JoJoveller (September 2013)

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Incomplete translation
Published September 19, 2013
September 19, 2013

Interviews with Hirohiko Araki, as well as his editors such as Ryosuke Kabashima in the History book in the artbook JOJOVELLER, released on September 19, 2013.


In my talk with Mr. Kabashima, there was a small conversation and I decided I wanted to create Dio. There were plans for the story already in place that led me to wanting to create him and I was already wondering how I could make this ‘Dio’ work. I was thinking about making a manga that showed off the contrast between the protagonist and a rival. One that resembled the contrast between ‘Good and Evil’, or ‘White and Black’. In that kind of a manga, if the rival isn’t powerful, then the story absolutely won’t be interesting. So, I wanted to make the readers think “How could the protagonist possibly beat this guy?!” To that end, I decided on making him the ‘Ultimate Evil’. However, I also wanted it to make it a type of evil that had parts the readers would admire and be attracted by, one that the readers could relate to.

Since Dio was made to be the ‘Ultimate Evil’, the contrasting Jonathan ended up becoming an extremely pure character. If I made Jonathan now, I could probably add a little bit more flavor to him but at the time I was quite young. Regarding his name, there really isn’t a deep meaning to it. I thought that since the main character is a foreigner, I should make a name that’s easy to remember for readers. Like the name ‘Steven Spielberg’, I wanted to go with a name that rhymed and left a strong impression: Jonathan Joestar. Now it’s quite accepted, but at the time there weren’t many manga that had a foreigner as the protagonist, so there was a bit of unfamiliarity or strange feeling regarding the character. Even I thought that this might not end up being popular, but I also had the feeling that I wanted this kind of thing to be appreciated and recognized.

Dio was developed in the same way as Cool Shock BT’s protagonist, B.T. More deeply than BT, he’s a character that represents the dark side of humans’ jealously and hungry spirit. At the time I was drawing Dio, I might have also been influenced by my own mind. There wasn’t anything that particularly made me angry, but, for example, during regular life I would suddenly begin to think dark things. I saw things from the same point of view as Dio, and began to do things like view humans as if they were insects. That kind of a thing was happening in my mind around that time.
—Hirohiko Araki

Hirohiko Araki & Ryosuke Kabashima

Q: You chose the name "Jonathan Joestar" because your meetings were held at the family restaurant "Jonathan's", right?

Araki: What? Jonathan's? (Laughs)

Kabashima: Didn't you want to make the name "JoJo"?

Araki: I wanted to have an alliterative name like Steven Spielberg, so the acronym would look like J.J. or S.S. But the family restaurant we had our first meeting at was Denny's. It wasn't until later that we started going to Jonathan's.

Q: No no, you've mentioned it was Jonathan's elsewhere (laughs). You stated, "Because it was at Jonathan's."

Araki: Ohh, that was more of a "Sure, Let's go with that" type of answer. (laughs)

Kabashima: It's better for these things to be interesting, right? (laughs). Araki-san likes legends. He thinks it's better for it to be interesting than for it be a fact. That's likely the root of this.

Araki: Legends are a requirement for the horror genre.

Q: Then the name "Jonathan" is...?

Araki: It was just to make the J.J. alliteration. I didn't really take it from anywhere in particular.

Kabashima: It seems the origin of Jonathan has also become something like an urban legend, but it was definitely a Denny's at first, and then we switched to having meetings at Jonathan's somewhere during the middle of serialization. It was convenient because it was close to Araki-san's workplace at the time.

Hiroshi Sekiya

Sekiya: Another point is that Araki-sensei said, "I want a woman to be the main protagonist."

Q: This is for Part 5, right? You don't mean Jolyne from Part 6, but Giorno as a woman?

Sekiya: Around the time he brought it up, Giorno’s name hadn’t been decided yet. It’s not an issue these days, but back then my impression was that a female lead in a shonen manga would have been very tough to sell. During that era of Weekly Shonen Jump, it simply wasn’t the time. Thus, during my meeting with sensei, we spoke about this and that, and in the end, the protagonist ended up not being a woman. However, Giorno’s stand has the ability to create life, right? Women give birth to life, so I think this concept was probably left over from the idea of having a female protagonist.

Q: Giorno is an elegant and somewhat androgynous character. Is the initial idea of having him be a woman related to that?

Sekiya: Giorno’s real name, Haruno Shiobana, is also very feminine, right? Sensei may have been thinking of having the story unfold with Giorno being revealed to be a woman. Now that I think about it, he used to joke around with ideas, saying things like: "What about if it was a woman who looked like a man? Wonder if that would work?" (laughs)

Hideto Azuma

Q: Part 6 had the first female protagonist. Was this Araki-sensei’s idea?

Azuma: That’s right. As a shonen magazine editor, I politely asked him to make the protagonist a boy, but he refused in 3 seconds (laughs). The readers of Weekly Shonen Jump wouldn't accept a female lead, which is why I wanted him to change it, but he just replied, "That's exactly why we're doing it".

Looking back at the series' popularity at the time, I still believe that a male protagonist would have been better. However, considering the long history of the "JoJo" series, I also think that it was overwhelmingly beneficial that the Part 6 lead was female. I get the impression that Araki-sensei is the type of person who won’t repeat the same thing twice. He is the type of artist who constantly takes on new challenges, so maybe he instinctively knew he'd lose the motivation to draw if he chose a male protagonist just for notoriety’s sake.

It was around then that strong female leads had also begun appearing in films, so perhaps he thought the time was right. If he really cared about gaining popularity, he could have just made the protagonist something like a "miniature" version of Jotaro from Part 3. He wouldn't do that though, he's the type of artist who has to continue fighting.

Q: From an editor’s point of view, what type of artist did Araki-sensei seem like at the time?

Azuma: He could construct both the characters and the story firmly in his head and always met deadlines, making him very easy to work with and highly valued by the editorial department. I suppose I was chosen to be Araki-sensei's editor because the higher-ups thought that our hobbies were similar, rather than my suitability as a manga editor. Much like Araki-sensei, I also love music and films, and I know pretty much all of the music that he listens to. I think the editorial department considered it important that Araki-sensei was able to work comfortably. I had the privilege of working for him for two-and-a-half years, but at that point only about 5 of my ideas were used (lol).

第1部 ファントムブラッド

第2部 戦闘潮流

第3部 スターダストクルセイダース

椛島さんとの対談でも少し話が出ましたけど、第1部はディオを描きたかったんですよ。とにかく彼を描くためのストーリーみたいなところがあって、「ディオをどう動かすか」を常に考えていた気がします。「善と悪」「白と黒」みたいな主人公とライバルの対比を見せる漫画にしようと思っていた。そのためには敵が強力じゃないと絶対面白くないんですよね。だからディオは、「どうやって主人公はコイツに勝つんだ!? 」と読者が思ってくれるような「究極の悪」にしました。ただ、読者がちょっと憧れるような部分も持った悪、「共感できる悪」にしたいとも思ってました。










第4部 ダイヤモンドは砕けない

第5部 黄金の風

第6部 ストーンオーシャン


第4部では、「悪のキャラクター」については色々と考えましたね。第2部ではカーズという究極生命体を描いて、第3部では世界の支配を目指したDIOを描いたんだけど、以前に描いた悪とは違う新しい悪の概念を探して、それで辿り着いたのが吉良というキャラクター。宇宙だとか神の視点から見る人間を想像し、「悪っていったい何だろう? 」「善悪とは実は曖昧なものではないか」という考えから生まれました。例えばもし殺人が趣味というヤツがいたら? 殺人が生きるために必要なことで、それが無くなったら存在できないヤツがいるとしたら?














画集「JOJO A-GO!GO!」を出したのもこの頃ですね。


東さんもインタビューで言ってるけど、僕は見学中に気分が悪くなっちゃって(笑)。とにかくセキュリティがすごくて、エレベーターに乗ったり1ブロック進むたびに扉が「ガーン!」って閉まるんですよ。自分がどこをどう進んでいるのかも分からなくなって、「出られなくなるかも? 」って思ったら過呼吸になっちゃった。「これはまずい」と思って廊下のソファで休んでいたんですが、隣に座っていた男の人が、後で聞いたら入獄待ちの犯罪者だったっていう(笑)。ホント、そういうレアな体験をしました。

第7部 スティール・ボール・ラン

第8部 ジョジョリオン

『スティール・ボール・ラン』は、全てを壊したところからもう一度始める物語にしようというイメージでした。スタンドの物語は第6部で一旦終わったんだけど、もう一回再生するというか、「ルネッサンス」と言ってもいいかな。第6部のラストで一巡した宇宙の続きのような、そうでないような、パラレルワールド的な感じもありますね。 第7部の『スティール・ボール・ラン』は「輪廻、回転、螺旋、無限のエネルギー」といった言葉が作品イメージとしてあって、そこで主人公のひとりであるジャイロの名前は回転ゴマのジャイロ効果から付けました。タイトルは止まらない感じを出したくて、さらにレースを連想しつつ鉄のイメージもあるってことで『スティール・ボール・ラン』。

WJでの連載時は『スティール・ボール・ラン』だけで、タイトルに『ジョジョ』が入っていません。これは「新連載」と銘打ったほうが読者の食いつきはいいだろう、という編集部からの要請でした。でも自分の中では『ジョジョ』。「ウルトラジャンプ」(以下、UJ)に移籍した時に『ジョジョ』を復活させたのも、そういうことですね。 絵についてお話しますと、『スティール・ボール・ラン』はウエスタンの雰囲気を出したかったんです。描く線も、砂漠の雰囲気を出すためにちょっとカサカサした感じにしてみようと顔やプロポーションの線を細くしてみたりもしました。






タイトルの由来は第2巻のカバーコメントに描いたとおり。「ジョジョ」という言葉を入れたかったのと、記念碑的な意味を込めたかったからです。それでそのままふたつを繋げて『ジョジョリオン』。最初に担当編集の井藤さんに聞かせたら、「え? なんスか、それ」って言われて、「ちょっとヤバいかな」と思ったけど(笑)。



To Be Continued








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