With the release of King of a Miniature Garden on futekiya this month, let’s get to know more about creator Chie Kutsuwada in this special interview!
Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Chie! I’m the UK based Japanese manga creator/illustrator!
What made you interested in manga?
I don’t remember… Actually, my parents did not allow me to read manga when I was young, so maybe I just had a strong reaction to that experience… Ah, please do not worry, my parents are happy for what I am doing now.😊
What is the most memorable manga for you?
Maybe Bleach. Because it is the first manga I made my first dojinshi for!
Do you also watch anime or play games? What is your favorite anime/game?
My favorite anime is… maybe… Mushishi. I love the original manga version, too. As for the game… I think my favorite is either ICO or Silent Hill series. I have not played a proper console game for ages… Recently I only play mobile games such as FGO and Twisted Wonderland.
How were you introduced to Boys’ Love?
I knew that there was this genre, but one day, one of my friends who is a BL master, forced me to read her selected BL comics… That was the beginning of this legacy.
Is there any manga (BL and non-BL) you are personally into right now?
Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui and The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window by Tomoko Yamashita
What are your top 3 manga/novel (BL or non-BL) recommendations?
Thus Spoke Akihiko (Akihiko Kaku Katariki) by Yumiko Oshima, They Were Eleven (11nin Iru!) by Moto Hagio, and Dokyusei series by Asumiko Nakamura
Why did you decide to become a mangaka?
Because I think manga is one of the best ways for me to communicate with others.
How did you prepare to become a professional mangaka? Did you go to a technical school, etc.?
I have got my BA and MA in visual art, but I did not decide to go to art college to become a mangaka. Actually, I decided to become a mangaka after I graduated. So… In a way, I didn’t do anything special… Ah, but I tried to show my work to as many people as possible by attending several manga/comic conventions and asked some comic book shops to include my work at their zine/independent comic corner.
What were the difficulties in publishing your manga?
Lack of publishers that want to publish original manga series, maybe. Also, there is almost no manga magazine in the UK, so you should do it on your own if you want exposure. But nowadays, there are many mangakas, even in Japan, who start their series on their SNS and become very popular, so there is always hope!
What are the differences between working as a mangaka in Japan and overseas?
I don’t know how it is in other countries, but here in the UK, there are a lot of offers to run manga workshops. I think this is not common in Japan. Also, as I roughly mentioned in the previous answer, in Japan, most of mangakas work on a magazine basis, but in the UK, it is a whole book deal most of the time.
What would you like to challenge in the future as a mangaka?
I just want to produce more original manga. I have been very busy and it is a great thing, but I would like to find a better balance between creating my original manga work and collaborative work, if I keep on working as a mangaka/illustrator in the UK.
What manga or other media inspires your manga and work?
I love watching films and it inspires me a lot. You can learn a lot about camera angles, pace settings, and editing by watching films.
When I am reading manga, I am just a pure manga fangirl so I do not seek any particular inspirations. But you get inspired anyway by any good manga, well, not only by manga but any great inputs whatever the medium is.
What is your advice to aspiring mangaka?
As I mentioned, get inspired by a lot of different things. Keep your mind open. Also, do not be afraid of showing your work to people. By doing so, you might get criticism. When you do, do not take it personally but learn something from it.
King of a Miniature Garden (KMG) has been released on futekiya. Please share your thoughts with us on this release.
I am so happy and honoured that you decided to release my precious old work…! It is my very first manga. It was more than ten years ago when I completed this story. I just wanted to create a BL story with many things I love (good looking boys, isolated location, island, folklore and so on). And the lovely thing is, I still receive fan messages for this work!
My drawing style back at that time was not stable, so I feel a bit embarrassed to see it now, but I am very proud of this work.
Please tell our readers what they should look forward to when reading KMG.
I just hope you all enjoy this story, which is atmospheric, sentimental and sweet. If you are a BL beginner, this one will suit you nicely, I think!
Lastly, what is your message to the futekiya readers and subscribers?
Hope you will enjoy reading KMG! There are four parts, so please subscribe and do not miss the next release of KMG.
And I hope to see you again soon with a new BL manga in the near future. Keep your eyes on me! Thank you and love you! Let’s unite together with love for BL, yay!
Thank you very much for your time, sensei!
Follow Chie Kutsuwada online
Official website: https://chitangarden.wixsite.com/chiekutsuwada
For as long as Hiiragi can remember, he’s been trapped on this island, stuck in a house that’s way too big for six people. Hiiragi only finds solace in the arms of his favorite person, his carer Takuro, and the more time they spend together, the more they fall in love. However, little does Hiiragi know, his life’s already been planned out for him – and the plan doesn’t have any space for Takuro.
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.