Jump SQ May 2008 (02 April 2008)

“Akira Toriyama × Masakazu Katsura”

Sachie-chan GOOD!!1 Collaboration One-Shot Talk

PROFILE
TORIYAMA, Akira
Born 05 April 1955 in Aichi Prefecture. Made his debut in 1978 with Wonder Island in Weekly Shōnen Jump. In 1980, began serialization of Dr. Slump in the same magazine. Has also done such things as the series Dragon Ball and the character designs for Dragon Quest.

PROFILE
KATSURA, Masakazu
Born 10 December 1962 in Fukui Prefecture. In 1980, received an honorable-mention Tezuka Award for Tsubasa (Wings). In 1983, began serialization of Wingman in Weekly Shōnen Jump. His most recognizable works include Video Girl Ai, DNA², and I”s. Is currently serialized in Young Jump with ZETMAN.

Side A

■ Two big names join forces to make the ultimate collaboration comic a reality in Jump SQ…!!

Please tell us how you came to do this project.
Toriyama:
There was talk from Editor-in-Chief [Masahiko] Ibaraki that he wanted me to write something for Katsura-kun to draw. He was persistent in remembering I had previously hinted that “if it’s just the story, I might be able to do it”. (laughs) And Katsura-kun is an old “war buddy” of mine from the Weekly Jump days, so I could rest assured that if I left it up to him, he’d probably make it interesting. Plus, the styles of our works are almost completely opposite, right? I was also interested in seeing what would happen with that in a collaboration.

Katsura:
But my check of your storyboard was pretty harsh, considering that. (laughs)

Toriyama:
That’s because it’s you, Katsura-kun. If it was some young kid, even if they thought it was lacking it would be difficult for them to say so.

How did he come to you, Katsura-sensei?
Katsura:
I was in the middle of ZETMAN Hell. Toriyama-san called me in the middle of the night, and told me, “You and I are going to be doing a collaboration”. I didn’t believe him at all — I thought it was a bad joke. I mean, I’ve already got a serial and all. Only, the moment I heard I was going to work with Toriyama-san, I forgot my own style and thought I’d try to match him. In that case, I thought, I’ll use this opportunity to change myself, and draw an extremely deformed style of art….
What was it like for both of you, doing a collaboration like this?
Toriyama:
Since way back, I’ve enjoyed doing the storyboard, but really hated inking. So, I was simply glad to get just the good part.

Katsura:
Although I was quite the nag.

Toriyama:
You were a nag, all right. (laughs) You read the storyboard and said, “There’s no content.” I like stuff without any content. But he really wants to put some actual content in. Things like “human themes”. I hate that kind of stuff. (laughs)

Katsura:
With this job, I can now confidently say that Toriyama-san actually aims to draw things devoid of content. So for me, this storyboard was my archenemy. He deliberately does it so as not to put in anything that invites emotion. Plus, Toriyama-san‘s stories progress with high energy the whole time.

Toriyama:
Even I only realized that part after you told me the other day.

Katsura:
So, to put it badly, you could say the tale has no climax…. But that’s Toriyama-san‘s touch, so whether I should keep that in, or change it up… I still haven’t come to an answer.

■ Dueling Preferences — Toriyama vs. Katsura

Toriyama:
In comics, dumb interactions in the middle of the story are my favorite thing. So I don’t like things that express humanity. It feels like losing.

Katsura:
What are you losing? (laughs) Just the other day, we were consulting on the storyboard, and you were really reluctant.

Toriyama:
You’re my polar opposite, Katsura-kun; you want to move people so much you can’t help it.

Katsura:
For example, things like the scene where Sachie is bothered by her birthmark, Toriyama-san is incredibly unsentimental about. But for us humans with common sense…

Toriyama:
Whaddaya mean, “humans with common sense”? (laughs)

Katsura:
Even an energetic, spirited girl… still worries because she’s self-conscious about her birthmark, right? So when I tried to add one single line of dialogue… it was just, “No no no no”. (laughs) I wasn’t going to be drawing some sentimental girl; it’s just that adding a bit of description would have gotten it across better to the readers.

Toriyama:
Yes, I know that.

Katsura:
It took two hours just to convince him. (laughs)

And that exchange happened every time Toriyama-sensei sent a storyboard?
Toriyama:
He’d start complaining as soon as I sent it. I did the storyboard with 30 pages, but ultimately it ended up at this half-cocked length of 53 pages.

Katsura:
That’s part of being a professional, Toriyama-san. I wanted you to scrutinize it, so that in your mind, you might think, “we don’t really need this part”. (laughs)

Toriyama:
… And you could have given me some concrete ideas, but you’d just leave the particulars to me. (laughs) I came up with the reason for Sachie’s strength after much struggle, all because you said, “Why did she get stronger?”

■ Tough Going on the Storyboard — Masakazu Katsura: Editor?!

So after that, you entered into the official storyboarding phase… was it tough going, then?
Toriyama:
Even after I started drawing the official storyboard, Katsura-kun kept making these little nitpicks that were neither here nor there…

Katsura:
Wait just a second! Are you making me the bad guy here…? Going by the way you’ve been up to now, Toriyama-san, I thought it’d turn into the kind of work where Sachie defeats the enemy with a single kick. (laughs) I just requested that you at least avoid that.

With your involvement, Katsura-sensei, were there any parts in particular where the storyboard changed?
Katsura:
Things like characters’ justifications — things which I suppose from my perspective have a sense of “a normal human being would do this”. Toriyama-san‘s characters are “living in a dream”, so they’re completely untethered from unpleasant or dark aspects. Because of that, the characters don’t have any worries that come out.

Toriyama:
I can’t draw people with worries.

Katsura:
That’s part of your artistic color, Toriyama-san. But this time, I guess I was afraid that if I kept it that way and drew it in my own art style, it would be like, “What have I been doing for all of 53 pages?” I wanted to play it safe a bit and expand upon Sachie’s mental aspects, since Toriyama-san deliberately tries to water the story down.

By getting rid of the “human feeling”-type elements?
Katsura:
Right. That’s where the battle began. I’d challenge him with, “Shouldn’t we do it this way?”, And while Toriyama-san would go, “Ohh, I got it, I got it”… the storyboard wouldn’t be revised at all! (laughs) Even then, I’d stand my ground, and say, “Couldn’t we try changing it just a bit more…?”
You were practically an editor.
Katsura:
I’d say, “Please, give me a little bit more of things like the sense of despair as the village suffers in poverty!” Things like that!!

Toriyama:
I hate that sort of thing. (laughs)

Katsura:
But that was written in the initial plot, and reading it, I thought it’d make a good story. What about how I feel? (laughs)

Toriyama:
Our priorities are different. If I let down my guard, you immediately want to bring out some humanity.

Katsura:
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; I just wanted to emphasize, just a tiny bit, things like Zalid-kun‘s troubles and Sachie’s heart-warming side, which were part of the plot already. It’s not like I wanted to make it a dark story! (laughs)

Toriyama:
Like I said, you imagine some amazingly human things from the plot, and that’s why it’s no good.

Katsura:
(laughs) L- listen here just a minute! When the initial plot has all this human material, it naturally pulls at your heartstrings, doesn’t it?! And then of course I end up thinking, “Let’s liven up the tale by expanding on this”!

Toriyama:
Well, with this many pages, even I wasn’t sure about not having any content, naturally. (laughs)

Katsura:
But when I try to put in an emotional scene, you overreact!

Toriyama:
But the people reading it will be moved.

Katsura:
It’s OK to be moved!! (laughs)

■ Enjoyable Elements of the Collaboration Project?!

Are there any elements you challenged yourself with for this collaboration?
Toriyama:
I drew it because it’s a collaboration with Katsura-kun, but by myself, I would absolutely never draw a girl in a sailor suit as the main character. I’m just no good with girls who are young and in-the-now.
How was the color title page of Sachie?
Toriyama:
I’m really satisfied! I just can’t draw this kind of art. The lips in particular are good. It really is cute. Katsura-kun is a real pro. (laughs)

Katsura:
Come to think of it, you’d said something about making the setting a big city, but then it wasn’t.

Toriyama:
I wasn’t doing the inking, so I thought you might be able to draw a big city, with complicated backgrounds… but I’m a dyed-in-the-wool lover of the countryside, so I couldn’t come up with an urban story.

Katsura:
Well, that makes my job easier, too, so I don’t mind… But the panels were small, and there were a ton of people! Such an amount, and me, the one who had to draw it!! (laughs)

Toriyama:
Come to think of it, you got angry that there were a whole 11 panels on one page, didn’t you.

Katsura:
… 11 panels isn’t normal! And on top of that, in spite of the small panels, one would have about 3 characters in it.

Did you have any other ideas based on your assumptions of Katsura-sensei?
Toriyama:
Of course. For instance, I put Sachie’s birthmark on her butt. Because when it comes to Katsura-kun, it’s butts. (laughs)

Katsura:
But you did cut the shower scene, didn’t you.

Toriyama:
Yeah. Because I’m shy.

Katsura:
While we thought the readers would be expecting it; both Toriyama-san and I are twisted.

Toriyama:
Right. There’s this feeling of, “How could we stand just going there as-is?”.

Katsura:
It might also have been better to make her butt look like the art in I”s, but my objective this time was a deformed style.

Toriyama:
As for me, I wanted to make things retro, or rather, like the simple shōnen comics from a long time ago. Something taking the straight and narrow path.

Katsura:
Yours is different, Toriyama-san. The straight-and-narrow path is stuff like “Friendship, Effort, Victory”, isn’t it?

Toriyama:
That’s a slogan Weekly Shōnen Jump decided on its own. (laughs)

Katsura:
In that case, what’s your idea of the straight-and-narrow, Toriyama-san?

Toriyama:
“Silliness wins!”

Katsura:
(laughs) I think that’s an exceptional bit of Toriyama-color. It’s not the kind of thing the man who drew Dragon Ball would say, is it?

■ The comic starting on the next page — Its highlights are…?

Please tell us about the highlights of this work.
Toriyama:
The highlight is… Katsura-kun‘s artwork, I suppose.

Katsura:
Ehh? That’s the highlight?

Toriyama:
There’s also the point that I think I incorporated too many different things into the storyboard. I’m sorry about that…

Katsura:
“Sorry”, he says! (laughs)

Toriyama:
But it was fun. Doing the story is nice. If I’m doing this, I think I could continue doing comics for a little bit longer. (laughs)

… If possible, we’d like to finish off the interview with “Check out this part of the body of the comic!”
Toriyama:
Well, your saying that puts me into a pretty big bind.

Katsura:
The part where she breaks apart the disposable chopsticks, I guess. That’s my favorite part.

That’s really more Toriyama-sensei‘s thing, isn’t it?
Katsura:
Yes, he loves it. Also, stuff like mistaking the aliens, and the silly little jokes. (laughs)

Toriyama:
I suppose those parts unrelated to the story might have been what I got into the most.

Katsura:
Stuff like, “Why is there suddenly this factoid about newts?” (laughs) It’s nothing but that kind of thing, when it comes to highlights.

… So in other words, it’s full of highlights, down to the smallest details! It’s a must-see!!

■ makingooo: Early Designs Q&A

How did you come up with the title?
Katsura:
At first, it was Sachie-chan GOGO!,2 but there was a similarly-named anime. So that started to concern Toriyama-san.

Toriyama:
I didn’t want people to think we’d gotten it from there.

Katsura:
There was also Sachie-chan High-Energy, Sachie-chan Aggressive….3

Toriyama:
To think it might have been “High-Energy”… (laughs) … But what we feared was, since we’re both old fogeys…

Katsura:
Right, right. We were deliberately aiming for a retro style…

Toriyama:
… So at any rate, we were really worried about it being seen as, “Two old fogeys did their best to make something current, but because of their age, it’s totally retro!” (laughs)

Where did the name “Sachie” come from?
Katsura:
I don’t know. (laughs) Toriyama-san says he received an epiphany.

Toriyama:
The feel of it just sort of caught my attention I guess… I wanted to go with a bit of an old-fashioned name.

Katsura:
Ah, was that sort of thing the theme? Also, for me personally, it has an image of thin lines.4 (laughs)

Toriyama:
I thought that, too. (laughs) I deliberately made a girl with a name like that high energy.

How did you come up with the character of Sachie?
Toriyama:
I wanted to go with a type of girl I don’t think of all that much. Sort of a modern-day, female Goku.

Katsura:
In the initial storyboard, there was a gag where Sachie meets the aliens and goes, “Foreigners!” … That’s certainly something Goku might say. But, after spending an hour convincing him that “A girl in this day and age wouldn’t react that way to seeing an octopus-shaped alien!”, I had him change it to “Aliens”. (laughs)

Toriyama:
That was the one gag I wanted to leave in the most…

Why does Sachie wear a sailor uniform?
Katsura:
It’s something that concerned me, too. I had made her art gal-esque, so I did ask once, “Can’t we give her a blazer instead?”

Toriyama:
The setting is in the countryside. A blazer is too big-city.

Katsura:
It’s full of particulars like that. Even though it’s such a lighthearted comic.


Side B

The talk with Toriyama-sensei and Katsura-sensei keeps going and going! It’s full of interesting stories, such as this work’s aims and concepts. And, even the topic of their next work, which everyone has on their minds…?!

■ Character Designs Aiming for a Retro Mode

This time, Katsura-sensei, we hear that you drew a large number of rough sketches…?
Katsura:
Normally, I don’t. But this time was so much fun that I drew lots. That’s because it was also my first time doing a deformed style.

Toriyama:
And it was my first time doing just the story.

Katsura:
But it didn’t really feel like “just the story”, did it? With you doing the art so far along in the storyboards, and all.

Toriyama:
At first, I was drawing circles and dots, since Katsura-kun had told me, “it’ll be difficult for me to ink if you don’t, so deliberately draw it simply”… but it gradually got closer and closer to a regular rough draft. (laughs)

Katsura:
Then you could do the art yourself! Thanks to that, I was pulled along by Toriyama-san‘s rough draft-like storyboard, and it was terrifically hard to do the art! When the visuals are brought out this much in the storyboard, how am I supposed to “arrange” them?! … But this time, since we drew it sharing half the responsibilities, I managed to enjoy it.

Toriyama:
That’s right. When I think about how I don’t have to do the inking, I can draw on and on.

Katsura:
And I think it’s because I was solely dedicated to the artwork that I was able to make it so deformed. I would have wanted to do a serial in Weekly Shōnen Jump with this Sachie.

Toriyama:
Ah, that’s right.

Katsura:
Back when I was in Weekly Jump, I paid too much attention to what people wanted from me, and wasn’t able to draw anything adventurous. Like, I have to put in romance, or risqué bits… So if not for something of a collaboration project like this time, I wouldn’t say absolutely not, but I wouldn’t have been able to draw art like this. I’d be afraid of straying from expectations.

Toriyama:
Your art this time was nice and incredibly fresh! Especially Sachie-chan.

Katsura:
I also had the intention of, “I want to see Toriyama-san‘s reaction”, so that’s unexpected. I thought you were going to get angry at me. Like, “Why’d you go and make her a gal5?!”

Toriyama:
I’m happy when a character is finished up that I can’t draw myself. I’d left the art completely up to you, after all. Everything except for the aliens; I wanted to be particular about them being octopus-shaped.

Katsura:
That was when I first heard about it — that you were going for a retro mode with this one-shot.


■ makingooo: Toriyama-sensei’s storyboard revealed

Part of the storyboard by Toriyama-sensei. “I went out of my way to draw it loosely for Katsura-kun‘s sake.” Maybe so, but in the rough illustrations, panel layouts, and such, one can still clearly make out the “Toriyama World” in multiple places.


Katsura-sensei will go on to breathe life into Toriyama-sensei‘s storyboard…!!


■ Their personalities may be similar, but their works are polar opposites

The two of you have known each other for a long time, but were you close from the start?
Katsura:
… I wonder. I’m the kind of person who’s shy around new people, but we had a pretty deep conversation.

Toriyama:
We’re on the same wavelength. Our personalities are similar and light. The things we draw are completely different, though. I’m the kind of guy whose personality comes out as-is in his comics, but you go the exact opposite way.

Katsura:
How come…? (laughs) There’s no other human who’s as human as this!

Toriyama:
No, no, if you’re left alone, you have a habit of going more and more towards the dark side. You think too much. I think too little. (laughs)

Is there anything you envy about each other’s works or style?
Toriyama:
A lot. First off, I can’t draw girls and such like that.

Katsura:
That’s probably because you’re so shy. (laughs) As for me, Toriyama-san, it’s your sense of clear-cut practicality towards your comics, and your art style. I like that deformed style, but there’s a part that’s sealed away inside me, so I envy the fact that you can draw your works with that. And on top of that, there’s no affectation at all in your art.

Toriyama:
But, on the other hand, I can’t draw characters with realistic proportions?

Katsura:
That’s fine the way it is. Plus, you can draw them. And also, Toriyama-san, you have this world that exists, where you say “I’m like this”, and I think that’s also a strength of yours.


■ makingooo: Toriyama-sensei ver. Character & Setting designs

Toriyama-sensei‘s design sketches, which he drew while working on the storyboard. From a spaceship with even the interior structure drawn in detail, to the entirely “alien-ish” aliens, Toriyama-sensei‘s particularities shine in multiple places.

Spaceship (interior)
An interior structure jam-packed with detail. The design seems quite comfortable, and replete with a sense of fun.

Spaceship (bottom)
An entirely “UFO-like” dorsal [sic] side. The stands for takeoff and landing can be stored within.

Alien
An alien bursting with retro taste. The mole-shaped thing on its face is a translator.

Zalid
Zalid, who gives the impression of being serious to a fault. At this point, he wore a turban.

Mil & henchmen
Villain characters full of Toriyama-taste. They look like they could appear in Dragon Ball?!


■ Gleanings from their Collaboration — And Another Work?!

Katsura:
To be honest, this time I was expecting a refreshing emotion at the end.

Toriyama:
You were?

Katsura:
I made that request at the very beginning, didn’t I?! I wanted to read a good story from you, Toriyama-san. (laughs)

Toriyama:
And I want you to draw something with a lighter air about it, Katsura-kun. Focusing on girls. Risqué stuff is your greatest weapon, so you should use that weapon of yours a little more, and…

Katsura:
I did plenty of that in Weekly Jump. (laughs) We’re both fickle by nature, aren’t we.

Toriyama:
This time, I was of the attitude that you could draw something risqué with your art, Katsura-kun. But you couldn’t.

Katsura:
Even for the shower scene, I thought you might tell me, “No, no, you have to draw that!”… but you cut it right away. (laughs)

Toriyama:
Yeah. I put that in thinking of your fans, Katsura-kun, but I guess I probably had reservations of my own.

Katsura:
But Toriyama-san, even in your own works, there are risqué scenes. Like early on in Dragon Ball.

Toriyama:
With my own arts, there are limits to risquéness. Unlike your lifelike stuff, I can draw smoothly. (laughs) I think your fans are probably expecting something risqué somewhere.

Katsura:
Even I myself think I’ve got a “service mentality”. (laughs) It’s not that I was particularly ignoring those expectations; I simply didn’t come up with anything. Once I’d decided I was going to go for a deformed style, all my attention went to that.

If you were to bring up your number-one takeaway from this collaboration, what would it be?
Toriyama:
I’ve found out my weak point.

Katsura:
Really?

Toriyama:
When I’m creating a story, I deliberately make it a story that doesn’t matter to me. That’s my takeaway, but as for whether I’ll be able to change it or not…

Katsura:
You have no intention of changing it, do you?

Toriyama:
No, no, I actually do? Humans must evolve, or else there’s no point. (laughs) I mean, I’d hate always going on continuing to draw in the same style, y’know. If I start to solidify, that’s the end of it.

How about you, Katsura-sensei?
Katsura:
I didn’t make any new discoveries, but I do have the sense that I was able to make something that I wanted to do into a reality. Like the deformed art. Drawing 40 sketches like I did like for this is probably my first time since Wingman. I enjoyed it, pure and simple.
A second outing might be possible with these characters, then?
Toriyama:
I haven’t thought about it that much. (laughs) However, I would have liked more pages.

Katsura:
He says it really should’ve been a short-term serial of about 100 pages.

Toriyama:
Yep. I don’t have to worry about inking, so I can really take my time writing it.

Katsura:
And what’s more, it’d be dumb jokes, on and on… right? Well, I do like them too.

Toriyama:
Except, I wonder whether a comic that a pair of old men got fired up about like this will resonate with the young kids today. (laughs)

Katsura:
Toriyama-san, you took a liking to my designs for the Galactic Patrol, didn’t you? You could write something in connection with that.

Toriyama:
That’s good! If it’s just the storyboard, I could go for as much as I please. (laughs)

Katsura:
But it’ll probably be the same back-and-forth again. Like: “I want to draw some actual content” “I don’t wanna!”…

Toriyama:
I can hear that voice already: “You aren’t sorry for what we talked about before, are you?”

Katsura:
In the initial phase, you can leave out the human elements. You’ve already bothered to have material that tickles my fancy, like Sachie’s self-sacrifice-type part.

Toriyama:
Right away, you’re going to come to me and say, “Can I change the dialogue?” into something gloomy.

Katsura:
That’s what happens when fellow authors collaborate. But I do, of course, at least ask for your input and convince you before changing it, Toriyama-san.

You truly are like an editor.
Katsura:
It was tough. (laughs) Toriyama-san doesn’t come right out and butt heads during discussions, so you can’t tell what his real intentions are. He lightly deflects my opinions, and ignores them a great deal. (laughs)

Toriyama:
But I incorporated your ideas the way you told me, didn’t I? And then you said there were too many…

Katsura:
Right. And I asked you if we could cut some of them.

Toriyama:
You’re so mean. (laughs) Ditch them yourself.

Katsura:
But that’s what the editor does, isn’t it? They say something vague, and then the author is the one who brings it together, is it not? (laughs)

Toriyama:
And then if it becomes more interesting, they say stuff like, “See, it’s just like I said!” (laughs) You’re so underhanded. Well, thanks to you, Katsura-kun, I did learn something, as well.

Katsura:
Really, now? I can’t trust you anymore…

Toriyama:
All right, I’ll purposely draw something incredibly sentimental!

Katsura:
Whoa. (laughs) I really want to see that! Please, draw something where I’ll be like, “Toriyama-san, how much are you going to make me cry?!” (laughs)

With any luck, we’ll be looking forward to another work! Thank you so much!!

■ makingooo: Katsura-sensei ver. Character & Setting designs

Some of Katsura-sensei‘s rough sketches, done before penning the draft. Katsura-sensei‘s enjoyment of drawing as he aims to break new ground is evidently clear in the content.

Sachie (early version)
An early design of Sachie. The pigtails from the storyboard are deliberately kept.

Zalid
Zalid’s sense of gloom and wildness seem to have deepened through Katsura-sensei‘s design.

Galactic Patrol
The Galactic Patrol, which Toriyama-sensei is fond of.

Mil & raygun
Katsura-sensei‘s boldly-arranged version of Mil! His satisfying raygun design is also a highlight.

Miss Octo
Quoth Toriyama-sensei, “He tried to make her cute, but she turned out even grosser. (laughs)

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information and were not originally published in the book.

1 “Gū!!” can have several different meanings. It can be “GOOD!!”, as suggested by the thumbs-up in the logo (which is what Viz went with; it also happened to be a popular source of humor at the time of the one-shot’s writing thanks to comedienne Harumi Edo), “PUNCH!!” (like Sachie’s pose on the title page), or even the rumbling of her stomach (from the effects of the special ninja ramen). While they likely meant the various permutations of “グー” in the sound effects to reference the title, ultimately, the “GOOD!!” meaning is what is most likely intended here.
2 Likely Yes! PreCure 5 GOGO!, a magical-girl series which began airing in February of the same year.
3 Both, like the eventual selection, written in katakana as loan-words from English. “Haitenshon” is not “high tension” in English, but “high energy” or “excited”.
4 Perhaps because it carries connotations of traditional Japanese femininity, which thick-lined kogal Sachie subverts?
5 Not simply “gal” in the sense of “girl”, but as a member of the gyaru fashion subculture, which had its roots in Tokyo’s Shibuya district and was most popular from the late-1990s to the early-2000s. Unlike in Toriyama’s original draft, where Sachie is drawn more-or-less “ordinary”, Katsura made her a fashion-conscious kogal, whose urban look is a stark contrast to her rural surroundings.

English Translation: SaiyaJedi
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