Comic Exhibition Taipei 2009 -- Katsumi Nishino autograph session
The first event I could cover was the autograph session of Katsumi Nishino, author of Kanokon novel. Before the autograph session started, I took the opportunity to ask a few questions to Nishino-sensei.
Q: Kanokon has two female protagonists, and Chizuru is older (human-age speaking) than Kōta; why did you design such background setting?
A: Personally, I prefer girls slightly elder than myself, and I thought "it would be great if a girl like Chizuru can be at my side."
Q: Do you think yourself are similar to the male protagonist (Kōta) in some way?
A: Not at all, but I really envy him.
Q: Do you have a specific preference to girls with kemonomimi (animal ears)?
A: Yes! I like kemonomimi very much, and that's why I wrote the story in this way.
Q: Fans of your book are divided: some want you to stop this "suggestive" style of writing, yet the other want you write in a more erotic manner. What is your personal opinion on this and how will you continue writing?
A: I respect opinions of both, but I just can't resist writing ecchi scenes, so I can only say sorry to the more conservative readers (laugh).
Q: What was your original target audience? Surprisingly, the novel is very popular among grade schoolers; how do you see this?
A: The target readership was set to be junior to senior high schoolers. I'm surprised to know I've got grade schooler readers; is this story really okay for them? I feel a bit apologetic to their parents.
Q: Have you watched the anime version? If so, what do you think about it?
A: Yes, I've watched it all, and I think it has adapted perfectly. I believe readers of my book would think the same when they watch the anime.
Q: What did you think when you saw Koin-sensei's illustration for the first time? Was there any difference from your design?
A: There were minor differences, but overall the illustration simply looked wonderful.
Q: How and why did you pick Koin-sensei as the illustrator?
A: In fact we didn't group together by our own; rather, editors of the publishing company thought Koin-sensei's artistic style suited my story, and I agree with them after seeing Koin-sensei's samples.
Q: Is this your first autograph session and first time abroad?
A: Yes, both my firsts.
Q: Do you think it's a great thing to be a novelist?
A: That's right! It's absolutely wonderful!
When Nishino-sensei was still at the backstage, fans were gathering in front of the stage area. Some stayed awake overnight in order to grab the 150 autograph eligibility.
Behold, the spoil of war: life-size pillows featuring Chizuru, exclusive for Comic Exhibition Taipei 2009.
Sensei has appeared on the stage! Two cute cosplayers dressed as Chizuru and Nozomu accompanied him. What a lucky guy.
Because Koin-sensei was not able to visit Taiwan in person, he illustrated an exclusive picture for the signing board, plus a signature with mini-Chizuru.
Nishino-sensei is not shy to pose for photo with his fans.
At the end of the autograph session, sensei left his autograph at the picture wall behind the stage.
MC asked, "whom would you choose if you were Kōta?" Nishino-sensei replied, "it's too difficult to choose between them, so I want both!"