To paint a picture involves more than just broad brushstrokes on a canvas. Hiroshi Shiibashi is a complicated man with a complicated...manga! Though he made his Weekly Shonen Jump debut in 2008, he was no noob to the game. In his first-ever U.S. interview, he reveals how he started his first hit series Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. Read on for details on this incredible creator’s rise to fame and exclusive insight into the Yokai Yakuza Gang War that’s currently terrorizing SJ Alpha!
Q: Your art is incredible and inspires many fans. Whose art inspires you?
Hiroshi Shiibashi (HS): I've loved drawing ever since I was in first or second grade. I loved American superheroes like Batman and Superman, and as an homage, I drew a superhero pig character and series called “Butta-man.” I believe that I was the first person who “killed” Superman. [laughs]
I started my mangaka career as an assistant to Hirohiko Araki Sensei [ed. note: creator of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure], so my style of drawing feels awfully close to his. He is very nice on his days off, but he was a very strict teacher, and I’ve learned a lot from him.
Q: The yokai lore and historical references in Nura are very dense. Did you start out with all that knowledge and love of yokai? Or do you constantly research new creatures and stories to incorporate?
HS: Since I was little, I grew up with yokai tales. Of course I liked them, but I knew only a little bit about them. Before I debuted as a manga creator, I brought my manga submission to a lot of different publishers and magazines. During that time, someone suggested to me that I should do a series on yokai. That is when I seriously started doing research about them to create plots. It was only after I began the serialization of Nura that I started to know more about yokai.
Hiroshi Shiibashi Full Interview (coming soon!)
HIroshi Shiibashi Creator Sketch Video (coming soon!)
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Interview by Misaki C. Kido (@Onnabancho_J)