In the latest issue of Shonen Jump GIGA, (formerly Shonen Jump Next!!), The magazine published a creators cross talk between authors Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi known for their work on Naruto and Hunter x Hunter respectively. The two authors go in depth about the intricacies of creating manga whilst also answering some fan submitted questions. Below is a summary featuring highlights from their 9 page long exchange.
Togashi sometimes specifies his characters’ names based on TV show. He thinks it is not an issue since Akira Toriyama’s characters’ names are also sloppy such as Bulma and Trunks.
Kishimoto was scolded by his audience when he specified his characters’ names based on adjectives such as “Darui”, “Omoi” and “Karui”.
Togashi keeps it in mind that he should make a specific personality of a character rather than just “he has a bright personality”. For example, he specifies “when” his character gets pissed off.
Kishimoto specifies his characters’ weak points, which enables his audience to feel sympathy toward him/her.
Togashi thinks it is hard to draw special ability based battle manga such as Hunter x Hunter and Naruto these days since audience consider characters’ abilities in details and sometimes end up finding its contradictions.
Togashi decides to make many characters appear in Black Whale arc since he’d like to know what will happen in a chaotic situation. He refers to Oda, who also introduced many characters in one arc (probably implying Marineford Arc).
Togashi thinks it is important to read many mangas/novels to draw a good manga. He also says that they should read/watch it again and again until they can completely assimilate it.
He says that those who want to become a good mangaka should also read and analyze mangas he doesn’t like.
Kishimoto reads his favorite mangas/films again and again such as “Akira”, “Ghost in the Shell”, “The Usual Suspects”, “Forrest Gump” and “Little Miss Sunshine”.
Togashi’s favorite film is “Alien”, but the film he watches most frequently is “Prince of Darkness” by John Carpenter. He also likes “28 Days Later”.
Question from [email protected] (which was selected as a fan question):
Which do you like better, drawing or making a story?
Togashi says those who want to become mangaka should focus on making a good story rather than drawing since their drawing skills automatically improve if they make a debut as a weekly mangaka.
Togashi is impressed at Kishimoto’s drawings since they are well-composed despite the deadlines every week.
Kishimoto is exhausted due to Naruto, so he doesn’t want to draw anything for the time being.
Kishimoto thinks it is important whether or not his audience can feel sympathy toward characters in manga. For example, Naruto didn’t have parents and friends. Protagonist suffering just because Dark King is strong is not a good idea.
Togashi warns that those who love pure fantasy video game such as Medieval Europe in which sword and magic are drawn tend to fail to attract audience.
When Togashi was a boy, it was not until his teacher submitted his drawing to an art exhibition that he realized he was good at drawing. Kishimoto had the similar experience when he was in an elementary school.
Togashi is impressed at Hayao Miyazaki’s great drawing skill of clothes fluttering.
Togashi has many things he wants to draw. He didn’t imagine the serialization of Hunter x Hunter has lasted so long.
Kishimoto is now preparing for his next manga. He has been collecting materials. He didn’t let his editor know about it so far. Kishimoto says he’d like to announce something about it in 2016.
Togashi wants to draw a card battle manga like Yu-Gi-Oh after he finishes Hunter Hunter although he already drew it in Greed Island arc.
Togashi didn’t specify the finale of the dodgeball game in Greed Island arc at the beginning. He believes the chapter in which Hisoka lost and survived were convincing due to his gum ability.
Togashi is impressed at Hirohiko Araki’s drawing skill and great storytelling.
After Togashi was about to get tendinitis, he specified the design of the clothes of Zodiacs and his assistants dew them.
Togashi says that manga begginer tends to think it is important to draw realistically, but actually it is not a big issue and he says it is more important for the audience to grasp what is going on.
Togashi says another himself scolds him “You can draw better than this.” while he is drawing.
Togashi advises those who want to become mangaka to replicate.
Togashi didn’t intend to make Hiei into Yusuke’s friend in “Yu Yu Hakusho”. It was due to advice from his editor. Togashi laughs and says if he intended to do so from the beginning, Hiei wouldn’t have been full of eyes.
Togashi loves “Reiko the Zombie Shop” by Rei Mikamoto.
Kishimoto is cheered up by watching the trailer of “DmC Devil May Cry” again and again.
You can read the full interview in Shonen Jump GIGA volume 2.
Thanks to sandman over at APForums.