Interviews

Creators’ Corner: Exclusive Interview with Shikke

With the release of the official English edition of Pink Heart Jam on futekiya, we had the opportunity to interview its creator, Shikke, and ask about the story behind the decision to release Pink Heart Jam officially in English.

 

About Pink Heart Jam

Let’s get right into this! Could you please introduce Pink Heart Jam to us?

Shikke: Pink Heart Jam is a love story between two university students: a likable guy with a friendly demeanor and his cool pretty-boy senpai who works in a box spa.

(Story Summary: First-year student Haiga joins the heavy music club at his university and meets Kanae, a memorable senpai. Haiga gets blown away by his impressive guitar performance and hopes to talk to him one day, but cannot find the perfect opportunity. One day, he goes to his club’s get-together and gets dared by his senpai to check out a box spa for gay men. What kind of fate awaits Haiga…?)

 

Could you tell us more about the seme and uke? Please also let us know if there are any specific points of interest in this story.

Shikke: [The seme] Haiga: A friendly country boy who moved to Tokyo upon entering university. (Freshman / first-year student)
He ponders his sexuality and romantic feelings in an unfamiliar environment and becomes more mature as he faces these dilemmas.

[The uke] Kanae: A cool young man who works at a box spa to chase a specific goal. (Senior / fourth-year student)

He’s popular due to his guitar skills and good looks but was having trouble finding a partner due to his specific tastes. His views on love begin to evolve after he meets Haiga.

 

The serialization of Pink Heart Jam will be resuming soon, with the English chapters being released simultaneously with the Japanese edition.  How do you feel about this?

Shikke: The simultaneous publishing arrangement between the Japanese and English versions was made possible thanks to the quick responses by both my publisher and futekiya. Many people helped me bring this series back to life, so I’d like to concentrate my mind even more on writing the succeeding chapters.

 

Could you tell us what led to Pink Heart Jam’s release on futekiya?

Shikke: Not only did this manga get pirated and translated illegally without my permission, but it was also reposted en masse on social media. It was unbearable for me to see my illustrations get traced, turned into videos, edited, and turned into composite images.

I canceled Pink Heart Jam’s serialization due to the emotional distress this caused, and also because I wanted to take a stand against piracy and unauthorized publications. Since I figured it’d be difficult to resume the serialization under existing circumstances, I thought about releasing an official translation and approached futekiya to discuss it.

 

About Shikke-sensei

Could you give us a self-introduction?

Shikke: My name is “Shikke”.

 

What made you want to become a manga artist?

Shikke: Since I was happy to enjoy manga as a “reader,” I wasn’t really aiming to become a manga artist and was working in a different industry. After my publisher scouted me after seeing the works I drew as a hobby, I became a manga artist.

 

What are some things you keep in mind during your activities as a manga artist?
Shikke: To enjoy drawing, to love my characters, and to avoid getting too infatuated with my works.

 

Finally, do you have any messages for the readers of futekiya?

Shikke: Thanks for reading this interview through to the end.

At the moment, official translations of Japanese manga are usually only published once the manga volumes are released after (or during) the serialization. Since these depend on overseas publishers’ formal offers, it’s rare for a translated manga to be released on a chapter-to-chapter basis.

Thus, it seems that many people are seeking out pirated copies to read the chapters as soon as possible. Although piracy is an illegal activity that infringes the authors’ and publishers’ rights, overseas audiences tend to think of it very lightly.

Given these circumstances, I’m very grateful to those who read my works through official channels. Please spread the word about these official translations so I won’t have to cancel the releases again.

I hope you’ll keep enjoying Pink Heart Jam.

 

A message from the editor of Pink Heart Jam:

“Thank you for your continued support towards mellow kiss manga titles.

The official English version of Pink Heart Jam by Shikke-sensei will be released on futekiya on a chapter-to-chapter basis. This mainly came about because pirated versions of Pink Heart Jam were circulated (mainly on social media).

It is illegal to create, replicate, sell, or distribute pirated copies of manga. It’s also against the law to publish pirated image data online, whether on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media.

Furthermore, manga artists pour their heart and soul into their works, so it’s emotionally damaging for them to see unofficial translations and/or edits. This may make it difficult for them to keep writing more chapters, and in some cases, they may stop releasing new works altogether.

I feel like there isn’t much point in me talking about the negative effects since I’m sure futekiya’s readers fully understand them and are reading manga through official channels. That said, if you see your friends or people around you reading pirated manga, it’d be great if you could stop them and explain why it’s bad.

This message became a little long-winded, but Pink Heart Jam is a stylish Boys’ Love manga filled to the brim with wonderful moe. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Please continue supporting Shikke-sensei and the mellow kiss Editorial Team. Thank you!”

 

About futekiya: BL manga subscription

Boys' Love Manga Subscription Service futekiya promotional image

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.

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