Young Jump 2010 #07 (14 January 2010)

“Toriyama x Katsura”

MASAKAZU KATSURA × AKIRA TORIYAMA
JIYA

The Two Great Masters of this Collaboration Have…
A Super-Deluxe Talk!!!

JIYA, the concentrated serial from the big names of Akira Toriyama and Masakazu Katsura, which ran to great acclaim up to the previous issue. Here, we print in its entirety a super-deluxe talk going behind the scenes!! In this talk, conducted just after the manuscript was completed, goes from the composition of JIYA, all the way to unexpected suggestions for a unit-name…

Please enjoy the interactions between these two as they say everything they want to, which could only happen because they are so close!

Thank you for your hard work collaborating on JIYA. We also appreciate your participating in this talk today.
Katsura:
Instead of this, it’d be more fun to complain about Toriyama-san when he’s not around.

Toriyama:
Same goes for you.

■ CHAPTER 1: Until their collaboration became a reality.

What series of events led to this collaboration coming into being to begin with?
Katsura:
My editor came to me, and said he’d like me to do a collaboration like Sachie-chan GOOD!!, which I did previously with Toriyama-san in Jump SQ., only in Young Jump…. And I remembered, completely apart from that, that Toriyama-san had just happened to say about a month earlier, “I’ve got a story I want to write with a dark hero,” so I more-or-less just phoned him up, and he said, “We could do that.” That was how it started. As for me, the one drawing it, I knew I would be gazing upon Hell itself, but still….

Toriyama:
Back when we did Sachie-chan GOOD!!, I had borrowed Katsura-kun from Young Jump after all, so I did feel like I ought to return the favor. But I didn’t think there would be this many pages!

Katsura:
And on top of that, the completed storyboard had absolutely nothing to do with the “dark hero” story I’d heard about.

Toriyama:
No dark heroes whatsoever. Well, I did think a dark hero would be nice, but having been in a boys’ magazine for so long, when I actually tried to do it, I just couldn’t draw it.

This is your first time in a seinen magazine, isn’t it, Toriyama-sensei? Did you have that in mind?
Toriyama:
At first I really did try to keep it in mind, but I’m too aware of it, I can’t draw very much, so I figured it’d be fine as an extension of what I’d draw in a boys’ magazine. So I’d put in this extremely simple seinen magazine-like things, like cigarettes and nudity. (laughs) In the end, only the flavoring is slightly seinen; it’s basically close to shōnen.

Katsura:
I see.

Toriyama:
I never fret as much as I did over the first chapter. The sort of complex things like, “Stece is the villain, isn’t he?” and “Stece is inside of Vampa, isn’t he?” — if it were a boys’ magazine, I wouldn’t do that. I thought maybe I should have made it a bit more straightforward.

Katsura:
So there were parts where you were forcing yourself.

Toriyama:
Even with this.1

■ CHAPTER 2: Working on the storyboard.

Katsura-sensei, what was your first impression upon seeing the storyboard Toriyama-sensei sent you?
Katsura:
First of all, I was shocked at the fact that it wasn’t a “dark hero” story. (laughs) Like, “This isn’t what you said!” And, I thought that Jiya’s character might be a bit weak. I had made a request to Toriyama-san, while working on the art, that I wanted him to make Jiya a bit “dirtier”.

Plus, in the first storyboard, Stece’s scariness and evilness weren’t as obvious as in the finished manuscript, so I suppose that bothered me. Well, I don’t remember all the details, but when I went head and made requests like, “I want you to do this that way, or do that this way”, it usually came back more interesting, which is just as you’d expect of him.

Toriyama:
Except, the number of pages kept going up in return.

Katsura:
I simply wouldn’t know about that. (laughs) I want you to cut down the same amount that you’ve added. Newbies, don’t try this at home. In the middle of doing the manuscript, I was on a judging committee for rookie cartoonists, so there, I really stressed that “you should set a number of pages in advance; how to manage within that is of great importance.”

Toriyama:
That’s a pro, for you. (laughs)

■ CHAPTER 3: Working on the art.

When you were doing the art from the storyboard, Katsura-sensei, was there anything you kept in mind?
Katsura:
When we did Sachie-chan GOOD!!, I really wanted to do that “deformed” art style, so I was really excited about it, but this time I didn’t really have that sort of thing in mind, so I was fine with any sort of style. But Toriyama-san‘s request was along the lines of, “This time, I don’t want it to be as deformed as Sachie or as realistic as ZETMAN, but maybe something like how you used to draw Wingman,” so I thought I’d go with that. So I think, if I were to draw Wingman now, it would probably end up looking like the art in JIYA.
What did you think of the art when you saw it, Toriyama-sensei?
Toriyama:
Well, it was the sort of thing I was after. Apart from the girls.

Katsura:
Eh?!

Toriyama:
I mean, there was no effort put into the girls! Even things like the scene where Kaede shows her butt, I didn’t think she would show it so abruptly. That is your single greatest asset, and yet…!

Katsura:
Ehhh?! Whoa, can I just say something here? When I said to you, “That scene where she shows her butt is so nonchalant like with Bulma in Dragon Ball, so can I redraw it in my own way, and bring out a bit more shyness?” you told me yourself, did you not, “Oh, no, shyness is no good at all. She’s standing spread-eagle, so it’s fine”?

Toriyama:
I did say that, but I thought it might be drawn a little more detailed.

Katsura:
There’s a thing such as balance in the art, you know. It would be weird if I drew just her butt realistically!

Toriyama:
Yeah, I guess. (laughs)

■ CHAPTER 4: The joys of collaboration.

In working together, were there any points where the two of you really felt your differences as authors?
Toriyama:
Katsura-kun always wants to cut my dumb scenes and throwaway scenes. (laughs) Those throwaway scenes are the most fun for me to draw!

Katsura:
Because I thought the scene with Kaede showing off her naked body and the scene at the brothel were unnecessary.

Toriyama:
Ehh?! Those two were the main “throwaway scenes” I wanted to draw! Those sorts of scenes are the ones I like the most.

Katsura:
There are probably those among the readers who think I put those kind of scenes in of my own accord, but on the contrary! I told him to cut them all. My thought was, get on with the fight! But when I tried to just go ahead and cut them, they were sort of caught up with the main plot, so I couldn’t quite cut them out….

Toriyama:
It’s just fine with those trivial scenes in, though, isn’t it?

The battle scenes in the final chapter were powerful. Could it be that you struggled with the art?
Katsura:
In Toriyama-san‘s storyboard, the battle scenes at the end were going to take place in the middle of the mountains, like in Dragon Ball. But my staff is more used to drawing city streets than mountains, and I had also formed my own mental image, so I made it into a fight in the middle of town.

I suppose perhaps having them fight in the city brings out my own flavor. But in the end, it was nothing but exchanges of beam attacks, and the characters didn’t move even in the middle of the battle. There wasn’t much point in shifting the setting to town. (laughs) I really would have liked you to compress those throwaway scenes at the beginning and lengthen the battle scenes so I could spice up the fighting with my own ad-libs.

Toriyama:
I’ve been like that since way back when. Once the battle actually gets underway, I don’t have much interest in the fighting itself. Right before they get to fighting is the most fun for me to draw. That’s why my favorite scene of the battle in this one where Jiya is waiting for his foe up on top of the water tank. I think that’s the coolest part.

■ CHAPTER 5: Shaping the characters.

What character(s) do you feel partial towards?
Toriyama:
Kyūmonji, I suppose.

Katsura:
I guess it’d be Jiya for me.

Toriyama:
Now that you mention Jiya, I guess Jiya.

Katsura:
Which is it? (laughs)

Toriyama:
It’s nice how Kyūmonji is so diligent, isn’t it.

Katsura:
With regards to Jiya, there are parts that I talked to Toriyama-sensei and had him revise, or that I went and altered on my own, but I like his unbalanced sense of justice. In the scene where he moves into the town, it doesn’t even register to Jiya that he’s destroying the town while he fights. At this point it becomes my own wild fancy, but Jiya hasn’t even bothered to survey human culture, so I bet he probably doesn’t have any interest in it. So he’d destroy a town without a second thought. When I was drawing that scene, I was able to synchronize myself with Jiya. Although I was nervous that Toriyama-san would get angry at me for going and changing it, since in his storyboard, Jiya went out of his way for humans’ sake to cause destruction only in areas where damages would be minimal.

Toriyama:
But, with your having said that to me, Jiya became a better character.

Katsura:
My favorite scene is when Jiya hits Kaede with his fist. It’s something that I asked you to add, but that part is a masterpiece. I think Jiya’s blindered sense of justice really came out there.

Toriyama:
Also, Kaede’s character was fun to write. It’d probably be fun to do a story just with this sort of haughty young woman.

Katsura:
You draw a lot of this type of girl, don’t you, Toriyama-san? Self-centered girls like Bulma.

Toriyama:
It might be more accurate to say that I can only draw this type of girl.

Katsura:
Ah, but this time, there’s a scene Kyūmonji confesses to her, and she blushes and gets nicer. It’s rare for you to draw that sort of rom-com-type storyboard, Toriyama-san.

Toriyama:
You might be right.

Katsura:
This is the first time you’ve let the “dere” part of a “tsundere” come out, isn’t it? I mean, even when Bulma hooked up with that prematurely-balding guy, she wasn’t all over him.

Toriyama:
Vegeta is not balding! How dare you show such disrespect…!

Katsura:
So the fact that this time, Kaede, a bit unlike Bulma, shows something of a romantic side…

Toriyama:
Look, that’s because this is a seinen magazine. (laughs)

■ CHAPTER 6: These are the highlights.

Where do both of you think the highlights of JIYA are?
Toriyama:
For me, it really is the dumb parts. Like the part where Kaede shows her naked body.

Katsura:
Y- you mean that?

Toriyama:
Well, and this is no joke, this scene is literally the very first thing that popped into my mind; if an alien was going to be possessing people, I thought there just had to be this gag. I made the entire story working towards that. That’s almost always how I work when I create a story. Only, you drew her but so matter-of-factly…!!

Katsura:
Here you go again with the butt…!! Well, to put it in technical terms, without changing the storyboard as it was drawn, when you draw someone’s butt with them standing with their legs apart, the lines go vertical and it looks powerful; no matter what you do, you can’t draw it in a cute way!

Toriyama:
Even so, couldn’t you make it… a bit more… y’know?

Katsura:
……!!

Toriyama:
Well, one way or the other, that scene is the peak. It’s nice how that sort of thing is in the middle of a nonchalant scene. After that point, my energy level definitely went down slightly as a drew…. (laughs)

What do you consider to be the highlight, Katsura-sensei?
Katsura:
Hmm… I’d definitely have to go with the part where Jiya conks Kaede with his fist. The characters of Jiya and Kaede stand out a lot through their banter there.

Toriyama:
That is definitely amusing… but hey, aren’t almost all the highlights used up in the first two chapters? Nobody’s saying that the battle is a highlight. (laughs)

Katsura:
Ah, but the Drunken Fist part was surprisingly good. His going down immediately was something I had Toriyama revise in the storyboard, but to have me draw something like this, he really is a genius!

■ CHAPTER 7: Looking back on their collaboration.

Having finished your concentrated serial, please tell us your thoughts looking back on it.
Katsura:
Young Jump tried to exaggerate it, saying things like “super-deluxe concentrated serial!” or “new series!”, but we just intended it as a one-shot.

Toriyama:
Yes, we had no choice because we made it so long; it’s actually a one-shot split into three parts.

Katsura:
It’s like, what kind of deception is that, writing “new series”?

Toriyama:
People will think, “Huh? It ended right at the beginning!”

Katsura:
Or “What, canceled so suddenly?” So they should put it plainly in advance: “This is just a one-shot.”

Understood. (laughs) Do you have any other thoughts?
Katsura:
Well, working together with Toriyama-san is incredible fun, and I would like to do it again, but could he please learn how to draw storyboards as the writer? To begin with, the panels are too small! And, more than anything, his storyboards are full of pitfalls.

Toriyama:
Whaddaya mean?

Katsura:
There are no directions whatsoever, so I have to do a ton of guessing on my part, like, “I bet he drew this meaning for it to be like this”. For example, Jiya recognizes whether a girl is an adult or a child by the size of her bust, right? So, the prostitute he meets along the way has a big bust, so Jiya sees that she’s an adult. But in the original storyboard, her whole body is drawn really small in this extremely long panel, and there are these sort of bent lines in there indicating that she has big breasts. I inferred Toriyama-san‘s intentions from that, and told him, “It’s hard to understand like this, so I’m going to make the panel of her boobs bigger,” and then he said to me, “Oh, that’s better. You’re a real pro.” At any rate, there were lots of parts that were like, “Guess for yourself!” and there were no instructions, so it was a hard slog using all my nerves to get a sense of what Toriyama-san was thinking.

Toriyama:
The answers are all there in the storyboard. (laughs) I just can’t draw any other way.

Katsura:
I can do that because we’ve known each other for a long time, but there’s no way a newcomer would be able to.

Toriyama:
And that’s why I’m only doing this with you.

Toriyama-sensei, what are your thoughts looking back on things?
Toriyama:
I think he did a good job properly finishing it up to be easy to read. And on top of that, running concurrently with ZETMAN? I thought there was no way he’d get it done it in time. (laughs)

Katsura:
It really was Hell. I had, at the very least, deliberately been making preparations for this while taking a hiatus from ZETMAN, but a lot of things happened, like the number of pages going up, and for some reason it came down to the wire…. It was the first time since I became a cartoonist that I got tendinitis. I thought, holy Hell, Young Jump, making me do a thing like this…!!

Toriyama:
Also, the good thing about teaming up with you, is that broadens the range of the story. When I draw the pictures myself, I really do end up doing it within the boundaries of what I can draw, so I wouldn’t draw a story like this. Plus I try not to put out complex backgrounds because it’s a chore. But I know your abilities, so I can ask big things of you. As for what makes me happy, it’s how a little something extra comes out. If that weren’t the case, there’d be no point in just writing the story. I wouldn’t draw it if I weren’t doing it with you.

Katsura:
I- is that so…?

Toriyama:
And of course, you probably get something out of it too. (laughs)

Katsura:
W-… well, yeah….

■ ☆JIYA Digressions

Revealed, just a bit! The unreleased phantom storyboard born during the production process of JIYA…!! Along the way, over 40 pages were made of a new storyboard, where both the alien character and the man he encounters are entirely different from JIYA…!!

Panel 1
Character #1:
A spaceship, huh… it really is amazing. …But it doesn’t look like the damage is that serious.

Character #2:
Do you know a lot about machines?!

Panel 2
Character #1:
I spent many years researching antigravity devices. I still can’t get them to float more than about 30 centimeters, but I can understand even advanced machinery at least a bit.
Panel 3
Character #2:
Oh!! What luck!!
Panel 4
Character #2:
I’m no good at all with machines.

Character #1:
Not very “Super-Elite”, are you.

Panel 5
Character #1:
At any rate, I’ll take a good, proper look at it. It seems like you’ve got some awesome strength. Bring it over to the storage shed, will you?

Character #2:
Roger!

The truth is, in the middle of making JIYA, Toriyama-sensei, considering the fact that the original story’s structure was somewhat complex, did a complete about-face and started drawing an entirely new storyboard. But due to a variety of circumstances, such as it having no ending decided upon and the deadline fast approaching, it ended up being reluctantly shelved. As for whether it might be released in a different form… “Once I stop doing something in the middle of it, I probably won’t draw any more.” (Toriyama)2

■ CHAPTER 8: With regards to the future.

As for future collaborations…
Katsura:
It’d be fun to do, so I wouldn’t put it out of consideration, but I’d need Young Jump to state definitively that they’d allow me to do ZETMAN at a freer pace. And, it depends on when Toriyama-san is in the mood again….

Toriyama:
I have no idea.

Katsura:
And also, my thought about collaborations is that it’s like butting the authors’ individual traits together and enjoying the chemical reaction that occurs. But when I work with Toriyama-san, I don’t try to assert my own individuality very much. I want to go with art that fits the work as much as possible. It’d be a separate matter if I were get to that request, but I wouldn’t want to draw Toriyama-san‘s world in the art style of ZETMAN. That’s why, rather than separate credits for “story” and “art”, I get the feeling that releasing it under a new unit-name would be more apt, and more interesting.

Toriyama:
Like, “Katsura-Akira”?3

Katsura:
Or “Toriyama-Katsura”?

Toriyama:
How about “Katsurayama?”

Katsura:
What the heck is that?

Toriyama:
Or maybe “Masao Toriko”?4

Katsura:
What kind of sense does that make? (laughs)

Toriyama:
No, wait — if we debut as a unit, doesn’t that mean we’d get paid a rookie cartoonist’s manuscript fee?

Katsura:
That’d be harsh. (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 i.e., Even for this only slightly complex / “mature” kind of story, he struggled.
2 These rough ideas, including several parts of this exact dialog and storyboard, were later reused in Akira Toriyama’s 2013 Dragon Ball prequel manga series, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.
3 “KatsuraAkira” was in fact the name ultimately used for the duo’s 2014 collaboration collected manga volume.
4 A reference to the pen-name “Fujio Fujko” (藤子不二雄 Fujiko Fujio), used by the duo of Hiroshi Fujimoto (“Fujio F. Fujiko”) and Moto’o Abiko (“Fujio Fujiko A”). A food pun along the lines of “Yudetamago” was probably too on-the-nose for someone like Toriyama.

English Translation: SaiyaJedi
Back to Previous Page