Kouji Kitahara (北原 功士, Kitahara Kōji) is a Japanese illustrator and former manga artist. He worked at Lucky Land Communications as one of Hirohiko Araki's assistants during the publication of the second half of Stardust Crusaders and first half of Diamond is Unbreakable.
Kouji Kitahara was born in Tokyo in 1966. As a young boy, Kitahara was a fan of horror books and became obsessed with the bizarre illustrations of Ishihara Gojin, a prolific Japanese painter and illustrator known for his science fiction and horror art. Kitahara's career in manga began while he was still a student. His manga Sound of Footsteps (足音, Ashioto) was published in the January 1987 issue of Horror House magazine. Since then he taught himself how to draw in watercolor and oil paint, while working as an artist and manga assistant to Hirohiko Araki for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
The "Reiwa Strange Pictorial" series from Kitahara is reminiscent of Gojin's works, taking motifs of lurking monsters and apocalyptic prophecies and bringing them to the 21st century.
In the 2010s, he decided to abandon being a manga artist and switched to doing illustrations. Kitahara's work has appeared in magazines such as "Eiga Hiho", as well as in his self-published collections.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Kitahara began working for Araki around 1990 and was an assistant on the series for nearly five years. He became an assistant in order to improve his drawing skills. He is also credited as an assistant in the JoJo 6251 art book. Kitahara was greatly influenced by Araki, both in terms of drawing and attitude toward his work.
Kitahara frequently praises Araki on Twitter, claiming that Araki was kind and didn't scold him after he made mistakes. He has spilled both orange juice and correction fluid all over his manuscripts, and also managed to accidentally destroy Araki's mug, but Araki forgave him each time.
Despite working on JoJo for so long and having great respect for Araki, Kitahara is not a fan of the series. He claims that he no longer was a fan after it became his job, and that he doesn't even know how Yoshikage Kira was defeated. However, he read some of it and believes that it is a great manga.
|Kouji Kitahara (December 2022)
|December 24, 2022