#25 Moyoco Anno

Interview with Moyoco Anno

Moyoco Anno is an award-winning manga artist and writer. She has published dozens of renowned titles such as Happy Mania, Sakuran and Sugar Sugar Rune. In recent years, Moyoco Anno has been very active in the international manga community, attending events and publishing her works overseas. This year, she was a guest speaker at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on May 10th and 11th. J-COLLABO is honored to interview her about Japanese manga culture, her main theme in her works, and more.

– Recently, you have been very active outside of Japan, such as the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this year. Please tell us about your recent activities.

Anno:

I have regularly published a series titled The Diary of Ochibi in Asahi News, but I changed the location of the piece to a weekly magazine called AERA and publish the one-page manga in full color using watercolors.

– You have such a great taste of colors as we see in your works. Is your sense of color affected by Japanese traditional use of color in some way?

Anno:

I think that I must be naturally influenced by Japanese traditional sense of art. I have been interested in Kimonos for long time, as well as dressing in them, so I might be influenced by patterns of Kimonos. Also, when I created a manga about the Edo era of Japan, I researched a lot about Ukiyoe, and other published works for general people in Edo era. Those stay present in my mind.

These days I usually stay in Tokyo because of work but I also reside in Kamakura. This traditional neighborhood might also have some influence on my artistic taste. There are many traditional-style housings, so everyone has many plants in their gardens, and they are all so beautiful. They are not like British-style gardens, but traditional Japanese-style gardens. I like those traditional ones, so these might have infuenced my taste.

– Please tell us about your main story theme in your works.

Anno:

I always make sure to depict something that everyone wonders about in their daily life, no matter which era or situation I’m focusing on. Something that people wonder “why do things always end up this way?” or “why can’t I do like this?” Everyone has many things that they cannot do easily. This might sound exaggerated, but I would like to express a fragment of those things in my work.

– Your works seem to focus often on women. Is there a