XG: Regarding the art, there’s a very sensual and sexy aspect to it — something that is rather rare in the non-pornographic manga production. In this case to, it’s something that appeals to you?
MJ: At home with my parents, we weren’t very open regarding those things. So yes, I think sexy things do appeal to me.
XG: It’s very present in your manga.
MJ: Especially since I like to draw nudes. But I think there are a lot of women who drawn pin-ups, when we discuss together and wonder why, the answer is nearly always “because we like it”. Myself, I don’t really know.
Among men who drawn male nudes, there are a lot of gay men. But for women, without necessarily being gay, there are a lot of women who like drawing sexy women, pin-ups. Why, I don’t know. But with fashion, make-up, hairdressing, there are a lot of possible reasons…
XG: Nudity is very present in your books, and moreover, very openly sexual poses.
MJ: (laughs) Yes, but I like that. I’ve always liked the pin-ups in Playboy. [Note: during the very relaxed chat that followed this interview, I mentionned the sado-masochistic set-ups that are prominently featured in Pure Trance, and Mizuno Junko mentioned without hesitation the works of Eric Stanton as an influence and a source for inspiration.]
XG: We were discussing the position of women in the Japanese society, wouldn’t the pin-ups from Playboy a way to break away from it? By displaying their sexuality, their strength?
MJ: There are different ways to understand “strength”. There are women who feign listening to what men are telling them, but are in fact completely in control. And those women do display strength, in my opinion.
But for the girls who pose nude to bring money home, and there are a lot of them… they have a lot of pride. Models… for me, it’s a carrier that is completely closed to me, of course, but I think it’s great, that they are beautiful.
Japanese magazine ofen show women in submissive situations, ashamed of being nude — I hate that with a passion. While in Playboy…
XG: Women are more in control of the situation? Compared to Japan, where they show more timidity …
MJ: True, but there is a lot of women who fake timidity, because men like it. Which makes it all the more difficult to know which women are displaying strength.