Toranoana Interview Vol.1: “40原 (40hara)” Sensei【English ver.】
40hara-sensei, is a popular illustrator in Japan and abroad with the series of works “嫌な顔されながらおパンツ見せてもらいたい (I Want You To Make a Disgusted Face and Show Me Your Underwear)” and “うちのねこが女の子でかわいい (My Cat is A Kawaii Girl)”.
We discuss the inspiration behind starting illustration, the secret story of “Kinako-chan’s” birth, and the vision for future activities in the creative field!
This interview will be simultaneously released in multiple languages to reach a global audience! Articles in Japanese, English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese will be available on the same day.
Profile of 40hara (Shimahara)
Active under the circle “Animal Machine”.
An illustrator known for heartwarming everyday illustrations and vibrant color usage.
Responsible for the main visual of “Hatsune Miku x Yomiuri Land 2023” and currently updating “小倉さん家のきなこ (Ogura-san Chi No Kinako)” every Sunday on social media.
“嫌な顔されながらおパンツ見せてもらいたい (I Want You To Make a Disgusted Face and Show Me Your Underwear)”
“うちのねこが女の子でかわいい (My Cat is A Kawaii Girl)”
Character design for the TV anime “異世界召喚は二度目です (Summoned to Another World… Again?)”, and more.
Let's get an interview started!
First, please provide a brief self-introduction!
Hello, I’m 40原 (40hara, pronounced Shimahara), a freelance illustrator.
I focus on creating original works, with “嫌パン (Iyapan)” and “きなこ (Kinako)” being central to my illustrations, and I also create commercial illustrations.
What is the origin of the circle's name?
The circle name “アニマルマシーン (Animal Machine)” is a combination of my longtime favorites, “animals” and “machines.”
Even now, seeing cute and large animals or cool mechs makes me happy!
What inspired you to start drawing illustrations or venture into doujin activities?
Since childhood, I’ve been a child who only drew pictures. After deciding to make a living with my art, I transitioned to digital art and aspired to become an animator.
I initially aspired to create my own anime works, but I realized that as an animator, producing my own projects would be quite challenging.
This realization led me to start creating doujinshi.
What do you consider the essential points in creating your works?
The absolute point is the enjoyment of the work itself. I believe that if I don’t find my own work interesting, it won’t resonate with others.
Do you have sources of inspiration that you typically draw from?
For Kinako, all inspiration comes from my beloved cat. Otherwise, I draw inspiration from various content in different genres seen in visual works or on social media. I value my own sense of what is interesting and cute, not limited to illustrations.。
How do you come up with ideas for your works?
There are many interesting works in the world, but when I feel something is lacking or come up with an idea I haven’t seen before, I make a note.
For example, “Cats are cute because they don’t speak, so why do characters with animal ears always talk?”
It’s convenient for the story if they talk, though (laughs).
What motivated you to start the "Iyapan" series?
During the rise of Twitter, erotic content was often trending. I felt a sense of discomfort with girls who would do anything with a smile, and I thought that normal girls wouldn’t behave that way.
This realization prompted me to reflect this in my art. (My focus on panties is a personal preference.)
Despite having no name value at the time, it became an opportunity for many people to see my art, and I started drawing a lot.
Could you share the origin story of "Kinako-chan", which is somewhat of a mascot for 40hara?
The cat-eared girl introduced in the first volume of the Iyapan doujinshi was the initial inspiration. When a Japanese cosplayer chose to cosplay Kinako among many characters, it had a significant impact, prompting me to delve deeper.
Do you have plans for the future expansion of "Kinako-chan's" activities?
Unlike Iyapan, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the significant response from women and those living abroad.
In the future, I aim to work even harder to deliver merchandise to local and international fans.
I hope to spark interest even in those who haven’t bought figures or other merchandise yet.
In the future, I want to keep drawing so that the 2D Kinako can come to life somehow…
You've been active in various fields like light novel character design. Could you share your vision for future activities?
While continuing to draw existing original works and illustrations, I also want to create content where I handle planning and original stories for other artists to illustrate.
I have several projects I want to pursue, but finding the time is a real challenge.
With stricter regulations on social media, I strive to be active in various fields…!
Lastly, could you share a message with all your fans?
I will continue to do my best to deliver healing through illustrations in various ways.
If you happen to see any merchandise at events, in the city, or online that catches your eye, I would be grateful if you could pick up even just one item. Well then, I hope everyone continues to enjoy their hobbies from now on!!
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