The futekiya Team had the rare opportunity to interview the Editorial Department of Home-Sha, publisher of BL manga magazines, .Bloom and mellow kiss. In this interview, the Editor-in-Chief discusses a manga editor’s tasks, the reason behind their decision to release their titles in English, and their thoughts on pirated manga and scanlations.
Thank you for your time today. Could you please introduce yourself?
I am the Editor-in-Chief of .Bloom and mellow kiss. Nice to meet you.
What made you want to become an editor?
Because I liked manga. When I started job-hunting at university, I decided I wanted to become an editor.
What does the job of a manga editor entail?
A manga editor helps send out the work of mangaka to the world.
What are the unique points of the two brands .Bloom and mellow kiss?
.Bloom includes works that have a strong focus on the aspect of storytelling. Every issue has its theme that the creators must follow. For example, the first issue was “jealousy,” the second was “attachment,” the third was “loneliness,” and so on.
mellow kiss is a magazine with happy (and sexy) works that readers can come home to and read to recharge their energy.
Home-Sha’s titles are currently being released on futekiya. Why did you decide to release your titles in English officially?
Because English is used worldwide, we decided to distribute our titles on futekiya because we believed it was a chance to share them with readers worldwide.
What do you think of pirated content and scanlations?
It is very disappointing that content still gets pirated and scanlated. I believe that distributing official translations of works is key to eradicating such illegal sites.
What kind of impact do pirates and scanlations have on the editorial department and the creators?
Creators put their blood, sweat, and tears into their manga. Us editors, and publishers in general, receive these works to distribute them online or in the form of physical copies.
This leads to earnings, from which we can compensate the creators through manuscript fees, royalties, and so on. So, the more that a manga is sold, the more we can give back to the creators.
However, if these works are made available through scanlations and other illegal pirate sites, we will not earn anything, and the creators cannot be compensated. No matter how many times a manga is read on these sites, the mangaka receives zero yen. Rather, if these illegal sites didn’t exist, more people would buy the official manga, so we can even say that that potential revenue is now a loss.
On top of that, imagine mangakas’ heartbreak after finding their titles that they worked so hard on being shared – without their knowledge or permission – on these illegal pirate and scanlation sites.
Is there anything new in store for .Bloom and mellow kiss?
Pink Heart Jam by Shikke, which is a mellow kiss title, will be released on futekiya from December 24th, 2020. The English version of the newest chapter will be published simultaneously with the Japanese version, so we hope readers look forward to that.
Thank you very much. We gathered questions from fans, so we’d like to take the opportunity to ask those questions on their behalf.
Hello, I love Minta Suzumaru’s Golden Sparkle! Currently, I want to go back to college to study and do something that I love related to anime/manga, especially BL!❤ Being part of the editorial department would be a dream job for me or any job related to BL, but as someone who lives in the US, do I have any chance? What should I study/do to be a good candidate? (Karina from The United States)
I’m glad you like Golden Sparkle. Thank you.
I think the first thing would be to learn Japanese because many people in Japan (myself included) have a difficult time understanding foreign languages. I am not entirely certain about the current BL job market in America, but if you can speak Japanese, you could really open up your opportunities. For example, you could translate manga or introduce American creators to Japanese publishers and so on.
What is the difference between Japanese and International fans when it comes to BL? Which genre or tropes is more popular? (Tasia from Indonesia)
Many fans from Japan and other countries alike love the works that creators put out and passionately support the creators. There doesn’t seem to be a difference in passion levels.
In terms of our titles, it seems as though the art styles and stories popular in Japan are also popular outside of Japan.
What is the factor that makes you choose to work with a mangaka for your labels? (LinhLei from Vietnam)
Generally, each editor reads other magazines, comics, and doujinshis and see if there are any gripping titles. When they find such a title, they look up the creator and approach them.
Thank you for this opportunity! What are the factors involved when deciding which title gets to be published as a tankoubon or getting adapted into a drama CD?
For bookstore purchase bonus/benefit, do the publishers or the bookstores decide on the illustration and goods (like can badges, booklets, illustration cards, clear files, etc.)?
Home-Sha is very generous in allowing most of your titles available in English via futekiya and I truly appreciate it, what made Home-Sha decide to allow English translation licenses?
Lastly, congratulations on your launch of .bloomellow shop!! I bought your drama CDs and this is more of a dream of mine but would Home-Sha consider making made-to-order goods someday? I’d love to have a dakimakura cover or mini figures of the boys from Kaniteki and Riseiteki series!!
Thank you guys so much for the amazing works of .Bloom and mellow kiss! Home-Sha is one of my favourite BL publishers as your works are simply refreshingly amazing!! I have almost 20 of your books and my dream is to buy all of them one day. Keep up the amazing work!! Stay awesome and stay safe! (Roxy from Malaysia)
In terms of drama CDs, usually a company that produces drama CDs will approach us with a title they want to make into a drama CD. One exception, though, was Simplified Pervert Romance, where we produced the drama CD for promotion. Because that was such a hit, we decided to continue producing them.
At Home-Sha, we have the intention of creating volumes from the beginning. So when a title reaches a certain number of pages when all the chapters are put together, most of them either get printed into physical volumes, or distributed digitally.
The bonus promotion goods are usually decided by receiving requests from the bookstores and consulting with the mangakas with which direction we should go.
Thank you for telling us your request for goods. We are thinking of creating many different character goods. Hopefully, one day, we can make body pillow covers and character figures.
Thank you very much for purchasing drama CDs and volumes. I am truly happy that you like them. We hope you continue to support us and what we do.
Hi! My first question would be how the editorial dept. decides which BL will be published in which magazine? There are so many BL magazines, so I’m curious to know what’s the difference between the the BL published in .Bloom and mellow kiss? (Pachi from Brazil)
.Bloom’s catchphrase is “For the reader who loves stories, an all new and emotional BL magazine.” So all of the titles have a strong sense of storytelling that moves you.
For mellow kiss, the catchphrase is “For the reader who loves happy endings of the highest quality. A sweet and sexy BL magazine.” Cute, sweet, and a little sexy titles that have happy endings will go to mellow kiss.
What is the usual process for finding and publishing new authors ? (LMP from France)
First, in most cases, we release a one-shot to understand how the audience feels, and if the reaction is good, we move towards a serialization.
Why is Home-Sha very open in licensing BL? We noticed almost 80% of your titted are licensed to English already. (Mikki from the Philippines)
We want to protect our titles and creators from pirates and scanlations.
Has there been any change of trends in the past 5 years in terms of manga genre submissions? How about reader interest trends in the past 5 years? What sorts of stories do you look for when parsing through manga submissions? (Ariel from the United States)
I think that the Omegaverse has gained a certain readership. We have also started to serialize Omegaverse works.
What type of BL do you guys publish? How do you feel about western readers? Are there any memorable times when you first read the manuscript? How much influence does an editor have on where the story goes? Do the artists usually have the whole story planned or do they make changes depending on the readers’ survey and feedback? (P.Hu from the United States)
- Commonalities: the high quality of the drawings and stories
- Type of BL we publish: we want to serialize many different types of BL so we don’t particularly try to restrict ourselves.
- Thoughts on readers from outside Japan: we truly appreciate all of the support from fans from abroad. Thank you very much.
- Influence of editors: it depends on the mangaka. Some mangakas present drafts that are so perfect from the beginning that editors can’t find places to change, and some mangakas like to exchange opinions with editors during the whole process and then create a draft.
- Story direction: this also depends on the mangaka. Usually, a story’s skeleton is decided before serialization, but sometimes that changes depending on how the story comes along. There may be times that the fans’ feedback also influences the stories.
All mangakas love receiving fan letters and those kind words help mangakas recharge their energy. Please do send them if you like the titles.
Are you open to publishing any type of Boys’ Love stories or are there themes/ideas that do not suit your editorial policy? (Fille pourrie from France)
The first factor is whether we, the editors, can enjoy the titles and like the titles.
For the editor in charge of a certain title, they choose titles and creators that they enjoy and approach them with an offer to serialize their work in our magazines.
We don’t restrict our choices in themes or genres, but for mellow kiss titles, they all must have a happy ending.
Thank you for answering questions from the readers of futekiya. Lastly, do you have any message for the futekiya readers?
Thank you very much for reading Home-Sha titles. We are working very hard with our creators to come out with more content for you all to enjoy. Readers who are on futekiya and reading the officially translated manga are truly helping the creators. We hope for your continued support.
Thank you very much for your time!
About futekiya: Read what you love
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys Love (BL) 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.
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