Les dossiers du Manga Vol. 7 (June 2003)
Commentary from Hirohiko Araki bundled in a DVD included with the French magazine Les dossiers du Manga Vol. 7 (June/July 2003).
"When I was young in the early 70's there was a huge amount of manga that I liked. My favorite ones being those with stories dealing about sports, horror, and even sci-fi. Therefore I was inspired by all of this to create my own stories. I'm not sure but still I consider having been inspired a lot of by the works of my elders and I reckon my work wouldn't be what it is "without them. Anyhow I'm still attached to the past of manga and there is still today influence by the authors I'd read as a teenager."
"What I've been trying to do when I started manga was to make evolve the drawing which was somehow too flat, but from the 80's on manga artists started to inspire from Michaelangelo's work. The generation of manga artist I belong to was inspired much by the artists like Michaelangelo or some French painters in order to create characters whose physical aspects was more striking."
(On Tetsuo Hara, I suppose) "The fact that our drawings look alike is very easy to explain. We started at about the same period in the early 80's and it was then too that movies starring Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger started to come to Japan and all these action movies were big hits there. Actually I reckon we wanted to make manga starring macho characters, with big muscles and fighting all the time, a bit like the heroes of the action movies."
"Before the 5th part I reckon, the story was too long so I'll try to make them shorter now."
"The new generation of manga artist is about 10 years younger than me, so they've read JoJo in their childhood, and so it's normal that it has inspired them."
"What I've been trying to do when I started JoJo is to implement a powerful and invisible force which would overcome my characters during the fights. So the idea of stand came to me by thinking of shintoism, which teaches us that our ancestors are always by our side to protect us."
"It's a real pain in the ass for me trying to show the good side of some of my bad guys as it's always very hard. I'd rather go for a more stereotyped approach where I create a hero who will fundamentally be good and to make it balanced, oppose him to a truly evil being."
"About the anime, nothing is planned so far but maybe in the future the 5th part will be adapted to TV too."
"I've no experience as a prisoner myself but I've visited jails and made researches on the subject to make my scenario credible and I've no real message to pass on except maybe the condition of manga artist regarding to their editors. Every week I've to hand in 20 new pages to mine. I work simply, on Friday I imagine what's next in the story and write the scenario, then from Saturday to Tuesday I create the drawings, so normally I've two days off a week, but I mainly use them to imagine the stories of weeks to come.""I deal with the main drawing but my assistants are the ones who deal with the details. And if I can be here today it's only because I've just finished the 6th part so I'm entitled to a few holidays. But the rest of the time I'm very busy."
[Translated by IKKI]