The story behind the birth of the shocking manga 「Fire Punch,」 whose first episode was a huge hit on the Internet, is now revealed! And what’s more, we’re going to reveal a storyboard from the early days of 「Fire Punch,」 which is very badass! And even the roots of author Tatsuki Fujimoto ‘s manga will be revealed!
- 「Fire Punch」 Interview Tatsuki Fujimoto
- First, here’s one of Fire punch ‘s super-shocking storyboards!
- 「Tatsuki Fujimoto」 Is religion the key to Fire Punch ?
- Tatsuki Fujimoto learns charisma from Mr. Hideki Arai
- Interview Back to Fire Punch
- Manga that Tatsuki Fujimoto watched as a boy
- A must-see for fans! The initial storyboard for the first episode of 「Fire Punch」 is unveiled!
「Fire Punch」 Interview Tatsuki Fujimoto
The Blessed One, a person born with the ability to use miraculous powers. 「Agni,」 a boy who never dies, has the ability to regenerate any kind of wound. In a land covered with snow, hunger, and madness, he vows to take revenge on 「Doma,」 the fire-controlling Blessed who burned down his own village and slaughtered its villagers.
Firepunch Volume 1 Commemorative PV.
Author(s): 「Tatsuki Fujimoto」
Born in Akita Prefecture.
Won an Honourable Mention at the 9th Crown Newcomer Manga Award for Love is Blindness. The work was published in 「JUMP SQ」. (Shueisha) in 2014 and marked his debut.
「Fire Punch」 is currently serialised in 「Shonen Jump +」. Volume 5 of Fire Punch is currently on sale.
First, here’s one of Fire punch ‘s super-shocking storyboards!
Oh my gosh, …… this is the storyboard for the first episode of the much talked about 「Fire Punch」….
And this is the actual manga spread of the first episode, what happened between the storyboard and the manga?
What happened between the storyboard and the manga?
What a surprise, this is the original storyboard for the much-talked-about first episode! In the second half of the interview with Tatsuki Fujimoto, we also reveal the other pages of the storyboards of the 「two stages」 that were specially obtained by the editorial department! Check it out! Now, let’s check out the interview full of such special news!
「Tatsuki Fujimoto」 Is religion the key to Fire Punch ?
-What has changed from the initial setting when you actually started serializing your manga?
Fujimoto: That’s the religious part.
–Ah, the religion part?
Agni is bewildered that his fight for revenge has become a salvation for his people and that he is worshipped as a god.
Fujimoto:Originally, I wanted to make the religion in the manga a specific religion that actually exists.
Editor in Charge (Rin shihei): However, I asked him to wait on that idea.
–Is that because of the so-called 「political correctness」 aspect?
Editor in Charge (Rin) – I guess rather, I didn’t really feel the necessity to make the religion in the manga (Fire Punch) a real religion, and I think that if I had felt the need to make it a real religion at that time, I would have gladly given the OK.
Fujimoto: Actually, before the 「Fire Punch」 , there was a storyboard that I created for the purpose of serialization and rejected, but it was a story with strong religious overtones.
-Was Mr. Fujimoto himself originally interested in religion?
Fujimoto: It’s not that religion was the theme of the work, but I wanted to use it as a motif in the manga because it fits with what I wanted to tell in the story, whether it be religion or a movie. In Japan, religion does not have a very good image.
Therefore, I thought that if I suddenly put a religious storyline in the foreground, readers (manga) would be turned off. I thought it would be good to start talking about religion around the fourth or fifth volume of the comic, after the readers had been drawn into the story of 「Fire Punch」.
-I know this is a bit off the main line of questioning, but may I ask you something? In that world (Fire Punch), everyone smokes, can you tell us why?
Fujimoto: As the message at the beginning of the first episode of (Fire Punch) says, 「The frozen people sought a flame,」 everyone in that cold world is looking for fire, and I think that having a lit cigarette in front of you just by itself creates peace of mind.
The shocking first episode that caused a sensation on the internet. In a land of snow and starvation caused by the Ice Witch, the people seek fire.
-Oh, I see. That makes sense.
Fujimoto: Besides, the world of this 「Fire Punch」 is a world where proper morals are not learned. …… The cultural standard is low.
–In a country where there was a civil war, the culture is lost in just one generation, isn’t it?
Fujimoto: In that world ( Fire Punch), only technology remains, but the cultural level is low, so people are quick to jump to immediate pleasures, and men seek sexuality.
-Fujimoto-san has depicted various taboos from the beginning of the story, but your Fire Punch is a world after the collapse of modern culture and morality, so it will be so.But isn’t it hard to use tobacco in your work these days?
Editor in Charge It’s troublesome to think about publishing Fire Punch overseas, in North America it would probably be R-15 or R-18, but I can’t be bothered with that (laugh).
Tatsuki Fujimoto learns charisma from Mr. Hideki Arai
-I believe that the root of 「JUMP」 hero manga is to portray charisma. Reading the first chapter of Mr. Fujimoto’s 「Fire Punch」 (up to volume 3), I felt that you are extremely aware of drawing charisma, what do you
Fujimoto: I love Mr. Hideki Arai (manga artist). His work 「Kiichi!」 and 「The World Is Mine,」 I actually felt that they were stories about creating charisma. I think these manga can look religious or even monstrous to those around them, though.
One of Mr Arai’s best-known works. This is the story of Kiichi Someya, a boy whose parents were killed by street devils at a young age, and the people who become involved with him. The protagonist, Teruichi, is a kindergartener who already shows his charisma, and he’s a real hoot!
Fujimoto: In Mr. Arai’s manga, there is always someone around the main character who enhances the charisma of the main character.
-In the manga 「Kiichi!」 is the relationship between Teruichi Someya (the main character) and Keiichiro Kai. In the manga 「The World Is Mine,」 it is the relationship between Mon-chan (the main character) and Toshi?
Fujimoto: I like that relationship very much.
-Perhaps the relationship between Agni and Togata in your 「Fire Punch」 is similar in some ways to the relationship between those two?
Fujimoto: I am aware of that, like the scene where Agni is about to take revenge and Togata, who is watching from the edge, plots to forcefully and somehow prevent Agni from doing so. Also, Koji Shiraishi, the director of the movie 「Sadako vs. Kayako」 (2016), 「Shudder Weird File: Too much kowasugi! series also influenced the Fire Punch.
Sadako vs Kayako (2016)
–「Kowasugi!」 is an original DVD series that uses a fake documentary style, in which the staff verifies and investigates psychic phenomena based on footage from contributors, right?
Fujimoto: 「Too much kowasugi!」 series has a character called Director Kudo. It’s more interesting to watch Director Kudo than the main psychic phenomena themselves.
Kudo clenching his fists.
-He is certainly a very crazy character.
Fujimoto: Well, in the end, Director Kudo is punished.
Interview Back to Fire Punch
-To return to Fire Punch, may I interpret that there is more to be conveyed when we see Agni through Togata than in Agni himself?
Fujimoto: Yes, but only the main character is Agni.
Togata says he will make a film and the story takes a sharp turn.
-This is the next question following the drawing of the charisma in the manga I mentioned earlier. Mr. Fujimoto, do you like so-called 「Weekly Jump」-style heroes?
Fujimoto: Umm, I haven’t really thought about it that much. I like all manga as long as they are interesting. However, if I’m going to do a serial in 「Shonen Jump+,」 I think that I want to draw something that 「Weekly Shonen Jump」 can’t do, something that is anti-Jump.
-By the way, what is the age range of your intended audience for 「Shonen Jump+」?
Editor in Charge (Rin) Since「 Fire Punch」 is serialized on websites and smartphone apps, I have the impression that most of the readers are older than elementary school students, from junior high school and high school students to people in their 30s.
-So you assume that the literacy level of (web manga) readers is high to some extent?
Editor in Charge (Rin) Yes, that’s right. I believe that 「Shonen Jump+」 (web manga) is a place where experimental works can be tried. I myself am originally a staff member of「 JUMP SQ 」(monthly magazine), but I can also submit manga projects to 「Shonen Jump+」. It is a place with a wide range of expression, where I can tell readers that a manga that didn’t fit well in the magazine I am in charge of is interesting and that they should check it out.
Fujimoto: I am not sure what readers of the 「Fire Punch」 think of it as a manga, but for my part, I want to do everything in my manga, including taboos. Even with religion, which was mentioned earlier as an example, I want to make a manga about the good and the bad, and also about things that are not usually made into a manga.
Manga that Tatsuki Fujimoto watched as a boy
「Fire Punch」 is Mr. Fujimoto’s first serialized work. So I’m curious to know what in the world kind of backbone you have as a manga artist. What kind of manga did you like?
Fujimoto: I actually never read 「Dragon Ball」 or 「Slam Dunk」 when I was little.
-Isn’t that unusual for a 「Jump manga artist」?
Fujimoto: By the way, I read 「Baki the Grappler」 and 「Super Radical Gag Family」 when I was a kid.
Keisuke Itagaki’s hugely popular fighting manga has sold over 60 million copies in total and has been serialised for more than 25 years. Many fans are attracted by the appealing characters, dynamic action and innovative fighting style.
-Mr. Fujimoto, was it 「Weekly Shonen Champion」 that you liked as a child?
Fujimoto: My father bought the magazine for me, and I read it too. The others were 「Monthly Shonen Jump」 (now Jump SQ.) and so on.
-What was in the 「Monthly Shonen Jump」 at that time?
Fujimoto: At that time, 「Claymore」 and 「Dragon Drive」 were published.
A dark fantasy by Norihiro Yagi that gained popularity in the 2000s. In a world where people are eaten by demons, a girl called ‘Claymore’ wields a sword.
-Did that influence Mr. Fujimoto to submit you work to 「JUMP SQ.」 by any chance?
-I see. When did you draw your first submitted manga?
Fujimoto: That was when I was 17. There was a website called 「Shintosha」 where amateurs could submit manga, and I started uploading my scribble-like manga there in my first or second year of high school.
–Then Mr. Sui Ishida (Tokyo Ghoul) and Mr. ONE (One-Punch Man) contributed comments to the obi text of 「Fire Punch」 comics, is it a connection from that website?
Tokyo Ghoul: Tokyo Ghoul, a hit dark fantasy by Sui Ishida with a total of over 18 million copies in print, was adapted into an anime in 2014 and a live-action film starring Masataka Kubota is scheduled to be released on 29 July 2017. A sequel is currently serialised in Weekly Shonen Young Jump.
Fujimoto: I think so in my own mind. I feel a sense of camaraderie with others who are from 「Shintosha」.
-How long have you known your current editor?
Editor in Charge (Rin) I have known him since his first submitted work, so I guess it has been 7 years now.
Fujimoto: We have known each other for quite a long time, haven’t we?
-What was your first impression of Mr. Fujimoto?
Editor in Charge (Rin)I have been looking at a lot of Mr. Fujimoto’s storyboards for a long time, and I recognize him as someone who always throws a great ball. However, we (the editors) have asked him to rework his manga work to see if he can get it to the point where readers find it interesting. Even with his short manga works that have been published in magazines, he is the type of person who repeatedly makes changes to his work, and when the final draft is completed, the quality of the work rises dramatically.
A must-see for fans! The initial storyboard for the first episode of 「Fire Punch」 is unveiled!
–So this is the storyboard for it, it’s amazing.
-And that picture will look like this when it is completed! Wow!
Editor in Charge (Rin)I think you will be surprised when you see this storyboard for the first time. I have known Mr. Fujimoto for a long time, so even with this storyboard, I have some idea of what the final picture will look like (laugh).
-That’s amazing. ……! Where did you get the idea for this manga, 「Fire Punch,」 Mr. Fujimoto?
Fujimoto: To be honest, I don’t remember that at all. It was one of the ideas I had for a magazine serial.
-「Editor in Charge 」Rin, what did you think at first when you heard the idea for the 「Fire Punch」?
Editor in Charge (Rin)Well, I thought, This is interesting, and he has thrown another great ball at me.
–Is Mr. Fujimoto an idea-first type?
Editor in Charge (Rin)Yes, he is. As for drawing, I have been telling him for a long time that he needs to improve his drawing somehow.
Fujimoto: I wasn’t too particular about drawing. But I know that drawing are important, so I’m hoping to somehow become fond of them. Until about the first episode of the「Fire Punch,」 Mr. Rin was always telling me to improve my drawing skills.
-Is it hard to draw action?
Fujimoto: Until then, when I was drawing short manga, I often chose “drama” works, even when watching movies. In short manga, the final scene and cathartic aspects are more important, so I thought I should watch dramas rather than action films.That is why I had never drawn an action manga before. I said to the editor in charge (Rin), 「What should I do, I can’t draw actions」.
Editor in Charge (Rin)I sent him a lot of material to read during the preparation period for the serialization.
–Which of these works did Mr. Fujimoto find most useful?
Fujimoto: It’s not the same as the reference ……, but my favorite work he sent me was 「The Raid -Redemption」.I also liked the work of director Takeshi Kitano, which took me by surprise or made me think, 「That’s not the point,」 and then suddenly took me to the showpiece scene. I have not been able to make use of either of these works in my manga, though.
–Well, the latest fifth volume of your 「Fire Punch」 was released on June 2. Do you have a message for your fans?
Fujimoto: Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Fire Punch are the first chapters. The fourth and fifth volumes of the comic are the middle chapters. I hope fans can look forward to the end of the middle chapter and the beginning of the next chapter.
Editor in Charge (Rin)Tatsuki Fujimoto sensei‘s impressive debut work. It is a manga full of new expressions, although it has a strong sense of poison and acerbity. If you are interested, please watch at least one episode first, and if you like it, please read his work in the 「JUMP+」 series. It is updated every Monday!
-Thank you very much, Mr. Fujimoto!
Thank you for watching.
chainsaw man. (World’s largest number of translations)