Starlog (magazine) November 1980 issue Interviewer is Takachiho Haruka
- Interview Akira Toriyama
- Greetings and self-introduction by Akira Toriyama
- Akira Toriyama when he was a civilian office worker
- I want to do comical illustration work.
- Akira Toriyama had a lot of a certain animal
- Akira Toriyama ‘s manga debut work「Wonder Island」
- I draw everything myself except for the solid coloring.
- Akira Toriyama stays up all night every other day to draw his manga
- I was half happy and half anxious when the decision was made to serialize the manga.
- Current MrTakachiho Haruka
- Greetings and self-introduction by Akira Toriyama
Interview Akira Toriyama
Greetings and self-introduction by Akira Toriyama
Takachiho Toriyama-san, you have not disclosed anywhere detailed information about what kind of person you are.
Taka: So, let’s start with the outline. Is Akira Toriyama your real name?
Tori: It is my real name.
Taka: It’s an unusual name, but is it common?
Tori: It is common where my grandmother lives. It is in a place called Hazu in Mikawa (Aichi Prefecture).
Taka: Where are you from…?
Tori: Well, it’s where I currently live. I’ve been settled in that place for a long time.
Taka: Then you are from Nishi-Kasugai-gun (north of Nagoya City)….
Taka: How old are you now?
Tori: I am 25. I was born on April 5 in the 「30th year of syowa」(1955).
Taka: Then, how did you become a manga artist?
Akira Toriyama when he was a civilian office worker
Tori: I graduated from the design department of my high school, and as an extension of that, after all, I entered a design-related company… Actually, I didn’t really like design, but really I wanted to draw pictures. Then I was forced to do things I didn’t like, like lettering. I didn’t like it, so I quit. Looking back on it now, those work experiences are very useful.
Taka: How long did you work for the company?
Tori: Well, about three years.
Taka: How long did you start drawing manga?
Tori: Since my 23rd birthday (laugh).
Taka: Is there any reason why you started on your birthday?
Tori: Well, until then, I had been drawing illustrations for flyers and other advertisements as a part-time job. ・・・・・・ I couldn’t draw pictures that I liked that much, and I wondered what I should do, so I decided to start there and try drawing manga for the first time. I was quite playful and submitted my first manga to the syueisya.
Taka: You submitted your work to JUMP (a weekly magazine)?
Tori: Yes, it is now called the Fresh Jump Award, but I submitted it to the Young Jump Award at that time. But it was a complete failure. Only my name appeared in the magazine. But I was relatively competitive, so I sent it in again, and the editorial staff said to me, It looks promising, so give it a try.
Taka: What kind of things were you drawing at that time?
Tori: Gags, of course. I could only draw gag manga. ・・・・
Taka: Have your drawings not changed since then?
Tori: No, they are completely different from now. It was right after I quit after working as a designer, so the quality of my drawings is hard.
Taka: When did you change?
Tori: After I finished the Young Jump Award, I drew about three mangas, and it was during the last manga that my pictures changed. At that time, I was drawing rather unavoidably, and I drew lines a bit randomly and quickly. ・・・・・・ I think that method was good for me.
Taka:I wonder if it was like your shoulders relaxed and you became more relaxed. It seems like everyone goes through periods like that. By the way, what about illustrations in the future?
I want to do comical illustration work.
Tori: Yes, even now I would like to do some. Even if it’s a rather comical feel illustration.
Taka: Oh, that’s a field where there are the fewest in Japan. You always have a really good door picture (the picture on the front cover when the comic opens). You are the best!
A door picture in manga generally refers to the page with the title of the work and the name of the author, sometimes the first page, sometimes the second or third page, etc. If the second or third page is used, it is also called a 「facing door」.
For image search Akira Toriyama
Tori: I don’t always have time to draw that one, and I really want to do more work on it.
Taka: One time, you drew an illustration in the style of Frazetta 「Frank Frazetta,」 right? I like it so much that I cut it out and kept it.
Tori: When I start to draw, I also become obsessed and there is no end to it. Even that picture was painted without much effort. I have all of Frazetta’s books.
Taka: What have you read in science fiction?
Tori: I only read a little Mr. Yasutaka Tsutsui, who was recommended to me by a friend.
Taka: After all, your original experience was in special effects or manga? Gamera appears in your manga quite a bit (laugh).
Tori: I like Gamera (laugh), it’s kind of silly and stupid. I haven’t seen Ms Mach Fumiake’s Gamera 「Space Monster Gamera」 because I think it would ruin the image I have of it.
Taka: And what about Ultraman?
Tori: Well, I like only the very first Ultraman. By the time you get to Seven, the designs are messy, and I like the simple ones.
Taka: What do you think of the current Ultraman (1980)?
Tori: 80 (Ultraman Eighty)? I don’t like that one. (laugh)
Taka: By the way, our company (Studio Nue) designed the Ultraman mecha.
Tori: Really? I can’t imagine that complicated mecha working anymore.
Taka: You can call us 「Studio Nue of complicated mecha」 if you like (laugh). Do you watch TV at all now?
Tori: I like animals, so if it’s a show about wild animals, I watch all of them. I watch special effects programs when I can because of my convenience at the time.
Akira Toriyama had a lot of a certain animal
Taka: Do you have any animals?
Tori: No, I don’t have any animals at all now. I used to have a lot of them. ・・・・・・ even crows (laugh). At one time, I had nearly 100 birds.
Taka: 100 birds! (laugh) Wasn’t your house a 「penguin village」 as it was? (laugh). But it is amazing to keep crows.
Tori: A neighbor picked up a bird with damaged wings. I was very young, so I don’t remember what the bird ate. Behind my house was just a field area, and I could see the horizon.
Taka: Wow (laugh). The Nobi Plain.
Tori: I to walk my neighbor’s dog there. When I did that, pheasants would come out too (laugh). I think this area is also a very nice place.
Taka: The Penguin Village in the manga was modeled on that place.
Tori: There are many starlings, but they end up eating figs.
Taka:I hope they are not exterminated as harmful birds
Tori:They are beneficial birds, so I think they will be fine.
Taka:No, these days, government agencies do some unthinkable things….
Akira Toriyama ‘s manga debut work「Wonder Island」
Taka:Going back to your manga, what is the official title of your debut work?
Tori: My debut work was called 「Wonder Island,」 and it was published in Weekly Jump in December 1978. After that, in about a January of the following year, I drew part 2 of 「Wonder Island」 in an extra issue of a weekly magazine. I don’t remember what month it was, but I published a manga called 「Today’s Highlight,」 followed by a police manga that was serialized three times in Monthly Jump. Then came 「Dr. Slump,」 which is currently being serialized.
Taka: Do all such works become a book?
Tori: I don’t think they will be published in book form. At the moment, ・・・・・・ I don’t like the old works either (laugh).
Taka: People don’t like that kind of thing (laugh). Did you submit 「Dr. Slump」 to the editorial department as a work you liked?
Tori: At that time, I would show my sketches to the editor in charge at the sketch stage, asking if this was good enough or how about something like this. I don’t know how many sketches I had…there were about 1,000 that were rejected.
Taka: Amazing! That’s unimaginably amazing.
Tori: My personality is rather fortunate. I don’t mind if my drawings are lost. After repeating the same process over and over again, I started to draw pictures that looked like 「Dr. Slump」. At first, Arale-chan was just a robot that appeared in one episode.
Taka: Did you plan to stop drawing Arale-chan right away?
Tori: Yes, but the editorial department said that the girl was cute and that I should make her the main character. I didn’t like it at the time, but now I think, 「Oh, I’m glad I did that」.
Taka: You’re right, she’s really cute! (laugh) The alien who uses Nagoya dialect was also funny and movingly good (laugh). I don’t mind if you bring out more of that alien (laugh).
I draw everything myself except for the solid coloring.
Solid coloring: 「In manga production, filling in specified areas of a character’s hair, shadows, etc. in black.
Taka:Did you like reading manga?
Tori: Yes, I did. But there was no manga artist called favorite, and I just read manga in a very ordinary way.
Taka: Then, why did you choose JUMP as the place to submit your work?
Tori: Because I could submit a manga every month.
Taka: Did you ever think about which weekly magazine your manga was suited for, or that kind of thing?
Tori: I didn’t think about it at all…or rather, I didn’t know.
Taka: I think about that kind of thing easily (laugh). From looking at those drawings, Mr. Toriyama draws most of them himself, right?
Tori: Yes, I only entrust my assistants with solid coloring. After all, I want to draw my own manga by myself.
Taka: Isn’t it very difficult?
Tori: Weekly serialization is very tough (laugh). When I occasionally take a day off, I end up sleeping all day long.
Taka:It’s the same for all authors (laugh).
Tori: I need at least one more day off to do things like putting in the pens. There are times when I have to send the manga to the post office without time to review it.
Taka: What kind of pen do you use?
Tori: G-pen. I was a member of a manga research club in high school, so I knew the tools.
Taka:Ah, I see. Were you already drawing manga then?
Tori: Yes, but I haven’t completed a single manga (laugh). So I couldn’t say that I was drawing manga.
Taka: Actually, I was the president of the Manga Research Association.
Tori: I was president of the Manga Research, too, just in case (laugh).
Taka: Most science fiction writers are people who could never become manga artists. That’s why they have a big complex about manga. That envy is reversed and they write critiques (laugh).
Tori: Heh, ・・・・・・. I’m always bad at making stories, and I’m troubled by it.
Taka:No, your manga is interesting (laugh). The props are good. Guns and so on.
Tori: I like those weapons related because they are designed without waste.
Taka: Do you have a model gun?
Tori: Yes, I do. There are many others that I want to buy, but I am a poor person, so when I see the price, I think about it (laugh). After all, People in the industry like me seem to like something like guns.
Taka: Well, when I came back from Hawaii, I wanted to shoot a gun, too. But I don’t like shooting animals, that’s for sure. I can shoot people, but not animals.
Tori: I don’t like it either
Taka: If it is a shotgun, I want to shoot a plate. So my shooting is target shooting.
Tori: I don’t know a little about the nerves of hunters. It is true that we may have such instincts, but I don’t know.
Akira Toriyama stays up all night every other day to draw his manga
Taka: By the way, you often put Akane’s kung-fu outfit in your mangas. Is that your hobby? Do you like it?
Tori: Well, if you put it on a girl, it would be rather cute, wouldn’t it? I liked 「Enter the Dragon」 and so on.
Taka:Are you a Star Wars fan, after all?
Tori: Yes, I like it. I like that kind of design. I don’t like the way 「The Empire Strikes Back」 ends. I liked the way Star Wars felt both old and new. By the way, I also made a model of R2-D2, and it took about two months to make the two together look just like the real thing. I’m also a person who gets very involved when I start working on something like that.
Akira Toriyama is also known in Japan as a plastic model enthusiast, and has won gold medals in competitions he has entered as a hobby.
Taka: That’s amazing! (laugh).
Tori: I also like incomprehensible things like aliens.
Taka: design was scary, too.
Tori:I like that design.
Taka: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Tori: I like relatively popular ones. For example, 「Jaws」, 「Enter the Dragon」, 「Star Wars」, 「Alien」, and so on. Ｉused to watch movies often, but nowadays I don’t want to go out and move around anymore.
Taka: So your favorite movies are mainly action ones, as I expected.
Tori: Yes, I like things that are simply pleasing to look at. The same is true of my own manga.
Taka:Have you seen 「Virus」? 「It is a Japanese science fiction novel written and published by Sakyo Komatsu in 1964.」
Tori: No, I haven’t seen it yet.
Taka: There are penguins and elephant seals in that movie. The elephant seal slides on the iceberg. That is very good. (laugh) By the way, who is your favorite manga artist?
Tori: There are many manga artists I like. Tezuka-san is in a class of his own, but I always enjoy reading Sunday (weekly magazine), Magazine (weekly magazine), and Champion (weekly magazine) at a coffee shop.
Taka: If it’s interesting, I read it with glee.
Tori: That’s right. Even if the same person draws it, if it is not interesting, it is not interesting.
Taka: Are there any works that you are looking forward to seeing in the series?
Tori: There is no particular work that I really want to see.
Taka: But then you wouldn’t be able to make friends with manga artists or talk about manga, would you?
Tori: Yes, because all the manga artists are basically in Tokyo. I do intend to leave, but I’m a countryman at heart, so I guess I’m better suited to the countryside.
Taka: No, that’s not true, that’s for sure.
Tori: Even in Nagoya, when there are a lot of people in the underground shopping mall, I get a feeling of annoyance.
Taka: I see. As I heard earlier, your work schedule is very hard.
Tori: Yes, my assistant works once a week, and I am also in charge of white painting, so I stay up all night every other day.
Taka: It’s okay when you are young, but when you reach my age, it’s hard work. You should go running around in the fields and mountains while you still can. You might get a heart attack.
I was half happy and half anxious when the decision was made to serialize the manga.
Tori: That’s true. When I first received the decision to serialize my work, I was half happy and half anxious. At first, I wasn’t confident at all. I was prepared for my comic series to end after 10 weeks.
Taka: Jump has a 「Readers’ Choice Awards」 contest every year, and you weren’t asked to enter that?
Tori: When I started my manga series, it was right after the establishment of the 「Readers’ Choice Award 」contest.
Taka: Then, will you participate next time?
Tori: That would be if I were selected. I’m not sure what the future holds… I also wonder how long I will be drawing manga. I think that as the years go by, the tendency of the manga I want to draw will probably change.
Taka: you will change. That is for sure.
Tori: I also like to make plastic models, military models.
Taka: Like tanks?
Tori: I like more smaller vehicles than tanks.
Taka: Do you create tanks or something like a diorama?
Tori: Not quite a diorama, but I do make them. I think I am closer to the old German army. Yes, I like to make plastic models related to Germany and America.
Akira Toriyama Design
Taka: Actually, I went to Hokkaido and rode on a Type 74 tank.
Taka: High: It’s true (laugh). When I was guided to the place of a great man, I found a desk full of plastic models of tanks. Going back to Dr. Slump, is there a map of Penguin Village?
Tori: I am often asked about it. Some of the fan letters asked about it. If we made a map of the village, we would have to limit the scope of activities.
Taka: You could make a map of only the places that have appeared in the manga so far…
Tori: Oh, we can do something like that, though. Penguin Village is good because you never know what you’re going to find. The good thing about gag manga is that you are allowed to show whatever you want in your manga. In the case of my manga, any living creature can talk. Like the mountains….
Taka: That was amazing! (laugh).
Tori: I really have the privilege of doing whatever I want.
Taka: Well, that’s better. The artist’s sense essentially determines everything about the work. By the way, I love King Ghidorah (laugh). The Greatest Battle on Earth is a masterpiece. Until Mothra tries to persuade Godzilla and Radon (laugh).
Tori: I love King Ghidorah, too. I like the dinosaur-type design of the monster, or something like that. I don’t like the messy alien type. I like only the Baltan aliens, though.
Taka: What about the foreign ones? Not the ones with a human inside, but the stop-motion (puppet animation) ones.
Tori: I like that one. I liked 「One Million Years B.C」.
Taka: 「Star Wars」 But that unique movement is great (laugh).
Tori: I never thought it would run with that kind of feel.
Taka: 「Star Wars」 is really well done in terms of unexpectedness or breathtaking.
Tori: For my part, I always want the film to end with a happy ending.
Current MrTakachiho Haruka
My name is Takachiho Haruka. I am posting mainly about Princess (cats).
Mr. Takachi has become a cat-loving uncle. (*‘∀‘)ｂ
Thank you for watching. See you soon!