(Translated by sumire from an article in the May 1999 Animedia)

Takehito Koyasu Produces:
A Plan for the New Century!

For Beginners to the Plan for the New Century:
The new manga is a platonic love story in a school filled with mystery.

Let me explain the outline of this new manga! The setting is Fujimiya Academy. The hero is high-school boy Setsu-kun, and plenty of other cool boys will appear. The heroine is pretty Misaki-chan. There is a deep, secret connection between Setsu and Misaki. The existance behind that secret is also here deep in the school... The worldview is "mystery," the theme is "platonic love." (Koyasu)

At Last, the Koyasu World Has Begun to Move.
Image Comic First Made Public!!

The Plan for the New Century's character designer, Maki Fujii-san, draws the first manga. She has finished a cute piece for us based on the story indicated by Koyasu-san. The result is!?

Orita: Today Fujii-san brought the image manga she drew for us!
Koyasu: Great!
Fujii: But, you know, this was my first attempt at manga. It was hard. I usually work in pencil, but this was in pen, so it was like, ah! The line's gone crooked! and things like that... I had trouble with it. I'm sorry. Mission Failed.
Koyasu: What? It's terrific! Where's the failed part?
Orita: There isn't one. Right!
Koyasu: This time, we had the character popularity survey, and the hero Setsu-kun's votes were lacking. But I think once the story starts, the Setsu-kun in the manga Fujii-san draws for us will become very popular. The third-page frame where Setsu-kun is holding the puppy--I have the feeling that with that expression, he'll win everyone's hearts.
Orita: Misaki has a palpable presence as a heroine, too.
Koyasu: Fujii-san was worrying about her pen lines, but on the contrary, they're fresh. Lines with strength and weakness are good because they have flavor.
Orita: You can feel the delicate nuances.
Koyasu: The character designs are just as I asked for, and the manga is starting--it's too much already.

Somehow suspicious--the nice Tenmonbu uniforms are decided!

Koyasu: Last month, we introduced the Tenmonbu. There must be male members, too, so this time we had boys' uniforms designed.
Orita: Looks like a garcon [waiter]. It's cool, though. But that aside, what is the Tenmonbu!?
Koyasu: Oh, the emblem is cute, too. A cross sprouting wings.
Orita: The Tenmonbu includes the three Atomi sisters. We're looking forward to everyone's response.
Koyasu: Anyway, how did the villain Nue end up third in the popularity ranking? Even if his evilness has gotten stronger since the first draft, he's no ordinary person.
Orita: Even though he's become a person of the magic world.
Koyasu: Uuum.
Orita: By the way, what shall we do next time?
Koyasu: We'll make official character profiles and the plot of the story. And then have preparations made for the start of the manga.
Orita: We've got to choose the title of this work soon, too.
Koyasu: I'm afraid that if we go on like this, "Plan for the New Century" will become the title of the manga. (laughs)
Orita: "The Mystery of New Century Academy" or something.
Koyasu: No way--a title like that. It's so uncool!

Handwritten messages:
Koyasu-san: "Iku zee!! TV anime-ka" (Here we go!! TV anime version)
Seeing Fujii-san's image comic, his spirits soared. At a breath, his thoughts raced to an anime version.
Fujii-san: "Manga wa moo taihen deshita. Yare yare, tohoho" (The manga was so hard. Thank goodness it's finally over, ha ha ha [laughing sheepishly])
She does character designs all the time, but this was her first attempt at manga. Her honesty is touching.
Editor Orita: "Manga GOOD desu." ( Manga is good.)
Carefully drawing a taiko-drum seal, he sends a yell to Fujii-san's manga.

The manga:

Kaoruko: Misakiii! Misakiii!

Kaoruko: Today, you know, I got to talk to Dr. Mizuki in the health room today. He's just so super-cool, Sensei--That's why--

Kaoruko: --girls who don't have any business with him are always mobbing the health room. So... I...

Kaoruko: I wonder what's going on. So many people... what is it?

Girl: A puppy was being swept away in the river!

Kaoruko: What!
Girl: But it looks like it's okay now. Somebody rescued it.

?: I guess he's from our school.

?: It's not a face I've seen.

Girl: Do you two know him?

Kaoruko: I guess not. Right, Misaki?

Misaki (thinks): Who is he? Such a kind smile...

Manga caption: The story Koyasu-san described last month was the meeting between Misaki-chan and Setsu-kun after he rescued a puppy.

Results of the Character Popularity Survey--Driven by Cuteness and Innocence, a Concentration of Votes for Shuu-kun!
The charming characters who will carry the Plan for the New Century. The results of the readers' character popularity survey are as follows. What place did your favorite get? (with Koyasu's comments)

1. Shuu Hirose
Everybody loves a cute boy after all. But Shuu-kun isn't an ordinary nice boy, so look forward to it.
2. Byakuya Takatori
Even if he seems statistical, with his cool beauty and black-framed glasses, I thought he'd be sure to catch on.
3. Nue Tsukiyono
Because of the attractiveness of his villainous, mysterious mood, he got to be Number 3!? He's an important character, so have great expectations for him.
4. Kou Kagura
His character design was revised, so we may have to discount his ranking. Fall in love with the revised version, too!
5. Setsu Sakuma
A kind character, as you can see. Is that a protagonist's handicap? Pushed down by the other characters, his popularity comes up short.
6. Misaki Jinno
I'm so happy female fans voted for a female character, because I thought she might be despised.
7. Rei Mizuki
Rei's character design was also revised. I think he's gotten cooler post-revision, but what do you think?

Photo caption: Maki Fujii-san in the midst of drawing the manga. She's been up all night, so she looks tired. But she's smiling.

Illustration caption: The Tenmonbu uniform.The bottom part of the emblem is a ball that stands for an angel.

Photo caption: Koyasu-san tallying the postcards everyone sent in for the character popularity survey. His eyes are serious!

To be continued next issue!

NOTES: Koyasu-san looks kind of freaky in the accompanying photos. He's wearing some rather small eyeglasses, and his hair is flipped out strangely at the back.

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