Akane Torikai, manga to oneself

Passing at the Angoulême International Comic Festival, which ends on Sunday, the 41 -year -old mangaka tells the “world” what pushes her to approach sexism and violence that women are the object .

by Pauline Croquet

On the manga rays of French bookstores, the work of Akane Torikai detonates. In January 2020, it was discovered with the prey to silence (Ed. Akata). This title – his first translated into French – attacks misogyny and sexual violence by depicting the questions and suffering of Misuzu, a disoriented young professor who tries to rebuild himself after rape. Intimate, disturbing, immodest even sometimes, the series resonates with the Deflagration Me Too three years earlier. If, in Japan, the manga released in 2013 preexists the movement, he also made speak in his native country: the eight volumes exceeded one million copies sold.

“In general the manga is pure fiction, quite unreal fantasy. It is not at all what interests me and I always wanted to draw reality. In the prey I wanted to To draw it as it is, and in her darkest moments, explains the author to the world during her visit to the Angoulême International BD Festival (FIBD), which ends on Sunday, January 29. Perhaps this series A- It rained because I was able to put on paper all that people could not say … “

the hearts of women

The career of Akane Torikai, born in 1981, began ten years earlier, in the pages of a Shojo magazine – for young girls – of the publisher Kodansha. In the short stories that she multiplied at the start of her career (You’ve Gotta has Love Song) before holding longer series, she already develops patterns that are close to her: wounded and unhappy women in their couple or their romantic relationships. Situations that question his own intimate relationships but also the difficulty of raising his son alone.

“In my couples, things are generally going wrong and I try to understand why. It necessarily pushes me to ask myself questions about what did not go well, what I would have hurts. By understanding what is wrong, perhaps my couple will be able to last, “confides the one who was soon to understand that harm did not only come from lovers but also from sexism and the education of the company. “It is not something that is intrinsic, which comes from nature, but it is rather something that has been built in the world in which we grew up.”

 Preview of a Overview of a board of “Saturn Return”. Akane Torikai 2019 Shogakukan

For her, it is not a social manga but rather an intimate manga that would confine the universal. “My leitmotif was to find out how to live and find happiness. It is de facto connecting to social themes but what I express in my works is also what I would like to say to my entourage, To my son, to my spouse … “The mangaka does not remember a particular event which would have made him feel injustice as a woman. “These are more facts throughout life at school, at work, in my relationships. Little by little, it has accumulated and I told myself that it would be something that I would one day want to approach. “

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/Media reports cited above.