Why did you choose Egypt as the final destination?
My editor at the time knew a lot of things about Egypt, to the point that he could read whatever was written in old manuscripts or on ruins and relics. I thought that was really cool! Egypt also has a mysterious air about it. After Stardust Crusaders, Saruganseki followed pretty much the same route for Denpa Shounen. It made me wonder whether I had gotten things wrongly. I went to Egypt and other Asian countries to collect material, but I didn't really like it (laughs). I also drew this in the manga, but Egyptian people look shady… like they really are stand users! (laughs)
Hmm, I guess my favorite country is Italy after all, to the point that if I go there I don't feel the need to visit other countries anymore. Being able to visit all those art museums in Italy is great — they don't have prints, but real famous paintings! They are worth visiting every single time. When I go to museums I feel the same way others do when they go to the theater. Plays, however, are always a bit different, while the paintings you see in museums have already attained their perfect, final shape; this makes me want to see them again and again. Some of my favorite artists are da Vinci and Rodin.
I have been told numerous times that my art style is unique, but I personally see it as faithful to the basics. Renaissance is the basis of painting, so I my drawings are simply faithful to that. From my point of view, it is other manga artists that are unusual.
Why does Jotaro wear a school uniform?
I've said it several times, but the image of the Babel II protagonist standing in the desert in his school uniform had a huge impact on me. I can vouch it is amazing even now, after all these years. I would definitely buy a lithograph of that illustration and put it in my room. I love it when the usual and the unusual coexist.
I thought a regular uniform would be boring for Jotaro, so I gave him all kinds of accessories. That kind of uniform doesn't actually exist. I also wore a gakuran in middle and high school, but mine wasn't as long as his (laughs).
Why did Joseph show up again?
Joseph has a transitional role from part 2, Battle Tendency. I wanted to introduce this kind of role for every part — Speedwagon for the beginning of Battle Tendency, then Joseph, Jotaro, Koichi… Also, the Joestars are said to have short lives and love only one woman their entire lives, but I wanted to make Joseph the exception. He is also the odd one out personality-wise.
What is Avdol's role?
Avdol acts as an adviser. I actually wanted to give this role to Joseph at first, since he's the oldest, but taking his personality into account, I decided to create Avdol. I introduced him together with the concept of Stands, so I also had him explain them in detail.
Why did you reveal Kakyoin's past right before he died?
I had been trying to find a good motivation for Kakyoin ever since he became part of the group. Jotaro and Joseph wanted to save Holy, while Polnareff had the deal with his sister. Kakyoin, however, didn't have anything, so I wanted to give him a motivation, something for which he would even put his life on the line… I am glad I was able to draw it as he was dying. This applies to the group in part 5, Vento Aureo, as well. I wanted to give Bucciarati, Narancia and the others a good reason for their fight, so I focused on what to to write about their pasts and the reasons they joined the gang.
Did you think Polnareff would appear in "Golden Wind"?
First of all, Polnareff and Jotaro's personalities were always meant to be opposites. Jotaro has an imposing, cool personality and doesn't really move around that much, so to contrast that I wanted an impulsive character that would run around like crazy. It's like the difference between being 'static' and being 'dynamic' you know? Polnareff was also quite fun to draw and it was easy to manipulate his movements, so I ended up using him quite a lot.
His hairstyle also turned out pretty good. The other characters all have fairly flat heads, so if Polnareff is also in the panel, it ends up creating a perfect balance overall. During Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable, I got a ton of letters from fans asking where Polnareff was and what he was doing. And so, a part of the reason why Polnareff ended up showing up in Golden Wind was because I wanted to answer that question, of what he had been up to after Stardust Crusaders. I wanted to say that just like Jotaro, he has been fighting hard this whole time.
Why did you turn a dog into a Stand user?
Basically, I love weak looking characters that are revealed to be really strong. I introduced Iggy because I found it interesting that a tiny ugly dog would actually be very powerful. He shows up as a helper, something that would be really normal if he were human, but is intriguing since he's a dog. I got even more into this in Diamond is Unbreakable. The main user seems weak, but the Stand is strong, like the rats or Shigechi.
Did you consider making Hol Horse part of the group?
I did, but I figured it would be boring if he became part of the group too… so I decided to make him a character that could become a friend, but is also an enemy. If you take Hol Horse's personality into account, he wouldn't become part of the group. He's pretty unreliable and would just wander around, like an opportunist. I did wanted to give him more chapters, because he was easy to write, just like Polnareff, and I liked drawing him. I wanted to give him several more chapters.
Just what kind of being is DIO?
I had this vague idea from the time of Phantom Blood to the composition of part 3 that the ending of part 3 would involve DIO's defeat. There's a novel turned TV drama called Chiefs about a family whose successive generations become chiefs of the police station, where the incident that happened in the beginning is solved by the descendants. I wanted to do something similar. The contrast to the Joestar family, the good, is, throughout the entire series, DIO, the evil. Overwhelming evil. DIO was defeated in Stardust Crusaders, but his evil spirit remains and influences even the following stories… and each generation of the Joestar family has to fight it. DIO doesn't actually show up in Stone Ocean, but Jolyne fights against the evil essence he left behind. I always got motivated when writing DIO. The atmosphere somehow changes every time he shows up, it's like the air in the manga suddenly gets tense… In a world where everything is about the survival of the fittest, what DIO does is right; nevertheless, he strays from society's common sense, which was created by humans in order to live long and comfortably. DIO acts normally in a world ruled by the law of the jungle. When I draw DIO, I feel like I get to live his emotions… I understand this might sound immoral, but I admire DIO in a way (laughs).
[Translated by Dijeh]