Araki x Tetsuo Hara (September 2017)

From JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia - JoJo Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Published September 24, 2017
Araki tetsuo hara.jpg

An interview between Hirohiko Araki and Tetsuo Hara, initially shown in the "Weekly Shonen Jump Exhibition".


For the 50th anniversary of Shonen Jump, the Arts Center Gallery on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills hosted the exhibition “Shonen Jump Launching Exhibition Vol. 1 ~1980s, The Beginning of the Legend”. Starting 15 October 2017, visitors were able to see in person original artwork belonging to the legendary authors who signaled the beginning of a new age, but also even more special events.

On the 8th of September, 30 lucky ticket owners breathlessly followed the discussion between JoJo's Bizarre Adventure creator, Hirohiko Araki, and Fist of the North Star’s Tetsuo Hara. You can read a few fragments below.

I had to redraw pages weekly at the editorial department (Araki)

Araki and Hara actually do meet from time to time for a meal, but they don’t really talk too much about manga. They are almost the same age (Araki, was born in 1960, while Hara was born in 1961) and they both sent their manuscripts to Jump when they were in their late teens, and debuted at around the same time – Araki with Cool Shock B.T. and Hara with Iron Don Quijote. The two look back on their beginnings, and inevitably on the relationship with their editor in charge.

Hara: Mine was incredibly kind. He looked like a bear wearing a pink polo shirt, but whenever I’d send my work late, which happened quite often, he would turn into an angry bear with Raoh's aura. He’d also get drunk at night and kick my desk while shouting “How much of the manuscript is done, huh?!” “Why did you only manage to work so little!”.

Araki: Now that you mention it, it really wasn’t all right at all (laughs). My editor demanded a lot of corrections. I always sent my manuscripts by post from Sendai, my hometown, but he would later call me and tell me to come over and fix them, so I ended drawing ten pages of the same manuscript all over again in Shueisha’s conference room in Tokyo. The reason was that the faces were different or something along those lines. I’d often hear exchanges like, “Yude, please lend me the dryer” from the neighboring room, and I realized artists like Yudetamago or Eguchi (Hisashi) had already gotten used to staying over.

Hara: I didn’t have such confined experiences. I used to live in Suginami back then, and my supervisor also lived along side the Chuou Line so I’d go get the manuscript on my way back home. Other manga artists lived on the same route, so everyone would gather at Kichijouji (laughs).

To add to this, the editors in charge of the two were Ryosuke Kabashima for Hirohiko Araki (High School! Kimengumi, Magical Taruruto, etc) and Nobuhiko Horie for Tetsuo Hara (City Hunter, etc), both legendary editors for numerous Shonen Jump hit titles. Also known for their ability to solve difficult tasks.

Hara: Kabashima is about 180cm tall and seriously intimidating, while you looked like a cute girl, so (our meetings) always ended with him looking like he was taking you away in his arms.

Araki: (laughs) Manga artists and their editors have very close relationships, and these include briefing sessions that can end up lasting the whole night. I, for one, wasn’t too fond of traveling, but Kabashima told me we should use our funds and go to Egypt. I reluctantly agreed but couldn’t help thinking what to do if we got food poisoning. The end result was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Hara: Huh, so this is how it went. I was also rewarded with a trip to Guatemala after we finished Fist of the North Star and ended up ruining my stomach because even the bottled water there was impure. I even had to sleep in the same hotel room as Horie. We stopped on the way to Los Angeles, where we had a pool directly connected to the hotel room. He jumped in there all naked, splashed everywhere, and after that went straight to sleep. That made me kind of uncomfortable, so I tried to warn him he’d catch a cold. It was an unpleasant trip (laughs).

“Abeshi” is not a misspelling! (Hara)

Shounen Jump’s editorial department of those times seems to have been a tough place, which brought about struggles hard to imagine nowadays. The editors were really passionate about releasing interesting manga, while fights powered by alcohol weren’t particularly rare either. On the other hand, Hara says that, compared to other manga magazines, Shonen Jump had the image of a newcomer-friendly publisher.

When high school student Hara Tetsuo submitted his first manuscript, an editor told him “Yudetamago is in high school and already being serialized. How can you still draw this kind of things at 17? It’s too late for you.”. It came as a shock. “It sounds like they were talking about an idol or something”, laughs Araki, but he also remembers feeling chills down his spine when the newcomer before him was told “I don’t want to see this kind of manuscript” and curtly sent back. Apparently there were also newcomers who would put their manuscripts through the shredder while crying. Manga artists had to go through a lot of hardships in order to receive their editor’s approval and present their work to the public.

Hara: I’m an idiot who’s only good at drawing, so I couldn’t even get past Horie at first. All editors were high school graduates, so they were all smart, and when I’d write something like “hidebu” or “abeshi”, he’d tell me my manuscript was full of misspellings (laughs). I had often think “No, you’re wrong! I spent a lot of time thinking about these. I know you think I’m an idiot!”.

Araki: You know, Kabashima would actually get mad at me if I drew the same type of manga as other artists, like you or Eguchi, for example, and would yell “Hey, you! You’re definitely not drawing this kind of thing!”. This is why I came up with ideas that would weave their way through other people’s artistic gaps.

My important manuscript vanished one day… (Hara)

Constantly polishing one’s skills over the years has perhaps led to the glory of the present. Manga artists always make countless efforts and gain experience in order to improve, and being the assistant of Shonen Jump’s great artists is still considered one of the best trainings you can get. High schooler Tetsuo Hara, who was quite confident in his drawing skills, dreamt of becoming the assistant of Buichi Terasawa, known for his work COBRA, but editor Horie told him to go to Takahashi Yoshihiro instead.

Hara: At first I thought “Wait, what?”, but Yoshihiro Takahashi was Jump’s most popular artist back then, so I agreed to train under him. Yoshihiro was a great person. He also got along with Terasawa, and he’d later ask me if I wanted to drop by his place.

Araki: That sounds so nice. I was in Sendai, which was too far away, but I wish I could have also gone to an assistant’s or someone’s place. Truth be told, I didn’t even know you could fix things using the correction fluid, so I drew everything by omitting the white parts (laughs); I kept doing this until I moved to Tokyo and started working on Baoh. Editors are very protective of their manga artists, so I wasn’t able to see other people’s manuscripts when I went to the editorial department. They wouldn’t show them even when I asked to, claiming it was a trade secret. I had absolutely no chance. That is why I used to take a peek at the manuscripts people left on their desks. I learnt a lot like that.

Hara: Is that why your style is so unique? That modus operandi does lead to good art though. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t know (laughs).

Araki: Ah, but I have actually seen one of your manuscripts. One of your assistants came to my workplace and brought the manuscript with him. He only showed me one page, but I think it was Fist of the North Star.

Hara: What. My important manuscript vanished one day… Could it have been __?

Araki: Well, I don’t know. No chance regarding names either (laughs).

I would like to make a comparison to current titles (Araki)

The discussion stretched further, including manga influences, the high points of illustration techniques, the number and color of their favorite pages from older Jump titles and many others. At the end, the two shared their feelings about the current exhibition.

Araki: The thing that comes to mind is that they’re so incredibly good. They have this sense of vitality that I wouldn’t call old, but just different. A different type of energy. I would like to compare their works to the titles currently serialized in Jump. I personally think that Jump’s paper quality and printing is… how do I put it, everyone who draws is aware of it, same with the readers. Everyone loves the smell. But I couldn’t help but think “Man, so cool” after seeing these original pictures in person. I feel like apologizing again, to Akira Miyashita for example (laughs).

Hara: Unfortunately, those were drawn by his assistant (laughs). That was done as a joke, but now I actually understand how Toyotomi Hideyoshi felt.

Araki: I’m afraid I don’t understand, please explain (laughs).

Hara: I was talking about Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s death poem. I am not dead yet, but thinking how the days I spent doing my best were nothing but vanishing dew and fleeting dreams makes me feel a little empty on the inside. Seeing you always act and look so youthful made me feel better though. Thank you very much (laughs).

Araki: Wait a minute, is this how we’re ending?

A talk which proved to be a far cry from what everyone had imagined. A relaxed and friendly mood, including even complaints, revelations and forbidden words. The two might be legendary authors, but we enjoyed their boke and tsukkomi conversation from start to finish.

[Translated by Dijeh][1]


『週刊少年ジャンプ』創刊50周年記念を機に、六本木ヒルズ森タワー52階の森アーツセンターギャラリーで2017年10月15日まで開催されている「週刊少年ジャンプ展VOL.1 創刊~1980年代、伝説のはじまり」。同誌の黎明期を盛り上げたレジェンド作家たちによる生原画が拝める貴重なイベントであるが、そんな中でさらなるスペシャル企画が行われた。




原 僕のほうはすごく優しかったですよ。ピンクのポロシャツを着たクマさんみたいな。 ただ僕の仕事が遅いんで、だんだん怒りのクマさんみたいになってきて、オーラがラオウみたいに変わってくるんです。しかも夜に酔っぱらって来るから「原稿どこまでできてるんだよ!」「何でここまでしかできてねえんだよ!」って机バーンと蹴られて。

荒木 それ、今言うとダメなやつだよね(笑)。僕の場合はすごく直しの多い人でしたね。いつも地元の仙台で描いた原稿を宅急便とかで送ってたけど、あとで電話が鳴って「直しに来い」って言われるんです。そこから(東京にある)集英社の会議室で、同じ原稿を10枚とかもう一回描くわけですよ。顔が違うとかそういう理由で。隣の部屋にはゆでたまご先生とか江口(寿史)先生もいて、よく「ゆで先生、ドライヤー貸してください」なんてやり取りしてました。彼らはもう泊まり慣れてるんだよね。

原 僕はそういう缶詰みたいな体験はなかったですね。当時は杉並区に住んでたけど、担当さんも中央線沿線だから帰り道に原稿を取りに来るんです。他のマンガ家さんも同じように通り道に住むようになって、みんな吉祥寺に集まっちゃった(笑)。


原 椛島さんって身長180cmくらいあって圧がすごいじゃないですか。荒木さんはカワイイ女の子みたいだから、(打ち合わせで)抱きかかえられて連れていかれちゃったよみたいな。あの後ろ姿、よく見てました。

荒木 (笑)。マンガ家と編集ってすごく密接な感じになるんだよね。打ち合わせとかも一晩ずっとやったりとか。たとえば僕、旅行とかあんまり好きじゃなかったんだけど、椛島さんが「経費でさ、エジプト行こうよ!」って言い出すんです。でも「ええー、食中毒になったらどうするんですか」って言いながら渋々付いていって。それで描いたのが『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』だったんです。

原 ええー、そうだったんですか。僕もなんか、『北斗の拳』の連載が終了した時にご褒美旅行とかいってグアテマラに連れていかれましたね。あちらって瓶に入っている水でも濁ってるからお腹こわしちゃって。しかもホテルでは堀江さんと同じ部屋で寝るわけですよ。途中でロサンゼルスに泊まった時なんて、部屋と直結したプールに素っ裸でバーンって飛び込んで、上がってきたと思ったらそのまんまガーって寝るんです。僕そういうの苦手だから、「風邪ひきますよ?」みたいな感じで辛い旅行でした(笑)。

「“あべし”は誤字じゃないんだぞ!」(原氏) 当時の週刊少年ジャンプ編集部は、今の時勢では想像もつかないほどハードで修羅場な環境だったらしい。編集者たちは面白いマンガを作るために血気盛んで、酒が入れば喧嘩になることもしばしば。その反面、「他のマンガ誌に比べると、新人に対して門戸が開かれているイメージがあった」と原氏は語る。


原 僕なんて絵が描けるバカみたいなものだから、まず堀江さんの壁が越えられなかったんですよね。編集者ってみんな高学歴で頭がいいんですよ。僕が「ひでぶ」とか「あべし」とか描いて出しても「字を間違えてるぞ」って返ってきて(笑)。「違うんだよなあ、一生懸命考えて出したんだけどなあ。バカだと思って、俺だって考えてるんだぞ!」って思ったことがありましたね。

荒木 僕なんかはね、他の作家さんが描いた作品と似たマンガを描くと怒られたんですよ。たとえば原先生だったり江口先生みたいなマンガを描いたら、椛島さんから「おい、お前こういうのは絶対描くなよ!」って。だから他の人たちの隙間を縫うようにアイデアを出してったんです。

「ある日、大事な原稿がなくなって……」(原氏) 自分ならではのオリジナリティを磨き続けてきた延長線上に、今の栄光があるのかもしれない。いつの時代もマンガ家たちは腕を磨くために色々な努力や経験を積んできた。中でも本誌で活躍している先輩作家の下でアシスタントを経験できれば、この上ない修業になったという。絵に多少の自信があった原氏は、高校時代に『COBRA』で知られる寺沢武一先生へのアシスタントを志望したものの、堀江氏に「あそこはダメだ、高橋よしひろ先生のところへ行け」と言われたそうだ。

原 初めは「えっ!?」て思ったけど、当時ジャンプで人気があったのが(高橋)よしひろ先生だったんですよね。だから「そういう作家の下で修業したほうがいいよ」って言われて僕も納得したんです。よしひろ先生はすごく良い人でしたね。寺沢先生とも仲が良くて、後日「僕んところ来たらダメだったんじゃないの」って言われました。

荒木 いいなあ。仙台いたから行けなかったけど、僕もアシスタントとか誰かのところ行きたかったです。実は『バオー来訪者』で上京するまでホワイト(修正液)で直せることも知らなかったから、全部(白い部分を)抜いて描いてて(笑)。編集者ってマンガ家をすごく大事にしてるから、編集部に行っても他の作家の原稿とか見せてくれないんですよ。お願いしても企業秘密みたいに全然ダメで。だからこっそり誰かのデスクに置いてあった原稿をのぞいたりするんです。あれは勉強になったなあ。

原 だから独特なのか。でも、そのほうがいい画ができるんですよね。知らないほうがいいこともありますよ(笑)。

荒木 あ、でも原先生の原稿は見たことあるよ。僕の仕事場に原先生のアシスタントが来てくれたことがあって。その時に彼が原稿を持ってたんですよ。たぶん『北斗の拳』だったと思うんだけど、一枚くらい見せてくれて。

原 えっ。なんか僕の大事な原稿がなくなった時があって……。○○君かな?

荒木 いや分かんないけど。あと名前もダメだから(笑)。

「今のマンガと並べて見比べてみたい」(荒木氏) 他にも荒木氏や原氏が影響を受けたマンガや、美しいイラストの作画ポイント、週刊少年ジャンプで連載していた頃に好きだったページ数や紙の色など、マニアックな話題にも及んだ。最後に今回の展覧会を2人はどのような気持ちでご覧になったのだろうか。

荒木 やっぱり他の作家さんのを見てると上手いよね。古いっていう意味じゃなくて、ちょっと違ったエネルギーみたいなマンガ家の生命感があって。今のジャンプで連載をしている作品と描き方を見比べてみたいですね。個人的にはジャンプって圧倒的に紙質とか印刷が……なんだけど、みんなそれを承知して描いていて、読んでいてその匂いとかも好きなわけで。でもこうして生原画を見ると、すげえなあって思いました。ちょっと改めてすみませんって感じなんですよ、宮下あきら先生とか(笑)。

原 残念ながらそれ、アシスタントさんが描いてますからね(笑)。それは冗談として、僕は今まさに豊臣秀吉の気持ちが分かる気がしましたね。

荒木 ……ちょっと分かんないから説明していただけると(笑)。

原 豊臣秀吉の辞世の句(露と落ち 露と消えにし 我が身かな 浪速のことは 夢のまた夢)ですよ。僕はまだ死んでないけど、これまで頑張ってきた日々も夢のようにはかない露みたいなものだなあって思ったら、ちょっと空しくなってきて。でも、いつも気持ちが若々しい荒木先生を見たら元気をもらいました。どうもありがとうございました(笑)。

荒木 ええー、そういう感じで締めちゃうの?



取材・文=小松良介 [2]


Site Navigation

Other languages: