Weekly Shonen Jump manga editor Alexis Kirsch traveled to Jump Festa and scored an interview with World Trigger creator Daisuke Ashihara. Read our exclusive interview to learn the origins of World Trigger and what it’s like to be a manga artist in Weekly Shonen Jump!
Q: How did you settle on the story of World Trigger? Where did it come from?
A: Before coming up with the actual story, I first created the characters and the world. Then I placed the characters in various roles to see what would be interesting, adding and subtracting from there. So I came up with the characters first, then the story.
Q: World Trigger is a science fiction story. What draws you to science fiction?
A: I was actually influenced by my editor. After finishing my previous series, I planned to make a pretty standard Shonen Jump manga filled with competition. I originally was going to make a sports manga, but while I was talking to my editor he told me to just do whatever I felt like doing and to aim for something more original. So I took that to heart. My idea for the series was that there’s alien technology introduced to Earth that everyone can use. In Jump, when characters have special powers they are usually limited to only that person. I figured it would be interesting if anyone could use the same powers on an equal basis. And I thought it would allow me to include some of the ideas I had for my sports series. And that’s how it turned into a sci-fi series.
Q: You must have some sci-fi influences! What sort of movies, TV or novels have you really enjoyed in the past?
A: I’m a fan of more than just sci-fi, but one of my favorites since I was young is Doraemon. I was fascinated by the idea of bringing future technology into the present and using it in various ways. In terms of sci-fi, I read a lot of books in between working on my series, and I really liked Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Tunnel in the Sky. I first read Tunnel in the Sky in middle school and it really stuck with me. There’s a gate that leads to another part of space. That concept really influenced me.
Q: World Trigger is your second series in Weekly Shonen Jump after Kashikoi Ken Rilienthal (Super Dog Rilienthal). How are your two series similar and different?
A: They are similar in terms of the story revolving around the characters. The characters exist, and as they are moving around they get caught up in crazy situations and that becomes the story. So that part is similar. The difference is that winning and losing doesn’t matter in Rilienthal. It’s not really about that. If someone loses, someone else can come to the rescue. They can work together and solve the problem. In World Trigger, as I said earlier, I wanted to have it be more competitive. So even the weak characters have to fight with their own powers. That’s what makes it different and makes World Trigger a little more serious.
To read the rest of this interview, check out the 03-10-2014 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump!