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Directory for Translations of Interviews

Discussion in 'Naruto Translations' started by heartsutra, Aug 21, 2015.

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  1. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    In an attempt to keep translations of interviews with Kishimoto accessible, they will be collected in this thread. This directory is supposed to complement the existing X.

    Translations that were provided outside of NF will be linked to and quoted directly only if given explicit permission.

    If you wish to give feedback/concrit/point out mistakes/necessary updates or provide a link to translations of Kishimoto interviews, please drop me a PM, I will respond and update as soon as I can.



    __WITH KISHIMOTO

    ____
    2006

    early 2006 – Shonen Jump (USA)
    (SHONEN JUMP talks with NARUTO creator MASASHI KISHIMOTO)
    X | X | NF discussion


    ____
    2008

    September 2008 – Kishimoto Question and Answer Session
    (From the X)
    X

    December 2008 – latimes.com
    (Interview: The man behind 'Naruto')
    X | NF discussion

    2008 – Jump Festa
    (Report by Bochi from NF)
    X | NF discussion


    ____
    2008

    2012 – Interview
    X | X


    ____
    2013

    December 2013 – Kishimoto Interview at Jump Festa 2014
    X | X

    2013 – Naruto Kizuna: The Words That Bind
    X | X


    ____
    2014

    November 2014 – Masashi Kishimoto X Yahagi Kosuke (& Kishi's handwritten comment)
    (Jin no Sho, Databook 4)
    X

    November 2014 – The Asahi Shimbun
    (End of Naruto)
    X | X | X & X

    November 2014 – JUMP SQ (Dec Edition) – with Yahagi
    (End of Naruto; 'The Beginning')
    X | X | X

    November 2014 – NikkanSports
    (Short comment by Kishimoto on The Last)
    X | X | NF discussion

    December 2014 – eiga.com
    (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
    X | NF discussion

    December 2014 – The Last booklet
    (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
    X | NF discussion

    December 2014 – FujiTV – with Kobayashi
    (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
    X | X | NF discussion

    December 2014 – nippon.com
    ("Farewell, Naruto: The Curtain Closes on the World’s Best-Loved Ninja")
    X | NF discussion

    December 2014 – AERA 2014.12.8 Edition
    (End of Naruto)
    X

    December 2014 – cinemacafe.net
    (New Era Project)
    X | X | [X

    December 2014 – Complete Guide: Using Jutsu Compiliation
    (End of Naruto)
    X


    ____
    2015

    January 2015 – Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) & Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal)
    X | X | X | X

    April 2015 – 'Rai/Fū no Sho' booklets – with Oda
    (Naruto Exhibit)
    X | NF discussion

    May 2015 – ICHIOSHI! Bookmark – Kishimoto Interview on TV
    (Boruto the Movie promotion)
    X | X

    August 2015 – ganganonline.com
    X | X | NF discussion

    August 2015 – cinematoday.jp
    (Boruto the Movie promotion)
    X | X

    August 2015 – ure.pia.co.jp
    (Boruto the Movie promotion)
    translation | X

    August 2015 – Entamisu Interview
    X | NF discussion

    August 2015 – What's Next for Naruto's Creator? A Sci-Fi Manga, Perhaps! – kotaku.com
    X | NF discussion

    October 2015 – The Anime News Network Interview – New York Comic-con
    X | X

    October 2015 – Shōnen Jump Podcast: NYCC Interview With Kishimoto
    X | X | X | X


    ____
    2016

    April 2016 – Jump Festa 2016 Interview with Kishimoto in WSJ
    X | X

    July 2016 – Boruto DVD/Bluray Release Interview with Hiroyuki Yamashita
    X | X

    July 2016 – WSJ Conversation with Ikemoto and Kishimoto
    X | X | X

    July 2016 – Another (but shorter) interview with Yamashita
    X | X

    August 2016 – Jump GIGA Togashi × Kishimoto Interview
    X | X & X & X & X | X



    __WITHOUT KISHIMOTO

    ____
    November 2014 – Special Investigation JUMP Police – Yahagi (Kishi's first editor)
    (End of Naruto)
    X | X

    November 2014 – Blog.Pierrot.JP – Hayato Date (Anime Director)
    (End of Naruto)
    X | NF discussion

    April 2015 – Davinci Magazine
    (interview with Naruto Voice Actors)
    X | X


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2017
  2. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    August 2015, cinematoday.jp

    Spoiler: By Eriko
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  3. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    2008, Jump Festa

    Spoiler: By Bochi
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  4. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    2013, Naruto Kizuna: The Words That Bind

    Spoiler: By Yagami1211
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  5. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    December, 2008 ? Interview: The man behind 'Naruto', LA Times

    Spoiler: English article
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  6. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    November 2014 ? Special Investigation JUMP Police ? Yahagi (Kishi's first editor)

    X


    Spoiler: By takL
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  7. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    November 2014 The Asahi Shimbun

    Spoiler: Masashi Kishimoto: Fan letters from overseas made me realize the popularity of ‘Naruto’(official)



    Spoiler: Kishimoto: ‘Naruto’ reflects my childhood of 'inferiority,' breaks taboo of boys’ comics (official)

    X
    By ATSUSHI OHARA/ Staff Writer


    People laughed at Masashi Kishimoto during his childhood when he said his dream was to become a manga artist. Now, the native of western Okayama Prefecture has created one of the most popular and successful ninja manga series ever and can boast of legions of fans around the world.

    Still, Kishimoto remains humble. He says he’s surprised that he could even enter the manga business.

    Kishimoto’s rise to stardom resembles the journey of Naruto, the main character in the “Naruto” manga series that ended its spectacular 15-year run in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology on Nov. 10.

    Naruto must overcome initial disappointments to finally fulfill his dream of becoming “Hokage,” the grand leader of his ninja village.

    “(Naruto) is similar to me in some respects,” Kishimoto said in an exclusive interview with The Asahi Shimbun. “I also love ramen.”

    The artist said the Naruto character, who fell behind his peers, reflected Kishimoto’s own childhood.

    “I was unable to do well in school and felt a strong sense of inferiority,” he said. “When Naruto said, ‘I will be Hokage,’ people surrounding him laughed at his dream. Since childhood, I also told others that I would be a manga artist but had no foundation.

    “Unlike Naruto, I did not have the courage to declare that I will become a manga creator at any cost. So I would just say in my mind, ‘It may be possible.’”

    Kishimoto said his career in the comic world was unexpected.

    “It is unbelievable that I am working as one of the manga creators who have to write stories and depict many characters, because I was poor at the Japanese subject in school,” he said. “I could not answer questions requiring students to guess the feelings of characters in stories in school exams.”

    Naruto is well known for his unique dialect “dattebayo,” which is sometimes translated into “believe it.” At first, he was seen as a dropout in his ninja academy.

    But the young ninja grows both mentally and physically through interactions with friends and battles with enemies.

    The series features hand-to-hand combat, illusion arts and battles of wits. Huge toads, a common symbol in traditional Kabuki plays, also appear in the action scenes that have gained widespread popularity both at home and abroad.

    The series has sold more than 200 million copies around the world.

    Naruto does not just defeat his enemies with force; he also uses words to achieve victory. Kishimoto cited Naruto’s verbal persuasion to get Pain, one of his main enemies, to stop fighting.

    “Boys’ comics inevitably feature violent scenes. But I wanted to tell (readers) that enemies who resort to violence probably do so because of unavoidable reasons,” Kishimoto said. “And if (the protagonists) defeat them without understanding their motivation, it could end up leading to a repeat of the same thing.”

    Ending a battle through dialogue may have been almost taboo in comics for boys, he said.

    Kishimoto said “Naruto” is also distinctive in the way the hero pursues the path to his dream.

    “In most boys’ manga, the protagonists typically achieve dynamic growth in the first episodes and continue to behave the way they believe to be good and affect other characters,” the manga artist said. “But Naruto faces the challenge of how he can create a world where there are no conflicts, as he battles Pain. I could have made him go his way without agony, but I thought it would be wrong in some aspects.”

    Kishimoto also had to overcome many difficulties before his great success with “Naruto.”

    Although he had earlier won a manga prize, Kishimoto spent two years reading books on how to write scenarios and studied dialogue in films to learn about story structure and directorial techniques. He also studied oil painting at an art collage.

    Only after all that work did Kishimoto start the “Naruto” series in the magazine.

    “Life is colorful,” Kishimoto said. “It is the reality of a manga protagonist to face obstacles.”

    In the comment column of the Nov. 10 Jump magazine, the manga creator said farewell: “Otsukare-sama dattebayo!” (Good job and goodbye dattebayo!)

    Visit the special feature pages on “Naruto” on our Japanese website (X).



    Spoiler: Summary by Yagami1211
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  8. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    November 2014 ? JUMP SQ (Dec Edition) with Yahagi, VIZ

    Spoiler: VIZ translation
    Spoiler: scans

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    X

    View scans as album: X
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  9. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    November 2014 ? NikkanSports

    Spoiler: translation by Yagami1211

    X


    Spoiler: translation by Eriko

    X



    X
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  10. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    December 2014 ? nippon.com

    Spoiler: Farewell, Naruto: The Curtain Closes on the World’s Best-Loved Ninja (official version)


    → view interview at source for pics and additional bits that weren't quoted: X

    On November 10, 2014, the manga series Naruto ended its 15-year run in the weekly Shōnen Jump. We spoke with Kishimoto Masashi, author of this work beloved in Japan and around the world, about his thoughts on the series and what lies ahead for him as an artist.​

    A Final Battle Set from the Start

    Naruto is an exceptionally long-lived manga series. Its serialization began in 1999, when creator Kishimoto Masashi was just 25 years old. In the 15 years that have elapsed since then, Kishimoto has created an entire life for his protagonist—Uzumaki Naruto, a student at a ninja academy whose mediocrity in his studies belies his deep inner capabilities.

    “When I first created Naruto,” says the veteran artist, “I was just setting out myself to become a mangaka, and I projected my own fierce desire to be recognized by those around me on my character.”

    At the time, of course, there was no way of knowing that this character would gain incredible recognition around the world over his decade-and-a-half-long run.
    “With a magazine like Shōnen Jump,” explains Kishimoto, “you produce three issues’ worth of your material that’s up for consideration, and the editors decide whether to publish you based on that. If you make it past that stage, you’ve got about two months until your series kicks off in the magazine.” While this is the answer every manga creator hopes to hear, in general, it means only that an order has been placed for a short story arc. “The writer doesn’t have much time to prepare for those weekly deliveries and really polish the work. Usually, you don’t need much more than one or two full-length bound volumes worth of material.”

    “When I first met the editors,” he continues, “I only knew one thing about my manga: that I wanted Naruto and Sasuke [his rival since childhood] to end the work with a climactic confrontation.”


    Battles and Beasts on a Grand Scale

    Naruto wrapped up with its 699th and 700th written installments, carried back-to-back in the issue of Shōnen Jump that went on sale on November 10. The story Kishimoto has told over the past 15 years has been an epic one.

    Naruto is set in the world of the “Five Great Shinobi Nations.” Uzumaki Naruto hails from Hi no Kuni, the “Land of Fire”—one of the five nations named for classical elements. Each of these nations has “hidden villages,” settlements home to schools for ninja, where they master the mystical powers that they wield in battle. Naruto is a student at the academy in the settlement of Konohagakure, where he dreams of one day becoming the hokage, the master ninja who leads and defends the village. He is not a particularly dedicated student, though, failing his graduation exam numerous times before finally making it to the lowest genin ninja rank. Placed in a ninja team headed by the elite warrior Hatake Kakashi, alongside his rival and eventual enemy Uchiha Sasuke and his love interest Haruno Sakura, Naruto sets out on the long and hard path to maturity.

    When summed up like this, it comes across as a fairly standard bildungsroman. But the sheer number of characters that appear over the story arc, their strongly individual characters, and the vibrant range of ninjutsu techniques they display in their battles make this a tale that gains complexity and depth as the episodes pile up.

    Naruto himself has a dark secret: the presence within him of a powerful, monstrous nine-tailed fox, whose essence was sealed within him by his father—who lost his life in the process—when Naruto was just an infant. The five nations of this world once sought to control these giant beasts as a way to gain military supremacy, but they have now come to rest in human vessels scattered throughout the lands, producing an uneasy balance of power.

    “The entire story of these tailed beasts started out as a simple way for me to get the fox into my manga,” says Kishimoto. “I loved Godzilla. I just wanted to draw a monster—something big that I could place in a battle. That’s why I decided to introduce the kuchiyose no jutsu, the summoning skills that let ninja call forth the weapons they need, or call a creature to their side to aid them in a fight. My intent from the start was to bring forth gigantic beings with these skills.”

    A World Richly Populated with Characters

    Over the 15-year run that Naruto enjoyed, its creator constantly worked to bring new depth to its pages. What did Kishimoto have in mind as he breathed life into the countless characters in the series?

    “Once I feel I’ve written everything there is to write about a character, my approach is to make that one vanish from the story, never to come back. But that’s just an ideal. As I wrote Naruto, I found myself really caring for the characters I created, and I wanted to bring even more detail to their lives on the page. I’m afraid I tended to write even parts that the story didn’t require with great care—which was one factor making the series last as long as it did.”

    Kishimoto Masashi: Born in Okayama Prefecture in 1974. Won the Hop Step Award for his debut work, Karakuri, in 1995. The first single-issue Naruto work appeared in Akamaru Jump in 1997. Two years later, in 1999, the series Naruto began. It would run for 700 installments, finishing up in the late fall of 2014, just after his fortieth birthday.

    Kishimoto notes that this approach impacted his weekly work schedule, as he constantly spent more time than expected to infuse the characters with realism and natural emotion.

    And this was a process he repeated too many times to count. When asked how many characters he wrote for the Naruto universe, he pauses and then laughs: “You know, I have no idea at all.” Some of the characters that have resonated most with him, in addition to the obvious picks of Naruto and Sasuke, are Haku (a fair-faced young ninja who has gone rogue and left his homeland behind) and Jiraiya, an acclaimed warrior who takes on Naruto as his final student.

    “You might describe Haku as a guide to Naruto, who inspired him when it came time to select his nindō, or the personal belief that forms the basis for his life as a ninja. Jiraiya, meanwhile, despite being a master to Naruto, was a terrible ninja, ignoring the ‘three prohibitions’ against drinking, womanizing, and pursuing money. He’s one character who remains very vivid in my mind.”


    The Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed Ninja

    So why ninja in the first place? Kishimoto notes the inspiration of Sasuke, an anime series based on the manga created by Shirato Sanpei. But what really inspired him as a manga artist, he says, was Toriyama Akira’s Dragon Ball. In any case, he says, he had little desire at the beginning to create a story that fit some standard “ninja manga” mold.

    “I had a sort of defiant attitude from the outset—this idea that there was no need for a Japanese writer to do a story on something so Japanese as the ninja. I mean, look at my protagonist: he’s got blond hair and blue eyes. Sure, shinobi means the art of stealth, but I never thought this was a reason to cloak my main character in shadow. He wears an orange outfit, behaves flamboyantly, steps forward and proclaims his name. I wanted to create a ‘pop’ manga that turned standard concepts of ninja on their heads.”

    Naruto, the “blond-haired, blue eyed ninja,” has won popularity and fame in the domestic market and around the globe. Kishimoto wrote a total of 700 episodes, filling 71 full-length print volumes that have sold more than 130 million copies in all in Japan as of November 2014. Including foreign sales, including 12 million volumes in North America and 17 million in France, Naruto broke the 200 million mark in September 2014. (Image from The Last: Naruto the Movie. ? Kishimoto Masashi, Scott/Shūeisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot; courtesy 2014 Naruto the Movie Production Committee.)

    This approach has paid off in tremendous popularity for Naruto in Western markets. The manga have been translated and sold in more than 30 countries worldwide. In France, Naruto sits perennially atop the comic popularity rankings. All of this has come as a surprise to the creator.

    “Early on, I joked that I’d like to see Naruto make it big overseas. But I never expected that foreign readers would get into it like they have. It was only after the work entered serialization that I realized how attractive the ninja concept was to the global audience.”

    Part of the appeal of Naruto, though, lies in the way it goes beyond a simple ninja comic to reveal a sweeping fantasy universe like those created by beloved works of Western fantasy literature. Many fans, both in Japan and abroad, have seen parallels between Kishimoto’s creation and the Harry Potter tales by the British author J. K. Rowling.

    Kishimoto states that any such parallels were entirely accidental. “I’ve never even read the Harry Potter books. When I started getting fan mail that said my character reminded them of Harry, though, I started to wonder, and I had a look at the first movie in the series. Then it made sense. You’ve got Harry, Ron, and Hermione, learning together at an academy for magic. This was somewhat like Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura in my work.”


    Saving Romance for the Big Screen

    Looking back on 15 years of nonstop Naruto, what does Kishimoto see as the central themes he hoped to deliver to his readers?

    During his manga’s 15-year run Kishimoto became a father. In the comic’s final installment, Naruto, too, has two children of his own.

    “Well, every reader is going to approach the work in a different way, so as its creator, I don’t really want to push a certain idea on them. But if I had to say, I guess it would be the way in which Naruto started out with no respect from those around him and grew into the sort of man who earned that respect from his friends. In the end, this character was one who, deep down, had qualities deserving of recognition. Rather than describing the story arc as the way he changed, it might be better to say that his surroundings changed as he grew. Those who started out not wanting to admit his worth respected and honored him by the end.”

    Episodes 1 through 699 of Naruto cover the span of the main character’s life “from age 12 to 17 or so,” says Kishimoto. But in episode 700, the last one, we leap ahead in time. Naruto and Sasuke are both fathers with families of their own.

    The events of the intervening years are covered in The Last: Naruto the Movie, a full-length animated feature that hit Japanese theaters on December 6, 2014. Kishimoto himself signed on for a supervisory role in this film’s production.

    “I didn’t originally intend for there to be a movie about these years in Naruto’s life. But when we got the proposal and I saw a draft script for it, it was great. It was a movie I wanted to see, which meant that my readers would want to see it as well, I thought. I’ve never been the sort of artist to draw romance into my work, but this movie was a chance to include just those things that I never included in Naruto as a manga.”

    The tenth film in the series portrays aspects of the Naruto world that never made it into the written series. Haruno Sakura, the object of Naruto’s unrequited affections (bottom left), and Hyūga Hinata (bottom center), who longs for Naruto in turn, play major roles, as does one new character: the foe Ōtsutsuki Toneri (bottom right), a central figure in the final film. (Images from The Last: Naruto the Movie. ? Kishimoto Masashi, Scott/Shūeisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot; courtesy 2014 Naruto the Movie Production Committee.)

    Preparing for the Next Career Stage

    Kishimoto Masashi turned 40 on November 8, 2014, just as he put the finishing touches on his 15-year series. At this double milestone in his life, he looks back and says: “Ten years have passed since I got married, but my wife and I have yet to go on a honeymoon. I’d like to go travel somewhere for a while now.” While he intends to treat this as a well-earned vacation, it sounds like it may not last for long. “ I have no interest in jumping right into a new series right away, but I do think that living a life without deadlines is going to make me fidget.”

    Next up on Kishimoto’s work calendar is a special, limited Naruto series that will run in the Shōnen Jump weekly in the spring of 2015. The deeply populated universe he has created seems to offer plenty of characters and storylines to mine for this sort of additional material. But the author is more interested in striking out in entirely new directions.

    “Even while on vacation, I won’t be entirely idle. I carry notebooks with me and I’m always writing down ideas in them. I want to keep writing. Once I’m ready to go—once I’ve decided to write something new—I’ll get up to full speed right away, I think. I haven’t lost my passion as a mangaka.”

    (Based on a November 17, 2014, interview in Japanese. Interview photos ? Yamada Shinji.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  11. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    October 2015 ? The Anime News Network Interview/New York Comic-con

    Spoiler: PART I



    Spoiler: PART II

     
  12. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    October 2015 Shōnen Jump Podcast: New York Comic Con Interview With Kishimoto

    Spoiler: Transcribed by Platypus
     
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    December 2013 ? Kishimoto Interview at Jump Festa 2014

    Spoiler: Translation by Yagami1211
     
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    2012 ? Interview

    Spoiler: translation by mezzomarinaio
     
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    September 2008 ? Kishimoto Question and Answer Session, Databook 3

    Spoiler: gathered by Hiro
     
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    August 2015, kotaku.com

    Spoiler: What's Next for Naruto's Creator? A Sci-Fi Manga, Perhaps!

     
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    April 2015, Davinci Magazine (interview with Naruto Voice Actors)

    Spoiler: scans


    Spoiler: links to translations
    Translation, pictures & transcription of the interview by X
    X | X



    Spoiler: translation by OrganicDinosaur
     
  18. heartsutra (ง •̀_•́)ง Advisor

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    May 2015, ICHIOSHI! Bookmark ? Kishimoto Interview on TV

    Spoiler: ICHIOSHI! Bookmark video


    Spoiler: summaries by OrganicDinosaur, HarukaKatana, Turrin

     
  19. Platypus Moderator Moderator

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    July 2016, Boruto DVD/Bluray Release Interview with Hiroyuki Yamashita

    Spoiler: RAWS
    X
    X
    Spoiler: translated from a Chinese translation, by Haruka Katana

     
  20. Platypus Moderator Moderator

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    July 2016, Another (but shorter) interview with Yamashita

    Spoiler: RAW
    X
    Spoiler: Summarized from a Chinese translation, by Haruka Katana

    • Kishi's assistant suggested this idea of basing a character off traditional folklore.
    • Momoshiki and Kinshiki are based off Momotaro and Kintaro (I guess, actually, duh)
    • They wanted to add Urashimataro too but that idea is scrapped.
    • The villains are made based on the father son concept (To be the foil of Boruto Naruto)
    • Kishi wanted to expand on Momoshiki and Kinshiki's background, but the movie has limited airing time so that idea is scrapped too.
    • He also scrapped Shikamaru and Shikadai's dialogue etc.
    • In their world, they get stronger by inheriting Chakra through generations. Their design are based of 牛若丸 and some other character blabla. (I have zero klue with the characters)
     
  21. Platypus Moderator Moderator

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    November 2014, Jin no Sho (Databook 4) - Masashi Kishimoto X Yahahi Kosuke interview & Kishimoto's handwritten message

    Spoiler: RAW

    Spoiler: Interview translation, by kiyoitsukikage
    Source: http://kiyoitsukikage.tumblr.com/post/145420486624

    1/9

    Kishimoto Masashi-sensei X Yahagi Kosuke (first editor*)

    Conversation transcript.

    Saying everything you need to know about characters and jutsu!!

    T/N: *Lit.: “first in charge”. Kosuke Yahagi was the first editor of Naruto (up to the Sasuke vs. Itachi fight).

    The secrets of “Naruto” that haven’t been told so far are disclosed here…!?

    The vital point of character design are “eyes”

    —Today we’d like to hear about the making off of his initial stage of his production, especially the characters and the jutsu, with Yahagi-san, who worked as the first editor in charge with Kishimoto-sensei.

    Kishimoto & Yahagi: Please treat me well. (T/N: could also mean “Thanks in advance” or “Nice to meet you” or whatever, it’s a formal expression.)

    —First of all, a question for Kishimoto-sensei: the characters or the jutsu that appear in “Naruto”, which ones are created first usually?

    Kishimoto: Generally, characters first, then jutsu.

    —Do you proceed in a way of thinking, like, ‘such character shows such jutsu’?

    Kishimoto: Other than that, upon seeing that there’s a generally good balance with the characters that are around them, I develop the idea from parts that has been decided, such as the whole body of the characters, so that they don’t look similar, and their personal history, and if in the end it’s something I can imagine, I give them a shape.

    [Quote:] After I thought about characters, I think about their jutsu. – Kishimoto.

    [Early picture of Naruto:] NarutoRough sketch drawn before the beginning of the serialisation. The badge on his chest and the shoes have been somehow revised.



    2/9

    —Kishimoto-sensei, when you think about the design of a character, what’s the most important thing?

    Kishimoto: The eyes. So that the shape of their eyes won’t look similar to the other characters’.

    —The eyes, huh?

    “Drawing lively eyes” is not an overly idealistic thing. I pay attention so that the shapes don’t look similar, and each one design is different. At first, since I was told by Yahagi-san that “Putting shadows under the protagonist’s eyes is not shōnen-like” when he took me in at first, I stopped that. Then I received the advise “Make the protagonist’s eyes one-fold”. And then, “Make them two rivals”.

    [T/N: I didn’t manage to understand the next two sentences (sorry), so I’m not writing them here. It’s something about the editor telling Masashi-sensei to create a rival for Naruto - that is, Sasuke’s introduction. Then, a question for Yahagi: “Is there such a rule (that in shonen there must be a rival)?”, with Yahagi answering (once again, I couldn’t understand it clearly) that it was just his personal impression.]

    As for the Fourth, I was drawing him with a dreadful impression.

    Yahagi: If I think about it, it’s very awesome that takes after both his father and his mother. Despite his face is different from both, there are traces of them both in him, aren’t there? If we talk about the part of the eyes, his mother is more cheerful on the inside, or rather, her lines enter immediately. The shape of her eyes in itself is more similar to Naruto’s.

    Kishimoto: I made it the same as Naruto’s.

    Yahagi: Only the line of the eyes is a little bit different. Or rather, you made it two-fold.

    Kishimoto: Only making the line encroach on the inside, I draw it like the standard one-fold. As for Minato, I draw his eyes a little bit smaller, and make the line double.

    Yahagi: And then, they’re also thinner.

    —When you designed Naruto, did you have the idea of the design to some extent also about Kushina and Minato?

    Kishimoto: No, I hadn’t got it yet at all. But, I drew the Fourth’s face in the Hokage Mountain at the beginning of the story. At the beginning of the serialisation I drew him with the image of a messy dreadful face, but in midway it became “different”. When I made him appear for real, I tried to draw him with a kinder image.

    [Quote:] It’s awesome that he takes after both Minato and Kushina. – Yahagi.



    3/9

    [Quote:] This guy’s Gaara’s original form. – Kishimoto.

    Widening the character’s frame is important

    —Well, if we look at the sketches that served for the conception that Kishimoto-sensei drew before the beginning of the serialisation, we hope we’ll approach to the source of the characters design. Which one did you draw first?

    Kishimoto: Since Naruto was already completed, if I said among these sketches there’s Team Itachi. The plan was that he’d come out as Naruto’s enemy, but only the setup and the name remained.

    —Yahagi-san, when sensei created the characters, what advises did you tell him?

    Yahagi: First of all, I thought that he had to show the variation of the characters, or rather, to spread the frame of his visual. For this reason, we talked together about the balance, the guys that not only weren’t cool characters but they had little personality, and the old men that appeared among other things. Even at the time of the Chuunin Exams, we’ve decided the girls with a cool character in each team, and then a character that had a style that looked like Lee.

    Kishimoto: Yahagi-san drew Lee’s draft design for me.

    Yahagi: A design, that was completely different from the draft, improved, but I’m glad that it was awesome. That was pleasant.

    Kishimoto: Moreover, since all the characters…

    [Early picture of Itachi] Team Itachi Konoha’s Special Assassination and Tactical Squad. Itachi was the leader of four teams of 70 people in a special group of assassinations and illegal activities.

    [Picture of a kid with a dog] Kumomaru: An elite ninja, who had made been addicted to drugs since he was seven and has his body functions raised to the limit.

    4/9

    (con’t) were steadily giving the impression of being alike, we paid more attention.

    Yahagi: While we resuscitated from the start some characters, we spread their variation. Gaara was like that. He had a nice design.

    Kishimoto: This illustration of Kumomaru is Gaara’s original form.

    Yahagi: Originally, the plan was he’d come out in his original version as it is, right?

    Kishimoto: Yes. After much troubles, through a revision of the character’s name and design, he became the current Gaara.

    —When we think about Gaara’s design, the kanji “Love” on his forehead wasn’t there from the start?

    Kishimoto: I added that. At first, I had thought of the name “Kotarou” [T/N: lit. ‘small eldest son’, Tarou is a common suffix for male names], but after we talked about it over and over it became Gaara.

    Yahagi: He was introduced for the first time as a character that was in the same circumstance of Naruto. Since we thought that he was an important character, I thought that he had to have a name like that. Since the “love” on his forehead was awfully symbolic, I wanted to include it inside his name, too. [T/N: the second kanji of the name Gaara is, indeed, the kanji for ‘love’]

    [Early picture of Genma] Genma: His trademark use of a toothpick and the bandana coiled around his head haven’t changed since the beginning. (Bubble speech: Hoo~! It wasn’t too bad, right?)

    [Early picture of Kakashi] Kakashi: The mask that covers his mouth and the forehead protector worn at an angle complete his design. (Speech bubble: that idiot).

    [Early picture of Zabuza] Zabuza: At this level, also his favourite blade wasn’t a long sword, and was a pair of swords with a chain attacked to the hilts.

    ->Also the long sword that he carried on his shoulders was even huger when it was ideated.



    —So this is the secret history of his birth! Let’s see another picture.

    Yahagi: This is Genma.

    Kishimoto: That’s right. And that one is the Kakashi I have drawn at the beginning.

    Yahagi: I missed him. Also Zabuza, this was him at the beginning.

    Kishimoto: At the beginning, he had a bear next to him, but we discussed about the fact that it was better if I turned it into a human, and so Haku was born. Yahagi-san named him Zabuza.

    Yahagi: What was it at the beginning?

    Kishimoto:

    Momochi Momotarou (laugh). [T/N: written as “桃太郎”, lit. “peach boy”, it’s the name of a X] And speaking of unforgettable things about Zabuza, there’s the length of his sword, isn’t it?

    Yahagi: Something was vertically piercing through the huge hideout, and when I asked he said: «It’s a sword.» It was, like, 100 metres long.

    Kishimoto: At first, the plan was that Naruto would become as huge as a bridge, more or less, thinking that he had to turn that big to oppose to that sword.

    Yahagi: When I tried to hear him out anyway, he said it was a folding sword, and then it widened.



    —He had a plan, just in case.

    Yahagi: The fact that he tried to make the story seem perfectly coherent was amazing.

    [Quote:] I had designed also Zabuza like that at the beginning. – Kishimoto



    5/9

    [Quote:] Images began overflowing. – Kishimoto

    [Sketch of a huge mob at the top of the page, and early sketch of a bijuu transformation at the bottom]

    Bijuu

    In the first stage, apparently there was also the idea that the body emerged from a sacrifice. [I can’t decipher the writings in the bubble speech. Above the boy, there’s the writing 6号, which means ‘sixth’.]

    —There’s also an illustration with an assembly of shinobi.

    Yahagi: He draws an awesome quantity of people.

    Kishimoto: The images were spreading out, you know. Even though I had no plan of using them, I drew such a big mob.

    Yahagi: Moreover, he doesn’t use them very much.

    Kishimoto: No: that one, among the others, is Kidoumaru of the Sound Four. And that one has two heads, so they’re Sakon and Ukon. And there’s also Jirobou.



    —You’ve been looking again at your sketches, afterwards.

    Kishimoto: This Sixth is a bijuu. Sixth is the Six-Tails, Ninth is the Nine-Tails. At that point in time, I had thought from the first up to the sixth. [T/N: I don’t get if rokugou is used as numeral or as a name, like he planned on calling the Kyuubi “Kyuugou” and so forth.]

    The “Absolute Defence” was modelled after a food toy?

    —There’s another thing I want to ask you: who’s the most memorable character for you two?

    Kishimoto: For me, it’s Sasuke. It’s difficult to draw his expression well, and Yahagi-san often fixed it.



    6/9

    (con’t) It’s amazingly difficult to give him a child-like face but a cool adult-like impression. It was cool as we fixed it, and then it turned awful. We fixed things like the shape of his eyes quite attentively.

    Yahagi: Since he’s Naruto’s exact opposite, I wanted to give him a cool impression. However, I don’t think that we had troubles with the drawings. He could draw him well from the start so much. On the contrary, I remember that we had troubles with his words. We’ve been amazingly decreasing the words themselves.

    Kishimoto: When we erased more than this, we decreased them to the point that I said that I didn’t understand the meaning.



    —In that way, Sasuke’s cool image was created. Yahagi-san, please tell us also about your favourite character.

    Yahagi: It’s Gaara of course. Gaara’s design, and also his techniques, are maybe my most favourite. When he fought with the Amegakure shinobi in the Chuunin Exams, he has a technique that protects him with sand, which becomes like an eggshell, right? For that, we used a chocolate egg as a model (※ food toys that have a figurine inside some egg-shaped chocolate).

    —Really!

    Yahagi: At that time, they were amazingly popular among the members of the editorial team. Seeing those, I thought it would be interesting if there were a child that looked like a monster inside an egg.

    —Did you two discuss about it?

    Kishimoto: Yes. There was also the rule that he couldn’t move. We decided that because he attacks with his arms crossed. We came to decide it when we were discussing this.

    [Quote:] At the very beginning of the serialization, it was hard to draw Sasuke. – Kishimoto



    7/9

    [Quote:] A technique is good when you instinctively want to shout its name. – Yahagi

    Naming the techniques is extremely important.

    —Now, I want to hear about various things about techniques. When you think about ninjutsu, Kishimoto-sensei, what do you think it’s the most important thing?

    Kishimoto: The fact that it’s something that’s not out of place with the character’s image. And the fact that it’s in line with the configuration that character itself has. I think within the range hypothesised from things like the context, and the clan’s lineage.

    —You create it with the feeling that it wouldn’t be inconsistent with the world. [T/N: I think they mean it in broad sense, like “the world of Naruto” or “the whole background story of the character”.] Yahagi-san, as the editor, what do you see it’s important in the process of creating a technique?

    Yahagi: Of course, first of all it’s the appearance of it, when you turn it into a drawing. Then, I think that also the name is important. A name, typical of a special move, that makes you want to cry it, is good. Besides, I think it’s good the fact that the structure and the results of the techniques are as memorable as possible. Easy to understand, without reaching the point of being stupid. Because I want to decrease the explanations as much as possible.



    —During an interview, which was recorded in a compilation of words of wisdom released before, we’ve heard that you, Yahagi-san, rejected the name of the techniques many times over, but what was the reason?

    Yahagi: In short, I wanted to strengthen the background world [T/N: Once again, generally speaking]. Especially at the beginning of the serialization, when we published the names of various types of techniques, I thought that it would be difficult for the readers to understand this ninja world.

    Kishimoto: When I told him to talk about this story, in short, he meant that the names of the techniques were out of fashion… my way of recording the names of the techniques wasn’t regulated and was disconnected. However, I recorded the names according to my mood (laugh). I thought that, perhaps, the images were somehow consistent but, more than that, I felt that sometimes the coolness had the priority.

    [After this, Yahagi speaks again, but I can’t completely get what he’s trying to say. To summarise, I think he’s saying that at first the names of the techniques felt disconnected, but as the whole plot expanded things like the Sharingan and the kekkei genkai began having sense, so it was good.]



    8/9

    Kishimoto: After Yahagi-san was out of charge, maybe the sense of naming the techniques changed.

    Yahagi: Which, for example?

    Kishimoto: Like, Killer Bee. When Yahagi-san was in charge, maybe he wouldn’t have come out.

    Yahagi: I love that character, technique names included! However, every time I think about that speech, I think that it’s difficult.

    Kishimoto: In the case of that speech, since it’s very difficult, I make other characters explain something.

    Yahagi: So, when the Eight-Tails explains it. It’s good that the configuration of his extremely good relationship with the Eight-Tails was born in such a shape.

    Kishimoto: If I don’t include a component that is a little different from when Yahagi-san was in charge… since I had this thought, I gave it a try.



    The inventor of the technique: “Sexy Jutsu”

    —Another thing I want to ask about techniques: what was the technique that came into your mind for the very first time?

    Yahagi: The first thing that I drew was the standard “Henge no Jutsu” [transformation tech.]. Well, it’s used in various ninja manga from the start, but…

    Kishimoto: From there, the “Kage Bunshin no Jutsu” [shadow clone tech.] and the “Oiroke no Jutsu” [sexy tech.] were born.

    Yahagi: Right.

    Kishimoto: However, if you mean ‘original’, it’s the “Oiroke no Jutsu”, of course. I think it has also more entertainment than the “Henge no Jutsu”. Then, there’s the “Harem no Jutsu” that appeared in the second episode, but that was an unforgettable episode. When I suggested «The “Oiroke no Jutsu” that appeared last time, how about we make it a “Harem no Jutsu” combining it with the “Kage Bunshin no Jutsu”?» during the preparatory meeting, «Hahaha» Yahagi-san laughed, and then he said «How about we start this meeting seriously?» (laugh). Even I had said it as a joke, but when I proposed it again out of desperation, it became «Let’s give it a try.», and when I tried to draw it I managed to make him say «Interesting.» It’s a profoundly memorable technique.

    [Quote:] When I proposed the “Harem no Jutsu”, nobody listened to me at first. – Kishimoto



    9/9

    [Quote:] I have fun while drawing the “Baika no Jutsu”. – Kishimoto

    [Quote:] The doujutsu plot is too cool. – Yahagi

    —Sensei, what’s your favourite technique?

    Kishimoto: The one that’s funny to draw, Chouji’s “Baika no Jutsu” [multi-size tech.]. Because somehow I have a good feeling if I draw things big, without worrying about small things. Contrariwise, the most painful is the “Tajuu: Kage Bunshin no Jutsu” [massive shadow clone tech.] (laugh). In any case, I have to move my hands [T/N: I guess he means something along the lines of “I have to work a lot.”].

    —Yahagi-san, what’s the jutsu you thought «It’s amazing» when you looked at it, as the editor?

    Yahagi: There are too many. But since the plot of the doujutsu [ocular tech.] became more and more complicated, I thought that it was great. The “Izanami”, in which you fall into an infinite loop, and “Izanagi”, in which you get out of a loop. When we talked about these, it was difficult both thinking about it and transmit it. And I’ve always been looking excitedly at techniques with awesome movements, like the “Lion Combo” and the “Lotus”, since the beginning of the serialization.

    —At last, time’s over. Please, one final message from Yahagi-san to Kishimoto-sensei.

    Yahagi: Thanks for this long-lasting serialization [お疲れさま ‘otsukaresama’ is a fixed expression, it literally means “it’s been a painful work”]. After you rested for a while, please give us another manga. Also all the readers are waiting for it!

    Spoiler: Handwritten message translation, by takL
    "This book was painstakingly made out by all of the staff!
    Hope for it to be an important book to you...
    To everyone who read Jin no Sho (the book of formation),
    Thank you!!"
     
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