Steel Ball Run Bunko Vol. 16 (January 2018)

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Published January 18, 2018
Steel Ball Run Bunko Vol. 16 (January 2018)
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Steel Ball Run Bunko vol. 16

Hirohiko Araki's afterword, written in the final volume of the Bunkoban version of Steel Ball Run on January 18, 2018.


I already wrote about my memories of this work at the end of the first volume of this paperback edition of Steel Ball Run, so here I would like to talk about the end. It might not be exclusive to manga production, but when I begin a new serialization, choosing a setting, doing research, and worrying the entire time makes it quite difficult. But I think the most difficult part is when it comes time to end the series.

Depending on the work, the editorial department might say, "It's about time to finish the story." Or the author might want to finish the story, but the public won't allow them to end it. The author has to part ways with the characters who have decided the story's trajectory and with whom they have been intimately interacting every day, and abandon the setting and perspective in the process. And furthermore, they can't just throw out the answers to the mysteries and the fates of the characters that they've been dragging out. They have to get it right.

Will the readers be satisfied with this outline for the last part of the story? I get so nervous. And once I finish drawing, there'll be nothing left for me to do. I end up thinking to myself, "What am I going to do now?" This is the situation that comes at the end of a manga series.

Though such severe ending situations do exist, in the case of both Steel Ball Run and JoJo Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, the premise sets the readers up to believe that the end is when the inevitable goal is reached. I felt no hesitation or anxiety, and my only concern during the ending was how to end it. It ended exactly how it was supposed to. When the work finally reached the goal, only one feeling arose within me: "Well done. You did an excellent job. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

I think my favorite scene to draw was near the end of Steel Ball Run, the scene where Gyro and Johnny share their personal secrets with each other. Gyro shares his real name, and Johnny shares his fetish. That personal information itself is rather trivial, but will those secrets be secrets forever? Or, if they survive, will the secrets live on in their hearts? When I was drawing it, I couldn't help but cry.

[Translated by HudgynS]

こんなラストの形で読者は満足してくれるのだろうか? 不安で仕方ない気分になります。
こうした厳しい〝おわり〟の状況もありますけど、本作品『SBR(スティール・ボール・ラン)』とJOJO第3部『スターダスト クルセイダース』、この二つはラストがゴールの時と読者も思っているに違いない設定なので、〝おわり〟の時は必然、ゴールの時でした。迷ったり悩んだりとかがなく、ラストのアイデアは着地の仕方のみで、決まるべくして〝おわれ〟ました。
本作品『SBR(スティール・ボール・ラン)』のラスト付近で、描いていて特別に好きだったシーンは、ジャイロとジョニィが自分の秘密の個人情報をお互い言い会うシーンでしょうか。ジャイロは「本名」を教え、ジョニィは「フェチ」を教えるところ。その個人情報は軽くてくだらないものだけれど、秘密は永遠の秘密となるのか? それとも、もし生き残るなら秘密は心の中で生き続けるのだろうか? 自分で描いていて泣いてしまいました。

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