Interview with Hideyuki Kikuchi
By Jason DeAngelis
There’s a reason why they call it wicked.
Of course, while Hideyuki Kikuchi’s ultraviolent and super-sexy Wicked City may call to mind groping tentacles and over the top sex scenes, it’s also a unique urban fantasy series about rival political organizations, one mortal, the other demonic, and the secret police force that struggles to prevent all-out war from breaking out between them.
Here’s an interview with the author, who resides in Tokyo, conducted earlier this summer:
Q: What inspired you to write Wicked City?
My biggest inspiration was probably characters like 007, Napoleon Solo, or spy and action series like The Wild Wild West.
One man’s struggle against a large evil organization was just too clichéd, so I decided to make this storyline about one organization versus another organization.
This opened up the world of the story and made it bigger, allowing me to spin a grand yarn with lots of colorful characters, their abilities and powers, and their gadgets and weapons. Also I thought it made things more interesting if everything they did was for the sake of the “mission.”
Q: How do you feel about your original novel finally being exposed to an English-speaking audience?
It’s my pleasure that US audiences would find a writer, such as me, from Japan.
Q: What themes or ideas did you want to explore by telling this particular story?
That it is not only humans who are in this world.
Q: Taki’s narration almost sounds like the beginning of a detective novel. Was the book influenced by film noir, or other mediums?
Yes, definitely. Among my influences is film noir from the US, England and France, such as The Samurai with Alain Delon, Angels with Dirty Face with James Cagney, High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart, etc. I’ve also drawn inspiration from TV series like The Untouchables, Tightrope, 77 Sunset Strip, Mike Hammer. There are so many that I cannot possibly list them all.
Q: What do you hope your new audience takes away from their experience reading Wicked City?
I hope that I scare and inspire people with my curious world in which common sense is no longer common. It’s such a scary and imaginative place that one could really lose sleep over it.
(from the Tor/Forge October 2009 newsletter)