[Krinein] Boichi, the man who doesn’t like Ken
Boichi interviewed by Krinein at Japan Expo 2015
This interview was first published in french on Krinein’s website on July 31st and collected by Ours256. Another great one for our pleasure.
When Doki-Doki announced that Boichi would be coming to France, I thought a lot about the question I really wanted to ask him. What would the other journalists ask him ? I didn’t really want to overlap. Anyway, that’s with this in mind that I prepared this interview. Hopefully, you’ll like it!
Krinein : Good afternoon Boichi-sensei. As an author, you have experience several genres. Which one do you prefer and which one do you find the hardest to work with ?
Boichi : I clearly prefer science-fiction. When I was younger and in high school, I used to love physics calculations (trajectories, strengths, speed…) and I also studied cinema at university. I didn’t really complete the course but still… (laughs). My manga worked so well I didn’t have any time left to study ! All of that to say that I am really keen on « movement ». To tell you the truth, I have always wanted to be Arthur Clarke. He did lots of physics but also directing in his life. He is the one who made me interested in this area. In terms of drawing, I have the hardest time drawing bum movements (laughs). To capture their curves precisely and represent them in a realistic way that wouldn’t defy the laws of physics is very difficult ! In addition, as I am a gentleman, it bothers me a little. I’ll probably never be able to do it !
Krinein : Did you decide who would be part of Ken’s group from the beginning or did some people come along as you were writing the series ?
Boichi : I did have a majority of them in mind already but there is a character who wasn’t there in the first place and came later : Kae-Lyn. In reality, I wanted her to be kind of a discrete character to give the series a touch of humour and sexiness, things that all my readers look forward to while enjoying my work. I then took the decision to involve her more. However, I can tell you that I wanted one of the characters in the gang who didn’t make it. One of Ken’s greatest enemy, Kim Ban-Phuong was supposed to join them and I really wanted him to be part of the group. I wanted him to be alongside Ken to fight Yumin’s father. Even if I couldn’t enrol him in, Kim Ban-Phuong is, in his heart, deeply rooted in Ken’s group and ideals.
Krinein : Who is Ken ? How would you describe your own character ?
Boichi : If I had to introduce Ken in one word… Erm…. I hate him. Ken is the character I hate the most simply because you, me and most of my readers, we love seeing pretty ladies and Ken isn’t one of them. Just imagine that, when it’s all sunny outside, I have to draw the muscles on his Ken’s chest all day long while people are having fun. It’s clearly not what I want to do. In addition, everybody seems to love him… So annoying… Anyway, yes, Ken, in a couple of words… I’m fed up with him !
Krinein : One of the key elements of your main work is the concept of « country ». What is your relationship with South Korea, the land of your childhood ?
Boichi : You are pointing out something very interesting and very true. I sincerely love my country. As a matter of fact, if I spent some of my earnings on Sun-Ken Rock to help vietnamese children, it was a way to show and share how I love my country. In my action, I wanted three things to be clear : first, the fact that I love Vietnam, a wonderful country but also my love for my own country. Finally, I wanted to be able to see myself in the mirror in the morning. Something had to be done for these poor children, they cannot grow up wishing to leave their country, hating it, just because resources are difficult to find. Fleeing is not a solution. We have to work on what we have available. In addition, I believe that we need to be able to ask for forgiveness but also forgive. Only when everyone will be able to do that will we be able to build a better world, something more attractive to live in. Sharing my earnings was a way I found to try and reduce the suffering of people who leave near me and I truly hope that my action will convince Korean people as well not to leave and to always try to raise and improve their lifestyle before leaving their country.
Krinein : HE – The Hunt for Energy is an ecology-themed manga. Did you feel the need to draw this story after the Fukushima accident ? Did this event change your way of seeing life and do you think we can see it in your works ?
Boichi : It think it is obvious. As I live in Japan, I have lived this catastrophe from the inside, with my readers, while lots of Korean authors went back home. Numerous artists working in the manga industry decided to go back to Korea but I did want to stay and I did stay. I wanted to stay with my readers despite various calls from Korea. I then asked myself « What can I do for these people from Fukushima as a mangaka ? ». As I told you before, I am very interesting in physics and energy, that’s why I wanted to do something for Japan but also the whole world.
The result is this manga on renewable energies, energies that we’ll be seing in the future. The media gave plenty of false information on them. What is the truth I can share with the reader ? What can I make him understand ? How can I make him forge his own opinion ? I wanted to have sort of an overview on the possibilities : what is good, what is bad… I tried to offer the possibility of a personal reflexion. Unfortunately, I do have one regret about this project. At the beginning, I wanted to give 100% of the earnings to the victimes in Fukushima. Sadly, there was not enough so that they could make an impact on the people living in these areas. It is somethings I genuinely regret and I still feel sorry about it now…
Krinein : Thank you very much for this interview and enjoy the rest of your stay in France.
Translation : Nam PYUN