We interviewed Kurosu Gatari and asked him questions about his career to celebrate the double release of “A Midsummer NTR 2” and “Wild Chronicles – Darkest Desire: Chapter 1 (Full Color Version)”!
On: Thank you for taking part in this interview. Could you give us a quick self introduction?
Kurosu Gatari (KG): My name is Kurosu Gatari and I’m a Hentai Mangaka. I spend most of my time working, but recently, I’ve been playing a lot of video games. I’m on a bit of a “zombie-hunting binge” so I’ve been playing some Resident Evil and Last of Us.
On: Those are great games. In the same zombie genre, I’m really looking forward to Dying Light 2. Anyway, let’s get started with the questions. Did you always want to work in Hentai, or did you consider general manga at first?
KG: I actually started out in Shounen manga, but that didn’t bear any fruit, so I switched over to adult content.
On: That’s interesting to know. We’ve seen some hentai artists release some non-erotic works recently. Do you ever have plans to “go back”?
KG: As of right now, no. I feel like everything a mangaka wants to achieve in “general manga”, like “getting picked up by a publisher”, “having printed books sold in a bookstore” etc can also be done in hentai. I guess for adult works, an anime-adaptation of your work can’t be broadcasted on television, but that’s about it, so I’m quite content in staying in hentai.
From Parodies to Originals
On: I guess they can’t really show hentai on the telly haha. When you began your career as a hentai mangaka, you started out drawing lots of parody works, particularly pokemon ones. However, as of late, you’ve been producing a lot of original works. What made you decide to start working on original works? Some of your foreign fans have asked if you intend to create parodies in the future, or will you stick to creating original stories?
KG: I used to draw parody works for events like Comiket. Parodies are a lot more successful at events, since they are very difficult to sell online in digital format*. So with Covid shutting down doujinshi events, I naturally shifted my time and resources to making original works. But once Covid settles down and events are back, it’s something I’m interested in working on.
*On’s Notes: Since parody works are “technically illegal” (it’s a legal grey zone), many storefronts don’t market it as much as they do original works. This makes parodies “stand out” at events as they are a lot more visible to buyers.
Workload and Workflow
On: You’ve been on a roll the past few years and have constantly churned out top quality work. You’re a very popular artist now with a large following as well. Readers want to know if you ever faced hardship as a mangaka that made you want to quit or made you reconsider your career path?
KG: I’ve been fortunate so far and I’ll continue to release more and more hentai works as long as my body can keep up with the workload. But creating manga isn’t easy, and it’s a lot of hard work that stresses you out both physically and mentally. Honestly, I’m not sure how long I can keep this up, but I’ll do my best.
On: We love reading your works, but we also hope you get adequate rest! Speaking of your workload, you have 3 mainline series and you recently released a colourised version of your old work. Do you do all of this alone, or do you have assistants working with you? Many foreign fans know that commercial mangaka have assistants, but weren’t sure if doujinshi artists also took people under their wing.
KG: I do work with assistants. I used to be an assistant myself to a commercial manga artist for a long time, so I know how important and efficient it is to have a well functioning team to delegate tasks to. I plan the plot and draw the base art of all the works myself, but my team helps me out in other areas so I can keep pumping out new works.
On: That’s good to hear. Hopefully the divided workload is less stress on your part. Other than creating new work, you also released “Wild Chronicles – Darkest Desire: Chapter 1 (Full Color Version)”, which is a fully colourised version of your past release. Do you plan on colourising more of your works?
KG: If I can clearly see that there’s demand for it, I’d be happy to release other works in colour too.
On: What’s your favourite manga? Do you have a mangaka that has left a significant impact on you?
KG: My favourite manga is Berserk. I’m in love with the “dark fantasy” genre. For hentai, I really admire Inoue Kiyoshirou. Their art is amazing and the way they draw women’s bodies has influenced the way I create my works. I always make sure to emphasize how “curvy” the women in my works are.
On: There’s no denying that you deliver the thiccness. Of all the lovely girls that you have drawn, do you have a favourite?
KG: I love Sumire from the “Darkest Desire” series. Her bright and friendly attitude makes her fun to draw as well.
The Origins of Darkest Desire
On: Speaking of “Darkest Desire”, the series is based on the popular “BBC (big black cock)” genre, where black men have sex with women. The BBC genre usually revolves around a NTR-style plot. Was there a particular reason for you to try this trope?
KG: It was because I had it in my mind to eventually publish my doujinshi overseas, so I was thinking about what might be attractive to a foreign audience. This ended up working in my favour in Japan as well, since the BBC-NTR theme of Darkest Desire helped differentiate the series from all the other NTR stories doing the rounds in Japan. It’s because of this that the Darkest Desire series is one of my favourites.
On: Both “Darkest Desire 3” and “A Midsummer NTR 2” strongly hint at a sequel. How far ahead do you usually plan your stories? Do you have the ending already in mind, or do you try to stretch it as long as it remains popular? Some of our fans are dying to know if there will be sequels.
KG: It all depends on how well the works sell. Both “Wild Chronicles – Darkest Desire: Chapter 1” and “A Midsummer NTR Dream” have endings that “wrap up” the story and are designed so they can be enjoyed as a standalone work. Fortunately, both works sold well so I was able to plan the sequel. In fact, how well the first chapter in a series sells impacts how far ahead I plan the story and all its sequels.
I believe it’s important that artists don’t become “arrogant/ selfish” when creating works. Instead of pushing forth and only creating stories I want to create, making decisions based on sales numbers keeps me grounded to reality. Sometimes, if the numbers aren’t good, it’s time to call it a day. Fans vote with their wallets, so sales numbers are the best indicators for me when I make future plans.
On: So being “unselfish” is an important tenet for making doujinshi?
KG: At least for me. You always have to consider what the readers want if you want to keep making successful doujinshi that sell. But there are doujinshi artists out there who go against the grain and just keep doing what they do, and are successful, so it probably depends on the artist.
NTR and… “Wholesome Romance”!?
On: You’ve been a “successful” artist for a while now, and you’re one of the most popular “NTR artists” out there. Was there a specific reason you focused on this genre?
KG: Not really. I personally like the genre, so I naturally ended up creating stories with that theme. But in the future, I’d like to draw a harem story full of dominant women. A bit of light femdom maybe.
On: That’ll be something to keep an eye on! What about something very out of left field? Any chance we’ll see a “wholesome romance” story from you?
KG: I doubt it lol. Not really sure if there’s demand from my readers for me to draw wholesome romances.
On: We’ve sent you the English versions of your works. How did it feel to see your own work in a different language?
KG: I felt like I was reading a Marvel/DC-style American comic book. It’s cool to see.
On: Some of your foreign fans started out by reading pirated versions of your work. How do you feel about pirated content / scanlations?
KG: As the foreign market becomes bigger, there’s gonna be more Japanese artists who might be interested in publishing their works overseas. Fans buying the official English releases is a “win-win” for both artists and foreign fans, as those numbers become good indicators for more artists to give it a try.
On: That’s true. Before we wrap up, any final messages for the readers of this article?
KG: Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you will continue to support me!
On: Thank you so much for taking part!
Did you enjoy the interview? Click the image below to see all of Kurosu Gatari’s works!
You can also read other artist interviews here.
We hope to do more artist interviews so you can get to know the artists better. If there is a particular artist you would like us to interview, let us know via the contact form.
Thank you to those of you who submitted your questions for Kurosu Gatrari. We weren’t able to ask everyone’s questions, but your suggestions helped liven up the interview.