Interview of Seiho Takizawa (Under the Sky of Tokyo …), November 14, 2017

Best known for his aviation stories published in France by Paquet editions (Japanese Interceptors 1945, A Cry in the Blue Sky, 103 Squadron of Chasse …), Seihô Takizawa, returns in this month of November to the Delcourt / Tonkam editions with Under the skies of Tokyo …, a slice of life tinged with drama, which takes place during the period of the Second World War .Present in France last month, the artist agreed to grant us an interview in the premises of Delcourt / Tonkam about his new work. How was your passion for war flying born? Seiho Takizawa: Like many boys, I used to love airplanes when I was very young, but it was especially when I started to draw aviation mangas as a professional that I started to like that more and more. Originally, my very first aviation manga, which is in Japanese Interceptors 1945, is a work of command of a model magazine that asked me to tell a story of war. I had the choice between the theme of the tanks, that of the soldiers, that of the planes … I chose this last one. So before drawing this first manga, you did not know you specifically about aviation? effect (laughs). It's really over the mangas that I could do on this subject that I found myself a passion in there. It must be known that at the time when I drew my first manga on the subject, I had only two books on aviation at home. Before that, I was rather mechas, spacecraft, science fiction … But after, after two years working on this theme, I found myself with a dozen books on the subject.What authors and works especially forged your desire to become a mangaka When I was in high school, I found in the pre-publication magazine shôjo Ribon a mangaka named Yumiko Tabuchi. Today, she retired a long time ago. At that time, she made me realize that even with a manga you can do literature. This is the first time that I thought that the manga could be really great, and that I wanted to become mangaka. What big names in aviation, Japanese or not, do you prefer, and why? reality, even if I have seen a lot of it in my documentations, I have no particular preferences. Are not the planes in themselves the ones you like? No more. What interests me is to tell stories with aircraft pilots. I have no preferences for certain models. Under Tokyo sky … in addition to aeronautics, invites us to follow the daily life of a couple in the middle of World War II. We often find this period in your works. What makes you want to approach this time I did not do that period in manga, but if I do a lot of stories in this time, it's mostly because my parents have lived and told me their experiences of this war in a very realistic way. Collecting testimonials from people who have experienced this is something very emotional. Above all, it is almost the only war in which Japan has invested heavily on a large scale. That's why, as a Japanese, I think I need to draw that period.You who did not know that time and grew up and lived in the following decades, what look did you have? you on this period? And through your works, what do you want most to pass on to the younger generations on it? Simply, I find that this war was a really tragic moment in our history, but at the same time I think it was supposed to happen in all cases. In History, there has been a lot of wars, this one is one. But my thoughts on it stop there, there is nothing more. If I want to send a message, I would have wandered with a large sign (laughs). There is not really a message that I want to convey to my readers, I'm just telling stories and drawing. Afterwards, it is up to each reader to judge. The story is very precise on everything that concerns the engineering of the time or the differences of means between Japan and the USA. We guess a strong documentation. What part of the work did that represent? For this last period of the 2nd World War, there is a lot of documentation, so it was easy to find. For older periods of this war, I should have given myself more. In reality, the hardest part of my job is to draw everything precisely. It takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of effort. But for the elements of the documentation, such as the differences between Japan and USA, I did not give myself so much trouble.Il also a great care given to the relationship of the main couple: he is in mode metro-work-dodo and she supports him as a good wife, with his own courage on a daily basis, with character and stubbornness too. What did you want to show in this life as a couple? When we read a story of war, we are usually entitled to scenes of very glorious, very violent battles, and it is only brave men who are put forward . In my case, here I wanted to show what these people, these soldiers, are men like everyone else, who worry about their salary at the end of the month, who argue with their relatives, watch over them … In front of classic war stories, I wanted to propose battle scenes of course, but also the simpler and more human facets. Earlier, you asked me if I had favorite pilots and I said no, because that's not what interests me. The extraordinary people, the geniuses of the aviation, it is not what arouses my interest. In the story there is the evocation and the quotation of Saint-Exupery's "Night Flight", which was at the same time writer and aviator. Why him? I found this passage of the novel particularly beautiful. I really like the feeling of the pilot, who likes someone on the ground, but still takes his plane to fly. He could very well stay grounded, with the one he likes, but when you're a pilot you're going to fly, it's obligatory. It was this thing that really caught my attention in "Night Flight". Interview conducted by Koiwai. Thanks to Seiho Takizawa, his interpreter Takanori Uno, as well as to Delcourt / Tonkam and in particular to Solène Ubino for setting up this meeting.

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