[Q&A] Scarlet Beriko answers YOUR questions!

A few of you may remember that I run the Twitter account @scaberi_news, a fan account where I mostly translate Scarlet Beriko’s tweets and help out during her live streams to translate your questions or her answers. I was lucky enough to meet her in Paris for Y/CON in late 2018, and I was recently also allowed to create English subs for her very first Youtube video where she teaches you How To Draw Digital Manga.

So when the English release date of the first volume of her current manga series Jealousy came around, we figured we should collaborate to do a Q&A for international fans! A few weeks ago we asked you on Twitter to send in your questions, and you did send a lot of them! So let’s dig right in!

About Scarlet Beriko

Q: When did you start drawing? Why did you become a manga artist?

A: I started drawing so long ago, I don’t even remember anymore. At first I became a mangaka, because then I would be able to draw. That’s all there was to it. Now there’s more to it.

Q: Could you please tell us a bit about your journey as an artist?

A: I really liked to draw, so I wanted to become an illustrator, but 15 years ago I wasn’t able to make a living from illustrating alone, so when I started drawing manga, I realized that manga was what actually suited me the best.
I submitted my work to my current publisher (Shinshokan) as part of a manga contest and won a lower price, and since then I’ve been working with my current editor.

Q: Your artwork has always been such an inspiration to me and many others! What inspires you? Are there any other artists that have led you to the style you have today? Is there any advice you can give to younger artists seeking a similar career path?

A: There have been a lot of artists who inspired me ever since I was a kid, so I can’t name a specific one. I learned from a bunch of artists, drew what I learned again and again and what remained are one or two things from each style. Those are what suit my art style best.
What I want to tell young artists is that you should first try copying your favorite artists. The more you draw, the more you’ll notice what suits your style, and only that will remain. That’s your individuality. And always draw asking yourself if you’re satisfied with what you’re currently drawing. Draw until you can say that you’re satisfied with your art.

Q: I’ve heard that being a mangaka is a very hard job. Do you manage to get some free time? If so, what do you like to do in your free time?

A: I actually think people who have to work a 9 to 5 job have it way harder.
Work is always hard, no matter what kind of job it is. I can take breaks on my own responsibility and timing, so I don’t think of my job as very stressful.
On days I don’t work, I’ll read books or take care of my house plants.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: Taking care of my house plants and watching movies or dramas/TV shows.

Q: Who is your favorite band and who do you listen to when working (apart from P!nk)?

A: Courtney Hadwin and Janis Joplin!
Recently I also listen to Grace VanderWaal and aurora a lot. In terms of Japanese artists I’d say Miyuki Nakajima.

Q: What is your go-to Starbucks order?

A: Soy latte with honey and cinnamon!

Q: Do you believe in astrology? If so, what are your favorite signs?

A: I often look up my horoscope. I’m an Aries, but there’s no specific sign I like in particular. I barely know any signs aside from my own tbh

Q: Who is your favorite (manga) artist?

A: I like the novelist Hanamura Mangetsu.

Q: What’s your favorite manga?

A: My own manga

Q: Who is your favorite character from all your works?

A: I like the series I’m currently drawing the best, so it’s Rogi Uichi!
That might change once I start a new series though.

Q: What is your favorite kind of character?

A: Characters where you never know what they’ll do next. Or characters who stay true to their desires.

Q: I would love to know how you start creating characters.

A: I’ll often start creating characters who I’d hate or find difficult to deal with in real life, or who are born from my own complexes, because I draw manga in order to change them into something positive for myself.

Q: I love your works and I always fall in love with your ukes so easily! I’d like to know if you have some weak spot (or even kink!) when it comes to ukes. If there’s something that makes you fall helplessly for a character.

A: When they accept the dumb parts of the seme.
When they think about the seme, “I’ll make you happy.”

Q: Are there any specific ship dynamics you like?

A: I really love master x slave relationships!
The master doing whatever stupid stuff he likes and the slave yearning for that with a sigh is just the best! I’m not into slave x master though.
And I think that’s about it?

Q: One thing that I love about your comics is how steamy the sex scenes are and I feel like the emotional build up to them is always perfect. How hard is it to balance good character development and spicy sex scenes? Any tips?

A: I don’t really think about it with my brain, but actually draw with feeling, so it’s hard to give advice on that. Sometimes I’ll reference gay porn, but since that is aimed at a male audience, I can’t reference it too much either. Hmm, I don’t really use references, sorry!
There are a few lines I draw for myself so it won’t get too vulgar. I don’t draw massive amounts of “juice” or drool, and I definitely won’t draw a runny nose!
What’s most important are the characters’ feelings in the scene.

Q: Have you ever thought of having a transgender person or a crossdresser as a main character in your stories? Aside from your beautiful oji-san [old man] character, I’d love to see more of your crossdressing characters xD

A: I’m sorry, I don’t have any concrete plans at the moment, but I also won’t say that I’ll never draw them in the future.

Q: How long does it take you to create each new story?

A: It has taken me anything from 5 minutes to 3 years.

Q: What is your most favorite kind of merchandise? (For example, keychains, postcards, and such)

A: Acrylic boards have kind of become the new shikishi for me, which I like a lot! They’re really pricey though.

Shikishi are those square paper boards that are usually used by mangaka to sign and draw bonus art on:

Q: Did you already plan any new work in the future? And perhaps, a little spoil when it will be released? Or will you focus in your recent series and and update more chapters?

A: I want to focus on Jealousy right now, but there already are a bunch of manga I’d love to draw someday!

Q: If you could have any of your works animated, which would you choose and why?

A: I don’t really watch anime, so I’ve never thought about it. What do you think?

Q: If you could adapt your manga into live-action which one would you choose? Do you have any specific actors in mind that you’d like to cast for your live-action?

A: That’s so embarrassing, I can’t say it!
But for Handa-san I’d choose Dean Norris.

Q: Have you ever received letters from fans in other countries? If so, how does it make you as a mangaka feel?

A: It made me really happy to know that my books made it overseas. I’ve gotten letters from all sorts of places like Germany, France, USA, Hawaii and Russia.

Q: What place would you like to visit one day? Would love to see you come to the US one day to meet the fans.

A: I reeeeaaaaally want to go to the US!!

Fun fact: Scaberi doesn’t watch anime, but she’s a big fan of US TV shows like Drag Race or Shameless.

Q: Is there a chance we will get a spin-off of Jackass! with Miyoshi? He was such a lovable character and I’m sure we’d all love to see more of him!
[Hell yeah, we do!]

A: There is a chance! Please wait a little longer!

About Jealousy

Q: Who is your favorite character from Jealousy?

A: Rogi Uichi!

Q: I love their twisted love so much! How did you come up with Rogi?

A: In real life I don’t really like (or do even hate) people like Rogi and Akitora.
But these types of characters have a certain charm about them that’s hard to put into words. I really wanted to find out what that was, so I decided to draw them. I thought that this way I might be able to love them. And now they’re very dear to me.

Q: What’s your inspiration or motivation on making Yondaime Ooyamato Tatsuyuki and Jealousy?

A: They’re full of people who struggle with life. And I love these people.

Q: I’m waiting for the end of Jealousy to get a tattoo of Rogi and Akitora, so when do you think the last volume will be released?

A: WOW! That makes me so happy!
I’m sorry, I don’t know when it’ll come out overseas. But the story will end with volume 5, and volume 4 will come out in Japan in fall this year!

[All volumes of Jealousy came out about a year apart so far, so expect volume 5 to come out in Japan in fall 2021!]

Q: Do you think Asami could’ve been happier if she was in love with Asoda or would that never happen?

A: Guys like Asoda who would only ever do it missionary style are totally not Asami’s type. ? Asami will love Akitora no matter what, and she believes that Akitora needs her.

Q: Who is the hardest character to draw?

A: Akitora! Getting the balance in his face right is super hard.

Q: I’ve been trying to read Jealousy in Japanese, but it’ll be great to read it in English soon. I find Rogi to be so intriguing, and I love that you include interesting female characters, too.
My question is, will we ever find out how Rogi ended up with Reika?

A: Thank you for saying that you find Rogi interesting! (There are a lot of people who hate him)
I’m planning to draw Rogi and Reika’s actual relationship in the manga!

Q: I’m head over heels for your work! Especially the Jealousy series, and I’m beyond excited that it is being published now in English as well. Will you release a collection of your artworks in the future?

A: Thank you! It makes me really happy when people say that they love my current series!
Maybe you mean MTR? Nobody tells me when it’ll come out overseas. I hope it will though!

MTR: Motsunabe to Regent, her artbook which came out a year ago

Q: What is Akitora’s favorite food?

A: Yakisoba, Tonkotsu ramen, curry rice, omurice, meat balls, hamburger, steak and cola.

Q: Is Akitora in the present time still handsome? Will you reveal his present appearance any time soon?

A: Don’t worry, present Akitora will show up!

Q: What is the most difficult part or hardships you had when drawing manga?

A: The most difficult part of drawing manga must be creating the actual story. Picking out the most simple parts you want to convey from everything you’d like to include is the most difficult.

Q: Could you share with us any interesting or funny anecdotes while working in Jealousy?

A: I can’t really think of anything. Maybe that I was invited to a convention in France.

[Y/CON in Paris which focuses on LGBTQ+ fandom]

Q: Is the cover of the English version different from the original one? Can we expect any Omake?

A: The design of the title on the cover is different, I think. The art is the same! I’m afraid you’ll have to ask the publisher about any omake, I don’t know about that!

Q: Will Akitora and Rogi meet in the present time of Jealousy?

A: Look forward to it!

Q: Is Tatsuyuki the real father of Reika?

A: Come again? LOL

As mentioned above, Scaberi has also recently released her first video in a new series about how to draw digital manga, so if you have any questions regarding that, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on her video here!

I would also like to thank her for doing this fun collaboration and I would also like to thank YOU for your cooperation! I hope we’ll get to do this again!

I would also like to thank my friend @midoritako for helping me translate your questions into Japanese! 🫶

Feel free to also check out my other posts about Scarlet Beriko’s works by clicking on the tag or the related posts below 👇

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