His first original work is Magician which won him first place in an amateur manga's artist's competition in 1998. This paved the way for his first series, Rave Master (Groove Adventure Rave), that became well known series with 32 volumes (1999-2005). However, his anime adaptation of Rave Master fell short when the series got cancelled on it 51st episode in September 28, 2002. In the present day, his third work, Fairy Tail, is his longest anime series (104 episodes) to date, and for the manga, it is in its 29th volume and on its 258th chapter.
For more infomation: See Hiro Mashima's page.
In this interview, Hiro Mashima is interviewed by Brigid Alverson of MTVGeekand the AnimeNewsNetwork staff, Crystal Hodgkins, at the New York Comic Con. Last October 14, 2011, Hiro Mashima and some of the dub voice actors talk in a panel; Oct. 15, 2011, Hiro Mashima did a public signing event. Since there are two interviews, I will list Crystalyn Hodgkin's conversation of ANN first (Her name is staff for some reason) then post Brigid Alverson of MTV Geek second. Thank you.
Crystalyn Hodgkin of ANN
ANN: Last time we spoke with you was in 2008. Since then, Fairy Tail has been made into an anime. What do you think of the anime adaptation?
Mashima: I've been having a great time, just going along with the ride. I wanted to tell [ANN] about the anime during that earlier interview, but I couldn't.
What is your favorite part about having your manga turned into an anime?
Just watching Natsu and Happy move around. There's a limit to the effects I can draw regarding the depiction of the magic in the manga, so seeing that in the anime is so much fun, and it looks very beautiful onscreen. It made me realize how fun my characters are when I saw them moving around.
Did you read manga or watch anime as a child, and if so, what were your favorites?
Dragon Ball, and a lot of the works by Hayao Miyazaki.
At that time, did you ever think that you would become a manga creator?
It all started with me copying and tracing their works, and then, before I realized it, I knew I was going to be a professional. It was what I wanted to be so badly, that I knew I was going to be one.
Loyalty to family and friends is a frequent theme running throughout Fairy Tail. Is this also something you feel passionate about?
Absolutely. My friends have helped me a lot in the past, and that's something I wanted to directly show in this manga. And that was the beginning of Fairy Tail actually. But, because I've so busy lately, my list of friends in my cell phone has been quickly edited down (laughs).
Monster Hunter Orage is based on the Monster Hunter videogame franchise. And yet, it's a manga that those who don't know the game very well can read and enjoy. How is it different to create a manga about a world you didn't make, as opposed to Fairy Tail where it's all yours?
Of course, the first thing I understood was that I couldn't destroy the world of the original authors, so I had to respect that. But there were a lot of similarities, the vision of the world of Monster Hunter was very similar to the world I often depict, so it wasn't too difficult.
In Fairy Tail, often the "villain" characters get redeemed in one way or another. Do you believe in giving people second chances and that anyone can be redeemed?
Absolutely. However, I value life heavily, and that's something to keep in mind. Sometimes I depict where a character passes away, but then it turns out they actually hadn't, but I never draw how someone who was actually already dead coming back to life; that's not something that I depict.
Fairy Tail is a very imaginative manga. It has a lot of surprises in it, and it's also very funny. How do you come up with ideas for your characters and stories, and what do you do when you run out of ideas and inspiration?
So, at the actual moment that the idea is born, I'm not aware of it. It happens coincidentally and spontaneously. But I'm constantly thinking of ideas. Even as I was walking here from the staff room I was thinking about it, and even now, in the corner of my mind, I'm actually thinking of ideas. But when I can't think of ideas, I sleep it off. I just have to change my emotions and feelings.
What message do you have for your English-speaking fans?
There are 15 volumes of Fairy Tail out now in English, but many more interesting and surprising stories await you, so I hope you read on. There are also many more characters, and the plot is thickening and getting ever more passionate. I'm well aware that I have readers not just in Japan, but all over the world, so I hope everyone will look forward to my work.
From AnimeNewsNetwork: Interview: Hiro Mashima by Crystalyn Hodgekins
Brigid Alverson of MTV Geek
Crystal: Our company interviewed you three years ago. Since then, Fairy Tail has been made into an anime. What do you think of the anime adaptation?
Hiro Mashima: I have been having fun, I have just been having a great time just going along with the ride. I wanted to tell you then, but I couldn’t.
Crystal: What is your favorite part about having your manga turned into an anime?
Hiro Mashima: Just watching Natsu and Happy move around. There’s a limit to the effects that I can draw, the depiction of magic in manga so in anime it’s so much fun. I realize how much fun my characters are when I see them move around.
Brigid: I wanted to ask about Monster Hunter Orage. I know this is based on a game, yet it’s a manga that people who don’t know the game very well can read and enjoy. But for you, how is it different to create a manga about a world you didn’t create, as opposed to Fairy Tail, where it’s all yours. What are the challenges?
Hiro Mashima: Of course the first thing was that I couldn't destroy the world of the original author, so I had to respect that. But there were a lot of similarities. The vision of the world of Monster Hunter is very similar to the world that I often depict, so it wasn't too difficult.
Crystal: Back to themes in Fairy Tail: Often the villain characters get redeemed in the series in one way or another. Do you believe in giving people second chances and that anybody can be redeemed?
Hiro Mashima: Absolutely. But, however, I value life heavily, so that's something to keep in mind. Sometimes I depict … where a character passes on and it turns out that they actually weren't [dead], but I never depict … somebody that was already actually dead coming back to life. That’s not something that I depict, resurrections.
Brigid: Fairy Tail is a very imaginative manga; it has a lot of surprises in it, and it’s also very funny. How do you come up with ideas for characters and for stories, and—here’s the hard part—what do you do when you run out of ideas, when you have no inspiration?
Hiro Mashima: At the actual moment of the idea being born, I am actually not aware of it. It is the most spontaneous moment. But I am constantly thinking about ideas, and even as I was walking here from the staff room I was thinking about it, and even now, in the corner of my mind, I am thinking of ideas… But when I can't think of an idea, when my idea runs dry, I just sleep if off. I just have to change my emotion and my feelings.
Crystal: What message would you like to give to your English speaking fans?
Hiro Mashima: There are 15 volumes now, but a lot more different and interesting and surprising stories await you, so I hope you read on. There will be so many more characters, and the plot is thickening, and I am ever more passionate. And I am well aware that I have readers all over the world, so I hope that you will look forward to my work.
From MTV Geek: Hiro Mashima talks about Fairy Tail by Brigid Alverson
*On 2nd Examination: These interviews are similar, so it seems redundant to post two. I'm sorry about that. I collapse the second one into a spoiler block. Feel free to read the second one if you like. Please, click on the other sources for more information.
- AnimeNewsNetwork(Interview - Nov. 8, 2011) and last interviewon Aug. 17, 2008
- New York Comic Con (July 28, 2011) and New York Comic Con (Announcements for October)
- MTV Geek (Interview on 11-7-11)
- Fairy Tail's Hiro Mashima tells no told no secrets at NYCC's Kodansha Panel (Oct. 19, 2011)
Since these interviews do not answer everything, I want to know what thoughts or unanswered questions you have. Please feel free to ask. I'll put down any questions that's related to Hiro Mashima and his works from the community here. To start it off:
- How long will you keep on working on Fairy Tail or what is the goal for the manga and the anime? by Taka
- When Fairy Tail does end, what inspirations from this series would you take for future series? by Taka
- How successful do you think Fairy Tail would be? Do you think it's up to par with mainstream shounen series such One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z? by Taka
- What features or qualities do you think your work sets it apart from these mainstream series? by Taka
- Did you ever think about making a female lead protagonist for your series? by Taka
- What western animation or comic series has inspired you or what is your favorite western animation/comic series? by Taka
- Are you interested in collaborating with western artists and making a series? Example: Hiroyuki Takei and Stan Lee on Ultimo. by Taka
- Are you an advocate for online manga simulcasts of your work? by Taka
- Do you still see manga having strong outlook in the future? by Taka
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