When the series was being made into an anime, did you give the anime staff any demands?
I intended to leave everything up to them, so I don’t think there was anything in particular. Only, after a while, I felt they were going too far in a wholesome direction, and that time alone, I warned them.
What did you think the first time you saw Goku move? Did the voice fit your own image?
I was wondering what they were going to do when his head moved, since his hairstyle wasn’t really consistent, so I admired how they managed to fake it. The voice fit my image exactly. But I guess that’s only natural, since I listened to the voice actor audition tapes and picked it myself (laughs). The truth is that I don’t know much about anime, so even when I was told the name of Masako Nozawa-san, at the time I had no idea she was someone famous.
What impression did you have when you saw the anime battle scenes?
In manga, nothing actually moves, and you just have to draw the poses in each panel, but in anime you have to draw the movements between those poses. I was honesty impressed at how they managed to draw so well while still conveying a sense of speed. But there were also instances where characters would take a whole lot of time getting fired up before moving on to the battle (laughs). Well, I guess it might be because they were in danger of overtaking the original story before they knew it, though (laughs).
What are the things you paid attention to while drawing the battle scenes in the original?
Where the characters are, where they are in relation to each other, and how they are fighting. I was always conscious of showing these things in as easy to understand a way as possible. That’s because I don’t like movies where the fighting scenes are too intense and it’s difficult to tell what is going on.
What did you fret over when thinking up techniques like the Kamehameha and their poses?
Techniques that are plain but effective aren’t suited for manga. Stuff like strangleholds and locking techniques are troublesome to draw and hard to make very flashy. Even the Kamehameha is a technique that expels “ki”, which by nature is invisible, but I was able to make it flashy by hitting upon the idea of portraying it as something that could be seen with the naked eye. With that pose too, I tried out a lot of different ones. What’s more, I had to think up special characteristics for each character’s techniques, but I ran out of patterns really fast, so it was tough (laughs).
What do you pay attention to when creating a strong character?
No matter what you do, even the pattern of the enemies is limited to a certain extent. I fretted a lot over how I could change stuff like their personality or the way their strength was portrayed, compared to the previous enemy.
Did you decide upon the balance of each characters’ strength beforehand?
I had decided it to a certain extent, but it would constantly change as I kept drawing.
Did you decide on the outcomes of battles ahead of time?
I didn’t decide on that at all. Even with the Tenka’ichi Budōkai, I had only decided it to an extent on the first round. That way it would be thrilling for the one drawing it, as well (laughs).
How was the scouter born?
I thought that if strength and enemy position were shown through numbers, then it would be easy to understand for both the enemy characters and the readers.
Toriyama-sensei, please list your five favorite warriors.
I basically think that quiet types are absolutely cool. I’ve thought that ever since I was a kid. Speaking of which, Tenshinhan and Trunks are like that too. They’re all a bunch of silent types (laughs)
. Kuririn’s not quiet, but I liked the sense that he was grudgingly hanging in there. At first I only intended him to be around for a little while, so I drew him pretty shoddily, but somewhere along the line he became Goku’s best friend (laughs)
. Mr. Satan’s the complete opposite of the silent type. It was fun drawing him because despite being so petty, he wasn’t really a bad character, so I like him too.
Toriyama-sensei’s five favorite warriors!!1
- Piccolo / Vegeta
A pair who never say anything unless they have to, and have an air of aloof superiority. Their coolness is the real deal.
Kuririn stands against strong opponents, despite being freaked out the whole time. He’s now Goku’s closest friend!
- Mr. Satan
Satan’s a character overflowing with human kindness and weakness. He’s loved the whole world over.
- Son Goku
Toriyama-sensei’s #1 favorite character is Goku, of course! He’s a super warrior who’s both strong and gentle!