Only for use by HWMN
[Gintama Koujien Fanbook Ending Translation by Kewl0210]
Top: Gintama Official Fanbook
Top Right: I have supervised this book with the utmost responsibility.
Mr. Gindaichi Kyousukebe
Top Left: This is the final fanbook!!
And the "thickest" in Gintama history at 432 pages!!
The Official Gintama Fanbook
Box: Contains tons of "Gintama" illustrations to make this "almost an art book"! A 128 art gallery!!
Full of new character profiles! A very substantial sound dictionary!!
A tell-all about the trials and tribulations leading to serialization! The first ever reveal of pre-serialization storyboards!!
A huge collection of all of Sorachi-sensei's hilarious comments from all the table of contents sections and letters for various events!!
Even contains illustrations from authors and assistants as well as newly-drawn manga and comments from Sorachi-sensei!!
Bottom Left: 15 years of Gintama historyi s packed into this one book!!
Bottom: Sorachi Hideaki
Inside Back Cover:
Top: Gindaichi Kyousukebe
Paragraph: Born October 10th. Height, 177 centimeters. Weight, 65 kilograms. A linguist and sexual entertainment industry scholar. Cosplayed by Sakata Gintoki. In order to successfully stitch together this great encyclopedia of "Gintama", he undertook the task of supervising the production as a leading authority on the subject. However, I've heard that for the production of this book, he only lent us his name and he wasn't really involved at all in the actual editing process, but whether that is true or not is unknown. There are also rumors that he shamelessly billed us for an exorbitant fee, for which he is currently in litigation with Shueisha's legal department. 'We just want you for the cover, I don't think it's asking too much.' In response to that order, he put on a suit, something he's very unused to, donned some linguist-looking round glasses, got into a good old-style sepia mood, sparing no expense to get just the right atmosphere.
T/N: This is a parody of the real-life linguist, Kindaichi Kyousuke.
Top Big: Sorachi Hideaki's
revealed in full!!
Black text: A report of the truth regarding the final lesson manuscript and its delay
Starburst: Exclusive scoop
Black Box Right: Sorachi Hideaki.
Why did this infamous mangaka blow his deadlines and break his promises?
The true reason is beyond imagining.
Now, two editors from the group of the historical editors that shouldn't even have been able to come in the first place and waited for the final manuscript lay bare in what happened on the 'day Gintama ended'!!
First Screenshot: Good job.
June 29th 2018 1:09 PM
Sorry about yesterday. I went and tied up someone I don't know that well for 13 hours. Even a rotten bastard like me felt some guilt after that, so I'll try to hurry up the manuscript. In line with that, could we start our meetings next week?
I have additional work piling up, so I'd like to keep going with work, finish it up early, and then send in the manuscript on Monday. Is that okay?
Also I totally forgot
Below box: Sent to Mr. I after picking up the first manuscript. An email for the ages.
Second Screenshot: Sorry
May 8th 2019 12:28 AM
I'm not done. I've got something like 30 to go. From what I'm seeing online, it looks like they pushed the volume release date to July, huh? lol. Sorry. Is it okay if I keep going to the end of May?
Caption: The '30' is believed to be the number of name (storyboard) pages. The final chapter was a total of 59 pages.
Article: Everyone believed that day would never come. But with every beginning, there must be an end. Even the legendary endless manga "Kochikami" had ended with a "Sounds good!". But still, when it comes to Gintama, the reason was different than with those legends. 'I'm not doing fake endings. That's the anime, they were doing that,' Mr. Sorachi had said. The 9th editor, Mr. I recounted this deception with a bitter laugh.
'Even a rotten bastard like me...' [Big/bold]
'Originally, about 3 years ago when the previous editor was in place, there was already a procedure set up for the end of Gintama's serialization shared in the editorial department,' Mr. I recounted. Sorachi and his then-editor Mr. M were told by the editorial department to 'wrap the story up soon.' It was in June of 2018 when the change of editors occurred. When Mr. I took over, there were 10 chapters left in the weekly serialization and extra chapters in addition to that. 'First he made me wait 13 hours for the manuscript, and he'd even written things like "A rotten bastard like me..." in his emails, so it looked like he was self-aware and trying to change, and I believed it. But then for the next manuscript I waited 14 hours. He's immediately set a new personal best. I guess a bastard's a bastard no matter how he tries to fight it. That's when I learned not to trust Sorachi Bastard Hideaki. Even this schedule for the end of the series is suspect, I thought. Like right now, he's drawing an episode about a gorilla wedding.
'I'm sorry.' [Big/bold]
'That Sorachi Bastard Gorilla Hideaki didn't have single a nanoscopic-sized indication he was ending it,' Mr. I told us. He has supplied us with with his emails with Mr. Sorachi in order to convey the truth of this affair of the final chapter delay to future generations of editors. To begin with, one cannot hope but notice that nearly all of the email subject lines were 'I'm sorry'. It's hard to believe these were written by the same person who wrote the volume extra corner that described his negative feelings over having 'RE: I'm sorry' in every email subject line.
If one looks closely, while the titles say 'I'm sorry', the main text will always also contain 'I'm sorries'. When you start apologizing all the time, it really loses the sincerity. The truth has come to light that the issue regarding the time of the volume release was a frequent topic in the body of the emails. It is well known that the volume's release date was moved from July to August, but in Mr. Sorachi's email he mentions a 'delay to July'. 'The truth is, there was already a delay from June to July. This was before the release date was first publicly announced, so it's not something known to the general populace. But it had to be delayed even further after that. But both times, we'd had it planned to not tell Sorachi-san and just let him draw, but both times he found out,' Mr. I explained to us.
First Screenshot: Sorry
May 31st 3:03 PM
Did I cause the release date of the volume to get postponed again? I'm seeing some things about that online.
Caption: He saw through it both times when the editors tried to hide the delay from him with his clever internet searching.
Second Screenshot (Middle Right): Sorry
June 5th 2019 6:11 AM
This is pretty embarrassing after how enthusiastic I was before, but getting the manuscript done on the 6th is looking difficult. There's still a lot left. I'm just gonna keep going and draw when the staff comes in, so do you think there's any way you could give me until Monday? I'm pretty sure I can do it this time. I'm very sorry about this.
Caption: I'm not sure how many delays we're at at this point. As one might expect, he's gotten embarrassed about it.
Third Screenshot (Top Left): Sorry
June 13th 2019 12:31 PM
I wasn't able to finish yet. Just a little more. Around 7 or 8 o'clock should be good.
Caption: So, no matter how you look at it, the text here makes it looks like he's about done. And the result...?
Fourth Screenshot (Middle Left): Sorry
June 13th 2019 10:42 PM
Please give me just one more hour. I can probably make that.
Caption: The message sent to the editors when they'd gone out for a drink. And of course, it took 4 hours after this.
Article: After this, in the emails he provided to us, it mostly recounts the back and forth regarding the final chapter. From these we can get a good look at Mr. Sorachi as he felt under pressure. About 1 month after the deadline that Mr. I had set, he received an email from Sorachi saying 'Did I cause the release date of the volume to get postponed again?' Talking about the delay of the volume to August. The 'Oh, did I go and do it again?' declared like the strongest protagonist from a wish-fulfillment novel. Though realizing the actual seriousness of the situation, Mr. Sorachi finally gave a concrete manuscript finish date to to Mr. I. Those words were a relief to Mr. I, but right at this point, due to an internal change, the company had decided n a change in editors. His successor was the 7th editor Gintama had had, Mr. N. Mr. I and Mr. N went to Mr. Sorachi's studio at an appointed time and day to discuss picking up manuscripts and inform him of the hand-over. But the day before, Mr. Sorachi sent an email saying 'I think it's going to take a bit longer after all.' 'That's Sorachi-san's never-compromising attitude,' muttered Mr. I looking into the distance with a no emotion in his eyes. It was like this person's heart was dead. 'No, I-san's eyes never have emotion in them. He's a wicked rotten bastard, you see,' said Mr. N as if reading my mind.
'Well, it depends on who I'm talking to (laughs).' [Big Bold]
'So I went to Sorachi-san's place with I-san. And when we finally met, Sorachi-san was pretty surprised. All of a sudden, one of his previous editors was there and his editor was changing,' Mr. N tells us. Describing words that came out of Mr. Sorachi's mouth that made chills run down his spine. 'Well, I know both of your are capable of telling the company that the manuscript is going to be late, and you can just blame the other one for it (laughs).' It was a bastard line that surpassed all bastard-dom. And as if on cue, all they saw on Mr. Sorachi's desk were manuscripts with only the under-sketches done. 'That was when we'd decided to do the delay the last chapter going out on the application and to publish a message of apology,' Mr. N told us. And then 3 days later, this time knowing in his heart it would be the last time, he headed to Mr. Sorachi's studio. I'm writing this article some days later, but this day would come be 'Gintama's Final Day'. Mr. Sorachi had specified it would be 3 days later in the afternoon, and Mr. N arrived at Mr. Sorachi's studio at 11 AM. The first thing out of Mr. Sorachi's mouth was the rather odd logic of 'Aren't you a little early?! When I said afternoon, I was imagining more like 5PM.' A logic that exists only in the world of Mr. Sorachi, I suppose. Still, when he looked at the manuscripts, they were mostly all filled in at that point. It would finally be finished. Mr. N told him he planned to return at 7PM, and contacted all of the series' previous editors. With recent long-running Jump manga, it had become a custom for all of the series editors from across its history would come to pick up the final chapter manuscript and offer flowers to the author. If he'd finished the manuscript on that day at 11AM as originally planned, then the editors wouldn't have been able to make it due to their work schedules. And Mr. Sorachi had said 'Uh, honestly I think I'd be too embarrassed if all the editors came. You don't need to do that,' Mr. I told us. But ironically, due to the delays he himself caused, it became possible. One by one, the editors gathered at the train station coffee shop. In order to convey that they were sick of waiting, they'd bought dry flowers to give to Mr. Sorachi. By the way, the other candidate was yellow carnations. In the Western traditional language of flower, that meant 'I'm disappointed in you.'
'Around 7 or 8 o'clock should be good.' like clockwork, they received the email asking for a delay. Once that time came, first editor, Mr. O, led the pack of Gintama editors to Mr. Sorachi's studio. Finally, the finale to these 15 years of history, this historical, emotional moment would----
'I wasn't trying to lie.' [Big/bold]
...did not come. In response to what should have been an emotional moment, the Psycho Gorilla yelled 'Huh?! You seriously all came?! I'm not done yet! Go have a drink somewhere, please!' These middle-aged men that had squeezed into the studio just stood there. 'Ya know, when Kishimoto-sensei finished his series, he ended it right when he said he would and we all went out to drink afterwards!' shouted the first editor, Mr. O. 'What? I can't do things like Kishimoto-sensei can! I think that's pretty obvious!' retorted Mr. Sorachi. It was a back-and-forth that hadn't changed in 15 years. The only thing that had changes was the age of the characters was now a lot older. Though maybe in their hearts, they were still kids. They still had those straightforward eyes. 'I wasn't trying to lie. When I say I can do something, I think in that moment that I can.' When Mr. Sorachi said that, his eyes really were straightforward. So then the editors went out for a drink on their own, and then a few hours later when they came back, Mr. Sorachi said this to them with his straightforward eyes: 'Just 2 more hours.'
Top: Tonight, another "don't slip" evening party begins...
Sorachi Hideaki VS The Editors from Across the Series History
"Good Job on the Ending"
Top Right Box: Sorachi Hideaki
Right Top Box: 1st Generation Editor
Weekly Shounen Jump Deputy Editor in Chief:
Insert: Very late
2nd Box: 2nd Generation Editor
Character Business Department Vice Chief
3rd Box: 3rd Generation Editor
Bessatsu Margaret Senior Editor
Insert: Falling sleep in the middle
4th Box: 4th and 6th Generation Editor
Weekly Shounen Jump Senior Editor
5th Box: 5th Generation Editor
Manga Mee Editor
6th Box: The 7th and 10th Generation Editor
Weekly Shounen Jump Editor
Insert: Coordinator and Photographer
7th Box: 8th Generation Editor
V Jump Editor
8th Box: 9th Generation Editor
Jump Comics Publishing Editor
Big Text: Now begins an honest talk between all 9 of them!!
Small text: On a day in July, to show appreciation (?) for Sorachi Hideaki after having successfully brought his series "Gintama" to its conclusion, we called the 8 editors from over the course of its serialization for a round table discussion. It took place at the Weekly Jump Editorial Department, in a great person's room. The current time is already 10PM. Around this swarm of booze and delivery pizza are a bunch of age 30-40 old dudes. Sorachi is a given, but even the other editors had a difficult time getting thee due to their status and the schedules associated with them. Or so it seemed anyhow. Honestly they all just pretend to be bust and in times like they always just says 'When is it? I'll be there for sure!' and they all show up with bells on. Maybe because he's been freed from the burden of manuscripts, but even Sorachi seems to be in a good mood. 'Okay, how about a toast?!' he said, with the super-high-class wine brought by Editor-in-Chief Nakano. Honda had looked up the price online and was shocked at the price. After a hard-fought battle, Manabe finally got the cork out, but because his hands were shaking from the struggle, he didn't do the best job pouring it into the wine glass and sure enough, spilled it. '...That was probably around a ** yen spill.' someone said as they stared at the wine stain on the great person's desk. And so began an over six-hour long hellish discussion...
Big Text: What's everyone's feelings now that "Gintama" has reached the final chapter?!
Nakasaki: How've you been feeling lately?
Sorachi: Not much different, but probably feeling a bit more healthy.
Isaka: 77 volumes in all... Now that I think about it, that's even more volumes than "Sangokushi" isn't it?
Sorachi: The one Yokoyama Mitsuteru-sensei did? ... Oh yeah, I guess it is.
Naitou: Ohnishi-san and Mitsuo-san aren't here yet, but I guess we can get started.
Sorachi: Is it really okay that we're drinking at work?
Naitou: Yeah 'course it's okay. We're celebrating.
Saitou: So, Sorachi-san. Did you do anything any a present to yourself? Like get some expensive champagne or eat some sushi or anything? Like at 'Jirou's'?
Sorachi: Those all sound like something sorta cheap that somebody who became rich all of a sudden would do. It's a very happy vision of me you've got, but I don't think it really fits me. I think a more fitting image is me still living in a house made of cardboard boxes.
Honda: So like, an image of someone who has money, but it doesn't make them happy.
Isaka: But we were talking about your royalties from Remix before (*Jump Remix is cheap edition reissue of volumes sold in convenience stores and such) and I checked up on a bunch of details.
Sorachi: And now I'm gonna make another killing on a 'CR Gintama' pachinko machine!
Naitou: Uh, no there's no plans for a pachinko machine.
Honda: Definitely feels like there could be one though.
Saitou: Well the games didn't really take off, so maybe that'd work.
Manabe: Hey, that's a bit harsh, don't you think?! That "Gintama Ranbu" whatever game did great!
Sorachi: Ok but before any of that, am I not just gonna be kicked out of Jump forever?
Passing By Editor-in-Chief Nakano: Oh hey, job well done!... Don't worry, we're not kicking you out of Weekly Jump! We'll be happy to have you back any time!
Saitou: But I'm not so sure it's possible for you to have three complete storyboards ready for the serialization meeting.
Honda: How can you be so negative?!
Naitou: Well, at any rate, how about we start by talking about the final chapter? ...There isn't anyone here that hasn't read it, right?
Honda: Of course there isn't!
Sorachi: That's true, right?
Isaka: Well we all went to pick up the manuscript, so of course we all read it.
Saitou: But it was a situation where it got passed in bits at a time with us counting the pages at the end to make sure we had them all. It wasn't exactly a 'Hey can I read that?' kinda mood.
Naitou: Ok, well, what did everyone think of the final chapter?
Sorachi: It's going in not the most pleasant direction all of a sudden... I'm not sure I want to hear people giving their impressions right in front of me...
Saitou: Well, for you, Sorachi-san, how was it? Did you think it was the best ending you could've written?
Sorachi: I'm not sure, but... I guess I did what I could.
Nakasaki: Is it okay to take that baby that appears at the end as Takasugi reborn?
Sorachi: Please don't ask about the details.
Sorachi: Once you've read the manga, that's it! That's what I've put out. If you want every little thing explained, then it's just awkward!
Isaka: The fans seem to really wanna know the answer so they can feel at ease.
Nakasaki: But I wonder if presenting something as someone being 'saved' is a kindness to the fans.
Sorachi: To be honest, I thought maybe it gave off more of an image of 'saving' the Kiheitai, rather than whether it was Takasugi... man things got serious fast.
Nakasaki: Yeah we turned the topic to Takasugi, someone someone it's really hard to make jokes about. But I think leaving the interpretation to the readers is a good directorial choice. Personally I'm not a big fan of reincarnation and things like that, so I like the idea that it's a different person more.
Sorachi: Like if Matako raised him, and he grows into just some old dude nobody'd ever met (laughs).
Isaka: Like 'Who the hell are you?!' (laughs).
Honda: Up to this point, you drew a lot of final-chapter-like stories, right? Like the 'Farewell Shinsengumi' arc. But when I read the actual final chapter, it gave me the most 'There're more to come' feeling than any of them. Like even with the series over, it feels like the world of "Gintama" is still going and Gin-san is still living there. I really liked that.
Sorachi: It's in the comment at the end of the fanbook, too, but I purposefully tried not to give a 'feeling like it's ending'.
Nakasaki: Like so "Gintama 2" can start any time, right?!
Sorachi: I felt like giving "Gintama" a lonely final scene didn't suit it.
Manabe: Kinda like the end of "Laputa". You didn't want the end to feel like an end?
Sorachi: Like if it weren't the real final chapter, then I'd be fine with doing that any time. But if I'm talking about my own tastes, I kind of prefer the lonely 'being left behind' kind of final chapters. But I figured that wasn't the thing to do for Gintama.
Saitou: Are there final chapters in any other manga you really liked?
Sorachi: I actually prefer the part just a little bit before the end, rather than the final chapters themselves. They just always give you that lonely feeling. But I guess in "Slam Dunk" when Sakuragi and Rukawa high-fived each other was one I really liked. But I wanted to see a match with Hiroshi, too.
Saitou: Oh, Fujimaki (Tadatoshi, auhtor of Kuroko no Basuke)-sensei asked about Hiroshi in a conversation with Inoue (Nobuyuki, author of Slam Dunk)-sensei and he said 'I wanted to draw it in a way that conveyed that there were lots of good players at nationals,' apparently.
Sorachi: Speaking of which, Fujimaki-san is incredible. I'll listen to what that guy has to say any day of the week.
Saitou: Sorachi-san, you've always been the type of person that can read a room and work a room. But whenever anyone asks for the character of 'Sorachi Hideaki', there's always an 'We've got to do something unprecedented!' aspect.
Sorachi: Well I guess because I feel some sense of responsibility for making the project interesting.
Naitou: What did you think when you read the final chapter, Manabe?
Manabe: Well I was his editor until just a bit before then, so I had discussed a lot regarding the final chapter in meetings with Sorachi-san. At any rate, there were just too many things foreshadowed that we had to tie up... Like the conclusion with Takasugi that you were talking about before, we talked a whole lot about the direction that the character of Takasugi was going in. Personally speaking, I thought that type of 'salvation' ending was good.
Sorachi: I did a whole lot of googling to see how people reacted to the ending... I kind of google myself and my work a lot. I search things like 'Sorachi genius' and 'Sorachi incredible', stuff like that.
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Sorachi: So, I'm aware that people that liked Takasugi more weren't as happy. And it's true it's not clear if that's Takasugi or not. But I felt like after all this, Takasugi didn't need to be 'saved'. Like, I felt like he'd already been saved. I think the impression people get differs depending on how they took the final battle with Utsuro, but in my mind, that wasn't written with the intention for it to be a tragedy. Though I was crying as I drew it (laughs) but they were a different kind of tears, I guess. Takasugi had originally sort of died during the incident where he lost Shouyou, but he was just out there searching for a way to die. So in that 'life and-or death' state, measuring him was a bit different I- Oh, it's Matsuo-san!
Matsu: Sorry I'm late!
Isaka: Is your leg feeling better?
Nakasaki: Did he break it again?
Sorachi: You sure seem to break your leg every time you see me, don't you?
Isaka: Well, you always break your leg as soon as you become the editor of "Gintama".
Isaka: The other day when we were meeting to pick up the final manuscript and you showed up with crutches, I just thought 'Again?!'.
Honda: It's gotta be some kind of karmic thing that comes with "Gintama". Matsuo's leg must be carrying the whole burden!
Nakasaki: He was only able to get the final chapter manuscript in because he broke his leg.
Naitou: So since you got in late, why don't you tell us your impressions of the final chapter, Matsuo-san?
Soachi: You did read it, right?
Matsuo: Yes, I did! Ok, impressions... Uh... Oh, well done on finishing your serialization.
Sorachi: Ok, I'm getting suspicious now.
Matsuo: My candid impression was '...Man, it's really over.' But, well I'm glad it ended without incident.
Everyone: That's it?!
Sorachi: You haven't read the series at all since you stopped being the editor, didn't you?
Honda: Since he's a shoujo manga editor now, maybe that's a past he wanted to leave behind.
Nakasaki: Hey, I'm sure that's not true. I'm sure he thinks 'This is all thanks to "Gintama"' all the time, right?
Matsu: Sometimes I was used for story material, too. ...Sometimes I get asked questions I have trouble answering, but at times like that I just say 'Oh, that was actually my twin brother,' and that lets me sort of get out of jail free (laughs).
Sorachi: Did... I really write private things or bad-mouth my editors that much?
Matsu: Yes, you did (laughs).
Big Text: Did you see the small sketches of the fake final chapter when you came to pick up the manuscript?!
Naitou: How about we talk about when we all went to pick up the final chapter manuscript?
Sorachi: Mind if I see the LINE messenger screen about it (See figure 1)?
Naitou: Yeah, the picking up of the final manuscript was something we did behind the scenes.
Saitou: Can we just show something like that to the person it's about?
Sorachi: I see... This is pretty funny (Laughs). ...Oh this, I remember writing this email. Can you put this in?
Circle: Reference Figure
Big Text: The LINE Messenger Group Chat Screen of the Editors Waiting for the Manuscript
Small Text: *The image is from the perspective of Naitou
Middle Text: The Weekly Jump editorial department has a tradition for series with long serializations, all of the editors that worked on it over its history will come to get the final manuscript and give the author their blessing. And now you can see the graphic exchange between the editors as they were swung around by the Gorilla. Man, being a working person is tough!
Black Bar: Gintama Editors (7)
Thank you all for coming together like this. I'll keep you updated on the newest developments!
*Lying down Sorachi Hideaki Line Stamp
Okay, the manuscript was just delayed, so now it's going to be next Monday.
*Elizabeth 'This is a failure' Line Stamp
Man, another delay?!
I'm starting to remember. Yeah, this is what it was like, wasn't it? (Distant stare).
Well if it's Monday, then I'll be out fort work, but do you think it'll be delayed again?
I kind of still just feel really sorry.
*Pasted an image of an email from Sorachi-sensei
This is pretty embarrassing after how enthusiastic I was before, but getting the manuscript done on the 6th is looking difficult. There's still a lot left. I'm just gonna keep going and draw when the staff comes in, so do you think there's any way you could give me until Monday? I'm pretty sure I can do it this time. I'm very sorry about this.
So, Wednesday then.
At this point, maybe we might as well put out the under-sketch as the final chapter?
It would actually be kind of fitting.
That would be a first for something distributed online...
You put out the under-sketch and then later you do a complete version. Maybe that's overdoing it? Well anyhow, the plan right now is Monday night, right?
Sorry, but I'm going to be out for work from next Monday to Wednesday, so unfortunately I won't be able to be there.
We'll shoot for a Monday night completion! I'll keep sharing information as needed!
Box: 6/7 (Fri.)
Thanks for all your hard work. What time should we be there? Is he looking like he'll be done then?
From what I heard from Naitou-kun, it'll be after 9PM, probably. Though the situation might be different from Saturday.
So, Wednesday then.
Seriously? This is getting too real...
*Shocked Gintoki Line Stamp
Bottom: Continued on the next page
Black Bar: Gintama Editors (7)
Well for now, Monday at 1.
So we'll wait on standby at a bar, right? Just to be safe, I'll find a place that's open until morning. Though I'm hoping it doesn't come to that...
So what time does it look like it's gonna happen?
Pisuke & Usagi Custom Stamp 'In the morning!'
Pisuke & Usagi Custom Stamp 'It's all Sorachi's fault'
*Line stamp of a cat with an exquisite expression
...So you think it'll be in the morning? Like the first train in?
Seriously...? I hope we don't end up disappointed...
He just sent me a message saying it would take all of Monday and he'd be working till morning. I hate to have you all wait for that...
Isaka-san and I are going to work out the final details tonight at 9 PM.
But he might... finish around dawn...
I'll be out for work so unfortunately I can't go. But if it gets delayed to Tuesday, I'll come running.
Hopefully he takes till the afternoon (Haha).
Bisuke & Usagi Custom Stamp 'Hey, Sorachi!'
So you're we're on standby from 9PM at night until afternoon the next day? That's rough.
Record the big moment for me if you can.
I'm not sure about tomorrow morning. But if it's tomorrow night, I should be able to...
Sure enough, everyone's starting to sound whiny.
Same as Nakasaki-san. Night works, morning, not so much.
Well, from what it looks like, if he finishes at the crack of dawn, we'll have to give up on the idea.
Oh, and I just learned this last weekend, but apparently they're planning to have a round table discussion with Sorachi and all the series' editors in the Fanbook.
But I dunno if it's even coming out in August at this point. It think we'll just set that aside for now and setup another time for it... And we can beat the crap out of Sorachi then.
Make sure you put this Line screen in it.
Nope, it's not getting done today.
How many pages does he have left?
"How many pages" nothing.
It's all blank.
Quite a vivid depiction...
*'Snack Basue' Line Stamp of holding out a moist towel
Now this is exciting...
Is he gonna have it done tomorrow?
I think you hit the jackpot Saitou-san. Wednesdaaay
*Line stamp of Midorima from 'Kuroko no Basuke' pumping his fist
Thanks for your hard work. Hopefully it ends up being about done tomorrow night or the morning of the day after. Wednesday afternoon's not good for me.
Nakasaki-san, it's looking like it may be done Wednesday. Sure is a delicate situation...
Yeah... And I'll be away Thursday.
Okay, so we should have the exact time squared away at midnight Wednesday. It looked like he would be done in the morning. We'll probably need to delay the release from the 17th to the 20th.
Roger. Thanks for all the effort you've put into this.
Naitou: Sure we can.
Sorachi: Sure you're not gonna delete the less-jokey trash talking?
Honda: No, we're leaving it all in.
Isaka: Originally you were supposed to get the manuscript for the final chapter in while I was still your editor. But I got moved all of a sudden, so somebody else had to take over. So we decided Naitou would work since he had experience being your editor already.
Sorachi: I hadn't even heard about the editor change, so when you came to greet me at my studio, I was scared out of my wits! I saw this huge silhouette of a person standing behind Isaka-san and I thought 'Oh shit, I'm finally gonna be killed!' I was sure you'd hired a bouncer or something.
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Isaka: Naitou was actually trying to hide his face as he came into the studio, I think (laughs). So when I said 'You're changing editors' and introduced him you said 'What, now?!' all surprised. But right after that you said 'Well whatever happens, you can blame the other one, so I guess it works out.' which was a pretty shocking line...
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Sorachi: Yeah, but that's true! And this isn't the first time I've experienced being
pushed into a really harsh job because of the timing of an editor change. Like with the movie or when I had to draw that huge calendar. And then when they got asked about it, they usually blamed the previous editor or they play innocent saying things got chaotic during the hand-over.
Saitou: Why would they give the job of drawing a calendar to an author known for writing slowly? In my time I would've made sure to turn that down.
Sorachi: Yeah but that was an impetus for me changing how I go about things a bit. 'Turn down jobs you know you should turn down!' Up until that point, I thought it was cool to just do whatever job you were handed, no matter how difficult it was. But when that happened, I realized 'Oh, these guys aren't thinking about this at all.'
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Isaka: ...So, when we were getting close to the point where the final chapter would be getting done, Honda-san and Saitou-san started talking about 'Wanna do that tradition for long series where we all go to pick up the manuscript?'
Saitou: I know "Naruto" and "Bleach" did it.
Nakasaki: I do remember thinking 'Won't Sorachi-san not like that?' (laughs).
Isaka: That's why I mentioned to Sorachi-san 'You know there's this tradition...' And when I did, he said 'Uh, no thanks. I'd be too embarrassed... and it sounds like a hassle...' (laughs). So it did seem like it wasn't going to happen for a bit, but then when Naitou took over, he started setting up the plan again. But actually, if he had finished the last chapter on schedule, then most of the editors wouldn't have been able to participate. Originally when Naitou and I went to pick it up, you told us '...Uh, you're too early.' And when I said 'Okay, but I said I'd come in the afternoon.' And you said '...Uh, afternoon... I meant that in kind of a looser sense of the word,' (Laughs).
Sorachi: I meant in 'mangaka time', you know? When a mangaka says 'afternoon', that means anywhere from noon to midnight...
Isaka: I don't think I've heard that from anybody but you (laughs). We went and bought flowers and killed time at a coffee shop... Manabe was off in Los Angeles for work, but he ended up being able to make it back in time it took so long.
Naitou: From seeing how Ohnishi-san acted, I remembering thinking 'Yup, that's his first editor.' So come night time we all gathered at the studio, but you still didn't seem like you were done with the manuscript at all... We were astonished at that, and then he started counting up the scattered manuscript pages in a matter-of-fact way.
Honda: That was kind of cool. 'Whoa, how first-editor-like,' I thought.
Isaka: And then we went to get a drink to kill more time... Then we came back when we felt like enough time had gone by that he'd surely be done, and Sorachi-san said 'You're still to early!' (Laughs).
Saitou: After that, not completely fed up from waiting around at the studio, I got a volume of "Shiguri" off the bookshelf and started reading it. Even though I had my own copy at home.
Matsuo: I remember being really amazed when I saw that (Laughs). That was your first time at Sorachi-san's new studio, wasn't it? And all of a sudden you took a manga book off a shelf and sat down on the stairs to start reading it! Like 'Is he at his friend's house?' (Laughs).
Manabe: He was at a house he'd never been to before and he immediately made himself at home.
Saitou: I sensed with my editor senses 'This is going to be a battle of attrition, isn't it?'
Sorachi: I'd done the fake-out final chapter thing a bunch of times at that point, but I guess that final day was a mini-version of it. A whole 'It's because he's like this that this whole mess happened...' But let me say this at least.
I'm telling you, I really thought I was gonna get it done! I always believed a miracle was gonna happen! I'd been doing a weekly series for 15 years, but every week I believed a miracle would happen... So I was sure for this final week, I'd somehow get it done by the deadline.
Saitou: So... did a miracle ever happen?
Sorachi: Well... No, almost never. But if I hadn't believed it would, I couldn't have done that every week!
Honda: I do recall conversations in our meetings where at that point you thought 'I can get it done early this week!'
Nakasaki: Yeah, but nobody ever believed that...
Sorachi: I did!
Saitou: So, okay, you weren't 'lying.' But because because of that we believed you, and we ended up being mislead as a result.
Sorachi: Well, maybe I did lie sometimes...
Everyone: (Bitter laugh).
Nakasaki: You mean you didn't have any malice behind it, you were saying what you really thought.
Isaka: Yup, that's the most dangerous type out there (laugh).
Big Text: The repeated "it's ending", "it's ending" grift.
Naitou: So, what're your candid thoughts on the series ending?
Sorachi: Well, nothing's really changed. I'm still doing work on a bunch of different things. Only I have this anxiety about what's gonna happen to me after all these little tasks are all gone. So to be honest I'm not all that happy about it.
Sorachi: I'm sort of anxious about becoming a gear of society.
Saitou: Like a feeling 'People won't need you anymore?'
Sorachi: Well if I'm not drawing manga, I'm pretty much just trash, right? I have a sense that because I draw manga, I can just manage to establish myself as a human, sort of.
Nakasaki: Hm, maybe you should get a part-time job or something?
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Isaka: That could make for a good article (Laugh). Maybe you could be a 'one-day operator' at Kyodo Printing Co.?
Matsuo: Maybe go to the bread factory and make cheesy steamed bread?
Saitou: Or make a Gin-zania amusement park?!
Sorachi: ...Yes, these are all great suggestions.
Naitou: Your assistants aren't coming to your studio anymore, right?
Sorachi: Yeah that's probably the biggest change. I feel kinda lonely, not having people I can complain about manga with anymore.
Nakasaki: Then why not leave the nest of your studio and go be an assistant to some other pro mangaka?
Isaka: You mean Sorachi-san drawing backgrounds and stuff? That's hilarious (laughs).
Sorachi: No way they'd hire me!
Isaka: Maybe somewhere like Akimoto-sensei's studio. Someplace that's well regulated.
Sorachi: Like a rehab clinic?
Isaka: But you know, Akimoto-sensei was worried about you every time I met with him. He'd say things like 'Is Sorachi-kun okay? He did really end the series, right?' (laughs).
Saitou: Why did the ending get so prolonged anyhow?
Isaka: The root cause was something Manabe and Sorachi made, right?
Honda: When was it you first started saying the story was 'ending'?
Isaka: That would be when he said the 'Silver Soul Arc' began.
Manabe: I took over as editor in the middle of the 'Shogun Assassination Arc', and I think that's the point where the 'We should think about wrapping up' talk first started, I believe.
Isaka: So like 2015. At that point the newest volume was around 55.
Nakasaki: So at that point, you put out 20 more volumes (laughs).
Saitou: That's enough for "Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho" to have gone from chapter 1 all the way to the end!
Manabe: It was at that point when Sorachi-san saw the path to the ending.
Sorachi: Yeah, there was a real change at that point. There were way fewer gags after, weren't there?
Isaka: So Manabe wasn't editor for basically any gag chapters, huh?
Sorachi: In my mind, we firmly entered the final arc when the shogun died. Though I hadn't said anything publicly at that point.
Isaka: Manabe was editor for around 3 years, right? So from 2015 to 2018.
Mnabe: In those days, I would get calls from the anime's producer asking, 'How's it going'? to verify what was going on, since the anime was also trying to plan out their end as they got to the end of the source material.
Isaka: When I became editor, the first meeting I had with the anime staff was 'What should we do for the final episode of the anime...?' I was fine with taking the baton from Manabe, but at the point where Sorachi was doing the gorilla wedding in Weekly Jump, everyone got that 'Oh, it's not really ending yet, is it?' The questionnaires from that chapter were really good, though!
Honda: I remember Isaka-san showing me the finished manuscript and saying 'Hey, check it out! He's doing a gorilla wedding! Now guess how many chapters he's got left in the main magazine after this?' (laughs).
Circle: Reference Figure (2)
Sorachi Hideaki's 'apology message' for the Gintama app
Middle Text: Weekly Jump, Jump Giga, and then the Gintama App... Again and again, he did fake endings. Even a gorilla couldn't help but feel some remorse after that. And the color of that remorse from right after penning the apology was... 'Sekiro'? Wait, was he playing that when he was supposed to be writing the chapter?!!
T/N: Sekiro sounds sort of like a color because it ends in 'iro' (color).
Black Bar: He's the actual hand-written manuscript
[Left the handwritten part as-is, don't redraw it.]
Heading: 'Apology Message' Full Text
[This is the exact same text from when he posted it originally so I'll just copy and paste my translation here I guess.]
I'm writing this late at night on Thursday, June 13th, and I have finally finished Gintama's final chapter. But, having gone past the point where we could get this out for the planned time on Monday, all of my editors over the years that had been ready with bundles of flowers to celebrate me finishing the final manuscript immediately tuned those bundles of flowers into weapons and pelted me with them one after another.
Just know, I whittled down my 3rd editor's posture gauge and stabbed my g-pen into his temple to get a shinobi execution when my 4th editor sprouted from his back.
Good grief. It seems like no matter what I do, there's no happy end for me.
...Nah just kidding. I'm really sorry about the repeated delays to all the readers out there that've been anticipating this. But the release date has only been delayed 3 days to Thursday.
After all my crimes of repeatedly having fake-out endings and delaying the final volume character book release date, I have no hope of recovery as a weekly manga author.
I've probably lost my chance of ever being in Jump again and I'll have to draw manga while fighting with death-row prisoners in an underground fighting arena, but even if that's the case, I have nothing for gratitude to all the readers and the motionless corpses of my editors laying at my feet for allowing me to reach the final chapter I wanted to draw.
Thank you all so much.
...Huh? This is kinda sounding less and less like an apology.
I'm really sorry about that!! So, yeah, the 20th! Please wait just until the 20th! This time it's seriously ending!
Let's meet again in the final chapter. See ya!
T/N: This is made up of a bunch of Sekiro (Shodows Die etc.) references.
Sorachi: But I really believed I could finish it in 5 more chapters!
Saitou: Weren't you at least nervous? You'd already announced 'Just 5 more' and there you were still drawing a gorilla wedding...
Sorachi: ...Well let me just say, we'd decided to move it to 'Jump GIGA' before that point...
Isaka: But we were discussing staying in Jump at least until Utsuro was beaten. We felt that it would be inexcusable to the readers if we didn't. The idea being the main story would be done in the main magazine, then 'Jump GIGA' would only have sort of an epilogue. But once the gorilla wedding started, that was kind of out the window. Like, what was Utsuro gonna do if he showed up here? The only way to do that final battle would be if he went down in one punch (laughs).
Saitou: Why did you put that gorilla story right in the middle of the ending there...? It was pretty entertaining, though.
Sorachi: When I was first writing the 2-years-later epilogue I showed them leaving and so I wanted to draw everyone coming home. But to be honest, I went a little crazy at that point and just figured it would be fine to just not end it and lose the place I was serialized at. As long as we could announce it in the volumes, then it would be fine.
Isaka: And then finally going to the 'Gintama App' for serialization was decided in pretty short order. We figured it would be nice to give a boost to the app side of things... But I think allowing an app serialization with no deadlines or page number limitations was a real error in judgement.
Naitou: Well the pattern of drawing new stuff just for the volume would've gone the same way.
Isaka: Well, I guess the volume and the fanbook's release date got postponed anyhow...
Sorachi: Well I found out about that from looking on the internet. I was just like, 'Oh, it got postponed'.
Isaka: I hid the fact that the deadline was extended, though. And then I got an email from Sorachi saying 'Hey, um, did they happen to postpone the release date? lol.' That was no lol-ing matter!
Sorachi: My ego-searching was pretty effective, I think!
Saitou: If you had all that time to ego-search, then shouldn't you be working on your manuscripts?!
Sorachi: I'm not ego-searching all the time! Just when I'm having a hard time and I want to be praised by someone! It's a reward! Honestly I've searched every word you can think of at this point! 'Sorachi Hideaki stylish', or 'Sorachi punk', stuff like that.
Isai: Well I can understand stuff like 'genius', but why 'punk'? Is that a compliment?
Sorachi: I'm at the point where being called a 'genius' isn't enough to make me feel anything! I wanna be called 'punk' and 'rock'!
Saitou: So you're not satisfied with just 'rock' but you want 'punk', too?!
Naitou: A real door-to-door search operation! (Laughs).
Saitou: So, what would you say is the biggest reason you kept going for 2, 3 more years?
Isaka: It's fundamentally the editor's responsibility.
Sorachi: But I told you before, I personally believed I could get it finished... That even fooled the editors.
Manabe: Just in the time I was your editor, you actually postponed the timing for the ending 3 times, didn't you? I can understand you realized 'This can't be the ending...' those times, but you kept saying you could so all we could do was believe you.
Saitou: I guess somewhere along the way it didn't feel painful anymore, huh, Manabe?
Isaka: Wasn't there a big problem with the final chapter in Weekly Jump because of the lyrics you put in it? We got permission from Konomi Takeshi-sensei before putting it in, but in addition to that there were lots of complicated rights issues... We got permission from the person who actually wrote the lyrics but apparently that wasn't enough.
Nakasaki: ...Have you ever thought about writing a song, Sorachi-san? You could offer it to an idol to sing and things like that.
Sorachi: And what would that get me?
Nakasaki: Uh, royalties, I suppose? You know, "Gintama" never had any character songs.
Sorachi: I don't really think about earning money on things like that. But if the author 'Sorachi Hideaki' thinks it's necessary, he'll do it even for free.
Honda: Ooh! That's so cool!
Manabe: Actually we came to Sorachi-san with questions like 'How about writing an essay?' and he said 'I'm a mangaka' and turned it all down.
Big Text: Joy and sorrow regarding the manuscript...
Naitou: So in the fanbook, we're going to put these rejected manuscript pages (*See figure 3).
Sorachi: The truth is I actually wanted to use more 'space' to tell the story. It was decided that the final chapter would have 59 pages, but when I actually did it it came out to around... 63 pages. So then I had to cut and paste parts of the manuscript and find a way to cut down 4 pages. And 4 pages is a lot you know. It was like cutting off my own arm.
Isaka: Yeah that's one of the drawbacks of the style where you set out on the manuscript without finishing the storyboard. ...When did you start doing that, do you think?
Saitou: Oh, he was doing that back when he was still working with Ohnishi-san. Though I can't imagine him allowing something like that. Actually this round table is a good opportunity to set the record straight on things like that.
Honda: A good time to proclaim, 'In my era, the manuscripts got done faster.'
Sorachi: That's a 100% lie.
Nakasaki: I remeber when "Gintama" had first started serialization... It must've been around chapter 5 or 6. And the manuscripts were getting done too late so Ohnishi-san got mad and said something like 'I'm not going to get the manuscripts anymore! You come and bring them to me!' And then Sorachi-san brought them all the way to the editorial department all while being steaming mad, too.
Sorachi: Yeah I really went at it with Ohnishi-san at first.
Nakasaki: When you first started the series you were sort of still a fresh newbie mangaka, but in those first few weeks you aged a whole ton at once, I remember.
Isaka: At first, the questionnaire results weren't good, too. You think Ohnishi-san thought the series wasn't gonna last long anyhow so he could be a bit more negligent? (Laughs).
Sorachi: It was only after the the series started getting on track that we were finally able to do preparatory meetings.
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Sorachi: Until that point we only had these sorta flighty meeting-like-things.
Isaka: By the way, just how much did "Gintama" actually stick to what you discussed in those preparatory meetings?
Sorachi: Well it went like that a few times... but usually when I was actually drawing it, that wouldn't feel right. Like when I was in the actual meetings, I would get excited and think 'It'll turn out great if I write it this way,' but that would be the sort of peak... Like then it would already be all done at the meeting. But after that when you're making it into the manuscript... it's like, it doesn't feel fresh anymore so it doesn't seem good. But sometimes I would just give it some time, let the joke sit for a while, and then use it.
Isaka: There's another reason why "Gintama" manuscripts were late so often. Normally when you're at the storyboard stage, before the manuscript is sent to press, you can give the text to the printing company and have them make progress on it while you do the manuscript, right? Somewhere along the line you couldn't do that anymore. I think Matsuo was the one who quit doing it.
Matuso: Was it me?
Isaka: At the time, I was doing the whole progress control of the manuscripts, and I got a sense of discomfort. After we submitted the manuscripts to the printer, for some reason "Gintama" would always take longer to get printed off than everything else. So when I asked about it, I found out that Matsuo had stopped sending the text in beforehand.
Matsuo: Well the text would change so much between the storyboard and the actual manuscript, so there wasn't much else I could do.
Sorachi: Speaking of which, I remember Manabe-san saying to me that I changed lines to much from storyboard to manuscript. But I couldn't help but always want to linger on the lines. Like it might be possible to make them funnier.
Honda: Though if I recall, changing lines at the last minute almost caused some accidents. Like some dangerous expressions...
Nakasaki: Like I'd told him intently 'You can't use this word'! And then he'd use it in the text later again.
Saitou: One time, when I was at shirayaki (*The final check before beginning the print) and I saw Katsura being run over by "a brand name product of a certain automobile maker", and yelling, 'Why would you think we could leave this in?!' (Laughs).
Sorachi: Well, you see, that's why I'm punk (laughs). ...But seriously speaking, I feel like I can't hit the breaks. Even if I'd been warned about something, it temporarily just exits my headspace.
Honda: I can understand that, but that's why you really should submit storyboards beforehand!
Saitou: When I took over as editor, as you might expect, I thought it wasn't the best situation. I know I asked if you could at least submit a storyboard on Wednesdays. And then I got a reluctant 15-page one. You gave it to me with an invigorated face saying, 'This can kind of work like a first deadline! It feels pretty refreshing!' But then the next week, you didn't give me a storyboard at all.
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Big Text: How about we talk about "Gintama"?!
Naitou: How long do you think you were planning for it to go at first?
Sorachi: Hm... I guess I thought I could probably keep it up for around 30 volumes. I was frantic getting through each week, I couldn't think about how long before I would end it. Though as a reader, I don't think I'd buy a manga that went for 77 volumes!
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Reference Figure (3)
The salvaged phantasmal panels cut from the final chapter!
Middle text: Based on the number of pages in the volume, the final chapter had an upper limit of 59 pages. But if you count up all the partially-drawn manuscript pages, it comes to 63 pages. Sorachi-sensei cried and cried over having to cut out 4 pages. Those cut pages were something like this!
[None of the handwritten text is legible]
Saitou: When you stop and think about it, it's really amazing that it's longer than Mitsuteru Sangogkushi. Longer than that magnificent saga...
Sorachi: But if you look at the manga world as a whole, series are getting longer, aren't they? The stories take up more space than older manga, too.
Nakasaki: Hm, is shoujo manga as a whole getting longer?
Saitou: "The Rose of Versailles" was just 9 volumes, right? But that's largely due to how much was packed into each page.
Nakasaki: But some things change as time moves forward. In order manga there were more monologues and parts that were harder to read.
Naitou: In one sentence, what would you say is the theme of "Gintama" as a series.
Sorachi: Theme...? Hmm...
Manabe: I've asked that before, and I believe you said you were wanting to draw a story where 'Even if your path has twists and turns, even if you go to all different places, in the end you come back to the same place.'
Honda: Sorachi-san is making a real puzzled look right now (laughs).
Sorachi: Did I say that?
Nakasaki: Ok, let's try this. How about each of the editors say what they think the theme of "Gintama" is?
Sorachi: Oh, that sounds good! I'm not really all that interested so is it okay if I go to the bathroom for that?
Saitou: This doesn't have to do with themes, but was it ever a challenge to have "Gintama" never use special techniques?
Sorachi: I was pretty on-edge right from when my series started. But like, I could tell that Gin-san wasn't the type of characters to shout out special attack names. Though now I really wanna shout stuff out (laughs). It's just so cool! After 15 years, I think I finally figured it out. I get it, I really should've had everybody shouting this stuff out. Those special techniques create a sense of rules within battles, don't they? There was a time when I thought instead of using special techniques in "Gintama", I'd have a kind of 'voice of heaven' narration to direct everything and make things exciting. Kinda like in "Baki". But somewhere along the line the style of performance changed so much it just didn't fit.
Naitou: Is there anything you'd say that's changed a lot since the series started? Like something you think you improved in?
Sorachi: After finishing the final chapter, the first think I thought was, 'In the end, I didn't get any better at drawing manga, did I...?' And really just felt as sense of defeat in that regard.
Isaka: Sorachi-san, you've been relatively less rigid when it comes to giving your assistants instructions, haven't you?
Sorachi: Really? Anyone have an example?
Honda: You give instructions like 'Make this pare a bit more HWAAH!'. That kind of thing.
Sorachi: That just goes to show how good my assistants are.
Manabe: I get the impression all of the assistants get their own reference materials and study as they draw.
Sorachi: Well you can look stuff up on a smart phone super easily, can't you? So you can kind of give them autonomy. That's why I see them all as invincible. They've got the skill to make it through any scene.
Isaka: Date (Tsunehiro)-sensei was your assistant for a long time. After that he went to work at "One Piece" and I know Oda-sensei took a liking to him right away.
Sorachi: He was easy to talk to. And he knew how to create a mood in the workplace.
Honda: He was good, fast, and persistent... A real triple-threat.
Saitou: I remember a couple times when Sorachi-san raised his voice to say 'Whose awful handwriting is this on this handrawn text?!' while he was working. And it was me that wrote it. And then Sorachi-san would say something like 'Saitou-san wrote it? Ah, well nothing I can do, then.'
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Nakasaki: When I took over as editor from Saitou-san, I thought there'd be no way I'd help out on stuff like that, but but a few weeks in he said, 'Would you mind grabbing this drawing pen for a sec?' (laughs).
Sorachi: Hey, I didn't like that either! Having a total beginner at manga touch a manuscript like that. But now's really not the time to be saying that, is it?!
Nakasaki: Well you were making me wait around 4 hours from the beginning.
Isaka: I remember I waited 13 hours on my first day. Then in the table of contents comment he wrote, 'I'll have it done in 12 hours next time!' And the following week he kept me waiting for 14 hours (laughs). I remember when I asked, 'What was it like with Manabe?' he said, 'Mamanbe-san was kind of like a zashikiwarashi, a protective household deity, so I didn't really notice much of a difference if he was here or not,' (laughs).
Manabe: But even you couldn't be that indifferent, Sorachi-san. I know there was a chair you recommended me to wait in. Though it was seriously uncomfortable so I gave it back to you pretty quickly.
Nakasaki: In my time, I sat on the floor.
Isaka: Do yout think Sorachi-san got better with dealing with editors?
Saitou: I feel like he basically thought of us as a 'manuscript delivery machine', no?
Sorachi: Hey, no I didn't!
Isaka: But he's surprisingly good at talking about manga.
Saitou: Yeah, that's true. I was pretty new, just into my 2nd or 3rd year as an editor at the time, when I became editor for "Gintama". And I learned sooo much about manga from talking with Sorachi-san. Talking with him was always such pure fun.
Isaka: I was only his editor for a little while, but but I heard a lot of stuff that's been beneficial. Like when I asked him about how to create characters, he said 'Well, you gotta start by thinking about limitations, right?' And that felt like it really made sense to me.
Sorachi: Yeah, it shouldn't start with 'What can the character do, what can you make them do?' Thinking about 'What can't they do' is the most important.
Saitou: You're incredibly logical when it comes to manga, aren't you, Sorachi-san?
Honda: Even if it wasn't manga, if I talked with him about movies or just talked about nonsense at a bar, the way he looked at things was so precise and insightful that I always felt like I was learning something.
Sorachi: I had fun with that, too. Because honestly I never wanted to be talking about "Gintama"!
Isaka: I remember a while back, I talked with Sorachi-san about 'what would be good' for Fujimaki (Tadatoshi)-sensei's next work. We talked for two hours and our imaginations ran wild, and I ended up going home without talking about "Gintama" at all (laughs).
Sorachi: Oh yeah, that was fun. I think we ended on 'a period drama from him would be great, wouldn't it?' Kinda like Inoue-sensei going from "Slam Dunk" to "Vagabond".
Isaka: 'Yes, you've got it! Well, goodnight!' (laughs). After that, when I talked to Fujimaki-sensei about it, we got into a pretty intense conversation where he basically said he 'wasn't all that interested in period pieces.' (laughs).
Big Text: Sorachi-sensei is really good!
Saitou: You know, Sorachi-san, you're insanely good at drawing sword fights.
Sorachi: ...You noticed?! Ya know, I don't think anyone's ever complimented me on that before! I set them up fairly often. And when they happen, the manga won't have any lines, and usually there's nothing to explain, so you can sorta read right through them without thinking, I suppose.
Saitou: Honestly the camera work and switching perspectives and all that is really good.
Sorachi: Well, a big reason I need to be so detailed with them is because I don't do any special techniques. So I need to pick up a lot of skills or they just wouldn't be that good. In the people that are serialized in the magazine right now, "Hinomaru Zumou" is really good in that area. Sumo moves are kinda dull and if you just watch matches normally, you don't really get a sense of awe, do you? So in "Hinomaru" he has to get each monologue and bit of narration right so you know what every thrust means, like what sort of emotions are packed into them. I had to do thinkgs like that, too, but when I realized it was too late.
Isaka: I checked some of the old questionnaire results from the early days of "Gintama", and in that episode in Lesson 9 where Gin-san and Hijikata fought on the roof, that got first in the rankings. So things were picking up. It was the first chapter where you'd done a proper depiction of a fight.
Sorachi: Uh, wasn't that just because it had the Shinsengumi in it?
Saitou: When you're setting up a swordfight, I guess you move through it spinning around the scene with the camera in your head, right?
Sorachi: Yeah, definitely. It really takes a lot of time and effort. I don't think anybody really realizes that. I get comments from readers saying stuff like, 'The serious parts are boring.' (laughs).
Matsuo: I guess you don't get much bang for your buck with those, huh...?
Saitou: Turning a video into a manga, that's a really incredible skill. A lot of pros really can't do that. Like even if they can do the camera in their head thing, they can't get it on paper without having some level of awkwardness.
Sorachi: Like you'll have a story you think is really good, say you take 20 pages to tell it, and then nobody understands what's going on! ...Though, I guess my manga's really the worst when something's not conveyed properly.
Isaka: I think the reality and entertainment value get through to the readers on a subconscious level.
Saitou: Like in the battle with Housen in the 'Yoshiwara in Flames Arc', you really did some incredible stuff there. Housen had this gigantic umbrella and he was up against someone with a regular-sized wooden sword. You had to make the swordfight work despite that big difference in weapons, but it worked.
Sorachi: If I'd had special techniques there, I wouldn't have had to go through all that strenuous effort...
Saitou: When newer authors try to do that, you get a sense that a bunch of time got skipped between panels. The movements don't connect into a series.
Big Text: What Created "Gintama"
Sorachi: I don't think I've really talked about this, but when I was in elementary school, I really loved Tajima Shouu-sensei's manga 'MADARA'. Having only ever seen the typical oblong eyes in shounen manga up to that point, the long and narrow eyes in that manga really made an impact on me. I copied that style a lot in my own drawings. And the girls' uniforms were cute, too. I really wanted to capture those qualities, but I couldn't do it completely.
Saitou: Now that you mention it, the way both of you draw eyes is kind of similar.
Isaka: I don't think there are many artists out there that've copied your style, though, Sorachi-san.
Saitou: I think the way you deliver lines has really affected people, though. I've even seen regular people mimicking it online. Like a 'Sorachi sentence structure'.
Sorachi: There's definitely some warmer reactions, but generally I see things like 'Gintama-talking isn't funny', so it's a bit complicated.
Isaka: I think 'total sadist characters' have become more prominent since Okita first appeared.
Sorachi: Yeah, but those existed on variety TV shows and stuff before then. I always have the TV on when I'm working, so I think TV and radio have had more of an effect on me than manga. I got hooked on the comedy team Downtown, to the point I'm listening to them on late-night radio all the time. And at the same time I got hooked on Shiba Ryoutarou-sensei's novels and some stuff like that. I think the mix of those opposing ideas is maybe what gave birth to Gintama.
Honda: People that are good at taking input from things outside manga often result in drawing better manga, don't they? Like people with a wealth of real-world experience.
Saitou: Is there any particular story in Gintama where you were able to use something you'd experienced in real life?
Sorachi: Uh, not really, not for "Gintama"... Though I did use one for a one-shot. The story about the girl who vomited (*Gorugo Izayo from the one-shot manga "13"). I don't think I can go too into detail on that though. I'll just say it was this pretty, cute young lady, and she would vomit just randomly sometimes. And one time she vomited up a whole grape... It was like, 'Woah, a Kyoho grape!' But at the time, I wasn't capable of being kind to that girl. So the idea of what would've happened if I'd been kind to her back then... that is what '13' came about from. Now that I think about it, the sense of helplessness from not being able to do anything when I was little just piling up over time may be why I ended up being a mangaka!
Honda: You know, our image is 'Sorachi Hideaki = Sakata Gintoki'.
Sorachi: Well, Gin-san is a character I made as a projection of 'objects of men's admiration' like in the TV show "Tantei Monogatari" (Detective Story) and things like that, so he's not me. Just to make the character expand a bit, I added some elements of me into him. Like the part about being more of a "Dragon Quest" guy than a "Final Fantasy" guy (laughs). I'm a really timid, doing-dumb-stuff-all-the-time type, so rough-types that don't sweat the details are people I admire and consider strong. Like the comedian Chihara Seiji-san. I bought his book, "Rough Power" (laugh).
Big Text: 4 Hours in, Ohnishi-san Joins the Party
Isaka: We were just on a really interesting topic. The common features between Sorachi-san and Gin-san.
Ohnishi: ...Common features ?
Isaka: As his first editor from when his serialization started, you've probably watched Sorachi-san more than anyone, right, Ohnishi-san? I was hoping you could tell us what similarities you've seen between Sorachi-san and Gin-san!
Ohnishi: Hmm, similarities... Uh, but isn't Gintoki more or less the personification of what Sorachi-kun 'admires'?
Sorachi: We were actually just saying that exact thing. About how I want to become a human with zero delicacy.
Ohnishi: You already have zero delicacy.
(*After this is about 20 minutes of completely unusable everyday chatter)
Saitou: Okay, so how about we bring the topic back to "Gintama". Sorachi-san, is there any character whose design you particularly like?
Isaka: I think "Gintama" has really excellent character design.
Sorachi: Really? That really makes me feel good to hear!
Isaka: Well if it didn't then you wouldn't sell any character merchandise.
Sorachi: Well, uh... Let me... put it this way. I kind of alllways had this sense that I wasn't good at character design.
Ohnishi: I remember the manuscript where Takasugi first appeared was incredibly late. And we couldn't wait any more so I tried to forcibly rip the manuscript away from you and you said 'Wait just one... last thing' and you hid one of his eyes.
Isaka: And that ended up being foreshadowing that paid off right before the final chapter, didn't it?
Sorachi: I remember with Takasugi, when I first showed his design to Ohnishi-san, you made a comment like, 'This guy looks like a college student!' At first he had this black cloak-like haori. He had an appearance similar to a college student in the Meiji era. He made fun of it so much I changed it to his current look.
Isaka: Ah, so that's why Ohnishi-san was boasting that he's Takasugi's birth father.
Manabe: Were you conscious of him being shorter than Gintoki at first?
Sorachi: Uh, well... to be honest, I just sorta drew him shorter for no reason in the first panel they were standing next to each other. But I figured, what the hell, so I left it. I don't think I thought about it all that much. But I do remember that I'd ego-search myself even back then, and I saw everyone's comments saying, 'Heh, so he's short.' So then I was like, 'Yes, that's right. He's short.' (laughs).
Saitou: But character height differences are really important!
Ohnishi: More passionate fans will do things like make images where all the characters stand against a wall with tape showing how tall they are in comparison to each other, won't they?
Saitou: What about Gin-san and the others' desigsn?
Sorachi: Well, uh, for Gin-san... I ripped off elements from a whole bunch of places, so I'm not really sure myself. The kimono and boots and stuff are like Sakamoto Ryouma's. I'm pretty sure having one arm outside the kimono was because I saw the package illustration of "Nobunaga's Ambition" and he only had one arm in the sleeve, and thought that was cool, so I ripped that off. But I think I was conscious from the beginning that it was a sort of Japanese and Western style clothing jumbled together. I feel like in manga, one look at a character has to be enough to tell stuff like what era it's set in, what kind of world is being built.
Saitou: The design for the Shinsengumi's uniforms came from "Castlevania", didn't it?
Sorachi: Yeah, that's right. "Symphony of the Night"! I'm into video games, so I got a lot from them.
Nakasaki: Honestly I'm impressed you're able to be so precise about how you designed every little thing like that.
Ohnishi: Gin-san's design was 'Ginko', wasn't it?
Sorachi: Ginko? Like, the female Gin?
Ohnishi: Ginko from "Mushishi".
Nakasaki: I do remember you having the volumes of "Mushishi" around since way back.
Isaka: They are similar, aren't they? Well, they certainly have those sleepy eyes, at least.
Sorachi: If I had to pick someone, I'd say Gin-san is most like Reinhard from "Legend of the Galactic Heroes". Reinhard has naturally wavy hair, too, right? I messed it up even more.
Matsuo: I figured that Gin-san had the naturally perm hair because you have a natural perm, Sorachi-san. No? In fact... I've got a natural perm, too.
Sorachi: I really don't think I was projecting myself with the design, honestly... Gin-san's prototype was Sanmoto Gorouzaemon in "Shirokuro". He was the protagonist of a shounen manga, so I figured I'd make his hair would be all fluffed up and aloof, but then I stuck the Reinhard in, and it became a lot limper hair style.
Big Text: This is what I like about "Gintama"!
Sorachi: One color illustration I really like is one where the Yorozuya are in sort of old Edo punisher-type outfits (*Page 284 of this book). I drew it for a center color page. Also the one where Kagura has a different hair style from usual and has her umbrella up, looking melancholy in the rain (*Page 305 of this book). I really liked Naitou-san's insert text for that one. 'There are days like those... yes?'
Ohnishi: Whenever you had to draw color double-page spreads, you always took a long time racking your brains over the composition, didn't you?
Sorachi: Well, yeah! 'Course I rack my brains over the composition! Once you get how to compose everything down, it's easy! With Jump cover illustrations, there's lots of restrictions so it's actually easier to decide on something. But for opening color pages, you can do whatever you want. So for that, you need to think about how you're advertising the current developments of the story.
Nakasaki: I remember when the first anime movie was greenlit, you had Gin wear these clothes like Charlie Chaplin (*Page 12 of this book). I remember being kinda moved by that one.
Honda: I really loved the illustration of Hijikata for the 'Baragaki Arc' color page (*Page 19 of this book). That image really pulled me in and the story really moved me.
Matsuo: This one is the first color manuscript page that was done after I'd become editor (*Page 21 of this book). ...Here is when those hellish days began. With the movie...
Ohnishi: Whenever the manuscript was late, he'd just not think at all and do a big group shot (laugh).
Honda: I remember Sorachi-san once told me 'I have zero confidence in my color pages, so I at least want to make the readers happy by putting lots of characters on them...'
Saitou: Sorachi-san is pretty quick to downplay his own drawings, but I actually think he has excellent color sensibilities.
Honda: You can always tell he went for a theme in each one.
Isaka: By the way, which characters would you say you have the most attachment to?
Sorachi: Well that'd be the Yorozuya, obviously!
Saitou: Seems like could make a pretty immediate decision for that one, huh? But I get the impression you have an interest in Hasegawa, too.
Sorachi: I like Hasegawa, too.
Manabe: When I was reading the final chapter, I actually forgot he existed for a minute until he showed up in it... that was a really funny scene!
Sorachi: I have a kind of warped attachment to Hasegawa, but since the basis of the series "Gintama" is the three members of the Yorozuya.
Ohnishi: But chapter 2 was about Hasegawa, right? He appeared before Kagura did.
Sorachi: To be 100% honest, that's because I originally had a plan for Hasegawa to join the Yorozuya. Basically when I was thinking about the composition of the Yorozuya with Gintoki at the top, I felt like they needed someone to sort of lower their degree of freedom, so, I felt there needed to be an adult character in the mix. So I felt like that if Hasegawa were at the top of the organization, then Gin-san wouldn't be able to do whatever he wanted. In the end it just felt like he 'didn't fit' so I scrapped the idea (laughs).
Saitou: The questionnaires for chapter 2 had you in *th place. So maybe that choice was the right one. By the way, chapter 3 was *th place.
Ohnishi: Chapter 1 was *th place. That was a pretty harsh number for a new series. But maybe because he had expectations for it, the then editor-in-chief Sasaki-san let it stick around. I remember after the new-series meeting ended, Sasaki-san tapped me on the shoulder and said 'Ohnishi, about "Gintama"... it JUST made it!' (Laughs).
Isaka: I heard this from Sorachi-san at the time, but you weren't really in a rush, right?
Sorachi: It's odd. I just sort of had confidence. Like, 'Well, I don't think it's gonna end.' Honestly, I don't think I understood the situation I was in all that well. Ohnishi-san didn't really go into it that much with me.
Ohnishi: Yeah, I did? I talked to you about all sorts of things! ...Like, with the 'flower viewing' story (*Lesson 17).
Sorachi: Oh yeah, I remember the 'flower viewing story'. I had a lot setup for it, and all the characters that had been introduced so far appeared all at once. It was the first center color pages I got.
Isaka: In that chapter you lept up the rankings all at once and the first printing of volume 1 sold out.
Ohnishi: Well, yeah it sold out, but we only printed like 30,000 of them, right? "Death Note" printed around 200,000.
Sorachi: Well that was Shueshia's responsibility! But still, I was really happy. Getting the expanded printing right away like that felt good.
Saitou: Speaking of which, Ohnishi-san, your claim that it's my fault that "Gintama's" manuscripts started getting late, right?
Sorachi: It was right around the chapter that Hamuko appeared in (*Lesson 12). After that my progress really fell apart.
Saitou: See! That's totally still during the era Ohnishi-san was editor! Why you gotta lie so much?!
Ohnishi: ...Yeah, but the root cause behind the evil deed of destroying the schedule is this guy!
Sorachi: Huh?! I haven't seen you in so long and I'm 'this guy' now?! What the hell?!
Isaka: But Ohnishi-san, don't you always say 'The one responsible if an author's manuscript is late is the editor'?! I know you really emphasized that to Manabe, right?!
Honda: So you were just doing that to look superior and put your kouhai in their place, huh?! (Laughs)
Big Text: On what Sorachi-sensei is doing 'from here'
Sorachi: Well what am I gonna do next...? I don't really have anything but manga, so... Yesh. I think if I'm writing my next work, this time I'll draw a 'growth type' protagonist. Gin-san was already grown from the start, he's not really the type to grow bigger. ...So, yeah, the kinds of protagonists in manga that sell like crazy are all 'growth types'!
Saitou: Do you want to draw a shounen manga for your next series, too?
Sorachi: Yeah, I think so. If I went to a seinen magazine, I don't think it'd be that well received there. Once you get into seinen manga, dirty jokes become the norm.
Nakasaki: So you think there's value in having done "Gintama" in a shounen manga, huh?
Sorachi: Well, I thought it might be a good to be thrown into a place where I'm not comfortable. It might actually be best for me to go to a place like "Corocoro Comic". But I think I've more than proven that even changing to a monthly schedule won't make me stop breaking deadlines any less, so I guess weekly. It's more flashy.
Ohsaka: So you're not into the idea of doing some sorta 'extreme erotic' thing, then. Maybe 'clothed erotic' would be more up your alley. Strategically, anyhow.
Sorachi: ...Wow. I work my ass off drawing manga for 15 years and then I get told 'try some clothed eroticism'.
Everyone: (Big laugh).
Saitou: If I were to pick something I'd like to see Sorachi-san tackle just once, it'd be a manga without any gag elements.
Isaka: What?! You'd just clip his wings like that?!
Saitou: Yagi Norihiro-sensei did "Angel Densetsu" and followed it up with the serious manga "Claymore", didn't he?
Honda: "Claymore" was good.
Saitou: I have no idea if Sorachi-san can make a serious manga good or not, I just kind of want to know if he can.
Sorachi: But uh, what would be in it for me exactly? And I don't think the readers really want that either?
Saitou: Well because of the anything-goes nature of Gintama's world, you always had lots and lots of choices, right? Like whether you wanted to do a comedic story or a serious story. So if you then limit yourself to serious, then it might create more consistency.
Sorachi: I mentioned this before, but for my next work, I want to make use of a "voice of heaven narration". Also I might have some special techniques and screaming. I'll keep screaming dirty jokes until I die.
Nakasaki: So the more extreme version of that is to just do kamishibai, picture story shows, right?
Saitou: I can see the rumors spreading now. 'These this incredible kamishibai, you've gotta go see it!'
Honda: Even if it's not a kamishibai, any story Sorachi-san can broadcast to kids, I'd want to see. Imagine like a slightly grown kid reading it. Like an elementary schooler admiring a 2nd year middle schooler and wanting to read what they wrote.
Manabe: Personally, I'd like to read a picture book written by Sorachi-san.
Sorachi: A picture book, huh...? I actually feel like I might over-do that. It'd be like a guy who acts mean drawing something for kids.
Isaka: Then there's dipping your hand into writing prose... Sorachi-san, do you think you're the type who'd be okay with just writing the story but not doing the art yourself?
Sorachi: I'd be totally fine with that! I don't have all that much love for my own drawings...
Matsuo: I think original writer is probably the worst pattern for you. The artist will end up dead by the time you finish the 'conclusion arc'. And nobody wants to have to deal with that disaster.
Sorachi: But I don't think 100% of the nuance will get across that way, so I think it's gonna need to be my art, too. I'd be saying stuff like 'Giving it this deformed look isn't right...'
Isaka: Are you thinking of heading straight into serialization again? Or are you thinking of maybe doing something else, like a one-shot or a mini-series?
Naitou: I've said to Sorachi-san he should just rest for a bit. Meanwhile I've been thinking of all the work I'd like to see him do and I'm planning out all these projects in my head.
Sorachi: The idea of trying to tackle something I've never done is interesting. ...Naitou-san, that plan you brought with you, that was pretty interesting. Such, like, bright new ideas!
Naitou: I felt it might be a good idea for him to get himself out there in some way besides with manga. Sorachi-san is the type that'll die if he doesn't keep moving. That includes the time spent idling when he's doing a weekly series.
Sorachi: I personally don't really feel like taking a break either. I like being busy.
Matsuo: I know you hate essay projects, but maybe for example, an interview with someone, and then you record those words in a new book... You could make a book like that. You could make it about your responses to frustrations in the world or something like that. We could call it 'Sorachi Hideaki's Manga Philosophy' or something like that, I think that would turn out great. You writing pure text would probably take you a similar amount of time to drawing manga, so maybe we could do it with someone else doing the actual writing for you. It would be kind of like this round-table discussion we're doing here. If we had you talk in this kind of format, we could pull out all kinds of interesting conversations. If we just turned that into book form, I figured it might sell. I think just one hour of data-gathering could fill enough for a series in a weekly publication.
Saitou: But, whatever form it ends up in, making your next work is going to be really difficult. Even if you draw the same kind of comedy manga, you can't wipe away the image of the 77 volumes of "Gintama" all that easily.
Sorachi: That's true, this would be my '2nd work', wouldn't it...? My first work being "Gintama" is gonna really loom large.
Isaka: What's the first editor think?
Sorachi: Oh yes, please, first editor-sama.
Ohnishi: I'm on the other side of the fence. I think it's fine for you to just do the same thing. It would be pretty misleading to say you were doing the same thing. But I think something like what 'Adachi Mitsuru-sensei' did would be good. As in, having a style that changes as time goes by, but the foundation of your work always staying the same.
Sorachi: I kinda get the feeling that no matter what I write, it'll always have a 'Gintama smell' to it. I think that comes with "Gintama" being a kind of 'has everything' series.
Big Text: And lastly, any final words!
(*Ohnishi has taken his socks off and started sitting on the sofa grasping he knees like you'd do in gym class.)
Isaka: You sure like to get barefoot in a hurry, huh, Ohnishi-san? You're the only one I know who'll take their socks and shoes off first thing once you get to an author's work place.
Sorachi: He'll also open the fridge the first chance he gets. 'Is it okay if I eat this? Can I drink this?' All that.
Ohnishi: Well we've been doing this for hours now and I'm tired! How about we start wrapping up with any last words we want to give to the fans. Have any?
Sorachi: Huh...? Well that should go without saying. When I was drawing "Gintama", I'd intended to draw will full strength, but looking back on it now, I think I only brought out about 20% of it. I had this heavy iron ball in my G-pen. And I spend all my time ego-searching. In all that time I can't forget, I powered up. Now I think I can make a new work for everyone that's more punk, rock, classcial, and jazz. I'm gonna sell more than eveeeer!! (Laughs)
Isaka: Okay, then how about each of us give a few words to Sorachi-san? While I want to say beforehand that I'm certainly looking forward to Sorachi-san's next work no matter what it ends up being, I'm not personally interested in seeing a growth-type protagonist drawn by Sorachi-san, actually...
Sorachi: Huh, really?!
Isaka: If you have a character like Gin-san next to you, I think it just about works. If they're in a team like Sena and Hiruma or Ippo and Takamura...
Sorachi: C'mon, it'll be fine. I know about all that kinda stuff! All that's all stuff you figure out beforehand!
Isaka: Okay, then I'll be looking forward to it! Also, my position is moving around, and if I end up in charge of "Gintama" remix, then I'm hoping you could draw 5 new pages for us!
Sorachi: ...Uh, 5 pages, that's gonna be tough (laughs).
Isaka: I know I was only your editor for a fairly short period of only 1 year, but I'd really like to work with you again, so here's hoping for the future!
Manabe: I think of all your editors over the course of the series, I was your editor longest after Ohnishi-san. I know I probably annoyed you in a number of ways, but honestly I learned a lot from you. Since then I started as an editor in 'V Jump', and if Sorachi-san wants to do some work with a video game with me, I'd be delighted.
Naitou: For me, my relationship with Sorachi-san is still 'from here'. My tenure as his editor was the shortest. If the start of his new series is 1 year from now, then I'll set my goal on one year from now and do my best as we head towards it. I'd like to drop in on the studio every once in a while and talk about things with Sorachi-san. Meeting where it's okay if there's no storyboard, we just have some fun... And after a little of that, we can go back to those hellish days.
Matsuo: I was a newcomer at the Weekly Jump Editorial Department and the first editor job I got was with "Gintama". Right from the start I suddenly broke a bone and caused you a lot of problems. I think I'd rather... forget those more difficult parts. I'm a shoujo manga editor now, but while I wouldn't call it a romantic comedy manga, I'd like to read another one-shot like "13" where you draw some of the subtleties of humanity sometime. And I'm not giving up on that new book plan, so I'd love it if we ended up doing that together.
Honda: I don't think the saying 'once on shore, we pray no more' quite applies, but now that we've reached this point, I look back on my time as editor of "Gintama" with only fun memories. It's been 5 years since then, but if I can work with Sorachi-san again, then I have a feeling we can make a work that's even better than what we were making back then. And if Naitou-san dies in action or something, then I'd like to go back to being his editor again, so I hope he'll have me.
(*Nakasaki-san is totally drunk and has fallen asleep.)
Isaka: Look at this old dude, he's out like a light (laughs)!
Saitou: Please just write 'ZZZZZZZ...' for his part. Okay, I'm next then I guess. I've stepped away from the manga department, so while not quite what Manabe was saying, I think I could come up with a game project plan that fits the type of author Sorachi-san is really well. And this is somewhat just for my personal tastes, but I'd love to product a sort of 'Philosophy of Creative Writing' from him. I think a book that brought together the thoughts of three great authors with the best language skills of the ones I've worked with, Togashi (Yoshihiro)-sensei, Asahira (Daisuke)-sensei, and Sorachi-sensei, would be a great thing to leave for future generations. Okay then, Ohnishi-san. Please leave us with a nice image to go out on.
Sorachi: You sure about that? I kinda think we've given an image of a bunch of kids from the boondocks.
Ohnishi: What's that supposed to mean?! ...Ok, well, let's see. Sorachi-kun has been drawing manga for 15 years now, but I don't get the sense 'his talent have been exhausted' at all. I think there's tons more entertaining stuff he can come up with. So I'd like to say this: I want you to hurry up and draw your next work! But without getting too worked up about it, I think if you just draw something you think is good, then that should be plenty.
Sorachi: Heh. I see. Well, I'll do the best I can.
Everyone: Well done!
Side Text: (Total recording time, 6 hours and 30 minutes)
Title: Year 3 Class Z
Author: Sorachi Hideaki
Sign: Sugar Content
Gin: Okay everybody, listen up. The story finally made it to the final chapter.
So that means you idiots that've been repeating grades over and over again are finally graduating.
And on that note, here is our new transfer student, Sorachi Hideaki-kun.
If anyone has any questions for Sorachi, now's the time to ask.
Kon: Sensei!! What do you mean, questions?! How can we hold a conversation with a gorilla?!!
Gin: Huh? What? What's he saying? All I hear is UHO UHO. I don't get it.
Kon: Huh? With me, too?!
Tae: Sensei, I feel that a school with two gorillas is no longer a school, but more of a zoo at that point.
Can I go home?
Gin: Okay, I got it. Kondou, Sorachi, Otae, all of you go back to your cages.
SFX: GAH GAH GOH
Shouyou: I can interpret if you'd like, Sensei.
Gin: Uh, you're the sensei, Shouyou!
Shou: Having repeated school years for an eternity, I've learned his language.
Gin: Someone whose repeated school years for an eternity is just an idiot, Shouyou.
Someone: This is Kondou-kun's question:
Why did this rare disaster for all of Jump history, two fake-out final chapters and numerous delays happen?
Gin: Good question, Kondou-kun.
Kondou: I don't remember asking a dangerous question like that, Sensei! I think this guy really is an idiot!
Handwritten: UHO UHO
Gin: Mhm. Mhm. I see... Is that right...?
Someone: Sensei, do we not really need an interpreter then?!
Gin: Okay, well it's a rather delicate topic, so he says he'll say why while wrapped in a banana peel.
Kondou: Sensei, please wrap it in a sugar coating!
Gin: Something like this.
Bubble: I was playing SEKIRO
Someone: Sensei, that banana peel isn't doing shit! I can see SEKIRO bursting out of it!
Gin: It's not a banana, it's Isshin sticking out of Genichiro's back. That sure looks tough to deal with.
Someone: Please stop talking about SEKIRO or you're gonna get flamed online.
Gin: Are there any other questions?
Someone: Sensei, I'm scared, so I can't!
Kagura: Yes, Sensei.
So as of the end of the story, Sakata Gintoki's birth is still a mystery. What happened with regards to that?
Kagura: Among readers, there's a theory that since he has silver hair, that he might be half Amanto.
Gin: Okay, then is purple-haired Sacchan half old Osaka lady?
Sacchan: How rude!! What does half old Osaka lady even mean?!
Kyuu: Calm down, Sarutobi. You're not an old Osaka lady. You're only half. So you're more like an old Nagoya lady.
Sa: So I'm still an old lady?!
Hiji: Oh, I know. Silver haired men...
Sougo: are half old Sugamo men, right?
Gin: Unfortunately, that's not correct either.
Handwritten: UHO UHO
Gin: He says he wants to keep the reason as to why Sakata Gintoki's hair is silver a secret to all of us, and he'll only talk about it wrapped in the banana peel.
Text: Because it's a manga.
Someone: Sensei, that was just a totally blunt answer! C'mon banana peel, do your job!
Someone: Okay, does anyone else have a question?
Sensei, please just give it up! You're just making yourself look bad! 15 years of hard work is going up in smoke...
Utsuro: Then I will turn everything to the void with this question of destruction.
Someone: Sensei, this doesn't look good! Shouyou-kun's other personality, Hensachi Utsuro-kun has activated! He sounds like he's gonna ask a question that's no joke!
T/N: Hensachi = Standardized test scores.
Utsuro: Sorachi-kun, I ask you this question...
are bananas considered snacks?
Someone: Aah, Shoyou-kun took back over!!
Utsu: Don't get in my way, Shouyou!! What I want to ask is...
are bananas considered royalties?
No, bananas are snacks.
Someone: It kinda looks like both of these two have garbage questions.
Utsu: Bananas are royalties!
Shou: Bananas are snacks.
Gin: Someone stop these two... or maybe stop this "one" idiot would be more accurate. Anyhow, any more questions?
SFX: GAH GOH GAH
Zura: Sensei, what even is Oba-Z anyhow...?
Gin: Man, you don't give up!
T/N: The question about bananas is a cliche question asked in elementary schools.
Taka: So, at the end,
did I die? Or am I alive? Which is it?
It's Takasugi-kun, the one who was in that vague life-or-death state at the end of the manga!
Gin: ...That obviously avoided giving a clear depiction to give people hope.
Or are you prepared to accept the truth, no matter how cruel it may be?
Sorachi: Then I'll be completely upfront. I just sorta didn't want to spare the pages for it. Er...
Rather than sticking in stuff about Takasugi, I decided I'd rather put as many gags in as I could. So I figured that was enough...
Someone: You can taaaalk?! Go wrap yourself in a banana peel!!
Gin: Okay then, so, either way works, really.
But if you really wanna know, how about we have a vote to determine if Takasugi is alive or not?
Someone: Don't decide someone's life or death by voting!
Gin: So that kid's exposed ass in the final chapter. Was it a revived Takasugi's ass? Or was it some abandoned kid we don't know's ass? Vote on whichever ya want.
Text: Takasugi's Ass
Forget that, let's play SEKIRO
II [Two talleys]
Someone: Sensei already put two votes in!
Gin: Okay, let's go with Sekiro then.
Handwritten: Me, too!
I wanna play, too!
One vote for everyone being dead.
Text: The end
Box: Sorachi Hideaki's Handwritten Comment
Right Page Text: Thank you so much for purchasing the Gintama Final Fanbook Koujien. This is a spoiler for the volume, so I kept this hidden at the end, but I'm gonna talk here about the end of Gintama on the pretense that everyone reading this read the final chapter.
Originally, my plan for the last page was the 'backs' of the Yorozuya as they were running away. The idea being that a hero was someone who did what they had to do, and then left like the wind. I like characters that can talk with their backs, and I figured there are a lot of protagonists in shounen manga who have have grown up with the readers, so the story ends with the hero's now-grown backs burned into their memories as the leave. And even with the sadness that entails, I don't think it would be exaggerating to say I started drawing manga wanting to do that, too. But after I thought about it for a while, Sakata Gintoki just didn't seem like the kind of person who would do that. Like even if his back were there facing you, he would run out of things to say with his back and then start flapping away with his lips. Also, Gin-san isn't really a growing protagonist. He's an adult character standing just a bit past where the readers are, so seeing his 'back' is something common and fundamental for readers. So to just doggedly show that back again and leave the readers behind just didn't sit right with me. That's not how he is, he's gotta go back to where the readers are, I thought. So it's not a back that's breaking through the final chapter and leaving, it's him running back home towards the readers.
Left Page Text: And when I made that last scene, I realized that I had broken through lots of deadlines and done two fake final chapters.
I'm very sorry for making everyone wait so long. And thank you all for waiting around for the very end. Thanks to you, I was able to say goodbye to the Yorozuya in a way that didn't feel lonely. If I were to ask for something, it would be for everyone to leave just a little space in their hearts for them to always be there, being the same idiots as ever. Nothing would make me happier than that. Okay, then. See ya!