Kouji Kitahara (December 2022)

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Published December 24, 2022
Kouji Kitahara Interview.png

An interview with one of Araki's former assistants, Kouji Kitahara, published on JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia News on December 24, 2022.[1]


When did you start working under Araki-sensei and for how long?

It might have been in 1990. I worked as a drawing staff member on JoJo for almost 5 years.

I loved the detailed backgrounds in Stardust Crusaders, especially with how you showed the different architecture and real landmarks in cities such as Calcutta or Cairo. Were these backgrounds drawn by assistants? What sort of images or books did you use as reference?

I believe they were drawn by Kei Sanbe-sensei, one of the staff members at the time. We used all kinds of things as references, such as history books and foreign photo books.

Which fight was your favorite in Part 3 or favorite to work on?

I don't have a specific one. Sorry.

What kind of person was Araki-sensei? What was your first impression of him?

Even when the staff was taking a break or when the work was finished, he would be drawing pictures by himself. The most significant and valuable thing that I learned from Araki-sensei was his attitude towards drawing, and it still has a huge influence on me to this day. I was the kind of person who didn't draw pictures exactly according to Araki-sensei's instructions, but nevertheless he would still entrust me to do touch-ups on the art to a certain extent, and I think that's because of the faith he had in his own work.

On his days off, he did things like watching movies or reading books, but was always active in creating his works. I think we're alike in that way, so I felt comfortable around him. Since we liked the same movies, we'd often talk about movies together during work. He wouldn't talk to the staff when he was absorbed in his work, but when he had time to breathe, he was the kind of person to talk to us like friends.

Although he sometimes gave us strict instructions for drawing, I think he's basically a calm and gentle person. At the time, I was part of JoJo's drawing staff, but I also was working on getting my own manga serialized in a magazine. There was no time to sleep and I once showed up 8 hours late for work at the JoJo studio, but he wasn't mad and forgave me. Now that I think about it, he might have realized that I had my own work to deal with.

Do you still read JoJo? What part is your favorite?

I don't read it now. Don't particularly have a favorite part.

What's your favorite horror scene that Araki-sensei drew?

There isn't one specifically.

Who is your favorite JoJo character?

Don't have one.

Araki-sensei talks a lot about his music tastes. Did he also do that during work?

It seemed like there were some staff members who were well-acquainted with music who he would speak to. I only talked about movies and novels.

How was it like to work with Araki-sensei?

He had a particular approach in regards to drawing pictures, which left a big impression on me.

If you had to point out one thing that you gained from this experience, what would that be?

My attitude as an artist.

We saw that you are credited on the last page of the JoJo 6251 art book. What did you draw in it?

I think I colored the emblem on the back cover, but I don't remember exactly. The art book merely listed the names of people who were on the staff at the time it released, not specifically the names of those who were involved in the color illustrations. I think most of the colors were done by Kei Sanbe-sensei.

I don't remember most of what I drew for JoJo and I don't particularly like or read the JoJo manga, so I'm sorry that I can't answer most of your questions.

I remember drawing the wooden doll Stand when it was published in the magazine, but I didn't like how it came out at that time, so I redrew it. I remember that Araki-sensei looked at my corrected version and asked what was different from the one in the magazine. I guess it did end up looking the same as it did back then! But personally, I had tried redrawing the Stand with clearer lines.

[Translated by Vish (JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia) and Irene]























JoJo 6251のクレジットのページに北原先生の名前が書いてありますが、特に何を描かれましたか?





  1. Vish (December 24, 2022), "Exclusive Interview with Part 3 and 4 Assistant, Kouji Kitahara", JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia News.

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