Translations Archive

The Inside Story on Jaco the Galactic Patrolman

Jump LIVE! Akira Toriyama Comments #1

I’ve been moving forward with preparations for Jaco the Galactic Patrolman since over a year ago. At any rate, since I do everything from start to finish by myself, it takes quite a bit of time. Actually, the plan was to start the series alongside the opening of the first Dragon Ball animation in a long time1, but when I kept drawing every day on about two hours of sleep, failing to consider my age, I wrecked my body, and ended up four months late.

This 11-chapter series, in terms of stamina, I think is probably the last serial I’ll do the visuals for by myself, so I took the liberty of drawing it as I pleased.

Even so, I am (supposedly) a pro, so I did try to work hard to draw something fun and easy-to-understand. Of course, just because I’m a veteran doesn’t mean I have a strong self-confidence, so I’ve properly redrawn all sorts of things accurately pointed out to me by my editor2. Well, it seems I’m pretty far apart from the sensibilities of the public, after all, and going by past examples, I haven’t had any attempt at drawing things as I pleased that met with much acceptance.

There aren’t many action-scenes, and no cool characters appear. It won’t make you emotional, there are no thrills or suspense, and of course, it’s not the sort of wholesome work that will remain in your heart.

This time, it will apparently be distributed simultaneously overseas as well, but for overseas fans who are probably expecting another flashy manga like Dragon Ball, it’s pretty plain, and there’s content that’s pretty Japanese, so it might be even more difficult to come across.

An alien who is rather proud, and a little clumsy. A misanthropic old scientist who lives all alone on a little island. A mysterious girl who dreams of becoming a SF novelist, who seems like a party girl but is actually intelligent. And a cool, suspected-to-be-gay elite inspector, who gets sort-of tangled up with them. It is a slightly foolish, fun story, based on this strange three-plus-one tale of friendship, and poison.

I’ve loved this sort of dumb space-alien material since way back, and I’ve drawn a number of similar stories, but I suppose this is kind of like an amalgam of them.

The bonus final chapter, #11, has a bit of a surprise that will let you understand why the timeframe setting is a little bit old-fashioned, so look forward to it!

Personally as a writer, it has my number-one favorite story and protagonist out of anything I’ve done in the past.

What’s a little scary is that the series has already gotten underway, but there’s still quite a bit of inking left for me to do. Whether I’ll manage to finish up in time, by the final chapter — that’s much more thrilling and suspenseful than the story’s contents.

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, the first theatrical Dragon Ball film since 1996. There had been other, minor productions in between, but not one released on its own or with anywhere near as much fanfare.
2 Toriyama’s editor for Jaco the Galactic Patrolman was Kōhei Ōnishi.
English Translation: SaiyaJedi