MANGA.TOKYO has been interviewing the hottest creators working in Japan and we ask them about their method and their influences.
Today we talk with multi-talented creator, aldehyde, who is an illustrator and manga artist who is releasing the popular Neeko series on Twitter!
The Neeko series, being released since 2017, is about a young pretty girl known as Neeko and her family. She is a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and lives with her family after graduating school. The series has tens of thousand of retweets every time it releases a new shot.
Let’s talk with the creator, aldehyde, and learn his secret of creating such appealing characters, mainly focusing on Neeko!
NEET suddenly wants to die after feeling nostalgic
NEET gained no job, but gained more weight
Neeko got her hair cut by her sister, too scared of going to a hairdresser
Q. Could you please introduce yourself briefly?
A. ‘Nice to meet you. I’m a moe-style illustrator, aldehyde. I am from and work in Japan. I have been working as an illustrator since 2011, and have worked on character illustrations for social games, light novel illustrations, cartoon strips, adult-themed manga, key frames for games and so on. I’ve also been doing doujinshi works and have been exhibiting my publications at Comic Market (Comiket) every season. I haven’t done any works marketed internationally, so I hope this article becomes the opportunity for people outside Japan to get to know me and my works.’
Q. What made you aim to be an illustrator?
A. ‘I’ve always been drawing since I was a child, but the first motivator was a derivative manga series of Touhou project that I started working on when I was a high school student. I enjoyed showing my own illustrations to many people on the internet. I started drawing more pictures and more seriously, and soon I thought I wanted to make a living by illustrating.’
Q. Any specific reason or motivator that got you to start the Neeko series?
A. ‘I had always wanted to create manga, but I received many illustration offers and practically didn’t have an opportunity to do so for a long time. Then one day I saw Getsuyoubi no Tawawa (Tawawa on Mondays) released every week on Twitter. It’s a series of simple illustrations with a hint of story and I found Twitter as a potential medium for releasing my works. Twitter has a limit that you can only release 4 images at one time, but that limit gave me a laid-back and casual feel, both mentally and physically compared to serializing one in a magazine and that was also a determining factor.’
（Click below to check out Getsuyoubi no Tawawa!）
Feeling Blue on Mondays? Try the Tawawa challenge on Twitter!
Q. How long did you practice drawing until you managed to be good enough to satisfy yourself with your own works?
A. Sometimes I feel satisfied with my own illustrations when I look back at my work after spending some time and calming down. I think it took me about 3 years until I got any feelings of satisfaction.
（Next page: Who is aldehyde’s role model? See more illustrations of Neeko too!）