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It’s so common that you might be holding it right now.

Lynn Okamoto is best known as the creator of manga Elfen Lied, which later served as the basis for a 13-episode anime series. Elfen Lied stood out from other series by mixing cute, heartstring-pulling character designs with scenes of intense, graphic violence, and the end result is a unique blend of shocking science fiction, unsettling horror, and tender romance.

But while Okamoto is willing and able to work with an eclectic mix of storytelling elements, there’s one thing you’ll have a have time finding in his manga: cell phones. In a recent tweet, Okamoto explained his aversion to drawing the handy devices, which stems from his experience reading Miyuki, a hit series from legendary manga artist Mitsuru Adachi which was serialized from 1980 to 1984.

“Back before I started drawing Elfen Lied, I was reading Mitsuru Adachi’s Miyuki. Even though it’s now more than 30 years old, it still totally holds up, but when I saw someone in it using a 500-yen bill, it really hit home that it’s a manga from [a previous generation], and it took me out of the moment. Because of that, I decided that when I make manga, I’m going to draw them so that even if someone reads it a decade later, they won’t be able to tell when it was originally published.”

These days, the 1,000-yen bill is the smallest in circulation, and most people in their 30s or younger have only ever seen 500-yen coins. Wanting to avoid such dated distractions, Okamoto goes on to say:

“That’s why you hardly ever see cell phones in my manga. I can’t imagine what they’re going to look like in 10 years’ time. I don’t draw home electronics either, and if you see cars, they’re always classics. I do things like that to make it as hard as possible to tell when the manga was made.”

Anyone who’s watched an old film that’s set in the future and chuckled when the characters use physical media or a plot point hinges on quests for information that would take 10 seconds to find with an Internet search can appreciate the extra effort Okamoto goes to. Unfortunately, it’s not just technology that continues to evolve, but aesthetic trends as well, and Elfen Lied’s character artwork has a number of qualities that mark it as coming from the early to mid-2000s. Nonetheless, the amount of thought that Okamoto puts into keeping his works as timeless as he can is an inspiring example of his dedication to his craft.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Elfen Leid official website

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s kind of puzzled that despite Okamoto’s stance on being timeless, the Elfen Leid official website is looking pretty old-school.