A few months ago, we asked fans to send us their questions for Julietta Suzuki–the manga artist for Kamisama Kiss. We compiled your questions and she was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer them. Check out part 1 of the interview below!
1) Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for the series? How did you come up with this plot, and what made you decide to write a romantic comedy with Japanese mythology elements?
Back in 2008, Hana to Yume didn’t have a Japanesque manga series at the time, so I thought I would do one.
I also created the story hoping that my readers would enjoy the contrast of having a modern high school girl wander into the world of shrines, where time has almost stood still.
2) Nanami is a very strong and well-defined heroine! Do you have any inspirations for her personality?
Nanami is the outsider who has wandered into this other world, so she needed to have the strength to not be passive and to move the story forward of her own volition. Her optimistic attitude is also the polar opposite of Tomoe, so I think that makes for a good relationship. The more seriously Tomoe takes things, the more it makes Nanami’s character shine.
3) Kamisama Kiss is full of very colorful and interesting characters from Japanese mythology. How do you come up with your own ideas and interpretation for the gods and demons in this world? (For example, the idea of the tengu Kurama pretending to be a fallen angel pop star is very interesting and unexpected!) Is it difficult?
Coming up with the initial roster of characters who make regular appearances was hard, but the characters who show up later weren’t so difficult. I’ve had fun with the process of putting my own twist on existing yokai.
4) Can you tell us your reaction to the popularity of Kamisama Kiss in North America, especially given the cultural differences between Japan and America? Have you seen the translations of the manga or anime, such as the English dub?
The English version of the “Kamisama Kiss” comic gets delivered to my house on a regular basis, so I always read them. Much of the material isn’t depicted in a way that’s easily accessible for people who aren’t familiar with the culture of Japan, so I always feel such gratitude and respect for the bigheartedness of my overseas readers, who accept that and love the series just as it is. It makes me really happy!
Come back later this week for part 2 of our interview with Julietta Suzuki! Kamisama Kiss Season 2 has just finished its simulcast run, so now would be a perfect time to marathon episodes of the series.
Don’t forget we also have the Broadcast Dub of the series currently releasing on our site for All-AccessPass members! Click here for more information.