Erika: You look the same as the photo ♡. As soon as I entered the store, I knew it was you.
Araki: Oh, is that so? (laughs)
——But the pictures in the comics are in black and white?
Araki: Those are black and white. Super comics are in color.
Erika: Date of birth...?
Araki: June 7, 1960. Gemini. Type B.
Erika: How did you become a manga artist?
——Oh, the entry gathered in this special edition. I'm sorry to say that I've heard the name, but haven't read it.
Araki: It's a Western story. It's pretty different...
Fumaren: Your work feels a lot different now.
Araki: I agree. It was like a gunman fighting with a poker game... it was 31 pages. That was my debut. After that, I started Cool Shock B.T. with 3 short stories.
——You can't really read those, now.
Araki: Oh, my old short stories. I want to sort of leave those in darkness. (laughs)
Erika: Before that, did you do entries or doujinshi?
Araki: When I was in high school, I sent in a lot of entries.
Fumaren: What kind of magazine?
Araki: Jump, of course. It was my favorite...
——What kind of stuff was in Shonen Jump at the time?
Erika: Are there any people who've particularly influenced you?
Araki: Ikki Kajiwara's works.
Everyone: Oh? (laughing)
Araki: Huh? (laughs)
Fumaren: Does Ikki Kajiwara draw manga?
——He's the original author of Ai to Makoto.
Fumaren: Oh, is that so?
Araki: Huh? Maybe it's a generational thing?! It's still interesting to read!
Komiyama: Do you think of B.T.'s tricks yourself?
Araki: I adapted some of them, while others I thought of myself.
——Now, let's talk about Baoh. One of the reasons it was so popular with Fanroad readers is that, though it was short, it was a completed and fleshed out series- the ideal Jump piece...
Araki: That was the last thing I was thinking about. I couldn't have guessed that it would end up like this...
——It's nice to understand the meaning of 'the Visitor' in the end. At first, I wondered why the 'visitors' were running away...
Araki: I thought so too. (laughs)
Erika: Is there going to be a sequel?
Araki: I do want to make one.
Fumaren: I want to see a 17 year old Sumire ♡ What sort of image do you think she would have?
Araki: I agree, she'd be someone feminine but not very active.
Erika: Is Sumire modeled off of someone?
Araki: Honestly, I didn't base her off of anyone.
Fumaren: The ideal type...
——Come to think of it, the Sumire from the 2nd page of the comic has changed a lot.
Araki: Her image is going to change a lot. I think of it as training.
Fumaren: Was there anyone who influenced the painting?
Araki: Sanpei Shirato, foremostly.
——Also in Baoh, the duo who threw the bomb- if you use a shuriken instead of a bomb, it's a ninja thing.
Araki: That's right. (laughs) I really liked Sasuke.
Erika: Why are Sumire-chan's eyebrows so thick?
Araki: Are they too thick? (laughs)
Fumaren: It's cute when you get used to it, but when you see it for the first time...
Erika: At first I thought they were a decoration.
Araki: I like the make up of the 60s, so I tried it out a bit. (laughs) I went to a fashion design school.
Fumaren: I like the look of the eyes...
Araki: Yes, the eyes turned out well. The lips should be thicker, but I'm not drawing it anymore.
——Though that granny's eyes... (laughs)
Komiyama: Why did you make Baoh a parasite?
Fumaren: I was wondering that too! It's pretty gross! (laughs)
Araki: Well, it was a little unpopular.
——But in horror movies, that's what military secrets often are.
Araki: I was thinking of a way it could happen in reality, to give someone a transformation and a different level of power. Something to make you believe that he could transform.
Erika: It reminded me of Cyborg 009 when I read it ♡——It's a girl's interest. The lonely heroes that have their own secret power and are pursued by an organization- like 009, Wolf Guy, Chimera- all have a common tragic charm. Oh yeah, here's a question from a reader:
[Translated by Betsybugaboo]
Araki: My assistant gave me some advice there (laughs) – while they’re adding water, Baoh melts the door and escapes!
Everyone: Ah, I see!
Araki: Kasuminome thought up things that far!
——He wasn’t stupid.
Fumaren: Did you like biology? Like, was it one of your best subjects or…?
Araki: Perhaps (laughs)
Erika: Then what about English? Since you seem to use a lot of English words…
Araki: English… (laughs) I wasn’t good at it, so I’m using difficult terms on purpose.
Fumaren: The manga’s got expressions like “___ phenomenon”, so it’s good for exams and the like (laughs).
Araki: You’ll fail if you write that!
Erika: What was your childhood like? Did you want to become a manga artist?
Araki: Not particularly. I played a lot outside and followed around the big guys.
——Speaking of which, we also received a postcard from someone who went to your school in Miyagi.
Araki: Ah yes, I come from Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
——You seem to be resistant to cold.
Araki: I am indeed. I always go back to Sendai in summer.
Erika: When did you decide to become a manga artist?
Araki: After I entered design school. I graduated high school, entered design school and had no job, but was proud I was studying in such a great place, and then I decided to become a manga artist and submitted by manuscripts.
Erika: You really worked hard.
Araki: More like… I begged in tears (laughs). Like, “please…accept this…”.
Fumaren: Were the editors kind?
Araki: They were scary! (laughs)
Komiyama: You know, I always wondered why such a refined person like you decided to become a manga artist (laughs).
Komiyama: Jump’s New Year’s edition covers tend to feature manga artists quite a lot, and he really caught my eye…
——Yes, yes, true, he seems to receive at least 2 or 3 big boxes of chocolate from fans on Valentine’s Day.
Araki: Thank you very much.
Komiyama: So not for the characters, but for the artist himself? That’s great!
Fumaren: What do you do with all that chocolate?
Araki: I eat it all. I also reply sometimes!
——Oh right, a postcard actually mentioned receving a fast reply from you after sending New Year’s cards to several manga artists and musicians.
Araki: (laughs) I am diligent!
——Fans always pay attention to details.
Araki: I think I reply to one or two letters per week.
——Do you have an official fanclub?
Araki: I do… do I?
Araki: I think I agreed to it at some point, but…
Fumaren: Has there been talk about a Baoh animation?
——Hmm, yes, I’ve heard about the possibility of a Baoh OVA, but there is nothing certain yet.
Araki: There was some talk about an image album…
——There was some talk about an image album, but it was called off.
Araki: What a pity.
Erika: Would you like to see an anime based on your manga?
Araki: … I would. I can’t say it would make me particularly happy, but I would.
——The voice actors seem to be the most difficult aspect (laughs).
Fumaren: The live action adaptation would obviously be a splatter movie…
Araki: It would be all *pop*pop*pop* (laughs)
Fumaren: That sounds gross (laughs)
Komiyama: Then you should play the main character!
Everyone: Huh, he’d fit!
Araki: No way (laughs)
——Oh, so you don’t like things like making the “barubaru” pose.
Fumaren: You can leave the poses to JAC [Japan Action Club] or stuntmen and only play as Ikuro.
Erika: This kind of thing seems to be popular abroad.
——Baoh became “The Visitor from the Underworld” in Taiwan.
Erika: No, not there, a bigger country, like the US…
Araki: I wish the words stayed the same.
Fumaren: They were told they can’t use those English words (laughs)
——Sounds scary. It’s like that strange Japanese often used in American movies.
Araki: Baoh and B.T. are made up words too. I was wondering what to name them… so I just made my choices depending on the sound.
——So it’s not an abbreviation for anything?
Araki: Nothing of the sort. I thought the “T” sounded nice, and when I started thinking about the first letter, AT, BT, I just settled on “bee-tee”.
——Well now, this conversation has reached its end. Heave-ho, let’s all cheer for a new serialisation in Jump as soon as possible!Everyone: Good luuuuck♡
[Translated by Dijeh]