KochiKame Vol. 160 (June 2008)

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Published June 4, 2008
"KochiKame" Volume 160

Osamu Akimoto's author's note and Hirohiko Araki's afterword, written in the 160th volume of "KochiKame", published on June 4, 2008.[1]


Author's Note

From Volume 1 all the way up to Volume 44, I made sure to use recent photos of myself as the author. It became too difficult to take a new photo every time, though, like retaking a student ID card. So from Volume 45 onward, I've used portraits and assembled drawings instead. Volumes 1 through 44 have also been reprinted with new illustrations. However, this time around, Mr. Araki displayed a photo of his face at the time of his debut in his comment at the end of the book, so I'll counter with a photo from the first volume of the manga, 31 years ago (laughs).



Manga artist Hirohiko Araki. (Picture taken in 1984.)

The Secrets of the Master of the Heart

Greetings. Let me say that right off the bat.

Volume 160 of KochiKame (if I may abbreviate the title)! Congratulations! It's such an honor to be asked to write the afterword for this remarkable volume, and as a manga artist, I am thrilled and see this as an accomplishment. That said, I believe the wonder and greatness of KochiKame has been elaborated upon at least 159 times already. So being Hirohiko Araki, I would like to say something about myself in this afterword.

I made my debut as a manga artist in Weekly Shonen Jump in the winter of 1980. At the award ceremony, Mr. Akimoto congratulated me and said, "Good luck!" Even now, 27 years later, he still remembers me as a newcomer. Though, is that really the sort of thing to brag about?

In the 80's, it was rumored that manga artists would stay up all night and not sleep for days on end, or that they would draw 20 to 30 pages in a single day, as though they were heroes of legend. Having experienced life as a professional manga artist myself, though, I've come to believe that those practices are no good. Because Mr. Akimoto doesn't do that kind of thing, does he? He lives a normal life, takes pride in his work, and no matter how busy he is, he always makes time to attend parties and encourage newcomers and editors. I thought to myself then, "He's the one I should be taking after." And recently, I've only become more and more convinced of that. There's not a doubt in my mind that that attitude is the secret behind the fact that KochiKame only seems to be growing in power and maturity, even though it's reached its 31st year in serialization.

Mr. Akimoto often gives speeches at parties, and they're always so very interesting and wonderful. I really wish you readers could listen to one of them sometime. If I'd recorded one, it would've been nice to cut out everything except the speech and release it on DVD or something. Such speeches are very difficult to deliver, and ordinary people just aren't up to it. There seems to be some kind of secret to it. Mr. Akimoto might scold me for investigating him like this, but since he gave me his blessing back when I was a newcomer, I consider him to be a master of the heart. I pray for both the further development of KochiKame and the future glory of Weekly Shonen Jump.











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