Naoki Urasawa

Posted in Blog, Film, Literature

Naoki Urasawa

I’m not much of a Manga reader, I stress that because on the whole I find that the people that are, are often — freaks — not to put too fine a point on it! I will have to admit that I did enjoy reading Death Note which was recommended to me.

Monster

The same person also pointed me in the direction of Monster, a thriller about a surgeon on the trail of a young psychopath whose life he once saved. The story takes place largely in Europe and initially I found myself less interested in the setting and story but in hindsight I think I enjoyed more. The guy behind Monster, Naoki Urasawa is one of the highest paid Manga creators in Japan.

“For those of you who like your suspense red-hot but with a beautiful beating heart, Monster is for you.” – Juno Díaz (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

20th Century Boys

The video included is of an interview by a French dude for a French channel…probably…about Urasawa, which has inspired me to pick up 20th Century Boys. There’s been a movie adaptation of it in Japan and I’m disappointed to learn that I missed it’s showing at the local independent cinema. Damn you cinema, why are you showing films when I’m in the middle of exams, have you no respect?

Anyway, enough of my rambling, there’s a subtitled version of the interview here but the user has annoyingly disabled embedding so here’s the interview with a translation following:

Naoki Urasawa Interview

Here is a transcription of what is said in the video. Please, excuse my poor english! m(_ _)m

1st Part (Train) : The narrator explains that he take the train as a normal japanese. He says that with the help of his new mangakas friend, he will meet the new manga magazines superstar Naoki Urasawa. He explains that Urasawa success is so high, that he is one of Japan’s 5 first most well paid mangakas. He says that Urasawa’s creation can touch a big crawd, from childrens to adults with it’s excellent mix of exciting thriller suspense and 70’s nostalgia.

2nd Part (Urasawa speaks):
“Yes, in my job, i love the drawing job, but, physically, it’s a very tyring activity. So, when i create a story and some idea is really good, i know exactly how i will use it. Finally, more than the drawing, this is what i love the most, creating a story.”
-silence-
“You know, i think that in Europe, they take more time to draw a comic. In Japan, the mangaka’s working ryhthm for the magazines is really intense, i think that it’s a working rhythm that can’t be done in France (note: the journalist is a french). So, when you look quickly at a manka, you can think that a little importance is given to the drawing.”

3rd part (Urasawa’s assitants are drawing):
The narrator explains that, in Japan, manga creator must draw 25 pages per week for the mangas magazines. He says that in Europe, a comic creator has to draw 72 pages per year, in japan, a mangaka must draw more than 1300.
After that, he explains that a mangaka write the story, draw the sketches, give the notes to his assistants and finalise the work. He explains after that, that this intense work influances the artistic style of the mangas : The drawing are simples and are centred on the action and the emotion of the characters.

4th part (Urasawa is speaking):
“I think that there is a real difference between a manga and an european comic book. In fact, i think that what really changes, is the number of informations on every page. In a manga, there are more drawing boxes, it’s more sequenced. Across the boxes, every scene, every action is drawed with more details, the time is more explosed.”

5th part (20th Century Boys):
A voice is reading the texts on screen in some acting fashion.

6th part (Urasawa speaks):
“In fact, to success in mangas, it’s important to understand the feeling of the actual time.
Understand what is vital for us, understand what we are in need in this time.
Are we needing more new sensations or, in contrary, to go back to our past?
We must understand the feeling of or time!” (note:I really love this final part, it’s really a profound reflection!)

The video ends with some cool screens of urasawa playing guitar.

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