Stardust Crusaders Bunko Vol. 10 (October 2002)

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Published October 18, 2002
Stardust Crusaders Volume 10

Hirohiko Araki's afterword, written in the last volume of the Bunkoban version of Stardust Crusaders.


When I was a child, I used to fight with my younger twin sisters. Whenever I got into a fight with one of them, the other sister would suddenly start crying. Whatever the reason for their tears, it always ended up being my fault, and I always ended up being scolded by my parents. In reality, this was a ploy between my two sisters to place me in a situation where, no matter how hard I tried to explain myself, my parents would find me completely guilty. I still tear up whenever I hear reports of people being falsely imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit... Back then, I wished from the bottom of my heart for those sisters of mine to disappear without a trace.

But things like that happened to me every day. Eventually, I started to wonder I was cursed to forever be misunderstood by others. Whenever an incident occurred at school, the teachers would often include me on the list of suspects. Why? Was my way of life the problem...?

So back in 1988, when I was writing Part 2 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure for Weekly Shonen Jump, I was searching for a new concept to write about. (This isn't the type of thing I'd normally tell people about, but since it's an afterword, it's probably fine if I jot it down as a memory of mine.) I was looking for a way to depict someone's "strength of mind" through something other than their physical body. Until then, supernatural powers had always been something like, "eyes open wide, the sweat pours out, the blood vessels jiggle, and the rock breaks." But in JoJo, the power itself would appear and smash the rock. "Isn't this just a wonderful idea? This way, I can express the strength of a person's soul. It's not really a superpower so much as a psychic power, the power of a concept itself. Can any other art form depict this type of thing?"

My boss gave me the all-clear, so I began to draw Part 3 around the concept... But once I began the project, I only heard comments like, "I don't get it at all!" or, "What's happening in this panel?" And I thought to myself, "It's happening again. This cursed personality of mine... What should I do? No one's ever going to understand me. Maybe there's not enough dialogue, or maybe the pacing is too abrupt... But how else am I going to communicate it through drawings? This is my talent."

After I first moved out of Sendai to begin my new life as a manga artist in Tokyo, my grandmother prayed at the Buddhist altar whenever she heard news of a murder in Tokyo. She told me once that she was praying the murderer wasn't me. "Now why on earth would I be thinking that...?"

I don't think anyone in my family has ever fully understood me. My readers will probably never understand me, either. In my next work, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4, I chose to depict a small town. Of course, that was going to be controversial too. But my boss told me to "draw what you want and draw it with confidence. That's what a manga artist does." Somehow, his words inspired some courage within me.

(I wonder, though... Does he really understand me either? Better dealing with him than my sisters, at least.)

[Translated by HudgynS]

ぼくは子供の頃、よく妹とケンカをした。妹は双子なんだけど、片方とケンカしていると、なぜか関係のないもうひとりの妹が急に泣き出したりする。 「なんでおまえが泣くんだよ?」


こういう事が毎日のように起こっていると、自分で人から誤解されるよう呪われているのかな? などとも思うようにもなっていた。
「なんでだ? 普段の行ないのせいか?」

というわけで、週刊少年ジャンプに『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 第2部』を執筆中の一九八八年当時、ぼくは何か新しい「概念」はないかなあと模索していた。(こういう事ってワザワザ自分で言うものではないかもしれないけれど、ま、あとがきなので思い出として書いてもいいかなとも思う。)

「もしかしていいんじゃあないか? これで心の強さが表現できるかも。超能力というよりも精神の力、という概念なんだ。他にこれを表現できる芸術はあるか?」

「………出た。自分の呪われた性格が……。どうしよう? 誰からも理解されないぞ。言葉がたりてなかったり、唐突すぎるのかなあ。でもこれ以外どういう風に描けって言うんだよ? これが実力なんだ」


「自信を持って自分の好きなものを描きなよ。それが漫画家だよ」ちょっと勇気が湧いて来た。(でもこの担当も、本当、理解してくれてんのかなあ? ま、うちの妹たちよりましだけど。)

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