Izumi Matsumoto (Kimagure Orange Road) Interview – AX 2011 Press Junket

Anime Diet interviews Izumi Matsumoto, the original manga artist of Kimagure Orange Road! We ask him about what inspired that legendary manga, what he wished he’d seen in the anime version, and the future of Hatta and Komatsu, among other things. Right now, Matsumoto is at work on a new manga about his experiences with an illness, cerebrospinal fluid disorder.

A transcript follows the break.

Q: How did you get your start in manga?

I have an older sister, who is a manga maniac. I got huge influence from her to enter the field.

Q: What kind of manga did you read when you were growing up?

In elementary school, Osamu Tezuka, Fujio Fujiko, Go Nagai. In middle school, I read shojo manga.

Q: Are there any particular figures you look up to, who’ve influenced your work?

Nagai Gou. And Azuma Hideo.

Q: What was the inspiration for Kimagure Orange Road?

I got inspiration from shojo manga’s love stories, and Go Nagai’s SF/fantasy.

Q: In your manga, you sometimes portray yourself as a fat, chibi kappa. Why that?

I love cats, but one time my fried told me I looked like a kappa. So I combined a cat and a kappa together.

Q: Both the TV series and the movie “I Want to Return to that Day,” portray their own ending. How much input did you have on the endings, and which one do you prefer?

Orange Road has a manga and an anime and they have distinct endings. The manga, the anime series, and the movie have each their own ending. I like the manga one because it’s my original story. But I don’t dislike the other works. I used to say I didn’t like them, but now, I’m not like that….Now I think they’ve done a great job.

Q: Was there any stories from the manga that you wish had been animated?

In the original work, there was a story about the secret behind Kyosuke’s psychic powers. It was done close to the ending of the Orange Road series, where the episode of where the Kasuga family came from. If possible, I would have wanted them to go deeper into that episode.

Q: If you had Kyousuke’s esper powers, what might you use them for?

That’s a difficult question. If I want to be cool, I want to use it to help people. But it doesn’t go that far. Like superman.

Q: Komatsu and Hatta—they represent the more perverted side of men. What would they be doing 20 years later?

I think they’d become responsible adults. Everyone’s a little pervy when they’re young.

Q: It’s been mentioned that you have cerebrospinal fluid disease, and you want to make a manga about it. What would you like to tell the world about it?

Cerebrospinal fluid disease doesn’t just happen to special people. It was induced in my case by the traffic accident. So it can happen to anybody. Right now, the number of patients is small, but I think there are potentially a lot of patients as long as there are traffic accidents. I want to bring awareness to the world about it.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

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