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October 2009

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For the request of hasunoutena, ^^ I typed up the Yoshihiro Togashi interview from the American Monthly Shonen Jump, you can get a basic knowledge of him.

Yoshihiro Togashi, the mangaka of the popular, famous and classic manga Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, also some other very cool manga such as Level E (though I personally can't fully understand that manga and hence put no interest in it). He is one the most famous, sucessful, popular mangaka in Japan, and he is one of my favourite mangaka. His sense of imagination is different, out-of-this-world, he doesn't fall in typical pattern, giving you all those typical shonen crap, he tells you the importance of friendship, love, family bonds without giving you all those sassy goosebumps crap such as YuGiOh.

=D you gotta love him, if you don't know what I'm talking about... Either buy an issue of the American Shonen Jump or go to www.toriyamaworld.com and find the scanlation of Hunter x Hunter and start reading!

-_- I feel like I'm doing a commercial... yeah, guess my choise of advertisment for future is pretty suitable....

This interview appeared in the very first year of the monthly American Shonen Jump, in which Togashi's YuYuHakusho was serialized. Feel free to link to this interview.

At this very moment, in a disorganized studio full of books, reference material, video games and toys, Yoshihiro Togashi is drawing manga. Originally working in the big-eyed, big-mouthed, screentoned art style of the 1980s, on Yu Yu Hakusho he gradually developed into one of the manga’s most distinctive artists. The screentone was replaced by an attractive minimalism. The faces and figures became beautifully detailed (when he wanted that effect) or cartoony, sketchy and jumping with action (when he wanted that effect). His current hit Hunter x Hunter has sold over 20 million copies so far, but a good manga artist never stops learning, and Togashi gets more incredible every day.

Togashi debuted as a manga artist after winning one of the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump’s new-talent contests. A fan of the occult and horror movies, Togashi put these elements into his early manga and specifically YuYu Hakusho (which has, at times, shocking violence inspired by horror films). In YYH, thinking up bad guys was his favourite work. “unfortunately, the really evil ones can’t be published, so I have to censor myself.” The names of the characters were something he whipped up on the spot, on the level of skimming through the dictionary and putting together out kanji characters he likes. “Yusuke is pretty much a pun, and Kuwabara is a combination of the names of two pro baseball players. Hiei and Kurama are also just names that popped into my head.” In a Togashi manga, the serious and the crazy are just two sides of the sam coin.

Togashi has a self-effacing attiude and a wicked sense of humor, particularly about manga (in a sense of joke definitions of manga terms, he defined “manga that develops healthy well-balanced children as “would you read it?”). but at the same time, his works often express the importance of family relationships and human ties (without being sappy), and few mainstrwam manga artists are more thoughtful. Shonen Jump had the opportutnity to ask the ever-busy Togashi a few questions.

SJ: shonen jump
T: Togashi Yoshihiro

Young Yoshihiro:

SJ: What were you like when you were younger (say, in middle school and high school)?
T: when I was in middle school, I was a bright and optimistic kid, and when I was in high school, I was a dark and pessimistic young man.

SJ: how old were you when you first started drawing? What sort of things did you draw?
T: I started drawing around the 1st to 2nd year of elementary school. I was already drawing manga at that time.

SJ: can you tell us about some of your artistic influences?
T: I was introduced to H.R. Giger’s work through the movie Alien, and was greatly influenced by him.

SJ: how did you become a professional manga artist?
T: I submitted a piece to a Weekly Shonen Jump contest, and was contacted by one fo the editors.

Hoobies & Interests:

SJ: what are your hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
T: Bowling, which I consider exercise. I spend my spare time with my family.

SJ: I have heard that you are a fan of horror movies. Which onese are your favourite, whether from Japan, America or other countries?
T: Among Japanese movies, Joyu-rei (Ghost Actress, 1996). Among foreign movies, Dawn of the Dead (1978).

SJ: I have heard that you are a fan of video games. What kinds of games do you like? Are you playing any video games right now?
T: I like board-type video games. Right now, I am playing Culdcept (a Japanese strategic multiplayer card-battle board game with magic and monsters)

SJ: if you had to rate your interest in these three genres – sci-fic, fantasy and horror – how would you rate them in order of preference? In your own work, do you think of these as separate genres or all part of the same thing?
T: it changes from moment to moment, but right now, 1) fantasy 2) sci-fic 3)horror. But I don’t really put meaning into any of these classifications.

SJ: do you read a lot of fiction (books, not manga)?
T: I don’t know how I would compare to other people, but I do read quite a few novels. Mysteries, sci-fic, non fiction, etc.

SJ: what parts of the world have you visited? What are some of your favourite places, and why?
T: Turkey, Egypt, Spain, among other places. I enjoy seeing landscapes that I can’t see in Japan.

SJ: what kind of drawing materials do you use today on Hunter x Hunter, compared to the past with Yu Yu Hakusho?
T: it basically hasn’t changed: drafting ink and Kabura pens (a large-nibbed pen “Kabura=tyrnip which produces relatively even lines). However, which HxH, I started using th eMac for some of the colouring.

SJ: have you ever considered doing a non-shonen mana? Something for older readers, such as a seinen (young man) manga, for instance?
T: I have. I’d like to challenge myself to anything at least once.

SJ: you hare excellent at drawing realistic portraits of people. Do you ever draw from life, or base your characters on actual people?
T: almost all of it is from my imagination, but I also often take the images of actual people and embellish them in my own way.

SJ: you have a great talent for drawing monsters and weird creatures, from scary ones in YuYu Hakusho and Level E, to whimsical ones in Hunter x Hunter. How do you do it?
T: Actually, I kind of draw them on a whim, without thinking too deeply about it.

SJ: in fighting manga, it’s necessary to come up with mangy visual effects for showing motion and power. How do you do it?
T: no matter what, I try to make it easy for th ereader to understand what’s happening.

YuYu Hakusho:

SJ: YYH changes a lot after Yusuke comes back to life. Can you tell us why you decided to turn the series into a fighting manga?
T: I had already planned to do so from the beginning. The rest was just figuring out the timing.

SJ: when you first introduced Hiei and Kurama in Volume 3, did you plan for them to become major characters?
T: I intended Kurama to be a major character from the very beginning, but I wasn’t sure about Hiei at first.

SJ: who is your favourite villain in the series, and why?
T: The Togruo brothers, because they are fundamentally unrestrained.

SJ: who is your favourite female character in the series, and why?
T: Shizuru (Kuwabara’s sister), because she keep her cool.

SJ: some fans have debated this, so… how do the Reikai (spirited world), Ningenkai (human world), and Makai (demon world) in YYH relate to one another? Is the Makai “Hell”, or some place else entirely?
T: as far as it goes, I’ve interpreted them as being on parallel planes of existence. Places that it would be difficult to travel to with current scientific technology.. .something like that. It’s much easier to go there as a ghost, without material body, so most people end up going there when they die. Heaven and hell are ultimately just a tiny portion of the Reikai and Makai which people accidentally wandered into, saw and came back to tell about. You can think about it as being just one face of a die. But anyways, the explanation is that it all exists somewhere in reality.

Back to Real Life:

SJ: recently, you had a son. Do you feel that becoming a father has changed your work, or will change your work, particularly relating to the “young boy looking for his father” theme in Hunter x Hunter?
T: I feel that it will be a great influence on me from this point on.

SJ: in closing, what advice would you give to fans who are interested in becoming artists themselves?
T: 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, think of everything in your life in terms of manga. Then it will be easy to become a manga artist.

Comments

Thank you! And so quick, too! *grabs it and saves it for prosperity*

365 days a year, 24 hours a day, think of everything in your life in terms of manga. Then it will be easy to become a manga artist.

XD That explains some things about him.

If there's anything I can do in return, just let me know ... ^^
If there's anything I can do in return, just let me know ... ^^

bwahahaa... *evil thought*

nah, it just as in return for your kakairu doujinshi, =D

(Anonymous)

does hiei fall in love with mukuro

Hi...um im asking this qeustion becuase its driveing me nuts! Every website i go to i see "hiei falls in love with mukuro" or "i think hiei is in love with mukuro". So if you can answer this thank you.

Re: does hiei fall in love with mukuro

well, I can't really say that I have a *correct* answer for you, but I can tell you one thing though. In the manga, hiei did become soft and decided to protect mukuro, however, I don't know if it means that he falls in love with her or not, it didn't say. I think it can mean two things:

1. hiei falls in love... blah blah..

2. Hiei admires her and feels a strong bond (maybe friendship?) towards her.

hope that helps, ^^

(Anonymous)

Re: does hiei fall in love with mukuro

Straight Anal, No lube.

(Anonymous)

you now when he continue with hunter x hunter manga send me the answer in joseth21888@hotmail.com

(Anonymous)

I WAN........

HUNTER X HUNTER.. When is he gonna contiune drawing ? im so sick of waiting .. BOSS FIGHT PLEAES !!!

(Anonymous)

Man,I wish Mr Yoshihiro Togashi make a Yu Yu Hakusho 2.Oh please...
Thank you so much for sharing! =D
I just stumbled upon this blog while looking for stuff on togashi yoshihiro :P this guy is such a genius!!! I admire him greatly. ^___^

(Anonymous)

hxh

well oll i can say abaut hxh for Yoshihiro Togashi is that you are a genious.is it reall? because i can use my nen energy.if i am a hunter i don't know because i havent done the exam but if i do it i'm sure i will be one.contat me please to talk:
hunter98561245@hotmail.com

(Anonymous)

Can you please make a new character? a female character that would be kurama's partner because you know, all those videos and stories about kurama ending up with hiei makes me sick and drives me totally insane!Besides, hiei has Mukuro! And I am not a fan of a boy to boy and girl to girl (whatever you call that) relationship! Just please pass this to the author of Yu yu hakusho.

(Anonymous)

Umm, yes, I would agree of the idea having a partner for Kurama just please not that girl named Maya. I kinda hate dumb people and short hair girls. A cool girl, with long hair and smart but the one who contradicts all Kurama's ideas to make it more fun

(Anonymous)

Who's Maya? Where can I find her?

(Anonymous)

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