An interview with Takashi Ikeda

1) Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to become a manga-ka?

When I was 7 years old, I had to spend some time in the hospital because of my appendix. Someone brought be some Doraemon comics, and I loved what Fujio Fujiko had done so much that I decided to become a manga-ka myself. At the time this was nothing more than a childhood fantasy. The first steps I took towards becoming a professional were at my university, where I worked on an independent film. There were many issues involved in working with so many people. I started drawing manga so that I might create the whole work by myself. I sent my second project to Big Comic Sprits over at Shogakukan, and received a small award for the work. My third project debuted in that same magazine. That all sounds like it was a smooth process, but it truth it took ten years to get to that point.

2) Where do you get inspiration for your stories and characters?

Good question... where DO I get inspired? I need to come up with something to meet my deadlines this month, but as for what I did last month… I can’t quite remember. Each and every month, when I feel the relief that comes with completing a project, a mist comes in and covers everything. What will I come up with this month? Who knows?

3) Whispered Words is quite well known in the U.S.A. Do you have any plans to continue writing manga about lesbian character themes?

I am so excited that my work had crossed the ocean and is being read in the land of baseball and football. I wonder why it ended up there? I have great respect for places that respect multi-culturalism and let people be what they are.

Whether or not I will continue to write about women and homosexual love themes or not, I don’t know… It depends on what ideas come to me. Having said that, I imagine that the theme will make an appearance in any projects that I work on. And I would do anything for an Arabian Oil Baron or for Paul Allen in Seattle. If they asked for it, I’d write it tomorrow. I really wonder why it ended up over there?