“Women are deprived of the freedom to choose what they want for their bodies.”

BD Box – Inside Saturn’s return, The Japanese designer staged an obscure heroine with a dysfunctional couple. One now meets the essential feminist manga.

Ritsuko has published a successful first novel, but since then it has been a blank page syndrome. As a housewife, she lives a false life with her husband who dreams of having children without suspecting that her partner is taking the pill. When Ritsuko learns of the suicide of an old friend who inspired his bestseller hero, he decides to investigate. Her new editorial manager, an emotional and passionate young man, with her …

“In the creative world, a lot of people think that a main character should be very bright, positive, enthusiastic. That’s not necessarily something I’m interested in.” Akane says torikai Figaro, In video conferencing. Inside Saturn’s return, In his last manga, published by Akata, the designer chose a vague heroine, “Hard to catch” That he tries to hide his illness and his wounds from the people around him. A character that resonates with Japanese society in all its complexities, with which we become attached, as we discover its traumas. “I have never liked fiction in the realm of fantasy or reality.” The author adds, whose previous series was published in France, In the realm of silence, Rape and harassment are dealt with face to face.

The author prefers cutouts based on large horizontal bands or, as here, vertical. “I always think of my storytelling and my format as a double spread,” He explains Saturn Return 2019 Akane Torikai / Shogakukan

More accessible, Saturn’s return Its themes darken the darkness (suicide, depression, etc.) with the presence of light characters, such as the editorial manager, who brings a certain level of humor. The “investigation” part of the story also works perfectly, with its revealing part and a well-balanced suspense. This balance between psychological drama and entertainment results in a fruitful collaboration: “Compared to my previous manga, Saturn’s return The work in which I had the most interaction with my editor and where there was the most interference, Akan Torikai admits. I wanted to reach more audiences. “

Everyone has internalized some kind of abuse including women and it is a bit hypocritical to say that this is not a concern for us at all. If we do not accept this dark side, we will not be able to fix the society.

Akane torikai

Nonetheless, Mangaka does not hesitate to show sexuality to women, which involves their body objectivity or supposed humiliation. We feel the urge to put ourselves in the place of some characters who are sometimes disgusting, even disgusting. “As a woman and as a feminist, I want misery to disappear completely, but to do that, you need to be able to connect with people who don’t think like me. ” Akan Torikai, who is pre-publishing his manga Big Comic Spirits, A seinen magazine, that is called for young people. And to add: “On Twitter and social networks, people draw a line between their thinking and the thinking of others. We all live in the same society. Whether we like it or not, these thoughts are engraved in each of us. Everyone has some kind of abuse, including women. It is a bit hypocritical to say that this is not a concern for us at all. We cannot repair the society without following this dark side.

Ritsuko and her husband Kazufumi of Volume 2 Saturn’s return. Saturn Return 2019 Akane Torikai / Shogakukan

Extremely talented at portraying faces and emotions, especially the fit of tears or anger, Akan Torikai took his inspiration from TV series or movies. “I’ve always been very interested in acting, how they interpret roles and feelings, He says. In everyday life, I also tend to be characterized by unequivocal expressions. I still remember the face of my ex-partner when we argued violently!

To make men’s lives easier, women should ensure that men are treated fairly. It’s something I don’t think is normal

Akane torikai

For Japanese women, these extreme emotions are not meant to be expressed in public. A social pressure that condemns mangaka: “Women should always be sure not to get angry, to be inactive, to listen, to be conscientious. Whenever a woman expresses something that is not going in that direction, we will immediately stick to the” problem woman “label, or even say” It’s monstrous. ” To make men’s lives easier, women need to ensure that men are treated fairly. It’s something I don’t think is normal. I have noticed that some young people think that you are worthless if you are not loved by men. I think it’s serious and problematic. “

Comic box

“I draw letters and bubbles until I give ink, then my assistants do the background, then I cast shades of gray”, Details of the author, who works in a traditional way Saturn’s return. Saturn Return 2019 Akane Torikai / Shogakukan

Taken from Volume 1, this sequence involves the heroine Ritsuko Kazi and her husband Kazufumi Noda. It begins on the right panel with a certain tenderness but ends with the paralyzed gaze of the heroine following the shock answer: “I want to sleep with you so you can be a mother”, Shortening of sexual activity with reproductive activity. “This sex scene shows the difference between two characters who do not have the same expectations. Her goal is to reproduce, but she just wants to feel loved, Akan Torikai explains. He is sure that if they have a child, it will improve their relationship. Beside her, a real discomfort resides in her but she does not reveal it, she hides it from her husband.

Note that Ritsuko took the pill without her husband’s knowledge, which is not a trivial matter in a country where the drug has only been approved since 1999. In Japan, the consent of the husband is also required for a surgical abortion. The abortion pill will be launched by the end of 2022 … but again subject to the wife’s contract. “Women are deprived of the freedom to choose things related to their own bodies … it is always ‘outsiders’ who want to control women’s bodies”, Sorry Akane Torikai. He also learned about the existence of this abortion pill in a comic strip by Aude Picault, Standard value, Which comes out of this 24th June pocket.

When it comes to motherhood or pregnancy, everyone in Japan shows only the ideological side.

Akane torikai

“Whenever we talk about motherhood or pregnancy, everyone in Japan shows only the ideological side: ‘It’s great, it’s fetal life! Even if it’s hard, you can take it on yourself! It’s something I’ve found difficult since childhood. The truth is that there is something good about this, the troubles that go along with it need to be removed. ” The designer says. Let’s hope that her manga will start a constructive debate after the failure of the #MeToo movement in the archipelago and encourage women to speak out.

Saturn’s return, Translated by Akane Torikai, Gaëlle Ruel, Akata, 8.25 euros per volume (three volumes available, running series).

Many thanks to Bruno Pham for the French-Japanese interpreter and to Junko Minagawa for his assistance.

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