Our Creators’ Corner this time features Dia Shiromitsu, the creator of Is It Okay To Rub You? -Men’s Only Aroma Massage Parlor- (MUGENUP Inc.).
In this exclusive interview, Dia Shiromitsu-sensei talks about being a manga fan and a manga artist, as well as answer questions from fans. Thank you to everyone who sent in their questions!
About Dia Shiromitsu
Hello, Dia Shiromitsu-sensei! Thank you very much for your time! Could you please give us a quick self-introduction?
Dia Shiromitsu: Hi, I’m Dia Shiromitsu! I love cute boys and the occult. On top of being a manga artist, I’m also a YouTuber and a 3D modeller.
When did you first become interested in manga?
Dia Shiromitsu: I don’t remember clearly. My oldest childhood memory about manga was watching my mother reading Magic Knight Rayearth, which appeared as a serial in Nakayoshi. We had heaps of old manga at home since my mother was a big fan of manga and anime, so I started reading everything I could get my hands on after I learned to read.
What’s your favorite manga, or the manga that left the biggest impact on you?
Dia Shiromitsu: I really love Saint Seiya: Knight of the Zodiac (聖闘士星矢) and CLAMP-sensei’s works from the 90’s to the 00’s. These works really messed with my kinks and left a great influence on me! (laughs)
Did you also like games and anime? Could you tell us about your favorite anime or games?
Dia Shiromitsu: I think Sailor Moon is my favorite anime of all time. That show really messes with your kinks, too… it influenced my art style, kinks, colour choices, and a whole lot of other things. As for games, I mostly played Pop’n Music and beatmaniaⅡDX.
When did you first learn about Boys’ Love manga?
Dia Shiromitsu: It all began in Grade 5 when I went to the bookstore and accidentally bought a One Piece book that wasn’t illustrated by Eiichiro Oda-sensei. (laughs)
What is your favorite BL work?
Dia Shiromitsu: I can’t pick a specific favorite, but I love Asia Watanabe-sensei’s works!
About being a manga artist
What made you want to become a manga artist?
Dia Shiromitsu: I think it was during my intermediate years in primary school? I’m sure every kid dreams about becoming a manga artist at least once, but that applied to me too. I don’t even remember why that thought came to me! (laughs) However, I wasn’t always dreaming of becoming a manga artist; after I entered middle school, I was actually aiming to become a fashion designer.
What kind of preparation did it take for you to become a manga artist?
Dia Shiromitsu: I’m entirely self-taught. When I was in primary school, I was aiming to become a manga artist, so my mother bought me guidebooks on drawing and writing manga, as well as the tools I needed to draw manga and illustrations. This is how I learned about the basics of drawing manga, as well as drawing with perspectives and using art supplies. After I became an adult and started drawing manga frequently, I was having trouble with my panel layouts, so I bought some relevant how-to books and taught myself the theory. I also do a lot of thinking when I read manga since I’m hoping to steal the writer’s technique. (laughs)
What are some challenges of being a manga artist?
Dia Shiromitsu: For me, a big challenge is delivering my fantasies to my readers in the best possible form. Of course, I do my best when I’m actually drawing, but I always end up having regrets about things like the storyline and the panel layouts. (laughs)
What manga or other works inspire your manga?
Dia Shiromitsu: Whenever I read works by other writers and see something I like, I always try to absorb it and incorporate it into my own work. As such, I’ve been influenced by so many works that it’s impossible to list them all.
What’s your favorite part about drawing BL manga?
Dia Shiromitsu: Letting my fantasies run wild before actually writing the manga! I also really enjoy drawing lovey-dovey scenes.
Is there any manga that you would like to draw in the future?
Dia Shiromitsu: I love the occult, so I’d love to draw BL manga with non-human characters. I also want to draw manga that’s more sugary and lovey-dovey! Generally speaking, commercial BL works require me to illustrate the whole process between the characters meeting and getting together, so it’s hard for me to get them to be lovey-dovey from the get go… I’d like to overcome this hurdle somehow.
Thank you very much for allowing futekiya to release Is It Okay To Rub You? – Men’s Only Aroma Massage Parlor- ! Could you give us a story summary?
Dia Shiromitsu: This story is about Motoya, who runs a men’s only aroma massage parlor, and Haruma, a uni student who frequents the parlor. Motoya is head-over-heels for the adorable Haruma, and is fretting over being unable to confess to him. What happens when he sees Haruma walking hand-in-hand with some other guy…!?
What’s the seme and uke like?
Dia Shiromitsu: Motoya, the seme, is in love with Haruma, the uke. He’s a childish guy who uses his job to fulfill his own desires. Haruma understands this despite being younger and finds that aspect of Motoya to be adorable.
Are there any particular details that you paid special attention to while drawing this manga?
Dia Shiromitsu: I was determined to depict Haruma as a character who’s pure at first glance but has a somewhat sexy feel to him. I hope you’ll be able to pick up on his devilish charms.
Are there any characters or scenes that we should pay particular attention to?
Dia Shiromitsu: Definitely the part where Haruma makes a move at their first date…! I took particular care in drawing this scene so that everything comes across to the readers, even without words.
Do you have any fun facts about Is It Okay To Rub You? – Men’s Only Aroma Massage Parlor- ?
Dia Shiromitsu: Although I couldn’t delve into it due to the 3-chapter limit, I initially had a setting where Haruma’s big brother was doting upon him in more than just a brotherly way.
Questions from Fans
【Fan Question: from Korin (the Philippines)】
i. Hello! When did you reach your current style? What do you usually refer to when practicing drawing (works, etc)? What are the differences between your older works and more recent works?
Dia Shiromitsu: Hello! I’ve been drawing in my current style for 8 years or so… When I practice, I generally refer to my favorite artists’ works or works that I enjoyed. I also take elements from foreign dramas when I draw flirty scenes. I used to draw comedy manga back in the days. I think my art style has become quite polished compared to how it was in the past.
ii. Your art is really interesting. Thank you so much for your hard work!
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you! I hope you’ll continue to follow my works ^^
【Fan Question: from Pachi (Brazil)】
i. I enjoyed reading Is It Okay To Rub You? – Men’s Only Aroma Massage Parlor- ! I’d love to learn more about the big brother. Do you have any plans on writing sequels or other stories that feature the same character(s)?
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you! I don’t have any plans on writing stories about the big brother, but I reckon his Boys’ Love life would be quite intense…! I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s picking up cute boys (who look like Haruma) and keeping them around without any remorse. I bet he switches partners quite often, too.
【Fan Question: from midwest (U.S.A)】
i. Do you have any preferences over the color of the seme and uke’s nipples?
Dia Shiromitsu: I don’t let the character’s uke/seme status dictate the colour of his nipples, but I generally prefer lighter colours between orange-beige and pink-beige! If the character has super-pale skin, I’d prefer their nipples to be like little pink spots. Also, although this is impossible in real life… I think white nipples on tanned skin look really nice…!
ii. Is it harder to draw characters with pubic hair than those without?
Dia Shiromitsu: It’s harder to draw characters with pubic hair, in terms of the time it takes to draw them. (laughs) I like pubic hair, but drawing it is time-consuming since I put effort into drawing them one by one… I like it when a character’s pubic hair almost reaches their belly button.
iii. What kind of aromas do you like to put on while working?
Dia Shiromitsu: I have a cat, so I don’t use essential oils. I like to use my black cherry & nutmeg-scented hand cream or vanilla-scented body lotion ^^
iv. What’s your favorite part of the male body?
Dia Shiromitsu: The grooves of the muscles… the bumpy parts… they’re all so sexy and nice!! Also, I like big man-titties and I cannot lie.
v. What have you been into recently?
Dia Shiromitsu: I started playing Ring Fit Adventure! I want to be like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson one day.
【Fan Question: from cheryl (Malaysia)】
i. What would you like to accomplish in life? I love you, Shiromitsu-sensei ^^
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you! Firstly, I’d like my books to get reprinted. Secondly, I want to lose weight!
【Fan Question: from Laura (U.S.A)】
i. Do you take inspiration from other manga artists?
Dia Shiromitsu: When I read manga, I often get new ideas and start developing new stories rather than focusing on the actual manga!
ii. What’s your favorite aroma? 😄
Dia Shiromitsu: It’d have to be vanilla…! I love its sugary scent.
iii. I really enjoyed reading your work! I hope I’ll be able to read more in English!!
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you! I’ll do my best to make sure my work will reach you again!
Message from Dia Shiromitsu-sensei to Fans
futekiya is a subscription service that releases Boys’ Love manga in English. What do you think about futekiya?
Dia Shiromitsu: After receiving these questions from readers from various countries, I realized that getting my works translated into English helps me reach people from all over the world. I’m really grateful because I can’t translate my own works, nor can I deliver them to international readers. I’m now super-motivated to give it my all when I draw manga, so that more of my works can be released on futekiya!
Finally, what is your message to the readers of futekiya?
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you for taking an interest in my works and reading them! It makes me so happy to know that many people have read them. I hope we can meet again in one of my future works!
Thank you very much for your time, Dia Shiromitsu-sensei!
Dia Shiromitsu: Thank you, too! I look forward to continuing working with you.
Read Dia Shiromitsu’s Work on futekiya!
Motoya’s been crushing hard on Haruma for the longest time – he’s just so cute and adorable, and touching his soft, supple skin is always the highlight of his day. If only they weren’t just masseuse and client – if only this weren’t just for work! Motoya knows he should really get his act together and make a move on Haruma already, but when he sees Haruma hand-in-hand with an older man, has he already lost his chance?
About futekiya: BL manga subscription
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys’ Love manga news and culture website operated by FANTASISTA, INC., a CG/VR production studio based in Tokyo, Japan. futekiya transformed into a budding global distributor of officially licensed BL manga in 2019.
futekiya launched as an online subscription service for officially licensed BL manga on July 8, 2019. Determined to connect fans around the world with English-translated BL legally and conveniently, futekiya empowers readers to support creators and the manga industry.
Readers who subscribe to futekiya and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. To subscribe, please go to read.futekiya.com and create an account. More information is in our Guide.