Super Long Interview!! Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!

   
  

Weekly Shōnen Jump Interview Series

Akira Toriyama

What’s the story behind the birth of the plot line for “Battle of Gods”?!1
It began two years ago. The ideas “God of Destruction” and “Super Saiyan God” were there from the start, but the worldview was pretty dark. So correcting this into a more “DB”-esque content kids could enjoy too was the catalyst for me becoming heavily involved in the story.
What is the secret of the design for Beerus, God of Destruction?2
Because there are so many gods in my work… (laughs), I figured, ‘something humanoid might be difficult, now,’ so I thought I’d make him a cat. Thinking, ‘Speaking of feline gods…’ I went with an Egypt-esque costume. It gives off a bit of an ominous air, as well, so I’m really pleased with it!
Why did you choose this period?3
The fact is, I thought, “Man, I really made everyone old in the last chapter of the manga”. I even gave Vegeta a mustache (laughs). So, I chose this period because everyone had got to maximum strength. A few years after the “Majin Boo arc”, and before Pan’s birth.
What is Super Saiyan God?!4
[Super Saiyan] God’s appearing was set from the very start of production. There’s a line in the movie, too, but even I thought, “‘God’ is an exaggeration…”. (laughs) As for the design, I made it by taking Super Saiyan, which I’d made flashy up through “3”, and paring it down to the absolute limit.
What are your thoughts on having participated in the movie?5
It was fun~! This time, I devoted myself exclusively to creating the story, so I was happy most of all at how it became many times more enjoyable by other people’s hands. In particular, the climactic battle exceeded my expectations by far!!
There are some romantic developments, which is rare…?6
The truth is, I wrote juuust a little bit of romantic developments in the movie, but that was happenstance. (laughs) I’m really bad with romantic plots. Even if the backstory is there, I shy away when I actually try to draw it. (laughs)
Do you have any unspoken backstories?7
Just because he’s the God of Destruction, I wouldn’t like it if he just showed up for no good reason and went on a rampage. So even if it’s not mentioned in the work itself, I do try to come up with a convincing backstory in my own mind. …Although, I forget surprisingly quickly. (laughs)
What is the meaning of that conclusion…?8
I suppose there might be a variety of impressions with regards to the battle’s conclusion…. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be happy if I can get people to feel “an expansion into [something] afterwards”. Like, “Isn’t there still more to come?” (laughs)
The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 Originally printed on page 8 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #14 (released 04 March 2013) in Japan
2 Originally printed on page 8 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #15 (released 11 March 2013) in Japan
3 Originally printed on page 23 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #16 (released 18 March 2013) in Japan. It is unclear if Toriyama is confusing his actual character designs in the last chapter of the manga with his designs for Dragon Ball GT or moving on to a separate thought with the mustache mention; in both cases, updated/older character designs were created.
4 Originally printed on page 7 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #17 (released 25 March 2013) in Japan
5 Originally printed on page 8 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #17 (released 25 March 2013) in Japan. While Akira Toriyama certainly worked on the story — in a larger capacity than ever before with the franchise — the actual script for the film was written by Yūsuke Watanabe.
6 Originally printed on page 20 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #18 (released 01 April 2013) in Japan.
7 Originally printed on page 12 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #19 (released 08 April 2013) in Japan.
8 Originally printed on page 18 of Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 2013 #20 (released 15 April 2013) in Japan.
English Translation: Herms (1), SaiyaJedi (2-7)
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