like that's solid proof that a character is enjoyable on their own, and not just within the story. So Nadeko's that kind of character for me, where I don't care what she's doing I just enjoy her, and of course, everyone knows I have a bizarre and inexplicable fascination towards Episode”
OH YEAH, EPISODE. Can you tell us a little about that or is that too much for us to handle?
“That's the thing, there's nothing about it!! It just happened. I can't explain it. Episode Tore.”
That's fair enough, he's baby, that's all there is to it.
“He's feral and I'm feral for him.”
Okay, okay, so aside from Medusa, what are your favorite arcs in the series so far?
“Ougi Dark is the best for me. I just love when something gets teased a little bit at a time and it all comes together in the end. Especially since I got into the series a little bit later, it took a lot not to just look up all the answers, haha.”
That was definitely a memorable moment in the series. What did you think about ougi before that reveal?
“Ougi, for me, was the good kind of the mystery where I'm willing to just enjoy the ride rather than spend too much time trying to solve it before the end. Of course, I do also enjoy mysteries that I can solve. What matters most to me in any story is the journey.”
Since we've already been talking for a while and you've shared a lot of great comments with me, the final question I have is: What got you interested in the anthology and what are you doing for it?
“I've never been a part of something like this before and I love new experiences. Plus the fact that I get to do this with a lot of good friends and skilled artists/writers is a huge bonus. I will be drawing Koyomi, Sodachi, and the vampire hunters!! I'll be doing my very best for all of you.”
Thank you so much for your time. I really loved your answers, and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did.
“Thank you so much, Cake!! It was actually really nice to be able to put my love for the series into words like this.”
Thanks for reading!
Continuing with the theme of conversational storytelling, Cake presents you with Priscila's story. This is the first of four interviews that I’ll be translating from Spanish. You can catch the original versions by clicking the Spanish links below.
“My name is Priscila River and I’m from Panama and I’m currently a student at university. I’m studying Software Development (programming). I program web pages and cellphone apps. The reason I chose this as a career was because I couldn’t study what I really wanted to study at the university. Which was design.”
Wow! That’s awesome. I'm also a programmer, but never studied it in university, so I can imagine how much goes into that.
“Jajajaja, thanks, I’d like to be one someday!”
You mentioned design being what you really wanted to study. At what moment in your life did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Continuando con el tema de la narración conversacional, Cake te presenta la historia de Priscila. Esta es la primera de cuatro entrevistas que estaré traduciendo de español a inglés. Puedes encontrar la versión traducida en Inglés haciendole clic a “English” al final de la página.
“Soy de Panamá y me llamo Priscila Rivera actualmente soy estudiante universitaria. Estoy estudiando Desarrollo de Software (programación). Programo páginas web y aplicaciones de celulares y el motivo que escogí esa carrera fue porque no pude estudiar lo que quería en la Universidad. Que era Diseño.”
Wow! That’s awesome. Yo también soy programador, pero nunca lo estudié en la universidad, así que puedo imaginar lo mucho que se dedica a eso.
“Jajajaja, thanks, I’d like to be one someday!”
Mencionaste que el diseño era lo que realmente querías estudiar. ¿En qué momento de tu vida sentiste que querías ser un artista?
“Ever since I was little I’ve loved drawing. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. The problem is that in my country, Panama, artists don’t get jobs or good economic positions. Plus my family never wanted me to be one, but that’s why I’ve taken it up as a hobby, and now I’ve even made extra income from it. I’ve been assisting at events and selling my own merchandise. Hopefully one day I can dedicate myself to drawing full time, but for now it’s just a hobby.”
That sounds rough, but I’m happy that you’re been able to turn your hobby into something more! Do you have the opportunity to go to events frequently? What’s the convention scene like in Panama?
“Well, events in Panama are usually small and don’t have too many people, around 100 people at most, they’re more like marketplaces. Actually, a few years ago they didn’t even have a space dedicated to artists, like they usually do in other countries. They would mix anime stores with illustrators. It’s also because there weren’t many artists who made their own merchandise.
“Desde pequeña me ha gustado dibujar, lo he hecho desde que tengo memoria. El problema es que en mi país Panamá los artistas no tienen trabajos o buena posición económica. Además de mi familia que nunca estuvo de acuerdo de que fuera una, por eso lo que he hecho es tomar el dibujo como una forma de hobbie y ahora se a vuelto un ingreso extra para mi. Estoy asistiendo a eventos y vendiendo mi propia mercancía, quizas algun dia me dedique a dibujar pero por ahora solo es un pasatiempo.”
That sounds rough, pero me alegra que hayas podido convertir tu hobby en algo más! ¿Tienes la oportunidad de ir a eventos con frecuencia? ¿Cómo es la escena de convenciones en Panamá?
“Bueno los eventos (con) en Panamá suelen ser pequeños con no mucha gente, alrededor de 100 personas, es más como un mercado. Incluso hace unos años no tenían un espacio dedicado a artistas como en otros países, solo mezclaban tiendas de anime con dibujantes. También es porque no había tantos dibujantes que hicieran mercancía.”
That’s all changed when Comic Con came to Panama for the first time last year. They made the first Artist Alley which finally created a circle of artists bigger than ever before. Even so, we’re still small compared to other countries, but without lying to you the Artist Alley of Comic Con 2018 was only 18 artists including the international invited ones, but we’re steadily growing.”
“Well, 18 appropriately!”
That's still impressive! In the United States we don’t have too many huge events outside of California and New York, but I can imagine how much smaller it might be in other countries. It’s honestly really cool that it's growing there. I hope it keeps growing in the coming years!
So, everyone's wondering, how did you find out about Monogatari?
“Eso cambió cuando la Comic Con se realizó por primera vez en Panamá el año pasado y se hizo el primer Artist Alley en la que por fin se creó un círculo de artistas mas grande que iban a eventos, aún así seguimos siendo pocos comparación de otros países, sin mentirte el Artist Alley de la Comic Con 2018 fue de 18 artistas incluyendo el invitado internacional, pero ahí vamos creciendo.”
“Bueno 18 aproximado!”
That's still impressive! En los Estados Unidos no tenemos demasiados eventos fuera de California y Nueva York. Pero puedo imaginar que sería mucho más pequeño en otros países. Es realmente chévere que esté creciendo allá. Esperemos que siga creciendo en los próximos años!
Entonces, todos estan preguntando, ¿cómo te enteraste de Monogatari?
“One day, I mentioned to a friend that I didn’t like harem anime and he told me about a really good one named Bakemonogatari. I didn’t believe him so I had to watch it for myself. At first, I really loved it and it was almost loved at first sight with Senjougahara. The second arc with Hachikuji bored me a little bit, but I really loved the plot twist it had. And that’s how I started loving Monogatari. I must admit that the season that really captivated me the most was in the Monogatari Series Second Season with Koimonogatari and of course a little of Hanekawa’s arc in Nekomonogatari Shiro. Ever since I haven’t been able to let go of the anime and I’ve even read the novels because I couldn’t wait for the rest of the series to be adapted.”
Jajaja, I was actually about to ask you which your favorite arcs were, but this is perfect. I really loved those arcs too! How recently was it that you got into Monogatari?
“That’s a hard question… erm I can’t remember, but I’ve been in the fandom for so long. I think since 2012. It’d be 7 years now.”
That's a long time for sure. Which characters are your favorites? You mentioned Senjougahara earlier, what do you like about her? (I love her too)
“Un día le dije a un amigo que no me gustaban los animes de harem y el me dijo que había uno muy bueno llamado Bakemonogatari. Y como no le creía me reto a verlo y así hice. Al inicio me gusto mucho y fue casi amor instantáneo con Senjougahara. El segundo arco de Hachikuji me aburrí un poco, pero el final me gusto el plot twist que hizo. Y así me fue gustando muchísimo Monogatari y debo admitir que la saga que mas me cautivo fue la de Monogatari Series Second Season con Koimonogatari y un poco la de Hanekawa sobretodo Nekomonogatari Shiro, así no he podido desprenderme del anime y hasta he leído la novela porque no podía aguantar que salieran animadas las sagas.”
Jajaja, en realidad iba a preguntarte cuáles eran tus favoritos arcs más tarde, pero eso es perfecto. También me encantaron esos arcs! ¿Qué tan recientemente fue que te metiste en Monogatari?
“Gran pregunta… emm no me acuerdo pero tengo mucho tiempo dentro del fandom de Monogatari. Creo que desde el año 2012. Ya serian 7 años ya.”
Ah okay! Ha pasado mucho tiempo. ¿Quiénes son tus personajes favoritos en Monogatari? Mencionaste a Senjougahara, ¿qué de ella te gusta? (I love her too)
“SENJOUGAHARA es mi crush, jajaja, but aside from her I would have to say Hanekawa and Shinobu. I like Kaiki, he’s a really unique character, but it’s a shame that we haven’t gotten more insight into his character.”
Do you have any favorite pairings?
“I like the official pairing of Senjougahara and Koyomi, but probably more so because of Hitagi. In the end, we all know that Koyomi will always be with Shinobu 😊”
Very true. I think a lot of people would agree with that! Speaking of, what do you like about Shinobu?
“Aside from how beautiful she is, it’s her history. Despite being a very powerful character, she’s so afraid of being alone. I find her frailty so different and unusual in a powerful character, I really liked that complexity in her.”
So you mean like kiss-shot? Sorry, I know they’re the same character, but usually people refer to Shinobu differently.
“Jajaja, yes, I’m talking about Kiss-shot in her entirety.”
I thought so! Going back to your favorite arcs, do you have a moment in the series that resonated with you?
“SENJOUGAHARA es mi crush, jajaja, pero aparte de ella sería Hanekawa y Shinobu. Kaiki me gusta, me parece un personaje muy único, pero es una lastima no se profundice más en el.”
¿Tienes algunas parejas favoritas?
“Me gusta la pareja oficial de Senjougahara y Koyomi pero realmente es más por Hitagi. Al final todos sabemos que Koyomi siempre estará con Shinobu 😊”
Muy cierto. Creo que mucha gente estaría de acuerdo con eso! ¿Qué te gusta de Shinobu?
“Más que por ser linda es su historia como a pesar de ser un personaje muy poderoso le tiene tanto miedo a estar sola, es como su debilidad y eso se me hace algo diferente y no tan usual en un personaje poderoso, me gusta eso le da complejidad al personaje.”
¿Así que quieres decir Kiss-shot? Lo siento, sé que son la misma personaje, pero en generalmente la gente refiere a Shinobu en una manera diferente.
“Jajaja, si me refiero a ella completa a Kiss-shot”
I thought so! Volviendo a tus arcos favoritos: ¿tienes algún momento en la serie que resonó contigo?
“Well, at first with Senjougahara’s first arc in Bakemonogatari what I really liked was how that arc teaches you to confront your problems and carry the weight of the things you’ve lived through, and how that really helps you overcome it. It’s also what got me caught up in the series, seeing how it uses oddities to reflect the characters’ problems in a very ingenious way. In the end, it’s about confronting or accepting your own oddities! It’s a really good and real message.”
I love your answer. It’s so true and I feel like most people ignore this part about Hitagi Crab. es tan cierto y siento que la mayoría de las personas ignoran esa parte de Hitagi Crab
Here’s the final question! What are you doing for the anthology and where can people find you?
“I’m drawing Senjougahara because obviously she’s the biggest reason I love Monogatari and I’ve always wanted to draw her but I’ve never found a perfect excuse for it. The anthology is now that. For now you can only find me on Instagram at @erien.ato n_n”
“Pues el inicio con el primer arco de Senjougahara en Bakemonogatari lo que me gusto es que ese arco enseña a enfrentar tus problemas y cargar con el peso de las cosas que has vivido y eso es lo que realmente te ayuda a superarlo. También es lo que me atrapo de la serie, ver como reflejan los problemas de los personajes con excentricidades de una forma muy ingeniosa, al final es afrontar o aceptar tus excentricidades! Es un mensaje muy bueno y real.”
Me encanta tu respuesta. Es tan cierto y siento que la mayoría de las personas ignoran esa parte de Hitagi Crab.
Pues aqui esta la última pregunta! ¿Qué estás haciendo para la antología y en donde la gente puede encontrarte?
“Pues estoy haciendo un dibujo de Senjougahara porque obviamente es la mayor razón por la que amo Monogatari y creo que siempre he querido dibujarla pero nunca encontraba una excusa perfecta. Ahora la antología lo es. Por ahora solo me encuentro en instagram como @erien.ato n_n”
I'll say it a million times if I have to: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!! I loved hearing about Panama and everything else you’ve shared!
“Oh, it's nothing thanks to you for taking your time.”
As mentioned, you can find erien on instagram at @erien.ato.
Lo diré un millón de veces si lo tengo que hacer: Muchas gracias por hablar conmigo!! Me encantó escuchar sobre la escena en Panamá y todo lo demás que has compartido!
“Oh no es nada. Gracias a ti por tomarte tu tiempo.”
Puedes encontrarla en instagram en @erien.ato.
In all the time we’ve been speaking, never once had I asked Lydric what made her become an artist.
In truth the answer is that nothing made her an artist;
She’s been an artist from the start.
“My mom loves telling everyone how I would draw on the walls with a sharpie if I ran out of paper as a child. So I guess it's just something I've always done? My family has always supported it, so I have never thought of quitting.”
So in a sense, art comes naturally to Lydric.
“I wish it was the case these days [laughs], I used to have an amazing imagination as a little kid that I'm actually jealous of now… I went through a massive art block that took me a good few years, because I only focused on working on art whenever I had the perfect moment for it. But I now realise that if I just start working, it usually gets me into the mindset I need to be, instead of doing it once a month or less.”
Exactly — waiting for “the right moment” to make art is like waiting for the weather.
“Indeed! But yeah, I don't think I'll ever stop drawing as long as it's up to me. I try to work on a few commissions here and there, test out new interesting ideas and techniques with art to get better at it, and drooling after monsters in-between things!”
Growing up in Finland, Lydric initially encountered manga in the library — and as a result she inhabited the library extensively as a child.
“I really enjoyed reading them, particularly things like Tokyo Mew Mew and other magical girl series. I stumbled upon the anime adaptation after Googling them around a bit. I actually didn't start watching anime properly until a few years later, when I was able to rent/buy videos.
“I didn't really know what I was doing, of course. I ended up watching Grave of the Fireflies when I was 12.”
This would be a good opportunity for a nice, pained laugh of solidarity.
"I focused on movies a lot, since they were easy to get, and moved on to anime series once I knew where to get them in the correct order. I think the first anime I ever finished was Chobits.”
So — magical girls, huh.
“Yeah, I really had a thing for them back then.”
What about nowadays?
“Aren't all Monogatari girls magical in their own way?”
That’s certainly one way to put it.
That said — what about Monogatari actually caught Lydric’s attention?
“You know of that scene of Black Hanekawa?”
Nyanyame nyanyajyuunyanya-do no nyarabi de nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai--
“I couldn't resist looking it up after that. It does take a specific taste, but honestly I am always excited to watch it, even if it's my 5th time.”
Who are some of Lydric’s favorites in the cast?
“Shinobu, Hachikuji, Kaiki… I do like the designs of Guillotine Cutter and Dramaturgy as well, big boys.”
Of all these — perhaps it’s safe to say Shinobu stands out for Lydric.
“Shinobu is easy. It's because I see so much of myself in her, especially with how she acts. She's always smug and bossy, yet she needs people's help even if she doesn't want to admit it. That's just one of many things I guess. I honestly think she's one of the deepest and most progressing characters in the whole series. Not only does she change so much physically, but her emotional state and stance towards the world and the people around her changes so much.”
In this way, Shinobu represents a fundamental cornerstone of the series: character development.
People can always change, but the ways they change are rarely ever predictable.
“Hachikuji is just sweet and silly, plus I love her design. It's very fitting for her and for what she is.
“Kaiki, well, who doesn't love Kaiki?”
Probably children who gave him their pocket money.
“To be honest if I was someone who he scammed, I'd be impressed to the point where I couldn't hate him anymore.”
So what are some of Lydric’s favorite parts of the series?
“I've only ever watched the anime so far, so I'd say… Koyomi Vamp, Tsukihi Phoenix, Mayoi Jiangshi, Shinobu Time, Hitagi End… something something big parts that involve Shinobu, Hachikuji and Kaiki in a nutshell. They show the best sides of all the characters and the end of Shinobu Time is just… oof, my heart!”
Shinobu Time does not end the way one expects it to end, and it is painful — and that is a pain with which the viewer has to make their peace (not knowing of events in Owari Season 2, at least).
“Exactly, it doesn't need to be a happy ending to be satisfying and great.”
These days, Lydric is honing her craft and studying for medical school. She’s recently picked up D&D as well.
In closing, Lydric shares with us her contribution to Mitsugimonogatari:
“My main focus is a cover piece for Mayoi Godhead, written by Staffen himself. I'm also looking into doing a standalone piece hopefully, if my schedule allows it!”
Thank you to Lydric for joining us. And thank you for reading.
You can follow Lydric on Twitter: 🔞 @LydricART 🔞. (NSFW mixed with SFW!)
“I've always had a passing interest in art,” explained K.O. “Like, you know how little kids doodle dumb stuff all the time? I did that a lot like most kids do. But I started getting serious about art around third grade, I think, because I saw a lot of anime and Disney films and was like ‘damn, I wish I could draw like that.’”
For American parents in the 90’s and 00’s, animation was just another form of toy with which to distract their children; at best an animation might look pretty, but the idea that animation could have theme, that animation could be mature, was alien to many of our adults.
And so it was that K.O., growing up in Colorado, was one of those early children to grow up in a world where the word ‘drama’ had snuck into the mix. Shows like The Last Airbender and Dragon Ball and Kekkaishi impressed her deeply. “They were just so different both in tone and art style compared to the other kids’ shows on at the time. So little me was like, ‘Woah! They can show some dark stuff in this style of animation, that's pretty cool!’
“I think that it’s important for kids to be able to get a taste of darker subject matters, even if it’s just through cartoons or whatever, because it forces their minds to grow and mature, even if it’s just a little bit… also, it can just make kids more creative. There's only so much stuff you can come up with if you only see the same handful of comedy cartoons on, like, Nickelodeon.”
And for K.O., perhaps most impactful of all was Evangelion.
“I remember after watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, I didn't really get it at the time [I think I was like 14 or 15 at the time], so I ended up watching a lot of analysis videos for it, and being blown away by its portrayal of depression. I think that it kind of opened my eyes to how people with depression feel/struggle and also showed me how art can be a great vehicle for showing that.”
And it was around this time, incidentally, that K.O. came across Monogatari:
“I started watching Monogatari like freshman year of highschool — so I was just a kid who was ready for some media that was a little more challenging than stuff like DBZ. I don't remember what hooked me on Monogatari, but if I had to guess it was the more ‘artsy’ use of visuals to tell stories.
Like you don't see stuff like the ‘black frame,’ ‘red frame’ etc., or the super fast cuts that Monogatari uses in more standard anime. So seeing it in Monogatari was super interesting to me.”
Indeed: Akiyuki Shinbō’s directorial style is fairly unique in anime. In many ways, he was a perfect fit for Bakemonogatari: an uncommon director, for an uncommon franchise. We’ve mentioned this before, but Monogatari is atypical in that characters are themselves the plot.
“For sure, and while I know some people prefer series with bigger sweeping plot points, I'm totally content to have a series that just focuses in on refining its characters. On the note of characters, I also really appreciate how it deconstructs our ideas of how certain character tropes should act which I also think is a big part of the series. Once you figure out that the deconstruction thing is a part of Monogatari, it makes you wonder what they're going to do with each new character introduced.”
And speaking of characters — you might wonder, who is K.O.’s favorite?
“I'd definitely say a solid favorite of mine is Kaiki. He first grabbed my eye because he's one of the few other male characters in the series and I remember back in the day being very surprised at how he went from typical villain guy to a great nuanced character in his own way… I appreciate that subtlety a lot. I love seeing all the moral greyness in Monogatari.”
Of all the cast, Kaiki is the textbook definition of nuance.
What about favorite arcs?
“Almost anything from Bakemonogatari, honestly. Maybe it's my nostalgia speaking, but when I watched it originally I just thought it was super interesting how they handled the oddities and introduced the characters. And the stories felt satisfying, but also left you wanting to see more of the characters.
“Nadeko Medusa was also fun because I did not expect to see Nadeko's character go in the direction it went at all but it was neat to see that transformation. Kaiki aside, how Hitagi End wrapped up that whole Nadeko arc was also neat and I'm glad that it showed us another side of a side-character while also dragging the spotlight away from Araragi. That was a neat choice, IMO.”
And last, but not least…
“Tsubasa Tiger was also super solid because getting to see Hanekawa explored in depth was neat. Like, she had her whole personality and what-not set up in the initial Tsubasa Cat arc, but there was definitely room for more elaboration, and I think Tsubasa Tiger did that very well. It sold me on a character I wasn't super interested in initially. I also think it was around the time of Tsubasa Cat that I started to understand the real appeal of the characters, if that makes any sense.”
Tsubasa Tiger truly just stands for itself, doesn’t it?
So, in closing: what is K.O. doing for the Mitsugimonogatari?
“I'm doing an illustration of Karen that mostly focuses on what happened to her in Karen Bee, since that's her most stand-out appearance to me, and I also adore her design in that arc. I don't want to spoil too much about it though so I'll just leave it at that! [Laughs]”
Thank you, K.O., for joining us on this project. And, as always — thank you for reading.
You can find K.O. on Twitter: @K_N_O_C_K_O_U_T
Allie’s passion flows best when she’s unrestrained. This interview includes some spoilers for Monogatari’s Off Season, but don’t worry, we’ve added a spoiler tag. To view the spoilers simply hover or click on the blacked out text. See? Not so bad!
“I'm Allie! Although I spent the first two years of my life in Japan, I grew up in a wealthy suburb of NYC. I'm currently doing accounting work and financial translation as I work toward a degree in accounting.”
Oh really? I’ve seen you talk about that recently publicly, but I never knew that! What led to you being in Japan? Have you been back there yet?
“No, but I'm kind of desperate to... someday… I wasn't actually born there unfortunately, my family moved there just a few weeks after I was born. (I'm still jealous of my little sister, who was born there...)”
Hopefully you can go back soon! Are you planning to move to Japan with your job or anything like that? Your financial translation job involves Japanese, right?
“Yep! It would be pretty cool to work in Japan but that's a question for fairly far in the future.”
True, but omg that'd be so cool. Let me visit when you move!
“You betcha 😘”
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Any hobbies or anything like that?
“I watch anime and the occasional western tv show, as well as play a few video games like FFXIV and League. I also read books and watch videos/twitch and stuff... Not particularly interesting...........”
PFFTT, Allie c'mon, you're being way too humble, I know you're way cooler than you're putting on. You've translated a lot of great stuff for Monogatari and Zaregoto. What kind of anime is your favorite?
“Oh yeah, I kinda forgot. I've translated a lot of Nisioisin books and anime like Kakegurui XX. I've thought about the anime question a lot and it's safe to say my favorite kind of anime is the Singing While Fighting genre (like Symphogear, Macross, and Revue Starlight) though I'm also very partial to anime with really good aesthetics and good music like Kyousougiga (and Monogatari).”
Such a good genre that I feel like most people aren't familiar with. I got into Revue Starlight because of you and I'm especially tempted to try Macross again.
Speaking of Monogatari, how did you get into it?
“Bizarrely enough, it was /r/anime. It gets (or at least, used to get) talked about over there a lot, and I was curious enough to try it out. I was instantly sort of transfixed by how, and I'm quoting myself now, it was ‘2000 miles up its own ass’”
HAHAHA, so you mean it was pretentious? What was the first thing you saw about it, if you remember?
“Yeah like, extremely indulgent in its own aesthetic. Oh I can't remember, this was like 4 years ago at the start of my anime adventures when I was just trying to watch enough of the "canon", as it were, to not feel totally ignorant in anime discussions. What in the show made me continue, I loved the aesthetics, the emotional heights, and the music kicked ass, especially Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari. I did almost drop it during Nise, though, but I persevered.”
I've heard some people say that about Nise, was it the toothbrushing nonsense or the pacing?
“It was just the fanservice in general, it really got turned up to 11 throughout and it made me less engaged in everything.”
Makes sense. Who are some of your favorite characters in monogatari?
“Sodachi and Nadeko. The S+ tier. It's funny, neither of them really became my favorites until I read their associated Off Season arcs. Which I won't spoil here of course. 😉”
Awww, I'd love to know a bit about it if you can say anything about Sodachi at least.
“One of the big purposes of Off Season is to give some closure to characters whose arcs weren't left in a fully satisfactory state. Well I can say that I didn't start empathizing and identifying as much with Sodachi until I was able to get in her head. It's one thing to know her from what Araragi sees of her in Owarimonogatari, but it's a much different world to live in when she's the narrator herself.”
That's so true, I'm really excited to see that. Which arc in Off Season focuses on her?
“Sodachi Fiasco of course! (that's what my twitter is named after)”
“I could talk for 10 years about Sodachi”
God I wish Off Season were out already so that this wouldn't be so much of a spoiler. Is there anything about Nadeko that you like that you could share too?
“Yeah that does kinda suck. I just think Nadeko is such a well realized character, she goes through so many different transformations so to speak, and she's really relatable. And again, she is incredibly active in Off Season as well as in Monster Season too so you have a lot more to look forward to for her development.”
If you'd like to talk about anything spoiler related I can include it with a spoiler attached so that it's hidden.
“Don't tempt me, Cake....”
Please, I wanna see you spill your heart out.
“Ahh okay, I'll try to be brief though. Sodachi has been such a big inspiration in my life. We both went through huge falls from grace due to personal pride and stupidity followed by truancy, depression, being shutin.
And then eventually a return to school and recovery, trying to figure out how our experiences shaped us and struggling with self-worth, In Musubimonogatari she has an extended appearance where she meets Koyomi again and we learn she's working as an accountant (and also bought the house from her childhood). That's the only reason I tried an accounting class when I went back to school and it's why I decided to become an accountant myself. If you read Sodachi Fiasco there's just so much that's intensely relatable. I've tried to recreate a lot of that in my Sodachi fics if anyone's interested.”
God, I'm so glad you shared that. I can already relate to most of that, so I'm really excited to see that when it comes out and in your fics especially too!
Since I know some people would rather not be spoiled, are there any arcs that stand out to you in Bakemonogatari or the earlier seasons that you really loved?
“Hmm, Ougi Dark is a legendary one, the whole sequence of Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, and Sodachi Lost. [Ougi Dark] is just a really stunning conclusion to Koyomi's main character arc. Accepting Ougi, saving himself. 😢”
So the final question is, what are you doing for the anthology and where can everyone find you online?
“For the anthology I'm submitting my fanfic Sodachi Christmas, which is a Sodachi point of view fic about Hitagi and Koyomi visiting her for Christmas Eve five years after high school graduation
Thank you so much for your time, Allie! I loved talking to you and I hope everyone reading this goes and reads your fics!!
“Thank you, it was fun!”
Thank you for reading, make sure to follow Allie on Twitter at: @tropicalesque
Koikoa's interview is short and sweet so make sure to enjoy it! This is the second of four interviews that will be translated by Cake from Spanish to English. You can catch the original versions by clicking the Spanish links below.
“My name is Inés/Koikoa, I studied graphic design and I love illustrating, I’m from Mexico.”
Oh, awesome! What interested you in graphic design?
“Being able to create my own things has always interested me. Such as typography, magazines, and everything else that they teach you in the field.”
Were there any moments where you realized you wanted to be an artist?
“The truth is, this artist thing has always been a natural way of being for me. I mean, I only really knew that I liked illustrating because I’d look at someone else’s work and I’d say “I want to be able to do the same.” Haha, but in the end, it’s thinking like that started causing me stress. I craved to be like others and I couldn’t, but I finally realized that I liked drawing but I needed to do it in my own way, otherwise it would cause me a lot of sadness.”
Thank you so much for sharing that. I think it’s something a lot of artists can relate to, but something no one talks about.
La entrevista con Koikoa es corta y dulce, ¡así que asegúrate que la disfrutes! Esta es la segunda de cuatro entrevistas que estaré traduciendo de español a inglés. Puedes encontrar la versión traducida en Inglés haciendole clic a “English” al final de la página.
“Mi nombre es Inés/Koikoa, estudié diseño gráfico y me encanta ilustrar, soy de México.”
Oh, awesome! ¿Qué te interesó en el diseño gráfico?
“Siempre me interesó la manera en la que podría creer mis propias cosas. Tipografía, revistas y todo lo que enseñan en la carrera.”
¿Hay algún momento en que te diste cuenta que quieras hacer una artista?
“La verdad esto de ser un artista siempre fue de manera natural, quiero decir yo solo sabía que me gustaba ilustrar, veía el trabajo de otras personas y decía "yo también quiero hacer lo mismo" haha al final un pensamiento así me causó un poco de estrés por anhelar ser como otros y no poder, al final comprendí que me gustaba dibujar pero tenía que hacerlo a mi manera si no esto me causaría mucha tristeza.”
Gracias por compartir eso. Creo que eso es algo que todos los artistas se pueden relacionar con pero nunca se menciona.
What kind of projects are you involved in?
“I’m currently organizing an event called “Cosmic Pool” with the objective of allowing independent artists a space for diffusion and making sure we all have a good time.”
Oh wow! That sounds fantastic. How often are these events? They’re based in Mexico, right?
“I organize them every two months, and yes, the events are based in the City of Mexico.”
That’s great. Well, since we’re a Monogatari fanbook, everyone wants to know: How did you find out about Monogatari? What was it about it that interested you?
“It’s thanks to @Buhodebolsillo that I found about the series. She helped me get into it. I must confess that what most interested me about Monogatari is that Akiyuki Shinbo directed it, since 2007 I’ve been obsessed with his work. It was the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series that made me fall in love, and well, Monogatari got my attention around that time, but I never watched the later seasons until some time later. I’m grateful for watching them later because I feel like it made me enjoy them better, and overall, helped me understand it.”
¿Que tipo de proyectos estas involucrada en?
“Actualmente organizó un evento llamado "Cosmic Pool" con el objetivo de dar difusión a los artistas independientes y que todos pasemos un rato agradable.”
Oh wow! Eso suena genial. ¿Con qué frecuencia haces estos eventos? Son en México, ¿verdad?
“Cada dos meses lo organizo, sí el evento se realiza en la Ciudad de México.”
Que bueno. Entonces como esto es un fanbook de Monogatari todos quieren saber: ¿Cómo te enteraste de Monogatari y qué te interesó de la serie?
“Fue gracias a @Buhodebolsillo que me enteré y me ayudó a estar en el, debo confesar que lo que más me atrajo de Monogatari a fue que Akiyuki Shinbo trabajo en ella, desde el 2007 estaba obsesionada con el trabajo que hacía (fue con Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei la serie con la que me enamore) y bueno la serie me llamó la atención en ese tiempo pero no seguí las temporadas siguientes hasta después de un tiempo. Agradezco verlas después por que siento que las pude disfrutar mejor que antes.”
“Sobre todo entenderla”
Shinbo’s fantastic. I think a lot of people who have seen Monogatari love Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei too, or at least that’s how it’s been for me.
Who are your favorite characters from Monogatari?
“Hitagi Senjougahara is my favorite hahahaha (even though I decided to illustrate Hachikuji hahaha) I really like her personality 💕. I love how she is. It’s weird for me to like characters like her, but her personality is just genius. She’s the complete opposite of me, but that’s why I like her.”
Ahh, I totally understand, I really like her personality too. What are some of your favorite arcs in Monogatari?
“Oh, that question is really hard to answer 😭 I think that all of them have their own moments. I could only really decide based on the animation which one I like best hehehe, but I think that wouldn’t be fair.”
Shinbo es fantástico. Creo que muchas personas que han visto Monogatari le encantan a Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei también, o por lo menos así fue conmigo.
¿Quiénes son tus personajes favoritos en Monogatari, y por qué?
“Hitagi Senjougahara es mi favorita hahahaha (aunque decidí ilustrar a Hachikuji hahaha), me gusta mucho su personalidad 💕. Me encanta su manera de ser, es raro que me gusten personajes como ella, pero la manera de ser es genial. Es todo lo contrario a mi y por eso me gusta hahaha.”
Ahh, te entiendo totalmente, a mi me gusta mucho el personaje de ella también ¿cuáles son tus arcos favoritos de Monogatari?
“Ay esta pregunta está difícil 😭 a mi parecer todas tienen lo suyo, solo podría decidir por la animación cual me gusta más hehehe pero creo que no sería justo.”
Hahaha, it’s alright! Even if it’s just based on animation I think your answer would interest the people reading this. Especially since you got into the series because of Shinbo. Do you have any arcs in mind?
“Although I think that one’s directed by Tatsuya Oishi as well if I’m not mistakened hahaha. But hey, I could say that in this one it also has the plus of the story.”
You’re right, I also think Kizu’s animation was fantastic.
Well, here it is, the last question: What are you doing for the anthology?
“I’m drawing Hachikuji, for two reasons, the first one is that she’s my second favorite character, the second is that she's a character whose personality is similar to my art style. That’s why I think it’s really easy to capture her essence. Hahaha, I guess that’s one way of putting it.”
Thank you so much for your time!
“💕 Muchas gracias.”
Jajaja, está bien! incluso si es solo por la animación creo que le interesa los que están leyendo esto. Especialmente porque te enteraste de la serie por Shinbo. ¿Tienes algún arco en mente?
“Aunque este creo que fue dirigida también por Tatsuya Oishi si no me equivoco hahaha. Pero bueno podría decir que en esta viene el plus de la historia hahaha.”
Tienes razón, yo también creo que la animación de Kizu es fantástica
Pues aqui esta la última pregunta: ¿Qué estás haciendo para la antología?
“Estoy haciendo a Hachikuji por dos razones la primera es por que es mi segundo personaje favorito y también por que es un personaje que tiene una personalidad muy parecida a lo que es mi estilo, por lo que siento que es fácil para mí captar su esencia Hahaha por decirlo así”
Muchísimas gracias por tu tiempo!
“💕 Muchas gracias.”
You've reached the end, for now...
Tune in next week for our next interview with another fantastic creator.
You can find updates from us at @Mitsugimono_ENG