Tsugumi Ohba is one of the most mysterious creators in Shonen Jump history. He first made his name known as the storywriter of the controversial cat-and-mouse suspense series Death Note. The story-driven manga series truly comes to life with the help of his partner, illustrator extraordinaire Takeshi Obata. Now that Bakuman is over, Ohba Sensei, for the first time in America in an SJ Alpha exclusive, shares his thoughts about the series, his work, and about himself!
Q: Tell us how you first became interested in becoming a mangaka (manga artist).
Tsugumi Ohba (TO): When I was a kid, I read a lot of manga and always looked up to the creators. But what made me actually want to create manga was when I became an adult and realized I needed to work to survive, and normal work didn’t appeal to me.
Q: Do you have a manga-creating mentor for manga? Or is there any particular manga that influenced you?
TO: I don’t have a specific mentor, but I was heavily inspired by creators like Shotaro Ishinomori, Fujio Fujiko, and Fujio Akatsuka.
Q: Tell us about Takeshi Obata. How did you become partners with him? Also, do you think he has matured as an artist since Death Note?
TO: My impression of Obata Sensei is that he’s a very serious and sensitive person. I cannot express how lucky I was to have him do the art for my series. I cannot pretend to know so much that I can say he improved and in what way, but I do believe his ability to express himself through art continues to get better and better.
Obata & Ohba Full Interview (coming soon!)
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