Katarina (KK): Thank you for taking part in this interview. Could you give us a quick self-introduction?
Maemuki na Doemu (MD): Hello, I’m Maemuki na Doemu. I make a living drawing ero manga. I use a different alias to draw works that are intended for male audiences and Maemuki na Doemu is the alias I use when I draw ero manga intended for female audiences.
KK: Are there any anime, games, etc that you really like? Any hobbies you’re really into as of lately?
MD: I thought ARCANE on Netflix that I watched late last year was very innovative. I love to game so I play a lot of indie games on Steam. In recent times, I’ve really gotten into HADES.
KK: What made you want to become a manga artist?
MD: I used to be an office worker, so it’s not like I’ve become a manga artist because I was destined to be one or anything… I’ve been drawing doujinshi as a hobby for a long while, so I consider my career to be an extension of that.
KK: Readers would like to know if there are any artists or authors who inspire you, or you look up to when you draw manga?
MD: I’ve been influenced by all of the works I’ve read since I was a child. And I’m still being influenced by works I’m reading now. I simply can’t count them all even if I tried!
KK: Did you always want to draw ero manga or did you consider general manga too? Our readers want to know if you had a choice, would you rather continue drawing eroge manga or make a general manga for publishers for big publishing companies?
MD: Let’s say I did draw manga without any sex scenes in it. Would people read that? (Haha!) The most likely answer is, “NO.” The thing I aim to achieve with my doujinshi work is to draw general manga but with hardcore sex scenes. So at the moment, I’m in the process of depicting matters that can only be done in ero manga, one by one. If I ever exhaust that list, then I may draw a non-adult, general manga.
KK: What are some of the unique challenges you face when drawing ero manga?
MD: I think a good ero manga can tell the story just through the drawing, but I tend to depend on dialogues and it’s hard to strike a balance between the text and the drawing. Also, I’m always worried if the readers actually enjoy my manga because my style of work is so peculiar…
KK: Your artist name and circle name are rather interesting. Is there any interesting origin story why you chose those names?
MD: It’s a peculiar alias, but I got this name from a voice actor’s interview in an anime magazine and they were describing the character they played as “maemuki na doemu,” and I found that extremely hilarious. I chose the circle name because I intended to only draw works involving dads… (lol)
*Note: “Maemuki na Doemu” means “Optimistic Super-Masochist” and “Otousan no Kurorekishi” means “Daddy’s Shameful Past” in English.
KK: You were one of the first original BL doujinshi authors that we approached when we established Irodori Sakura. What were your thoughts when approached by a foreign publisher and the opportunity to have your work localized into English?
MD: I’ve received comments on social media in English from time to time, so I wanted those people to enjoy my manga, but I knew it would be difficult to localize my works by myself, given my limited English abilities. Just when I was considering employing a translator using my own money, Irodori Sakura contacted me, haha! It was a godsend.
KK: Irodori Sakura sends you the English version of your work for you to check before we release them. How does it feel to see your own work in a different language?
MD: First of all, I’m astonished by the high level of English ability that the Irodori translators have! Just at a glance, my manga looks like a completely different work. I’m happy that the Irodori localizers don’t do literal translations, but they translate my work by understanding the nuances of the contexts. Seeing the translated works have inspired me to study English again on my own.
KK: Puppy Play With Papa just got its final release in English. What was the initial idea that made you want to draw this series?
MD: I watch dog videos on YouTube quite often, and one day I suddenly thought to myself, “It would be pretty fun if there was a dad who was like a Shiba Inu.” I’d never thought that this would become a long series.
KK: You’ve been drawing characters from Puppy Play With Papa and “Puppy Play With Papa – What the Cat Dragged In” for 3 years now. How far ahead did you initially plan the story? Do you determine how long a series will last based on sales data or is there a particular story you want to see through to the end?
MD: I’ve been drawing them for a pretty long while, haven’t I… As far as the Japanese version of the series was concerned, I had a minimum sales goal, so this series could’ve ended at any time. I was able to draw this story to the end all thanks to the readers!
Puppy Play With Papa – What the Cat Dragged In is the backbone of the Nekoyanagi Family story, so I’ve already thought about it when I was working on the second volume of Puppy Play With Papa.
KK: What do you find particularly difficult, or exciting when drawing series in comparison to shorter works?
MD: When there are a lot of pages, I worry that my work is becoming tedious and redundant. There are times that the activities in the sex scenes are too similar… I feel exhilarated when I finish drawing scenes that I really wanted to do, which I’ve put my whole heart into.
KK: Nekoyanagi Tsurugi and Inubo are the main pair in Puppy Play With Papa. How would you describe them and their dynamic as a pair?
MD: I want to make them into straightforward characters, so I’ve depicted them and their family backgrounds as being very opposite to one another.
Inubo: A person who can give love to others.
Nekoyanagi: A person who is famished for love.
Nekoyanagi is a sadist and he takes the initiative in sex, but mentally, he’s still a child.
On the other hand, Inubo is mature and deals with Nekoyanagi’s selfish desires in an “All right, all right, I’ll play with you” kind of way. Now that they’ve started living together, it’s like Inubo got an additional child who’s big.
KK: In Puppy Play With Papa – What the Cat Dragged In, Nekoyanagi Tatsuki is put front and center. What are some of the things you’re glad you were able to show about Tatsuki in this prequel that was not so obvious in Puppy Play With Papa?
MD: While I was drawing Puppy Play With Papa, I was thinking, “This story will probably have a happy ending,” but the prequel is about Nekoyanagi Family’s past, and I’ve already decided to make it a distinctively different series because it’s depressing and loveless. The ending of the prequel is already chosen, too.
Young Tatsuki is quite a popular character among all the characters I’ve put out!
I was glad that I was able to draw the process of how this pervert came into being, and also how much of a trash personality he had.
KK: Readers want to know if Tatsuki and Tsurugi could’ve possibly have had a healthier relationship if things went differently?
MD: Yes. At least I don’t think Tsurugi would’ve turned out to be a taciturn, gloomy child…
KK: Are there any characters or scenes you want readers to pay special attention to?
MD: I found myself enjoying drawing young Tsurugi the most. Those particular juvenile qualities, like feeling omnipotent, having a sharp tongue, and all.
I want the audience to pay close attention to the latter half of Puppy Play With Papa – What the Cat Dragged In volume 4. That episode ended up being heavy and sinful.
KK: Are there any behind-the-scenes stories that you can share with us for either of the series?
MD: Before I started drawing the final episode of Puppy Play With Papa, COVID-19 started to spread and my research trip was canceled. Inubo Family is based on an existing region in Japan, so this instance was memorable.
It’s been over a year and a half since then, and it feels like the life before the pandemic is coming back little by little.
By the way, Nekoyanagi Family is in Kyoto.
KK: Thank you very much for taking part. Any final message for foreign fans?
MD: I always feel worried about whether the audience likes my work or not because my manga is very unique, even considering the depth of the Japanese doujin industry…
Please don’t hesitate to send me your reviews of my work through social media. Thank you very much for reading until the end!
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Thank you to those of you who submitted your questions for Maemuki na Doemu. We weren’t able to ask everyone’s questions, but your suggestions helped liven up the interview.