Tsukasa Hojo-sensei and Takehiko Inoue-senesi, two legendary manga creators known around the world for their intense storytelling. Two manga creators who were once master and apprentice. The two sensei’s were brought back together by Monthly Comic ZENON for a rare double interview! What sort of truly memorable conversation ensued between the two manga legends and former master and apprentice? SMAC! THE WEB MAGAZINE brings you a small look into Hojo and Inoue-sensei’s long relationship.
Hojo-sensei and Inoue-sensei talk about City Hunter
“I would leave the studio at 1 AM and come back in the morning and find BB’s in the blinds.” -Hojo-sensei
Hojo-sensei and Inoue-sensei’s conversation began with Inoue-sensei remembering the time he spent studying under Hojo-sensei in 1988. At that time City Hunter was in full weekly production, a very busy time for Hojo and Inoue-sensi. Busy, but there was always time for fun. “I would leave the studio at 1 AM and come back in the morning and find BB’s in the blinds.” Hojo-sensei remembered. Inoue-sensei recalled one of the sempai (senior) assistants would go overboard after a few drinks a would shoot the BB gun’s in the assistant’s room. A common occurrence when the deadlines were near.
Inoue-sensei’s first Manga
“Take-chan, you still lived in Kichijoji when you went independent right?” -Hojo-sensei
Hojo and Inoue-sensei’s conversation moved on to when Inoue-sensei branched off independently. Hojo-sensei took the opportunity to say, “Take-chan, you still lived in Kichijoji when you went independent right?” Kichijoji is a town full of memories for Inoue-sensei, some good, some not so good. Inoue-sensei recalled, “Kichijoji was where I was told my first series would be discontinued.” Shocking words, but Inoue-sense found relief in them because in his heart wanted to create a basketball manga. Like a true master and apprentice, Hojo and Inoue-sensei both agreed sometimes a manga creator can only make a series he thinks is interesting.
Create manga for different people
“I create manga for people like me.” -Inoue-sensei
Hojo and Inoue-sensei then agreed a manga is brought to life through the readers and the two thought about who their readers were. “I create manga for people like me.” Inoue-sensei said. A little vague for some people, but he never creates a manga for himself. And Hojo-sensei? He creates manga for his wife, manga that would make her cry. Hojo-sensei’s wife isn’t the type of person to read manga regularly, so showing her the story first is Hojo-sensei’s chance to gauge the reaction of those type of readers.
The sensei’s changing creative processes
“The manga NAME is the frame and the art is the manga’s body.” -Inoue-sensei
As Hojo and Inoue-sensei’s conversation progressed they thought about how their creative process evolved. For Hojo-sensei, as he aged creating the manga NAME has become enjoyable and inking difficult. Not because he older, but because his experience in constructing a story made him lose a bit of his sense of wonder for the story, thinning the emotional content. A different point of view came from Inoue-sensei. For Inoue-sensei, the final art is where the creators plays and the NAME is the framework for the manga. Inoue-sensei eloquently stated, “The manga NAME is the frame and the art is the manga’s body.”
Humor in manga
“They want to breath when tense scenes continue.” -Hojo-sensei
Hojo and Inoue-sensei may have disagreed about the creative process, but both sensei’s agreed about mixing humor into serious stories. Hojo-sensei was still young when he realized “People can’t stand a heavy atmosphere in a story for to long. They want to breath when tense scenes continue.” It was the movie Japan Sinks that led Hojo-sensei to believe this. Learning from this Hojo-sensei always adds humor to his emotional stories. To Hojo-sensei studied way of including humor, Inoue-sensei believes comedy should come about naturally. It’s almost as if Inoue-sensei pokes fun at himself to keep from becoming embarrassed if a serious scene continues to long.
It’s all about how manga is read
“I read manga magazines outside a candy shop when I was a kid.” -Inoue-sensei
Hojo and Inoue-sensei’s conversation came to a close with Hojo-sensei asking Inoue-sensei about his manga roots. “I read manga magazines outside a candy shop when I was a kid.” Inoue-sensei recalled. Hearing this Hojo-sensei mused how he’d love to see his apprentice create manga that are read like that forever. It may be difficult to write shonen comics as both sensei’s get older, but they will keep finding ways to make manga that are enjoyed outside a candy store.
It’s not often we get to hear the story of a manga master and apprentice.
The bond between master and apprentice lasts a life time in the manga world. Hojo-sensei has taken in many apprentices since he first became a pro in the 1980s. Now he’s taking on new apprentices from around the world with SMA MASTERCLASS members. We believe you have it in you to become the next star apprentice of Hojo-sensei to!
Please show your worth, by joining & start creating for SILENT MANGA AUDITION® today!