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Rilakkuma 7th anniversary Bento

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Evangelion Movie figure UFO GETO!

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Interview: Gengoroh Tagame on his new manga series

Posted by atomicboyx On Sunday, October 5, 2014 1 comments

 For manga artists in Japan, many hope to debut in one of the national manga magazines, but Gengoroh Tagame has already had his work published for over 30 years, in multiple languages, around the world. Tagame has had an international impact, with the help of the internet over the last two decades, to become Japan's most known prolific gay erotic artist. This month he has his most notable manga debut. In "Monthly Action" magazine, the new series Otou no Otto (My Brother's Husband), kicksoff into the mainstream bookstores and newsstands across Japan. I was able to speak with Tagame-sensei to get some more background on this new series.

Cover art to the first chapter of "My brother's husband"

This month you have a new monthly comic in a mainstream magazine, what is this story about?
The story is about a man named Yaichi and his daughter Kana, who are visited by Mike, the Canadian husband of Yaichi’s twin brother. I'd like to write a story about
modern day gay issues for straight readers.
This is a gay story in a mainstream, all genre magazine, was it hard to get it approved by the publisher? What were the difficulties, if any?
I tried to do it once, several years ago. I was asked by an editor of well-known all genre magazine to draw manga them, and I proposed a story about modern day gay issues. The editor who called me pushed the story to his boss very hard. Finally, his boss, the chief editor of the magazine reject it. But several months ago, they started a new manga about a gay couple by female author who is a best selling Yaoi manga artist in their magazine. I felt I learned many things from this experience, but for now, I'll keep shut my mouth. Maybe you can imagine feeling. Anyway, from this experience, last year, when I was called from the editor of "Monthly Action" magazine, I did not propose a gay story at first. But through the many meetings with him, I felt a possibility to write a gay themed story in their magazine. Then I plotted the story very carefully, especially to think of the good readability for non-gay readers, and proposed it. They were in favor of my proposal very much, so this new story 弟の夫 (My Brother's Husband) started.

The awkward time between the straight twin brother and his brother's gay foreign husband.

You have been mainly creating gay adult themed comics for over 30 years, why did you decide to release this non-adult comic work now?
Actually, I've already released some non-adult comics this past decade. As I said before, I tried the same thing several years ago. But frankly speaking, when I finished writing 君よ知るや南の獄 (Do You Remember The South Island's P.O.W. Camp?), 外道の家 (The House Of Brutes) and 雄心〜ウィルトゥース (Virtus), I felt some kind of a period of my works. And on same time, I experienced trouble with G-men magazine too. Their betrayal hurt my love and trust for gay magazines and the Japanese gay industry, very much. So I started to look for new opportunities for myself. I've already done enough things for gay adult comics, so wanted to do some more new things for myself. To release non-adult comics is one of them. But I haven't thought to quit to drawing gay adult comics.

Many comic publishers release BL (yaoi) manga, what makes yours unique?
Because I'm an openly gay author who has had a very long career. Some of my books were released under a BL comic label, but I always have been thinking that my comic is a gay comic [not boys love]. There are many talented gay comic authors now, but there is no one who has had a long career and released dozens books as I have. 

Newsstand the day this issue of "Monthly Action" magazine was released.

You have many female fans in Japan, is this story targeted for them?
As I told before, the main target of the story is straight people who don't know about gay issues well. But of course, I'm coming up with various ideas to make the story interesting for female fans and gay fans too.

“Monthly Action” comic magazine is a mixed genre magazine, how do you feel the general audience will react to this story in Japan?
I wish that they will find something new from what they've never known before.

Do you think readers from outside Japan could relate to this story?
Yes. At least, I wish they do.

Do you have any other stories in other genres (fantasy, sci-fi) that you would like to create?
I'd like to create a historical story, especially one about ancient Greece.

Tagame's website: http://www.tagame.org/home.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tagagen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gengoroh.tagame
Mothly Action publisher: http://webaction.jp/monthly_action/

This issue available on amazon.com: Japanese Manga Monthly Action Nov/2014
The lucky day that I was able to meet Tagame-sensei. He has an extremely busy schedule.

I bought my copy the day it was released!

[The interview is has been edited for some grammar/vocabulary errors.]