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In comments, I've read that their admin, ItachiNguyen, is soon to get his new databook :O
If that's really the case...
Here's a teaser for part 2 to come soon.
Anyway, it was pretty nice to hear Kishi talking about his kids and also war.
I'll go ahead and transcribe the complete interview. Pardon any typos:
Interview with Masashi Kishimoto [Creator of Naruto]
Interview by Misaki C. Kido
Masashi Kishimoto Sensei is the creator of the international bestselling manga series Naruto. Even though he's quite busy creating masterpieces each week for Weekly SHONEN JUMP, he's still a movie fanatic and a devoted father. When creating original work, artists and their creations usually have an interesting relationship, and in Kishimoto's case, this especially holds true. (Read on to find out what we mean!) In our exclusive sit-down interview with this legendary manga creator, SJ Alpha finds out the inner workings behind his thought process and how he creates a story that captivates audiences from all over the world.
Q. When was the first time that you thought of becoming a mangaka, and why?
At some point between second and fourth grade I got into Akira Toriyama Sensei's Dr. Slump anime and Dragon Ball manga. I loved his characters. I was especially attached to Dr. Slump's Arale and Dragon Ball's Goku. Also, his art really appealed to me. There was something about his cartoony drawing style that felt right, more so than realistic drawings. I thought to myself, I want to become like Toriyama Sensei.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration? Do you listen to music or watch movies when you are working?
I do have a DVD player with a little screen on my desk, and sometimes I watch movies or listen to music. I used to do that more often when working, but not so much these days. After drawing manga for 12 years, I've learned that it affects my art. For example, if I was listening to a song with sad lyrics, my manga would start to reflect the sadness. And then when I would look back at the drawings, something about it felt off from what I intended. So I decided to shut off anything that could affect my drawing.
But I do love movies and do get a lot of inspiration from them. In my free time, I go to movie theaters to try and catch every blockbuster film. I also look for DVDs of hard-to-find movies in stores. I like watching big trilogies like Star Wars, horror movies like SAW, romance movies like 500 Days of Summer, and classics like The Sting.
My all-time favorite movie is Akira, but I love Hollywood movies in general. My recent favorite was How to Train Your Dragon, because the scriptwriting was so fantastic. As a fan of the original comics, I liked Tin Tin. I thought the movie was true to the comic, and CG animation made it seem more real than if it was live-action.
Q. A mangaka's schedule is incredibly grueling. What is the secret to enduring it for so many years while maintaining such an incredibly high level of quality in your work?
The only reason why I can continue drawing manga for so long is because—I love drawing manga. I really feel like this job is a good match for me, and it has really worked out. If you weren't born with a love of drawing, it would be impossible to draw manga. You would want to run away or have an allergic reaction or something. When I was a baby, I drew on the wall with my poop even before I was able to hold a pen. [laughs] So as long as I can remember, I always loved drawing.
Q. You've been drawing and writing Naruto for over ten years. Compared to when you first started, how do you think you've grown and changed both as an artist and person?
During my career as a mangaka, I got married, had kids and became a father. This directly influenced the story in Naruto. Through these experiences, I realized the things that are important in this world. Being a parent gave me a different perspective, which I didn't have when I was single.
The character Naruto represents a little bit of myself and a little bit of my child. It was after my children were born that I wanted to write about Naruto's parents. The way Naruto's parents feel about him is very close to how I feel towards my kids.
But I don't want to get too preachy because manga must always be entertaining. It has to be told from the kid's point of view. Even if I died someday, I want to leave a work in the world that would let my kids understand what I always wanted to tell them.
Q. Naruto's history is no longer a secret and he knows his parents loved him. How will that continue to change Naruto's outlook on the world and his relationship with the Nine-Tailed Fox?
At the beginning of the series, Naruto didn't have parents, and all he had was the Nine-Tailed Fox inside him. He was treated like a troublemaker or loser. He had a lot of hate and anger towards the world because he didn't have an identity. I was initially going to make the flashback about Naruto's parents very short. But learning about his parents became crucial so that Naruto could become aware of his identity. Though his parents were no longer in this world, they were able to use their chakra to tell Naruto how they felt about him. His parents sealed the Nine-Tailed Fox inside of him to bring peace to the world. They believed in him so strongly that they thought he would be able to handle the responsibility.
When Naruto found out about this truth, he became more aware of his life's purpose. He realized who he truly needs to become and what he needs to do to fulfill his dream along with his parents' hope.
Love is a great thing. Since I became a parent, I truly believe (although there might be a few exceptions) that parents all over the world always love their kids. When children can truly understand the love from their parents, it greatly helps them find themselves. So I really wanted to give Naruto that experience.
Interview with Masashi Kishimoto [Creator of Naruto]
Interview by Misaki C. Kido
Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha recently had a chance to interview legendary mangaka Masashi Kishimoto. Part 1 of the interview revealed how Kishimoto Sensei first got into manga and the recent events in his personal life that impacted Naruto. In Part 2 of our exclusive interview, Kishimoto Sensei shares his thoughts on the current story arc in Naruto and his take on digital manga.
Q. Currently, there is a major war brewing in Naruto with a multitude of characters from the past and present. How do you feel about war? And what are the challenges of depicting such an epic event in manga?
There are a lot of characters who are involved in the current war in the world of Naruto. I want to pay a lot of attention to every character while drawing them, but I have to omit some points. So it is difficult to make a judgment on what to omit and what to show.
Also, war is a difficult theme to write about. I grew up in Okayama, which is right next to Hiroshima. My grandparents went through the terror of war, and I know from their stories that the war was built up on people's grudges.
But you can't just look at the current state and criticize it as being simply wrong, because every little thing in our history causes the build-up towards war, and when it reaches its limit, it breaks out. So even in the manga, it wouldn't be believable unless I carefully elaborate on the war's background.
As my grandfather taught me, I believe that "war is never the right answer," but I also understand that there will always be war. I feel lucky that I grew up in a generation that didn't experience war. However, there are certain things only my generation can tell in a story, and I can tell it from my own perspective. Even though it's fiction, I want to make people feel like that there is still hope.
Q. Who are your current favorite characters?
My current favorites are Choji and Killer Bee.
Q. Then we have to ask about one of our favorite characters, Killer Bee. How did this character come about?
My former editor really loves pro wrestling, and he wanted a character like a pro wrestler. All of Killer Bee's moves are related to pro wrestling, even though he's a ninja. He sucks at rapping, but he does it anyway. I wanted to make him into an interesting character as well as one of the most powerful ninja in the world of Naruto. I have a difficult time writing Killer Bee's lines because he always rhymes. But that's the persona that I gave his character. Even if it's difficult, I will always challenge myself to make him a rich character.
Q. What is your feeling towards Sasuke now that he has gone through drastic change throughout the series?
Sasuke is always in the corner of my mind. Naruto and Sasuke progress as a pair. So when I write about Naruto, I always have to think about Sasuke. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum, like yin and yang.
Q. The Akatsuki are one of the most colorful and intriguing set of villains of any manga. Why did you create the Akatsuki? Do you have a favorite?
Itachi, Sasuke's brother, is my favorite. The Akatsuki is an anti-hero group who are pitted against the main characters in Naruto. But I didn't want to make them just villains, because I thought there should be different reasons as to why they became outlaws against society. I wanted to explore their backgrounds just as much as I would for the heroes.
Q. Who is your favorite undead ninja to bring back to life as one of Kabuto's army?
The people who were brought back by Kabuto's Edotensei Reanimation jutsu are like zombies, but with their consciousness and memories intact from when they were alive. It allows the characters from the past to talk to the characters in the present. It's a fantasy element of the series.
While creating a story about war, I started thinking to myself that there must be a reason why war occurs, and I wanted the characters from the past to talk about it themselves.
Out of Kabuto's army, Deidara is my favorite character. Honestly, I think Edotensi Renimation could make him the deadliest character because he can come back to life after he uses his special power to explode himself. I really like Deidara as a character.
Q. When people read your manga, what do you hope they'll take away from it?
In real life, it's hard for people to understand each other because of things like differences in culture and upbringing. As you grow up, you start to see that sometimes things in life don't go right. But I created Naruto to tell the younger generation that although there's hardship in life, you can get along. Other than that, I would rather let the audience themselves find out what they can get from Naruto.
Q. Digital manga, like Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha, is starting to take off in America. What are your thoughts on digital manga?
I think it's alright. But I don't really understand it yet. There's a lot of people using tablet devices now, which means it makes it more convenient to access and download the content you like. In the U.S., the system of buying and selling manga is fairly different from Japan. Sometimes it's hard for a bookstore to hold all the physical books on the shelves. So if digital makes manga more easily available, I think it's a good thing.
Q. Last but not least, what do you want to say to the fans of Naruto in the U.S.?
Naruto is getting close to the climax of the series, and it's going to get really heated from now on, so keep following Naruto until the end. That would make me really happy.
It concludes with a black and white sketch of Naruto winking with "SJAlpha" written above it, signed by Kishimoto and dated December 19th, 2011, and a blurb advertising a Creator's Sketch video going live next week on SJalpha.com.
Just as a personal note, it's totally worth the $25 a year to subscribe (48 issues). The images are slightly lower resolution than scanlations, but presented in much higher quality than scanlators could ever get from scanning WSJ, and the translations are, IMO, way more professional. Also includes the color covers and spreads in perfect quality.
Last edited by Suzaku; February 08, 2012 at 02:06 AM.
"Out of Kabuto's army, Deidara is my favorite character. Honestly, I think Edotensi Renimation could make him the deadliest character because he can come back to life after he uses his special power to explode himself. I really like Deidara as a character."
Proof that Kishimoto thinks about everything but has to ignore some aspects of the manga to prevent "realistic" outcomes from happening. Just like many have complained about, Deidara (and many other ET) could have destroyed the army, but for plot reasons he had to be ignored and disposed of.
Well i suppose war is really one of the most difficult topics for a mangaka to write on cause he simply can't put so much content into one chapter that you could, if there was just text. I peronally would've liked when one or to villages wouldve fallen under madaras control like the sand did to oro in part I. Humans fighting each other wouldve been much more emotional than zetsu zombies & edo zombies vs humans. I dont like the idea of this ideal war where good fights evil, thats just not that realistic.
Nevertheless - its a good interview...
Personally, before the war actually started in the manga, I'd always thought that a war was going to break out. The previous world wars just loomed so large in the history of the series that it seemed innevitable that a fourth would break out.
However, back then, I'd always thought that it would be way more convoluted, with Madara secretly having control over Kirigakure, Kumogakure opposing Konohagakure because of Sasuke's actions, Sunagakure and Amegakure joining Konohagakure, etc. etc.
Instead it just turned out to be all the Shinobi nations joining together to fight Tobi and his secret army of thousands of White Zetsus, and Kabuto with his Immortal Corps., which is a bit simplified for a world war.
Of course, this is also a manga for a younger audience and primarily an action/fighting manga, so the large-scale battles and delicate politics of a realistic war might not have appealed to its target audience.
And again, Kishimoto did want to bring back the old characters to help bring the "history behind the war" to life.
Last edited by Suzaku; February 12, 2012 at 05:48 AM.