Creators’ Corner: Interview with Mitsu Hashimoto
Our Creators’ Corner this month features Mitsu Hashimoto, creator of Seitokai: When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy and NAZELOVE: When a Student Council Member Educating(?) Their Junior Somehow Turns into a Romantic Comedy!
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Could you please first introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Mitsu Hashimoto. It’s nice to meet you!
When did your interest in manga begin?
Ever since I was small, I loved reading all manga, regardless of when the manga was from or what genre it was.
I was even reading and drawing BL manga when I was a kid…!
Which manga is your favorite or has left the biggest impression on you?
I think the manga I like the most and am influenced by in every way is Rumiko Takahashi’s manga.
I’ve been a huge fan of hers since way back, from her drawing style, to her writing style, to her character designs, to her character makeup!
Do you like games or anime? Which game, anime, etc., is your favorite?
I love games and anime!
I think the game that I’ve played the most in my life is the Pokemon series.
Even now, when a new one comes out, I go into a frenzy!
How did you discover BL?
When I was a kid, one of my friend’s older sister lent me the first BL manga I ever read.
That catalyzed me into reading more and more BL….
Which BL work (anime, manga, movie, drama, etc.) is your favorite?
I have too many I can’t choose….
What made you want to become a mangaka?
I had loved drawing since I was small and always aspired to become a mangaka.
What did you do to become a mangaka?
I was already in an art school so once I graduated, I became a doujinshi artist.
An editor happened to read my doujinshi work and reached out to me. That’s when I started making commercial BL.
What do you like most about drawing BL manga?
When I start a new serialization and think about how to craft the character designs and establish what kind of relationship the couple will have, that is when I’m the most giddy.
I also love inking in my sketches. It’s so fun.
Are there any things you focused on in particular in Seitokai: When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy and NAZELOVE: When a Student Council Member Educating(?) Their Junior Somehow Turns into a Romantic Comedy, which are being released on futekiya?
There are many characters, so I worked very hard to differentiate each one.
As a result, I love all of these characters so much.
Are there any scenes or characters that you want readers to pay special attention to?
In NAZELOVE: When a Student Council Member Educating(?) Their Junior Somehow Turns into a Romantic Comedy, when all hands are on deck to prevent Tachibana and Takanashi from having sex. That scene is so memorable to me.
It’s a scene where all of the characters appear together so I hope readers pay attention to it too.
Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories about Seitokai: When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy and NAZELOVE: When a Student Council Member Educating(?) Their Junior Somehow Turns into a Romantic Comedy that you can tell us about?
For the scene in the previous answer, I originally wanted to write a scene where they kept passing each other because they were too busy. But no matter how much I thought about it, I faced the problem that whenever Tachibana and Takanashi are alone together, they will always end up having sex….
So I discussed it with my editor and we came up with the idea of having the other couples get in their way.
This was the first time I was troubled because a couple was too lovey dovey…!
futekiya is a service that distributes BL manga that has been translated into English. What do you think about futekiya?
I’m really happy that thanks to futekiya, so many people from outside Japan can read my manga!
futekiya even has a lot of the latest titles. As an author, I really appreciate this service. Thank you very much!
Questions from fans
- from Pachi (Brazil): First, I would like to say that I really like your art. Your stories are very funny, too. What are your inspirations for your comedy? I laughed A LOT when reading about these couples.
Thank you very much!
I don’t ponder too deeply on the comedy. I just think about which of the two would be the boke (person who sets up the joke) and the tsukkomi (person who delivers the punchline) and then write the plot based off of that.
I think in any of my works, I’m able to write the comedy scenes without much trouble.
- from Laura (The United States): I loved reading your work! Both volumes were very fun. What is your favorite medium to work with when drawing? (For example Clip Studio Paint, pencil, markers, etc.)
For all of my manga and digital illustrations, I use Clip Studio Paint Pro on my iPad pro.
- from Roxy (Malaysia): I love your Student Council series, they are always a blast to read! The Escape Room bonus chapters were especially fun!
The six couples are so cute and funny it’s hard to pick a favorite. Who do you think would have the most endurance if they were to compete on who can do it the longest?
Thank you for all the great fun and enjoyable works, Mitsu-sensei! I bought your latest work and it’s in transit, can’t wait to read it!
The couple with the most endurance would most definitely be Tachibana and Takanashi.
Their energies for sex is off the charts!
- from P.Hu (The United States): I love the way your works are titled, were you inspired by light novels?
What are your ideal seme and uke personalities?
Do you see yourself making a non-comedy BL?
For the Student Council series, I kept light novels in mind and titled them so the content of the stories were easily imaginable.
I like and draw a lot of ukes that are strong physically or mentally, and semes that are saved by those ukes in one way or another.
I never set out with the intention of writing comedies, but somehow they all end up being comedies…. I aspire to have more writing styles!
- from Nick (Philippines): Hello Mitsu Hashimoto-sensei! Thank you for your wonderful work, I really love them. Sosuke Hakaze is cute and handsome, even though he’s wild and looks hard to tame, he’s the type of BL character that I love.
How did you come up with the idea of the student council member and delinquent pairings?
I originally wanted to write about a student council member and a delinquent, but I couldn’t decide which would be the uke and which would be the seme. So I decided “Why not draw both!” and ended up with the Student Council series.
- from Mari2507 (Costa Rica): How did you come up with the idea of the Escape Room bonus chapters? It was super funny to read!! Also, I really like your art! Thank you for your hard work and beautiful stories!
Escape rooms were popular in Japan at the time but I thought that if I put the couples in a secluded room together, they’d just flirt and get nowhere. So I had to introduce the awkwardness of showing them their sex tapes. I had a fairly fun and easy time drawing them.
I’m glad you had a good time reading it!
- from Joy (China): Hi Mitsu Hashimoto-sensei! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions! I really enjoy your work. Especially your new title, Ore No Saioshi Wo Kimi Ni Sasagu! Mako is the cutest human being ever alive!!!
My question might sound kind of general but I’m honestly very interested in how you started creating BL works. Was it a natural process for you to start drawing/creating BL?
Thank you so much in advance for answering sensei! I really look forward to your future work!!!!
When I was young and watched anime or read manga, I used to always think “This boy definitely likes this boy…” So I drew from my imagination and it was BL.
When I came to learn about the BL genre, I realized that people like me are called Fujoshi….
- from Niq (Philippines): What is your favorite trope or couple dynamic? Do you have any manga recommendations? (Love you!! <3)
I am eternally weak to toshishita semes and muscly ukes!
I have too many I want to recommend that I can’t choose….
- from KC (The United States): Hi! I loved your stories, thank you! I’m just curious about the Bonus Chapters, I (WE) have to know “WHO” (& how) recorded them having sex!? How did they end up trapped in those rooms and why? I mean, I can kinda get it’s all part of making the story interesting and give it a twist but I can’t help but visualize it in a realistic world, it’s crazy! But seriously, it was entertaining and well done! Hope to read more. Thank you!
Regarding the bonus chapters… I will leave it up to your imagination. But, I guess it was the desire of a fujoshi (me) to sneak a peek at the two flirting and that desire getting the best of me. So I materialized it…!
I am so happy that you read into the details!
- from Nya (Brazil): Sensei, I’ve loved reading your works! I’m very curious about which of the pairings from the student council are your favorite!
Partly because I struggled so much with them during the story making process, I’ve taken a particular liking to Tachibana and Takanashi.
- from Ohnoes (Philippines): One of my favorite aspects of your stories are the comedic elements and how excellently they mesh with the characters. What is your writing process? Thank you so much for the amazing stories!!
First I think up the general flow of the whole story, and then I go chapter by chapter and fill in the details.
For the comedy segments, I usually adlib them when I’m writing the plot.
- from Vi (The United States): How did you get the idea to make these characters? I love them so much they’re funny, cute, and so loveable.
Hakaze and Mizuki, and Tachibana and Takanashi were all created at the same time so I focused on differentiating their personalities.
As for their appearances, it was the spur of the moment and my preferences!
- from Nica (Philippines): I love your work! What inspired you to write When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy?
I wanted to write about students and if I was gonna do that, I thought “I might as well make a story about the student council!!!” That was my thought process at the time.
I have always liked the special armbands and uniforms of the student council in anime because they are so cool.
- from Puff ♡さん (The United States): Sensei, I love your work! Each pairing has such amazing chemistry. What kind of future would Rei and Kouta have together after finishing high school? These two are especially cute ♡
Tachibana and Takanashi differ in academic ability, so they’d probably go to different universities. But Tachibana would be so worried about Takanashi being targeted by other men, so he would propose living together after high school!
Finally, do you have a message for the futekiya readers?
I am so happy for all of the comments and questions from everybody! Thank you so much!
I will try my best to create more stories that you can enjoy, so please do keep an eye out for them.
Thank you very much!
Read Mitsu Hashimoto’s Works on futekiya
Seitokai: When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy
Hananomiya’s student council president Taisei Mizuki has his hands full with rehabilitating Sosuke Hakaze, the school’s number one problem child. As Hakaze’s acts grow worse, Mizuki can’t take it and blurts out, “how can we get you back to how you were before!?” In response, Hakaze says he’ll show Mizuki how…by kissing him (!) and even jerking him off (!!) Can Mizuki, pure in both mind and body, even stand a chance of enduring the naughty chain of “rehabilitation activities” they’ve just started?
NAZELOVE: When a Student Council Member Educating(?) Their Junior Somehow Turns into a Romantic Comedy
At Hananomiya Private High School, the Student Council holds ultimate authority. Mizuki is their President and successfully rehabilitates the infamous former problem child Hakaze and the two start dating. Meanwhile, the Vice President’s pet project, Takanashi A.K.A. rehabilitation member number two, blossoms into a new romance. What’s with all this love?! That is the question on Yuuichi Noda’s, Student Council Secretary, mind as of late. Unable to understand the new love in the air, Yuuchi complains to the Student Council’s Treasurer, the stoic genius sophomore, Hiroki Matsunaga. As Yuuichi’s best and only friend, he offers that they jump on the love train together and see what the hype is all about.
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