- Interview Manga Artist Yuji Kaku Talks about Chainsaw Man
- What do you think of the manga characters that Mr. Tatsuki Fujimoto draws?
- 「Yuji Kaku」「Tatsuki Fujimoto」You said that the two of you like similar things. What kind of work do you like?
- -What do you think about the design of the demons in Tatsuki Fujimoto ‘s 「Chainsaw Man」?
- -Which character from 「Chainsaw Man」 will you be drawing this time, Mr. Kaku?
Interview Manga Artist Yuji Kaku Talks about Chainsaw Man
The manga 「Chainsaw Man」 has a strong impact on the viewer, and the word unique does not begin to describe the impact of the characters. In this interview, we asked Mr. Yuji kaku, a manga artist who supported Mr. Fujimoto as an assistant on his success work 「Fire Punch,」 about the secret of how Mr. Fujimoto created the characters.
What do you think of the manga characters that Mr. Tatsuki Fujimoto draws?
Kaku: I have known Mr. Fujimoto since our days as assistants for the 「Fire Punch」. Mr. Fujimoto and I are close in terms of movie genres and the things we like, and we share a similar sense of closeness in terms of the designs we like. So I have the impression that we often watch the same movies and talk about how cool they are, and that is how we get inspiration for our own manga designs. Also, both Fujimoto and I are the type of people who think that designs with a strong essence are cool, rather than those with details. I think we are both attracted to designs that are fundamentally well thought out. If I may use my own words to describe it, such a design has a high intensity.
To be more specific, I think it is amazing that the design of chainsaw man conveys the essence of the character, that he is rabid and crazy, right from his design. This is something I want to do in my manga as well, so I get a lot of inspiration from Mr. Fujimoto‘s work. In terms of the personalities of the characters in his manga, characters such as Togata in 「Fire Punch」 already have a gag woven into the core of their humanity. Therefore, even actions that might seem like gags to the casual observer are “composed” in a way that the characters take them very seriously. I feel that the way in which the gag elements of the characters move the story along is at the core of Mr. Fujimoto‘s work. Come to think of it, the Main character, Denji, looks like Fujimoto-sensei. Denji’s word endings are completely the same as the way Mr. Fujimoto speaks. Mr. Fujimoto himself sometimes speaks in the same tone as Denji, like 「orewayo-, sonotamedattarayo-」 (laugh).
「Yuji Kaku」「Tatsuki Fujimoto」You said that the two of you like similar things. What kind of work do you like?
Kaku: We both like works that take us to places we have never seen before and even the genre of the work changes along the way, and I think the 「Fire Punch」 is one such work. When we evaluate a work, a large part of our criteria is based on a sense of being different from other works or a new way of presenting something. We are delighted when we see something that we have never seen before. However, it is not enough for a work to simply be different; it is necessary to have a sense of reality that makes us believe that the world really exists. Fujimoto’s manga works, too, the overall scale of the story is grand and the plot changes from one chapter to the next, but in the end, he tries to bring it to a conclusion in a tangible, reachable emotional way, and I feel a sense of reality in that. This is similar to classic manga such as 「Parasite」 and 「Sigurui」.
-What do you think about the design of the demons in Tatsuki Fujimoto ‘s 「Chainsaw Man」?
Kaku: For example, when Fujimoto-sensei and I draw the same subject matter in our manga, I tend to think about how I can convey the appeal of what I like to the reader in a way that is easy to understand, and I tend to add a lot to the design. However, Mr. Fujimoto’s designs are straight-forward and present what he likes as it is. When I look at his designs, I sometimes wonder if they are okay as they are, but they are accepted as they are by the readers. So the demon in the 「Chainsaw Man」 is not that surprising in terms of design. As for me, ah, it’s exactly the shape I thought it would be! This is what I’ve been waiting for ! I have a feeling. On the other hand, there was a time when I was surprised that he drew that design as is in his manga.
To be specific about this, regarding the design of the chainsaw man that Denji transforms into, I felt that Mr. Fujimoto dared to give it a tame look. I think that Mr. Fujimoto probably did not want to design the chainsaw part to fit in naturally. Also, this is a little off topic, but in episode 3, the name Tatsuki Fujimoto appears as a sign on a building, and I really liked the cheapness of daring to do that, or something like that. When I asked him about it later, he said that his assistant did it on her own (laugh). But the fact that he was OK with that is what I really like about him. I think that Fujimoto is consciously trying to create such a rough-hewn part, or rather, the feeling that something is left as it is.
Editor in Charge: Mr. Fujimoto has the courage to do such a bold thing. He has the momentum to step on the gas pedal even when normal people would be apprehensive.
Kaku:That’s right. Usually, even if a dish is served with the ingredients in their original form, I would think about arranging the appearance of the plate at least, and even if I serve the ingredients as they are, I would want to explain to the customers that I dared to serve them as they are, but Mr. Fujimoto does not even have that part.
I think that part of him is amazing. I think that if I were a normal person, I would want to add a little more to Denji’s design in After Transformation, but the fact that the chainsaw man’s head has a handle on it is also very typical of Mr. Fujimoto. Normally, when designing a chainsaw, the blade is the main part of the design, but in the case of Mr. Fujimoto’s design, the tool itself seems to be on the head. Another difference between the way Mr. Fujimoto and I design is that Mr. Fujimoto incorporates an element of laughter. When I design, I tend to focus only on what is cool, which I consider to be my own fault, but the pictures that Mr. Fujimoto draws have a large amount of laughter in addition to the design sensibility that I like. That is something he is aware of and something I admire in the stories that Mr. Fujimoto draws.
-Which character from 「Chainsaw Man」 will you be drawing this time, Mr. Kaku?
Kaku: I have drawn various characters from 「Chainsaw Man」 on my Twitter, but my favorite and the one I want to draw is Denji.
Denji drawn by Gaku Yuuji. Click on the image to go to the video↓
chainsaw man. (World’s largest number of translations)