Ikeno Koi interviews
Like most other manga artists, Ikeno Koi doesn't give many interviews. But in recent years, I've noticed there's been an uptick in articles and interviews related to Tokimeki in various Japanese magazines, probably due to growing nostalgia for the series in Japan. I try to collect them all, and hope to have some translations up for you soon!
Ie no hikari (June 1990)
"Ie no hikari" is a long-running magazine distributed through Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) chiefly to Japanese farmers and their families. This issue features an interview with Ikeno as well as rare personal photographs of Ikeno, her family, and her family's farm. During her early years as a manga artist, Ikeno worked for JA in an administrative position.
Romantic Album (2000)
For more information about this book, you can read my page detailing its contents and featuring scans. Basically it's a book by Tokimeki fans for Tokimeki fans, and of course it also features a very in-depth interview with Ikeno Koi, probably the first of its kind, where she speaks candidly about the behind-the-scenes of the Tokimeki serialization. It's a must-read for any fan.
Shōjo Manga Archive (2007)
This was a web series about nostalgic shōjo manga that Shueisha hosted back in 2007-2009. The site is now defunct, which is quite a shame, because it featured many interesting interviews with the giants of Shueisha's shōjo manga lineup, like Ichijō Yukari, Makimura Satoru, Yazawa Ai, and even Ozaki Minami.
Manga Erotics f vol. 55 (2009)
Hoshino Lily, a manga artist perhaps best known for her character designs in the anime Mawaru Penguindrum, is so much of a Tokimeki fan that she talked her editors into letting her conduct an interview with Ikeno Koi. This is an amazingly fun interview, because Hoshino is a fangirl just like the rest of us, and it really shows! You can read a scanlation of Hoshino's two-page comic about meeting Ikeno Koi below, and I hope to also publish a translation of the interview at some point. I've also included the cover of the magazine, where Hoshino drew fanart of Ranze with Yōko-dog. So cute!
Tokimeki tanpenshu (2009)
This is a short story collection that was published to commemorate Ikeno's 30th anniversary as a manga writer. It contains short interviews about each of the five short stories.
Da Vinci (September 2010)
Tokimeki was voted the no. 1 shōjo manga by Da Vinci magazine's female readership in their late 20s and early 30s, so this issue features a short interview with Ikeno in which she talks about how special and important Tokimeki has been in her career as a manga artist. Tokimeki was also voted no. 5 by female readers between 36 and 45, and came in second place (after Glass Mask) when all the votes were rounded up. Quite impressive, and I couldn't agree more!
Nyūmon! Ikeno Koi (2013)
This is an ebook release available from eBookJapan and the Amazon Kindle store, intended for people who want to try out Tokimeki before buying the whole series. It's only 100 yen, and you get to read five chapters of the Tokimeki manga (three with Ranze and one each with Narumi and Aira), as well as one story from the side-story collection, Makabe Shun no jijyō. It's a pretty good deal!
More interestingly, it also features a handful of short interviews with Ikeno Koi: four that were previously available at the Shōjo Manga Archive website (see above), and one new. I hope to publish a translation along with one for the original Shōjo Manga Archive interview.
80s Girls Daihyakka (2014)
A large-format, magazine-like publication about 80s girly culture from Japan. It features a 30 questions interview with Ikeno, as well as a handful of pictures of Ranze-era furoku. It's a very cute book, and worth a look for anyone who likes shojo manga and other cute Japanese media. The interview doesn't contain much new information, but it's interesting to hear Ikeno reminiscing about 80s Ribon.
Otona no shōjo manga techō (2015)
Another large-format book, this time about 70s shōjo manga, and featuring a ton of images, articles, and interviews. Ikeno Koi is asked what her three top favorite (70s) shōjo manga are, and answers The Clan of Poe (Hagio Moto), The Rose of Versailles (Ikeda Riyoko), and Ame no nioi no suru machi (a short story by Ichijō Yukari). She also names fellow Ribon artist Mutsu A-ko's Tasogaredoki ni mitsuketa no as what inspired her to send her manuscripts to Ribon.
Ribon September 2015 issue interviews (2015)
This issue of Ribon featured two short interviews with Ikeno: one for the 60th anniversary of Ribon, which you can also read on the official anniversary site, and one about the new manga artist competition where Ikeno is the chairman.
Natalie.mu / Yahoo Bookstore interview (2017)
There is a short, five-questions interview with Ikeno available on natalie.mu to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the ebook store Yahoo Bookstore.
Manga no kakikata master book (2018)
This how-to book on drawing manga targeted at young girls features a 4-page interview with Ikeno about her manga-drawing process. It's available at Amazon Japan as well as other retailers.
Hagio Moto joint interview (Cookie September 2019)
A 5-page joint interview with Ikeno and shōjo manga legend Hagio Moto was featured in this issue of Cookie magazine. Ikeno is a huge Hagio fan and was inspired to feature vampires in Tokimeki by Hagio's classic vampire manga The Poe Clan. It is available as an ebook from eBookJapan as well as other retailers.
"Ie no rirekisho" (Shūkan Bunshun November 14th 2019)
Four-page interview about Ikeno's childhood home and upbringing. Available from the Amazon Kindle store as well as other retailers.