Aniya Yuiji live!
Aniya Yuiji got a Stickam account! I believe she set it up just yesterday evening. I woke up at around 7AM (9PM Japanese time) and she was mostly messing around, and then eventually she started drawing—working on Tempest! This is very exciting, because I’ve honestly always wanted to see Aniya Yuiji’s drawing process; her art is just so beautiful so I want to know how it’s created. Granted, she didn’t do her initial sketching process but I’ll take what I can get.
I watched her feed for longer than I’d like to admit (umm about two hours?? /no life) and actually I can’t think of anything in a long while that has made me happier. Actually it wasn’t like I was just sitting and silently watching a video of Aniya drawing—eventually Chika (Aniya’s manager and good friend) came in on mic and then later in the text chat, and it was like being in a chatroom of other people—finally!!—who love Aniya Yuiji just as much as I do. From the way she is on twitter I had initially taken Aniya Yuiji as someone who doesn’t interact with her fans very much, but this definitely proved me wrong.
(QK—or ‘kyuukei’—means ‘break’ in Japanese.)
For the first hour or so, admittedly, it really was Aniya mostly just doing her art process. If I can take anything from watching my favorite mangaka work, it’s definitely this: 99% of the time she was just messing around. She didn’t have this huge master plan like I foolishly assumed she always would—a majority of the time she’d try a background, delete it, try a new one, tone it down a few shades, tone it up a few shades, delete it, try something else, go back to the one she originally started with, tone it tone a couple shades, etc. etc. Just like any other artist it took her a lot of experimenting before she decided on the way she wanted things done. In a weird way this made her feel much more… idk normal, I guess? Like she’s not this amazing goddess of BL that I’d always seen her as.
(Though at one point someone asked her “uhh sorry but are you not using a background sketch???” aka a rough sketch of what she’d originally planned for the manga before doing the finished panels. Admittedly, to me also it really did look like she wasn’t using an underlying rough! But it was just hard to see haha. Aniya responded like “of course I’m using a rough sketch—if I wasn’t this would look terrible!”)
She was actually quite talkative, either replying to people in the chat section or by writing on her work. Then about half through Aniya was suddenly like “Chika returned!! I’ll try to get her to say something!” And then actually Chika got on the mic for quite a long time, either giggling with Aniya (they both have pretty adorable voices ngl) or talking to fans or allowing people to ask Aniya questions while she worked and then Chika would answer them—that way Aniya wouldn’t get distracted haha. A truly great manager, Chika-san! Though at one point Aniya was doodling and talking to people and was like “I’m taking a break…” and Chika blurted out “you’re always on break!!!” lmao. (True, though—she took quite a few breaks. Evidently Aniya is the type who gets irritable when she’s forced to sit still for too long.)
Through Chika I learned a lot of interesting stuff about Aniya Yuiji, though. She smokes—Kool Mix brand, supposedly. She used to draw manga the traditional way but ever since she debuted she has switched completely over to digital work. Also, as previously stated, she takes break all the time.
At one point Chika started talking about NatsuComi, and popped the best question: “so if we were to complete a NatsuComi doujinshi, which characters would you want it to be about?” If I had previously thought I was alone in sincerely missing Aniya’s BL publications, I’ve since been shown I’m dead wrong; that simple question by Chika started a flurry of adoring comments like “I would love to see more Nightingale!” or “I definitely want more MisCon!” Someone even alerted Chika that she definitely wants to see more about Mimi-chan—Mana’s trans mom from Me wo Tojite. It seems that everyone is yearning for more BL from Aniya.
And, even better, Aniya seems so very willing to oblige. Once everyone started talking excitedly about Aniya’s BL works, she (once again on break) started doodling her previous BL characters.
Actually, she drew Dora-chan for Manako—another BL mangaka who runs often in Canna (and lately, various other publications as her popularity catches on)—after Manako’s comments about how much she fell in love with adult!Dora in volume six of Citron spurred an entire conversation of love for Dora and You-chan.
Sadly, in the end I had to leave the chat/live feed because I had a lot of non-fandom stuff to do today. ;w; But I was really happy to be able to catch it! My love for Aniya Yuiji has definitely been 100% renewed—now I know not to worry so much that Aniya herself has completely lost interest in BL, and it was fun to be able to see many other huge fans of her work!
Aniya seems quite hooked on Stickam, so hopefully there will be many more fun chats to come. I look forward to it!!