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Manga duo makes a SMILE blooms on readers faces: the Siblings Factor – Hello Award Winners! #20 YUKIRA

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 13/10/2017 16 min read
COOPERATION is mightier than the SWORD TWO passionate siblings for ONE goal: the twin towers of manga creation! Will the SMA-Community (the creators, the readers and the editors) be charmed by their passion? Let’s ask it directly to them! Hello, YUKIRA!

AKIRA & YUU (YUKIRA) self-portrait

YUKIRA it’s a manga team, made of the siblings AKIRA (artist) and YUU (scriptwriter). Nice to meet you!
1) How did you begin creating Manga? Since we were kids, we’ve got a great influence from manga Still young, we learned how to draw by ourselves. Then, AKIRA suggested that maybe we could start to create our manga. At first, we drew manga as a hobby, but later the determination to become manga creators in Japan born in us: we did our best every day to improve our style! At some point, YUU became busy with personal projects, but still keep on supporting AKIRA’s passion until now.
  2) How did you come up with your pen-names? YUKIRA is a combination of YUU (story) and AKIRA (manga). We came up with our pen-names after looking for some kanji, the Chinese ideograms. The kanji for AKIRA (昶) means “eternal sun” while the kanji for YUU(優) means “excellent and gentleness”. We liked the meaning and the sound of those kanji, and we wanted them to represent us.  
3) What is your working environment like? Are you an analogue or digital person? Any unique tools you use to draw? Most of the time we work at home. Both of us are analogue people. We admire the spirit and persistence of the manga creators that still want to create manga in an analogue way, even though digital is much faster and easier. AKIRA uses traditional manga drawing tools such as G- pen, Maru-pen, multi-liners and brush pens to draw.
  4) Do you have some episodes that you want to share with the community about being siblings manga creators? As siblings manga creators, we have undoubtedly several pros and cons. Firstly, there are many advantages to work together: we do not have timing or communication troubles since we live together, and we know each other’s daily schedule very well. Besides that, we also understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Thus we can bring out our full potentials by supporting each other. However, at the same time, there is no communication gap between us which lead us to reveal our true feelings each other. Eventually, quarrels happened frequently while working together, too. 😄    
  “Our culture is unique!”  
5) Anything the world should know about where you live? Interesting events/sights/foods/culture etc? We live in the centre of UNESCO heritage site in Penang, Malaysia. The area has pre-war buildings and old charming streets. Ever since we were young, we are living under a vivid art influence around us: British, Japanese, Malaysian and Chinese cultures were mixed into our state. That artistic diversity honed us and influenced our style!

Crowded street in Penang

6) Popular comics/manga in your country at this moment? At this moment, the most popular comics/manga in our country are mostly from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Some of the popular Japanese manga are “Boku no Hero Academia”, “Tokyo Ghoul”, “Haikyuu!!” and “One-Punch Man”.
  7) Korean and Taiwan manga are popular in Malaysia?  Yes! Korean and Taiwanese manga are very popular right now among young readers due of some free manga app for smartphones. The most famous are “Line Webtoon” (for Korean manga) and “Comico” (for Taiwanese manga).
  8) Are locally created comics/manga popular in your town? Do you know any local creators? Compared to locally created comics/manga, Japan manga are much more popular in our country. Most of the local comics/manga are greatly influenced by the style of Japanese manga. Some of the creators we know are our friends, like Xu You Li, Santa Fung and Black Jellyfish.
  9) What are your favourite manga?  AKIRA – My favourite manga are “One-Punch Man”, “Naruto”, “Bleach”, “Ajin” and “Oyasumi Punpun”! YUU – My favourite shounen manga are “Naruto”, “Kuroko no Basket” and “D-Gray Man”. My favourite seinen are “Vagabond” and “Mushishi”. 😀
    “In our story, we wanted to show the same love we feel for our mother.”   10) Is any part of the story, based on an experience of your own? Err…no! However, we wanted to show the same love we feel for our mother in the story!   11) What was the main inspiration for the entry? YUU – The main inspiration for the entry came from an experience of mine. I was driving alone on a road with two rows of trees along it; that peaceful greenery scene calmed me. Then I thought: “What if something beautiful like this will disappears in the future? How could we bring it back?”. After much thoughts, I realised that the answer was the power of love, especially the love of a mother for her child! Moreover, the SMA7 theme “Unforgettable taste” happened to be very suitable to express this story. Our body and senses create events, undergo experiences and remember them.  

“When Hopes Blooms”, original pages!

12) Where does the story take place? The story is set during in a post-apocalyptic era. Since the apocalyptic war happened globally, the story setting is a undefined big city. We did not plan to express any local culture, instead we wanted to show the contradictions between the once flourishing era and the currently dying world.
13) What is the protagonist’s mother disease? It is a mutated tuberculosis disease since the air is polluted due to the apocalypse. That’s why the mother coughs out blood quite furiously.   14) Are there any reasons for “September 17th?” Well, our mother is born in September, so we used her birthday as a reference for the mother in our story. The date “17th” was randomly picked! 😅
15) When they were young, the boy and his mother wear a similar looking clothing. Are they traditional outfits? No, they are not uniforms. However, we used similar concepts for the designs to express futuristic and post-apocalyptic elements.    
16) How long did it take to create the entry? It took us a month to finish the two entries for SMA7 (“Breakfast That Day” and “When Hope Blooms”). Since we worked on them at the same time, for “When Hope Blooms” we spent approximately two weeks.
  17) What are your favourite SMA7 entries? 
AKIRA – I liked “Taste Better Than Brain”! I always loved zombies and the horror genre in general, also Dekirewee chose to develop the story in a very interesting way. I loved it!
YUU –  My choice is “Grandma’s Flavour”, by EUDETENIS. The story seems so real… It managed to touch my heart.
  “FIRE UP!” “BE LIKE NARUTO!”   18) What are your future expectations? AKIRA – I want to become a pro manga creator in Japan, and be able to express completely my ideals and feelings through my stories. I will try to draw as much manga as I could despite the deadly busy days in my college years. I truly love manga!!! YUU – Although I love creating stories and designing characters, I realised manga is not the best tool for me to convey my ideas. However, I enjoy supporting AKIRA because she always reminds me the true passion towards art. I hope that I can still support her, while I’m finding my future path.   19) What do you expect to achieve by taking part in SMACommunity – The fans, readers and the Japanese pros? AKIRA – I want to learn more about drawing manga and creating a story directly from the pros! YUU – I think being a part of the community makes me learn a lot of things, and gain experiences that I may not had before.   20) Anything else you would like to share with the community? AKIRA – I will keep drawing even if my hands break! This is the only way I can prove myself. Fire UP!!! YUU – Well, I may seem lost for now, but I guess everyone will be like this somehow. I know that I just can’t throw away my art passion, and I guess I just have to stay strong and move forward. To SMAC! I want to say to be like Naruto and believe in your dreams!
Thank you, YUKIRA! Please, do not break any hand and keep on supporting each other! You can keep on challenging yourselves one more time by joining the next SMA!

SMA9 themes announced!!! “FAIRNESS”, “RESPECT” and “TEAMWORK”! Choose one, two or all three! COMBINE them to create ONE, TWO… SEVERAL entries!

Create your Silent Manga and join the competition of the LARGEST MANGA COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD!

Click the picture!  You have time until March, 31st 2018! 😋

See you next time! Bye bye~
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce