Maybe it can interest some fans but the first 3 volumes are released in French (casterman)
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Also here is a translation of the interview that Mari Yamazaki gave to Manga-news at the last Salon du Livre Paris in April
Part 1 MN:How did you get with the idea of thermae romae, where time travels , culture differences and your love of bath mix together ?
MY:Lot's of elements helped me for the idea of this manga. First, you shouldn't take it as science fiction. It's less about time travel than to evoque the common points between the contemporan japanese culture and antique Rome. To compare them, I then had the idea to use the bath theme, since I myself love it. The time travel idea is only there to make the comparison more easy. It's an artifice that allow me, who has an interest in both contemporan japanese and antique Rome cultures to link both of them. Morover my objective is to make discover the bath roman culture and the japanese one
MN:How is born your hero Lucius Modestus, man with a proud behaviour and a bit opportunistic ?
MY:At start, I wanted my hero to be the antique rome version of the japanese salary man : he forget his wife and family to consider only his job
MN:Why the name Lucius Modestus ? Is that an ironical contrast to his pride ?
MY:Concerning the given name Lucius, I was inspired by the television serie Rome, that I love, and which a main character is called Lucius Borenus
Concerning the family name, Modestus, it is indeed linked to his proud side, but also serious and moderate. It's one of the Latin definition of the word.
---------- Post added September 05, 2012 at 09:10 PM ---------- Previous post was September 02, 2012 at 10:04 PM ----------
MN:In your serie, beside the bath them, we clearly see an historical painting, for exemple with Hadrien, his tragic love with Antinoos, his wish to consolidate the inside of the empire rather than continue the conquests. Is that something you will continue to develop in the next volumes ?
MY:The 4th volume is out in Japan and it is a point of the story where I can't continue to develop this. But I will try to in volume 5. Beside that, I have indeed a very strong affection toward Hadrien, et I hope that my story, in parallel with Lucius adventure, follow this emperor reign until the end
MN:What documentation do you use for your historical references ?
MY:I use a lot of documents, of course. Japanese books, but it is not enough, antique rome being not a big subject there. Therefore I'm using a lot of english books too, sometime French ones
MN:Some titles in particular ?
MY:The books from Edward Gibbon are for me a reference. Otherwise the memories of Hadrien from Marguerite Yourcenar, a book I read a long time ago but still love very much and which is one of the reason for letting Therma Romae take place under Hadrien era
Part 3 (last part) MN: Then, have you got another project in mind ?
MY: Yes but I can't tell you much about it. Only that it will be about Rome again but no Time travel this time
MN:According to you, what are the most important benefit of a good bath
MY: First of all, a good bath is a bath one does not take alone but with lots of people in a big place. It something friendly where everyone is naked et where lots of old people are needed. In this configuration, social or work differences disappear because in our nudity everyone is the same and this is something I found amazing. It's like if, by being naked, all criteria vanish, as well as the violence inside us. Bath are peaceful places.
MN:muddy sources in the Eoliennes island, japanese bath, bath at home, hammam, european spa... You have experimented all sort of bathes. What has given you the strongest souvenir ?
MY: I have a preference for Japanese bathes, but my strongest souvenir must be Alep in Syria, in a very very old hammam which gave me the impression to be in the antique Rome.
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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Re: Thermae Romae by YAMAZAKI Mari
I just read the first two volumes of this series(10 chapters). Yen Press released a 2 volume, hardcover omnibus edition and it is really nice. I loved the story so much. I can't wait for May so I can get a hold of the next 2 volumes. Anyone in America who likes this series, but can't wait for the scanlations to update should consider buying the Yen Press release. It's totally worth it.