Vento Aureo Bunko Vol. 1 (March 2005)

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Published March 18, 2005
Vento Aureo Volume 1

Hirohiko Araki's afterword, written in the first volume of the Bunkoban version of Vento Aureo.


About the Beginning of Part 5: Vento Aureo

Recently, I've calmed down quite a bit... or maybe I've just settled on the idea that I should go with the flow for now, since causing trouble will only tire me out. The practice of "self-regulation" in boys' manga created a tempest raging in Hirohiko Araki's mind during the creation of Part 5: Vento Aureo. What I intend to write here is not a criticism of the editorial department or an objection against "self-regulation" itself, but rather the fact that Hirohiko Araki wrote Vento Aureo with that feeling in mind.

("Self-regulation" refers to scenes that include, for example: discriminatory terms, discriminatory images such as those involving different races, violent scenes, scenes where animals or weak people are abused, scenes that resemble real-life incidents, nudity, smoking, drinking, and so on. The editorial department decides by themselves whether such scenes are appropriate and, if necessary, asks the artist to either remove or downplay the offending scene to avoid complaints.)

With Part 5: Vento Aureo, I wanted to depict themes such as deep human grief and sorrow over one's very birth into the world, more so than I had previously in JoJo. Depending on the environment one is born into, some people find happiness from the very beginning. Then, what should those who are born into the worst situations do? The characters in Part 5: Vento Aureo are all cast out of society for one reason or another, finding themselves in situations in which the most they can do is survive. But in a world draped by evil, where the law of the jungle reigns supreme, will they be able to carry out their sense of justice?

When I try to depict a confrontation between good and evil within that theme, the influence (or should I say, the force) of "self-regulation" in boys' manga suddenly opposes the realistic expression of evil in the work. Evil smokes, shows no mercy to the weak, sexually harasses others, stabs people with knives, beheads people, rapes both women and men, plucks out eyeballs, eats brain matter, and it is assumed that even the "evil" people who don't discriminate are easily capable of doing so. If one wants to express true evil and the dark side of human nature, it is crucial that they go as far as possible to express the cruelest and most terrible aspects without hesitation.

In any case, I experienced something that had never happened to me before in my entire writing career. As soon as I started working on Part 5: Vento Aureo (which would have been around 1996), I suddenly received so many orders from the editorial department to "fix this page," "change that line," "correct this image," and so on. I'd like to go into detail about which pages they were, but there's no end to them, so I'll have to refrain. In addition, not much explanation was offered as to why they were inappropriate. Some of the requests didn't offer a clear and convincing reason at all, but they would say, "Well, in any case, it's practically a rule, and the deadline's coming up, and that's just how publishing is these days. Just hurry up and fix it. You can figure out the rest by yourself later." Again, I want to stress that I am not criticizing the editorial department in any way, nor am I implying that the editorial department was overbearing or careless (really, I always feel grateful toward my editors). I merely wish to provide my own impression that Hirohiko Araki felt that way while drawing Vento Aureo.

And at the time, I felt a great crisis in attempting to express the themes of Vento Aureo, and I began to wonder. Had some kind of wall been set up to limit freedom of expression? Had manga itself reached the limits of its evolution? Or, perhaps ambition and profit-seeking were out to nip art in the bud? These questions had me quite distressed. Even now, I haven't found a definite answer to these questions, having, again, calmed down quite a bit. Nonetheless, my feelings at the time are naturally reflected in the personalities and actions of the protagonists.

The main characters of the work, Giorno and Bucciarati, betray the organization they belong to for the sake of their own righteousness. The organization is a symbol of power and gratitude, and acts as the "home" that raised them. And yet, the protagonists decide to fight there in order to live under justice. I found myself very encouraged by that scene, despite being the one who wrote it. I still cry when I think about how the protagonists must have felt. They could have lived safely and comfortably under the aegis of power, but instead the protagonists chose justice, no matter how dangerous it was. They believed in the value of their own existence under justice.

Despite the cool Italian fashion, unique Stand battles, and suspense depicted in Part 5: Golden Wind, as its author I regard it as a very dark work. But even though it's a dark work, it is also a very profound work that I harbor a bit of pride in. I would be honored if you were to enjoy reading it as much as the other parts. In the afterword to Part 5's ending, I'd like to write about the things I had to remove.

[Translated by HudgynS]


最近やや落ちついて、…というか、もめ事を起こしても疲れるだけだから、とりあえず従っておくかって風に定着して来たかな?という感じがする。少年漫画内の作画的表現に対する「自主規制」であるが――(「自主規制」とは、例えば、差別用語だとか差別的絵画表現⦅人種の皮膚の色の描き方⦆だとか、暴力シーンとか弱者や動物に対する虐待シーンだとか、実際の犯罪に似てるシーンだとか、不道徳的なシーン⦅裸体とか喫煙とか飲酒など⦆を編集部が自主的にマズいと思うかな?と判断して、作家に描くのをやめてもらうか、もしくは誰にも文句を言われないように表現を弱くしてもらう事)。―――この第5部 『黄金の風』を執筆期間のこの荒木飛呂彦の心の中では、実はこの問題について「大嵐」が吹き荒れていました。






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