Clamp no Kiseki 9

X interview, part 2 - Translated by Jamie

---In "X", we've got the Dragons of Heaven and the Dragons of Earth... That leaves a lot of characters that are introduced. Are there any characters that are easier to work with than others?

OHKAWA: There aren't any especially easy characters to use, really. There were some tricky ones, though. Like Fuuma, before his change. He was a character whose individuality we couldn't really push until he became a Dragon of Earth, so he had to stay just a wholesome big brother type. He had a very vague sort of personality. We thought we'd make him a cool guy, but we were really worried that we didn't pull it off right.

---After his change, Fuuma has the ability to look like different people......

MOKONA: In Ohkawa's original, it was meant to be that Fuuma smiles like Kusanagi-san. And we weren't quite sure how to go about that, unless we made the faces look similar.

OHKAWA: We thought it'd be really hard to draw in the notion that Fuuma can look like the person someone loves the most if he didn't bear physical resemblance to them already. I mean, when Fuuma met Aoki-san, we thought it'd be a little odd to have Fuuma looking like his wife. *laugh*

---How about appearance wise? Any tough characters there?

OHKAWA: Well Kotori was some trouble, wasn't she?

MOKONA: When Ohkawa saw the manuscript copy of chapter 1, she was a little shocked. Kotori sort of looked like udon. *laugh* I did her in pencil in the rough draft and she looked very soft, sort of limp. But when I added pen, she got thicker.

OHKAWA: In order to really get the hang of the character, we had a lot of work to do.

MOKONA: In thinning down the lines, her body became less solid. She sort of floated around, became lighter, more impermanent. But when you thin everything down, she starts to look like udon. *laugh* So we started using the tip of pens instead.

---Anyone else besides Kotori?

MOKONA: No, not really. I mean we have the Dragons of Heaven and the Dragons of Earth, which are 14 characters in themselves, and if you're drawing them all in one picture, of course there are parts of each character that give you trouble, that you confuse with others. But individually, they're all fairly easy.

IGARASHI: There was one picture, a scene where everyone was wearing black, and painting them got really tough. We all couldn't wait to be done with it. *laugh*

OHKAWA: When you've just got characters popping up all over the place, the images can get really muddled and confusing. You start to wonder why you needed to put two teams of seven against each other. If we had to do it again, I bet we'd do two teams of three. *laugh*

---When "X" started in 1992, your line up included "RG Veda", "Tokoy Babylon", "CLAMP Campus Defenders Duklyon" and "CLAMP Campus Detectives". And then in 1993, "Magic Knight Rayearth" started running. Weren't you busy?

IGARASHI: We were young. *laugh* We'd pull an all-nighter and then sleep a little, and then pull another and sleep the next day again...... If we were up two days without sleep, it wasn't really a big deal.

NEKOI: I remember going to bed at 2 in the morning and waking up again at 6 and watching "Ugo Ugo Lhuga" (NOTE: This was a weird weird children's show that was fast paced and included super short, semi-educational sequences. Strange. XD) on TV while I applied pen. *laugh*

IGARASHI: It'd be totally impossible for us today. *laugh*

---"X" came with a lot of goodies for people who had subscribed to the magazine, a lot of free stuff for readers. You came up with a lot of prizes.

OHKAWA: "ASUKA" is a little like "NAKAYOSHI" in that respect, but it's never given away quite as many freebies. So we weren't sure if we'd even need to, but our editors told us we would. They planned everything out for us, gave us suggestions, and we put it all together. We made some pretty weird, impractical things, though. We got so into it. *laugh*

NEKOI: Yeah, we did some strange stuff. We drew life-sized versions of the characters, real big, so that you could lie down and sleep next to them. Dumb stuff like that. *laugh*

IGARASHI: We made a pair of Kamui and Kotori-chan mugs, a little set, and if you put them together, it looked like they were kissing. *laugh*

OHKAWA: Lots of other stuff too, like little paddles for badminton, or lyrics to christmas songs and silly things like that. Loads of them. *laugh* And parts of the story can be so brutal, but we've got these cute, warm little goodies. Looking back on it now, almost all of those freebies were cute.

---Lastly, could you please tell us what one thing about creating "X" left the biggest impression on you?

NEKOI: I've never had so much trouble using screen tone in my life. *laugh*

IGARASHI: Not everything was bad. Doing some of the scenes with the characters' pasts were neat. Making the copies, doing the cut and paste job, it was actually a lot of fun.

MOKONA: Definitely the way the scenery and bulidings have changed........ Especially Roppongi Hills, (NOTE: A commercial area in Tokyo that's been the concentration of a lot of development in recent years.) that place changed so much, we really weren't sure what we should do. *laugh.*

OHKAWA: For me, it's the fact that "X" really is a piece that speaks for the times. But we definitely want to see it through to the end, and we want to see it serialized again as soon as possible.