I asked the extremely talented editor in charge of 「SPYFAMILY」 and 「chainsawman」 about the Law of Hits.
Rin shihei of 「JUMP+,」 who has been in charge of 「chainsawman,」 「SPYFAMILY,」 and 「Dandadan,」 hit titles one after another, and is renowned as an extremely talented editor on the Internet.
What is the law of hits? Rin answered this question with great sincerity.
Interview Rin shihei 「ChainsawMan」「SPYFAMILY」
I think most of the manga that are popular nowadays are manga that Rin is in charge of…
Rin No, not at all… I’m taking it easy.
Today I would like to ask you the secret of being a hit maker.
Rin Yes, please.
How did you become a manga editor in the first place?
Rin I liked manga, so it was like a social studies field trip, and I only had job interviews with one publisher, Shueisha. I guess I did not seriously want to do this job. I didn’t have anything I wanted to do at the time.
Even so, you were accepted into a narrowly chosen field, weren’t you?
Rin I think it was mostly luck.
When I was actually on the hiring side, I thought it was a game of luck…almost a game of luck.
Moreover. It was more a game of luck with the interviewer than with the company, so I don’t think it had much to do with job placement ratios.
The theme of today’s interview is 「hit makers」…
Rin When people ask me that question, my answer is always 「luck」…
I’m lucky, so the manga I happen to be in charge of becomes a hit, but I don’t know about the trick to making a work a hit. It’s kind of like that.
Rin I think that the more manga we publish, the more hits we will get, so I think we are actually publishing a number of manga.
But only a part of the manga work published (by the company) is of interest to many readers.For me, it’s more of a feeling of what should I do or I’m in trouble.
I’m wondering if it’s half true that it was luck, and half your modesty…
Rin No – the readers only see some of the works that have succeeded in becoming hits.
I persisted in trying to find out the 「rules of making a hit」 from a rare hit editor.
What do you think is necessary for a hit maker?
Rin I just have to do my job carefully. I’m sorry to say something so ordinary
From your point of view, Mr. Rin, is there an 「essential element for a hit manga work」?
Rin No…no. There is no such thing .
Rin I don’t know, so I can only say there is no such thing… It’s difficult.
I guess it depends on the manga project.
I think you have to be blind to think that this will definitely sell. I am the type of person who thinks, 「There is no such thing」.
As I gain more experience, I think I will accumulate the knowledge to be able to judge whether a work is bad or not, but…
Rin Well, manga artists, readers, and I are all going to be looking at entertainment for the rest of our lives, aren’t we?
So it is not that we are all growing, but rather that we are all changing.
If I can think that a work is interesting in the midst of all this, then I guess that’s okay, and I have no choice but to deal with the work in a pure way.
Even when I am blessed with a hit, I try not to think that it is because I did my best.
Rin I think there are many details that go into the making of a work.
I think there are certain rules of etiquette that make for a good manga, and I would like to know about them. But I don’t know if that is always the correct grammar for creating a good manga.
What are rules?
Rin It’s like a common template or a rule for the flow of a story. But even after learning and practicing all that, it’s not enough for me as a manga… For example, 「Midsommar」 was a bright horror story, wasn’t it? I thought it was great and new, but 「Hereditary,」 a film work by the same director, is a very dark horror film.
I always try to think about what is 「Classic」 and how far I can go to make a work feel new.
Do you ever think about what fans in 2022 will be looking for?
Rin Well, I don’t know.
I think it changes every week.
Rin Not just every week, but maybe every day.
If a tweet that becomes the talk of the town tomorrow, don’t you feel that the atmosphere of the world will change? I think that the atmosphere changes.
That’s why the Law of Hits is so changeable in this era.
Yes, anyone can say after the fact that 「SPYFAMILY」 became popular because of these elements.
Rin That’s right.
I am very grateful to the many people who have said various things to me, but as for me, “I don’t know the right answer.
Mr. Endo (SpyFamily) has created a really strong story and characters. The people involved in the work, the anime, and the publicity team at 「Shueisha,」 I think it reached many people because they continued to carefully and meticulously hammer the story home to the readers.
That’s right. When I tried to analyze 「SPYFAMILY,」 I thought that it was successful because it was a 「family story」…
Rin SPYFAMILY cannot be explained simply by saying that it sold because it was a virtual family story. If that were the case, everyone would be creating works about virtual families.
But I think there were plenty of other family-themed manga works that didn’t sell in the same period.
Rin If I had to say something, I would say that there is no one else who can draw pictures with such a high level of perfection, so I think that the most obvious 「law of hits」 was Endo’s drawings.
「Chainsawman」 「spyfamily」 why is there no manual for Jump?
I think that hit makers definitely create their own 「laws of hits」 within themselves…
Rin No, it’s dangerous to create them.
Because I will start making the same thing as my first hit.
It is dangerous, isn’t it?
RinIn fact, I think it is healthier to think that you can no longer use that rule.
I would have appreciated it if you had been the one to tell me the law of hits in a simple interview…
But on the other hand, wouldn’t it be easier to think, 「What, you don’t understand」?
I think it is healthier to pursue the right answer at the right moment, as much as possible.
In recent companies, it is considered right to mass-produce a successful product by developing it horizontally, isn’t it?
RinBut are there any products that have done very well through horizontal development?
Rin Zoom and LINE have taken Japan by storm in a sense, haven’t they? Why do you think that is?
RinI’m the type of person who thinks it’s because they had a lot of luck.
I think there are many factors, such as design, advertising strategy, and timing.
But I don’t think it’s about the 「concept」 at the 「core」 of a company’s service being amazing or anything like that.
Mr. Rin, have you ever tried to think about the law of hits?
RinWhen it comes to that subject, I made a few mistakes when I was younger.
I tried to create something similar to a short manga work that had received well votes (web votes), and I failed.
You tried to make a formula for a hit.
RinWhen I first joined the company and was assigned to 「Monthly Shonen Jump,」 I asked a senior colleague why you were telling me everything verbally. I asked him.
RinI told my seniors to give me a manual. I think now that I was a rude junior back then (laugh).
Then, the senior said, 「Hey, Rin」.
Do you think a work made by a manual is interesting? He said to me
He told me, We will tell you what we have seen, but you have to think about it and update it yourself.
RinSo, it’s good to think of it as half luck, not manuals or laws. 70% luck, I guess.
It’s all luck after all…
RinI think luck is important, so I sometimes wonder if the manga gods will not like my actions or comments.
What do you mean by that? Like, Don’t get carried away?
RinIn the big entertainment industry of manga, I sometimes wonder if what I do or say is evil.
Maybe it’s one way to discipline myself, though.
The more conceited I am, the less chance Ｉ have of success.
Shohei Otani said something similar.
Great old manga are still interesting to read now.
Going back a bit, what do you think about creating a buzz on social networking sites in order to produce a hit work?
RinI don’t really pay attention to social networking sites.
I have asked people to make videos suitable for TikTok, and I have thought of easy-to-understand phrases for Twitter, but there is almost no 「discussion」 on social media about how to make a work a topic of conversation.
Do you find that social media change the way you create your work?
RinMy impression is that it doesn’t have that much of an impact. I think everyone is still conscious of creating interesting works as before.
Don’t you think there is no way to properly throw the ball toward social media?
I somehow thought so that the way to throw the ball is different now than it was in the days of Dragon Ball and the like.
RinThe old manga developed soooo fast.
You might think it’s a memory correction, but even when I read them now, they are still as interesting as ever, and they still develop as fast as ever.
YuYu Hakusho is only 19 volumes, and Slam Dunk is only 31 volumes
RinIn fact, I think we need to learn how fast manga used to develop.
There are certainly people who say that the speed of content consumption is getting faster, but I don’t think human cognition has changed that much.
I was going to ask you today about the secret to becoming a hit maker (laugh).
RinHuhuhu (laugh). Well, I think everyone has their own way that works for them…
But if I don’t try to make a hit, I won’t get a hit, and that’s difficult.
If there’s one thing I can make a habit of…
RinI think it’s to enjoy doing my work, because when you think, 「Let’s get a lot of people to enjoy it,」 you become pure. Maybe you should face that purity.
That leads to hits.
Let’s make the work a hit, or sell it, is the next step.
If you think, 「I’m going to sell it,」 your work will become muddy.
The meaning of This tsundere character will sell and This character is very lovable because she is a tsundere are very different.
RinI myself do my work while thinking, I’m sorry I’m so lucky.
No, no, I think you are already a person who will go down in the history of Shueisha (publishing company)…
RinNo, that’s not true, I am where I am now because of the efforts of the other senior staff.
Such modesty again… (laugh). To God…
Rin I get scolded (laugh). Yes.
Thank you for watching. See you soon.
chainsaw man. (World’s largest number of translations)