Hello hal-sensei! Thank you for your time today. If you don’t mind, could you please give a short introduction about you and where you are from?
hal: Hello futekiya readers! My name is hal. I am originally from Kobe, Japan but currently live in the suburbs of Tokyo. I am not a manga artist, but an amateur doujin creator.
When did you first become interested in manga?
hal: I liked manga from a very young age. I had an older brother and sister, so I grew up reading the manga I found on their bookshelves as I pleased. Even in school, I was a part of the manga research club, a real Otaku!
What’s your favorite manga, or the manga that left the biggest impression on you?
hal: I read manga regardless of what genre it was, so this is difficult to answer. One I’ve recently read is, 10DANCE. Last year I went to see “Inoue & Sato’s First Key Animation Exhibition 10DANCE” and “Real 10DANCE: Ballroom Dance”. I wish everyone could have experienced how powerful and beautiful their work was.
Did you also like games and anime? What’s your favorite anime or game?
hal: I haven’t played any games recently… I stop drawing when I get into video games. For anime, I like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Stars Align. I hope there’ll be a second season to Stars Align. I like Director Akane’s work.
When did you first become interested in Boys’ Love manga?
hal: I’ve been borrowing yaoi from my friends since I was in middle school, and it was only natural for me to start reading Boys’ Love.
I really started to understand the Boys’ Love genre after I started drawing manga. I realized that there are no other genres that have such freedom.
What is your favorite BL work?
hal: I can’t choose just one, BL is so deep…! Haruko Kumota-sensei and Harada-sensei’s works really had a big impact on me.
What made you want to become a manga artist?
hal: I’m not a professional manga artist. I just wanted to draw manga. I got sick in 2016 and had to quit my job. I decided then that “I would draw a manga” and I drew Phony World. I’m sorry, my answer isn’t that helpful.
What kind of preparation did it take for you to become a manga artist?
hal: I studied graphic design at a vocational school and got a job as a designer. I think that my experience at my previous job is quite useful now for producing manga. Also, the manga production software CLIP STUDIO is available for anyone to use, so the threshold has dropped considerably. If it wasn’t for CLIP STUDIO I wouldn’t have started to draw, and I wouldn’t have started publishing my work online or publishing doujins. I may not have crossed paths with futekiya or my readers, either.
What are the challenges of working as a manga artist?
hal: There is a problem with production cost…, but more than that, I think the most important thing is to keep drawing. I think this applies to any artist. It gets lonely sometimes and it’s easy to get frustrated. It makes us very happy whenever we receive encouragement from others.
Do you have any manga you would like to draw in the future?
hal: For now, I want to finish drawing Konekokawa and Koinumaru.
futekiya releases your work in English. What do you think about futekiya?
hal: It was a dream of mine to have my works published in English, so I can’t thank you enough for making this come true! When it’s just in Japanese, I feel that there is a wall between us. With futekiya, we can overcome that barrier and reach many readers around the world.
Some of your new work will be distributed to futekiya as well. How does that make you feel?
hal: Unlike the usual school setting seen in my previous works, this new story has a strong fantasy element to it. I’m nervous yet excited to see how the fans will react to it. I hope they enjoy it!
We have a question from P.Hu. Are there any subcategories of BL that you’d like to try in the future, e.g. SM and omegaverse?
hal: Thank you for your question, P.Hu! It’s quite a difficult challenge, but I am interested in Omegaverse. I found this subcategory difficult to approach since it originated overseas and involves a very specific worldview. That being said, I’ve also kept my eye on different versions of Omegaverse that are unique to Japan.
We have another question, this time from shouu. What is the most difficult part of drawing BL manga? Can you tell us about a memorable experience or challenge you’ve had?
hal: Thank you for your question, shouu! It’s difficult for the artist and the readers to come to the same terms on how they perceive the seme and uke. I also heard that a lot of people can’t stomach switch pairings, so I guess I’d have to be very determined if I was to draw a switch pair? (laughs)
Finally, please give a message to the readers of futekiya.
hal: Thank you for all of your warm messages. I have just one request. If you find a creator you really enjoy at futekiya, even if it’s just one word, please show your support to the artist by sending a message. It’d really help encourage the creators! I hope you continue to enjoy my works.
Thank you very much, sensei!
hal’s works on futekiya
A freshman in high school wakes up early, excited for another “tryst” with his favorite classmate. Unfortunately for him, daydreaming in the shower may turn out to be the best part of his day. His sister destroys his uniform, and his parents stopped sending him money. He even discovers that his “boyfriend” has been seeing another girl on the side this whole time. When everything seems to be at rock bottom already, the last straw breaks…
After failing to enter any of his top choice high schools, Yui Konekokawa feels like his life is ending right when it should start. When he meets his classmate, Jin Koinumaru, Yui finds the courage to pursue what he truly loves.
New chapters will be released on May 2 onwards!
futekiya Library subscribers have access to these titles and more!
What’s your favorite work by hal? We’d love to hear about it on our Twitter account!
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.