Yuna Kagesaki (影崎由那, pseudonym 影崎夕那) is a manga and game CG artist, best known for her manga Chibi Vampire/Karin (かりん). Her game credits include KID’s infinity series, such as Never7, and various titles in the Da Capo series (D.C.P.S. and D.C.Four Seasons). We were able to interview her at Sakura-Con 2008 about her work.
Ms. Kagesaki started drawing game CGs for Himeya-soft (姫屋ソフト) in 1993, but since 2001 has been focusing on manga. The game companies she has worked for include KID, CIRCUS/Kadokawa Books (角川書店), JANIS, May-Be Soft, and BELL-DA. The previously mentioned series Karin began serialization in May 2003 and ended in April 2008. She also has a more recent doujinshi circle, Tsubuan Doumei (つぶあん同盟), which does parody works.
We would like to thank Ms. Kagesaki for letting us interview her and the Sakura-Con staff for their assistance in arranging and facilitating the interview.
encubed: How did you start working on game CGs?
Yuna: Job searching. As long as the job was drawing, anything would work. At first, I wanted to become a manga artist, but I wasn’t good enough yet so I looked for a different job.
e: Which game’s work do you feel the best about?
Y: Which game… infinity? Like Never7 (ed: Never7 -the end of infinity-).
e: What made you start to create manga?
Y: I was scouted at a doujinshi event.
e: When you make your own manga, you have complete freedom in the drawings, since you are writing the story. How much freedom do you have with game CGs? How much input do you have to the character designing process?
Y: It’s hard to fit the characters into the dimensions of the window. It’s probably the same as with anime.
e: How is it drawing for the Da Capo series, where the characters are already well
Y: I was an outsider for that job (ed: did not have any influence). It was my first time having to be careful to draw like the original images, so it was interesting. But in the end, people could still tell they were my drawings.
e: Do you prefer working on game CGs yourself, or collaborating with other artists?
Y: There are times where I drew all the images, but now that I think about it, it’s probably better to draw with other people.
e: How large and detailed do you draw game CGs?
Y: I draw according to the maker’s decision. I usually only draw the character line art, not the details.
e: The graphics up to now have been mostly 640×480, what has changed as the resolution has increased?
Y: Honestly, I don’t know. My latest work hasn’t really been much other than Da Capo. Most of my work as a game illustrator was in the golden age of the NEC-9801. When the age of full color came, I was pretty busy with manga. And with Da Capo I was only doing character design and line art, so I wasn’t really involved.
e: Were you an outsider for other games as well?
Y: Yes, it was mostly like that. The makers pretty much just gave me drawings and told me to do what I like.
e: Are there differences between drawing game CGs and manga?
Y: The screen size and the work schedule. Also, with manga I create the story so I can decide on the frame size I want.
e: Are there any artists that you look up to?
Y: There are so many illustrators, I can’t think of any names. For manga artists, Rin Okamoto (岡本倫), Kazuhiro Fujita (藤田和日郎), and many others. I read a lot of manga.
e: Do you have any recommendations for someone interested in drawing professionally?
Y: Draw a lot. Also keep in mind that other people will look your work.
e: What do you think of translations of the games you work on, both official and unofficial?
Y: With manga, I think, “Oh, this is how the words fit in.”
e: Would Tsubuan Doumei ever consider working on doujin games?
Y: I draw jacket art for voice actor drama CDs from Tsubuan Doumei’s partner circle LIPS. I’ve thought about doing doujin games, but I can’t do anything really high level.