All star-bright and tongue-tied, I took her in.
We were married and bells rang sweet for our wedding,
And our bedding was ready when we fell in.
- Decemberists, "The Crane Wife, Part 2"
I’m not entirely sure Hato Moa exists.
I’ve spent months exchanging enormously pleasant and charming emails with her about the thing she is most famous for, the "pigeon dating simulator" known as Hatoful Boyfriend. I’m left with the portrait of a 30 year old woman living in Japan who briefly attended law school, but has since made a living drawing manga for French Publisher Les Humanoides Associes. She loves birds, living with a fantail pigeon named Okosan. She did a reasonably popular manga series called "Vairocana" that started in 2007.
And then, supposedly, there was an April Fools joke about a Pigeon dating simulator called Hatoful Boyfriend in 2011. I say supposedly, because I can't find any evidence of the "joke" part. Four months later, in July, the actual game was released. Since then, Hatoful Boyfriend has spawned a sequel, a radio-play, a manga of its own, and merchandise. All of this has, by Moa’s account, let her save up enough to work on whatever projects she likes.
And what exactly is Hatoful Boyfriend? On the surface, it’s just insanity.