Hirohiko Araki Lecture Part 3: Questions and Answers with Araki-Sensei
Hirohiko Araki (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Baoh) gave a lecture at Tokai Junior & High School in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture last year. The lecture was transcribed/compiled by @JOJO, Japan's premier site for JoJo-related news.
Due to its length, the article was broken down into several parts. In Part I, Araki talked about his past and motives. In Part II, Araki talked about his drawing style. In the third and final part, Araki answers questions presented by his audiences.
*The questions (and Araki's answers) contain many references to Araki's works, some knowledge of JoJo and Araki's other series may be required.
[13:38: Araki-sensei's Talk Ends Here]
From now on the lecture will be a discussion between Araki-sensei and the students of Tokai Junior & High School. Since there were a lot of questions, they'll be summarized and presented together in a certain order.
[Question for Araki-sensei! (1): "When You Were Young, What Was Your Source of Inspiration?"]
"Manga, movies... I didn't have any collections; neither did I have any 'solid' objects like plastic models. I enjoyed drawing pictures. I was a boy who wanted to live in a world of fantasy with movies and novels.
(When asked what influenced his works) "After achieving success, respecting my sempai was the most important thing for me. It all started with Da Vinci - reading about such people was very important for me. I learned about the things they mastered, and through their discoveries, I found my own answer.
As for manga I read when I was a boy, the most significant one was Kajiwara Ikki/Nagayasu Takumi's Ai to Makoto (Love and Truth), the scene where the protagonist is stabbed by a knife... although the manga ended in the next issue (a January New Year's double issue), it was still a rather extraordinary experience for me. When I was in middle school, I joined the kendo club because of Tetsuya Chiba's kendo manga Ore wa Teppei (I'm Teppei)."
[Question for Araki-sensei! (2): "The Model for Morioh Town, Sendai City"]
*Morioh Town is a town in JoJo, while Sendai is Araki's hometown.
"Sendai, when I was a kid, was an old and historical city. Since the '80s, construction began on a new residential district. The new houses were beautiful, but strangers from who-knows-where were scary, and those personal experiences have been tied together with the town itself."
"Well, I don't think there are any homicidal maniacs, but..." (Everyone starts a roar of laughter). Of course, Araki-sensei likes his hometown very much, but he was intimidated by the rapid increase in stragers, maybe Morioh Town was made based on his "disdain" of that situation. Of course, using the real name of the city in his manga may anger people, so Araki-sensei changed the name to something else.
#Also refer to Kahoku Shinpou: Araki Hirohiko's "Buried Gold Requires Daily Expedition" and Araki Hirohiko's talk-essay "My manga are the 'outcries of my heart'"
[Question for Araki-sensei! (3): "What About Love and Passion?"]
Although he went a boy's school, he had a girlfriend. "There's not much to add, since it's what causes the most problems in today's relationships" (everyone starts a roar of laughter).
#By the way, Araki-sensei is married, and according to an interview from "Weekly Shounen ", Araki met his first love during his first year in high school, and his preference for the opposite was "a woman who is not ladylike."
[Question for Araki-sensei! (4): "What Model Did You Base Your Protagonists On?"]
"Eeeeh?" Araki-sensei appears worried. There was no model, but there were influences from "muscle movies" such as "Rambo" and "Terminator." Jotaro Kujo (a character from JoJo) feels like Clint Eastwood: he doesn't run, his movements are minimal and he's a silent person. "On the other hand, the Stands are fast." The personalities of protagonists' from each part are different. After drawing Part I, I wanted to do something I haven't done before. (1st Part: Serious --> 2nd Part: A crazy person)
[Question for Araki-sensei! (5): "Airin = Gorgeous★Airin?"]
"I was just having a good time, there is no deep meaning behind it, I'm sorry." (Everyone laughs).
[Question for Araki-sensei! (6): "About the Ability of 'Time'"]
The most powerful technique: "Time". Stopping it, returning to the past, watching the future... if there were people who can control such a thing, they'd be invincible. For a main character with powers that aren't invincible, I want to have people wonder how such a character could win. The ability to control physical things, such as gravity, is also very powerful.
From Araki Hirohiko/Shibasaki Tomoka's Osaka University of Arts, College Manga Vol. 4:
[Question for Araki-sensei! (7): "Joseph Joestar"]
And now the 'forbidden question': "Why, as an old man, is Joseph such a lustful man?" "Although JoJo was a story that ended naturally after Part 3, I asked myself: 'should I draw a 4th part? There shouldn't be anymore Jojo!'" (Everyone laughs). Since I didn't know what would happen in the future, even though I wanted to keep his personality, the personality did match up with his age (Joestar is an old man in Part 4).
[Question for Araki-sensei! (8): "Lineage"]
When asked about the reason why he's only focusing on the story of the "Joestar family", according to Araki, going back, back, way back, all the way to the origin of the family lineage, his character's lineage gives him a feeling of pride - the wonder and the mystery that exists within the "lineage". "I put more importance on such things than others (said with a serious tone).
[Question for Araki-sensei! (9): "If You Can Describe Manga in A Single Word"]
Troubled by the question, Araki replied: "my combined feeling would be 'the salvation of the heart'? I think it's very important."
[Question for Araki-sensei! (10): "Western music and its influence"]
Using names from Western music to name his characters and "Stands" is a "simple hobby" for Araki. It's also a way to pay his respect towards rock artists. "But the fact that nowadays there aren't many names of bands to use is becoming a problem". (Everyone starts a roar of laughs). The imitative sounds of Jojo is also influenced by music (This was said on "Weekly Shounen "as well). While on the subject, according to SOUL'd OUT, their music is influenced by JoJo. So while "JoJo" is influenced by Rock, it is also influencing "Rock"!
[Question for Araki-sensei! (11): "About the Change in Design"]
When asked about his designs that continue to change, Araki replied that since he's not trying to draw using classical techniques, the designs won't be the same, and usually experience rapid changes. "I'm not concerned about the old drawings (assertion)." Though the readers may get confused, I wonder if they will forgive me".
#It has also being reported that in Hirohiko Araki's collection of short stories Gorgeous★Airin, the illustration of Airin that was drawn for Ultra Jump in 2003, was originally a character drawn in 1985 as an entirely different person. At that time, the comment from UJ PRESS was: "I can't draw in my old style anymore".
[Question for Araki-sensei! (12): "You Stopped Drawing Your Self-Portrait"]
Often fan letters would ask: "Please take out that character from the manga", but since the character is almost complete, I don't want to take it out, and that is all. Although "Baoh the Visitor" ended as though it will later continue, but...
[Question for Araki-sensei! (13): "If you can describe JoJo in a single word"]
To a question that he hates to answer, Araki-sensei's answer was: "'The enigma of human beings', it's something I wanted to draw". As a human who works with a theme that will last for an eternity, that's all. Moreover, the manga is also being drawn for people who have committed crimes, it will make them think: "How did I become like this? Is there a meaning in this existence?" It's a "eulogy of human".
And so the time has come, the last words from the moderator, and the falling of the curtain. The clock says it is 2:05 PM on June 24th, 2006. An event of about 1 hour and 20 minutes long, but to Araki's fans, without a doubt it was a "golden personal experience." Escorted by applause heavy as thunder, Araki-sensei disappeared behind the curtain with a smile on his face.
- End -
Translated by Aldo