Dec 21, 2020
4 mins read
Hirohiko Araki's vision of the future
-Hirohiko Araki is a manga artist in the making, creating new stories that no one has ever seen before, and continuing to exert a powerful influence on young creators in a variety of genres. What is Araki's vision for the future and what is his message to the younger generation?
You've recently had an exhibition in Paris and you're working outside of the conventional image of manga, what else are you interested in?
If you ask me "Which is important for you, story or pictures?", I'd answer pictures are more important. That's why I'm very interested in music, painting and other things that can be incorporated into my work.
I'm particularly interested in contemporary painting and Italian Renaissance painting. I like people who are like, "What is he thinking? Like Gauguin, Michelangelo.
It's fun to read about them, and I like to find out why they were so unorthodox.
You've said before that you have plans for a 9th part, will you continue with "JoJo" as long as possible?
The problem is physical strength. I've changed from a weekly to a monthly series, but when you're 40 or 50, your stamina goes down. When I was younger, I used to be able to get better after a night's sleep, but I don't anymore. If you have a bad joint or something, and you put up with it, it gets worse and worse.
Being a manga artist is similar to being an athlete in that you have to maintain your condition for a long time. "Steel Ball Run" is a work that makes you feel like you're racing across the American continent (laughs).
Especially the scenes where the horses are running are very tiring. I'm sure that drawing the horses is just as exhausting as riding them.
I feel relieved when I reach the finish line, because I am one of the participants in the race. But then there's another race in a few tens of hours... I can't wait to go back to Japan (laughs).
Otokazu spent several years writing a novel based on the JoJo series, and bands such as SOUL'd OUT have appeared on the scene that have been strongly influenced by Araki's work in a musical sense. A new generation of creators is emerging one after another.
It makes me very happy to hear young artists say that, and it gives me a lot of energy.
When I'm working silently on a manga, no matter how successful it is, I'm always wondering if my drawings are good enough or it's not getting old. And when there's a lot of new artists coming out, I wonder if I'm going to be abandoned.
At times like that, I'm grateful when people say they've been influenced by my work. If they don't, I feel sad because I lose the meaning of what I've been doing.
Lastly, do you have a message for young people who want to become creators?
When I look back at my own work, I think that young people won't accept it if it's just for profit. Young people who are growing up don't need work that doesn't help them grow up. Also, if you think something is "new", you should try it, even if it seems useless. Art and manga, especially manga as a medium, have a base that allows for such experimentation. Well, there may be people who don't want to cooperate with such experiments, but I want you to read the situation appropriately and do your best without getting discouraged. If we don't try new things, the human spirit will stay in stagnation.
Interviewer and writer: Shuichiro Sarashina
Photo: Manami Tazuke
Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture in 1960. After graduating from high school, his work "Armed Poker" was selected as a runner-up for the Tezuka Award, a newcomer's prize in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, and was published in the first issue of 1981, marking his debut.
After serializing "Ma Shonen B.T." from issue #42 in 1983 and "Bao Raibosha" from issue #45 in 1984, he began serializing "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" from the first and second combined issues in 1987.
Twenty years later, the seventh part of the series, "STEEL BALL RUN," is still being serialized in "Monthly Ultra Jump," and has become a representative work in both name and reality.
In 2003, he held his first solo exhibition "JOJO IN PARIS" in Paris, and in 2007, he became the first Japanese manga artist to appear on the cover of the American bioscience magazine "Cell".
( 2008 )
<Original JP site: http://archive.j-mediaarts.jp/interview/2008/araki_hirohiko/>
I highly recommend this website to anyone who wants to enjoy and learn more about Jojo's Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki.