These are the false interviews from this false and fan made "Super Otaku Magazine":
Akira Toriyama Interview by Nirazaki Tihashiberi
Super Otaku Magazine Issue #297
Toriyama-san has agreed to answer some questions for us today. Much thanks to Toriyama-san after the craze on the Majin Buu period. (Do note that this was not a cover story, and thus, short).
Nirazaki: Many fans have given positive feedback over the Majin Buu period. The inclusion of fusion was an unexpected twist. What gave you the idea?
Toriyama-san: Well in order to have a villain with so much strength, you need someone around that can rival him. Majin Buu is incredibly strong. Its not easy to create a character that can keep up. So I thought of making the characters fuse to create new characters without taking the focus off the main characters.
Nirazaki: There have been many changes since the Saiya-jins came to earth. Do you ever think about the progress?
Toriyama-san: Yes I do. Doragonboru has come a long way. They went from running at super speed to moving at the speed of light! (Laughs)
Nirazaki: There was uproar over the rematch between Son Goku and Bejita. Were you planning this the entire time?
Toriyama-san: (Laughs) It was more of a crowd pleaser. Son Gokuu and Bejita didnt have the opportunity to fight in the Seru period, and with a new saga to start with, it would not be hard to work in that kind of battle.
Nirazaki: Youve been telling everyone how this is the end. Will Doragonboru really end after Majin Buu?
Toriyama-san: Yes. Ive put so much time on Doragonboru I cant do much else. I never expected Doragonboru to be this long in the first place. I think its been concluded on a high note. After all, if I had my way, Id of ended the manga after the Freeza period! (Laughs)
Nirazaki: You like to laugh about this a lot. Will parting with Doragonboru be difficult?
Toriyama-san: On one side, Im relieved. On the other side, its like seeing a child move away.
Nirazaki: I know that a lot of people want to hear more about fusion. With Gotenkusu now in the story, will he play that big of a role? And most of all, is he stronger than Son Goku himself?
Toriyama-san: Well I dont know yet. Ive planned some things with Gotenkusu, but he wont be the focus of the entire saga. Youll see as things develop. As for their strength, Gotenkusu is a little bit stronger, but you wouldnt notice a difference. Still, Son Goku will always be the most skilled martial artist! (Smiles) But Gotenkusu will not be the only person to go higher than son Goku.
Nirazaki: What does that last part mean?
Toriyama-san: Youll find out.
Nirazaki: Ill remember that! One last question.
Toriyama-san: Make it good, you wont get a second chance! Kidding, Ill see you again.
Nirazaki: Is Son Goku dead forever? He has come back before, but it looks like hes out of lives.
Toriyama-san: I dont want to shift the focus, so I have to keep certain things close to their roots. Son Goku will have his day, but right now its up to "Super Gotenkusu!".
Akira Toriyama Interview by Nirazaki Tihashiberi
Super Otaku Magazine Issue #289
Toriyama-san was kind enough to lend us his time and answer us some
questions about Doragonboru (Dragonball). We will be asking some of the
questions we recieved by your fan letters. Much thanks to Toriyama-san for his kind gesture.
Nirazaki: Thank you for being here Toriyama-san. What made you depart from the traditional fighting of Doragonboru to the more intense, fast, battling
style of the Saiya-jin saga?
Toriyama-san: Well Son Goku and his friends were always getting stronger,
and I needed a way to show his powerful they were always becoming. But
against Raditzu, it was mostly high paced Doragonboru fighting, except
Raditzu used his ki more often. In Doragonboru, Son Goku mostly only used
Kamehameha once in a fight.
Nirazaki: What were the fan's reaction to the death of Son Goku?
Toriyama-san: A lot of people were shocked. I literally recieved hundreds of fan letters about it. No one expected him to die. They all knew he was
coming back, but they didn't know if it would be in time for the Saiya-jin.
Nirazaki: Why was Vegeta so small but he was so powerful and Nappa was so big but not close in strength?
Toriyama-san: I always thought Vegeta looked better. And it'd be a breath of fresh air to make the biggest guys NOT the strongest. No one would expect Vegeta's power, which is why he was the perfect villain.
Nirazaki: Did you ever think about letting Vegeta die?
Toriyama-san: Certainly. (Laugh) Vegeta was going to be eaten up by Son
Gohan, but everybody liked him so much that I decided to keep him in the
Nirazaki: You don't like Vegeta very much do you?
Toriyama-san: (Laugh) We have our differences, but I always liked Son Goku better. Vegeta is my opposite. When I thought of Vegeta, I imagined
everything I hated in a person and gave it to him. (Laugh)
Nirazaki: You get along with Vegeta's seiyuu (Voice actor), so how much do you talk to them?
Toriyama-san: I never actually met the seiyuu until after I cast them. I
just listened to their skill and I knew who would fit each part just right.
It's best if you hear a voice before you see the person behind it. It would
spoil it if you thought of the seiyuu every time you look at a Doragonboru
character. I see them sometimes after a recording, but not much. I'm usually
with my wife or writing manga.
Nirazaki: What do you think of the added scenes in the Doragonboru show?
(He's talking about filler obviously)
Toriyama-san: A lot of people like to ask me that. Toei animation is doing
their best. I like some of the added sequences, but I hate a lot of it. I
sometimes give them opinions about it, but they usually add things and
forget everything else! (Laugh)
Nirazaki: With the upcoming Majin Buu saga, a lot of people are going to be
anticipating the manga and the show. Why didn't you end it after Seru's
(Cell's) death? It seemed proper after making a whole new saga after
Toriyama-san: For the same reason I didn't stop after Freezer. The fans
wanted more. After Majin Buu, I'm going to end it. I know a lot of people
will want the manga to go on, but I decided to move on. My career as a manga artist is something I want to get across. Doragonboru takes up so much time since I have to negotiate schedules with Toei animation, I don't have much time to work on other manga.
Nirazaki: Do you know when the next Doragonboru movie will arrive? Many
people want to see it, and there are rumors that you will be making it.
Toriyama-san: I don't make the movies at all. Toei animation controls all of
that. I actually don't know when it will come. I think it'll be next month,
but that's the last I heard of anything.
Nirazaki: Do you like Pikuhan's involvement in the series?
Toriyama-san: Not much. Pikuhan is kind of ugly. (Laugh)
Nirazaki: One last question that you have probably heard before. Will
Piccoro (Piccolo) ever be stronger than a Saiya-jin? Pikuhan is, and a lot
of people like to talk about him.
Toriyama-san: Piccoro was stronger against Seru until they trained. I never
made Pikuhan, he was created for the show. But the fans will not worry,
because Piccoro will be stronger than Pikuhan in the Majin Buu series.
People actually use this as a reference, in my inbox and I had to debunk this fallacious content.
These are the true interviews straight from the Daizenshuu's 3 and 6.
Here is the Daizenshuu 3's Toriyama-sensei Interview:
Daizenshuu Vol. 3, TV Animation Part 1.
Interviewer: For the third Super Interview, I would like to focus the discussion on the TV animation. For starters, do you watch the TV anime Dragon Ball?
Toriyama Akira: Yes. I watch with my children, such as while eating dinner.
I: Do you watch as a "general viewer" instead of as the "author"?
TA: Yes. But, while I watch during meals, I often make observations like, "ah, they did this to this scene...." Therefore, perhaps I don't quite fit the definition of a "general viewer."
I: Are your ideas and concepts brought to life in the original episodes broadcast on the TV animation?
TA: There are times when my ideas reach piece meal, through my editor, to the animators at Toei. Other times when I don't have a hand in a story, when the original episodes are broadcast on TV, I become excited with anticipation. While watching, I would think, "oh, this is cool too."
I: Do you always have in mind the minute details for anime story plans that don't appear in the printed original?
TA: I usually come up with the plans that are supposed to capture the general gist of the story. For example, for the part of an episode that will skip to five years in the future, I create the story line, "These things must have happened within those five years."
I: Have you ever submitted ideas for original TV characters?
TA: Another character was wanted for the episodes when Goku was training under Kaio-sama (King Kai), so I created one named "Gregory" (Please refer to P. 136 [of the Daizenshuu]).
I: When the decision to make Dragon Ball into an animated TV show was passed, did you make any stipulations about it?
TA: At first, I really didn't have any thing to say. I'm usually a hands-off type of person, but after seeing the actual broadcast, I wanted to make Dragon Ball more fantasy-like, so I do remember making that suggestion. Basically, I leave it up to the animators, and I only make inputs when I feel I really need to.
I: With the Dragon Ball animation, are there any roles that you yourself directly participate in?
TA: When the submitting of color samples for characters become more urgent than attending to my serial, I contact the Toei animators through the editing department. Also, it was my duty to listen to the audition tapes and decide the parts for the voices. When deciding on Goku's voice, I listened to five or six candidates before finally settling on Nozawa Masako-san.
I: What was your impression when you actually heard Goku's voice when the show was finally broadcast?
TA: I thought, "So, this what Goku sounds like." Thereafter, every time I sat down to draw the manga, his voice would come to mind. When this happened, the voice would be exactly like Nozawa-san's, so I thought, "She's good." Now, Goku and Nozawa-san are one such that I can't separate them.
I: So, did you choose the voices for the other characters?
TA: I participated in the voice selection process for the main characters. Also, I specifically named Tanaka Mayumi-san to act out Kuririn's voice. When I was watching Ginga Tetsudou-no Yoru1, I heard the main character's voice and thought it was a nice one, and a friend of mine who was knowledgeable about voice actors informed me that the voice was Tanaka Mayumi-san.
I: Have you been to the anime production studio or the post-recording site?
TA: About two or three years after starting the Dragon Ball serial, I went to the post-recording site. I visited the place where they were recording the voices, and my honest opinion was, "What an arduous task!"
I: Have you ever thought of trying your hand at voice acting?
TA: No way, not at all!! Not on your life!! (enormous laughter) I can never do anything like that!
I: What are your thoughts about the fact that "pictures move" in anime?
TA: I'm always impressed, "Animators are amazing." They have to draw the steps between one movement and another, so I'm impressed that they can get the timing down so well. That's something that I can't imitate. Also, I am jealous of the way anime can render sudden movement so well.
I: How about the way waza (special techniques) are rendered in special effects?
TA: I am very envious of the fact that they can use "light." In anime, a scene with an explosion can be rendered with a brilliant flash of light and sound, but with manga, the only thing I can do is to put in an onomatopoeia for an explosion, so it seems to lack a little punch (laughter).
I: So, I gather the area of sound concerns you?
TA: Yes! The fact that they can use sound effects like explosions and use sound tracks makes me jealous.
I: When you actually draw manga, do you ever try matching sound tracks with the scenes you draw?
TA: No, that never happens. However, when seeing the actual animation, and upon hearing the sound track to a climatic scene, I'd often comment, "This is nice." Verily, with the manga, I just can't draw while humming "fa la la la" (laughter). I'd turn into an idiot (laughter).
I: Do you have any songs that fit the image of Goku?
TA: Hmmm..., I'm not sure. In any case, I think the song would probably be bright, with a good tempo; the tempo would be upbeat, yet have a carefree air to it.
I: When you are drawing the manga, do you ever unconsciously mouth the lines?
TA: I don't speak the lines, but apparently, my face unknowingly gestures the same facial expressions as the characters that I draw (laughter). People such as my assistant and my wife point this out to me. During fighting scenes, a character's face is often severe, you know, "Rrrrr." So, my face would look just like it, "Rrrrr" (laughter). Therefore, afterwards, my face would all ache (laughter). I guess I'm a type that gets sucked into the story.
I: After seeing the animated Dragon Ball, were there any influences of the anime on your work on the manga?
TA: I once worked with Animation Director Ashida Toyo'o, and after speaking to him and seeing some of his anime work, I realized "Sharper lines are better for rendering battle." Also with coloring, I used to blend them together, but afterwards, I began to distinctly differentiate the transition of colors, just like in anime. I discovered that differentiating the colors had just the same effect as blending the colors. Furthermore, the sharp coloration seemed more fitting to a shonen-shi [boy's comic magazine], and coloring also became easier for me. These were the twin influences of Ashida-san and anime.
I: Have you ever seen any foreign broadcasts of the TV series Dragon Ball?
TA: I haven¹t seen any directly, but I have seen parts of some that were introduced on a special TV program. I was very weird, but I just thought, "oh well." Particularly, I saw a scene where Goku was eating something, and he exclaimed, "Ah, c'est bon!", and I couldn't help but think it just didn't match (laughter).
I: Do you ever watch tokusatsu [sentai] programs?*
TA: Around the time I was doing the "Ginyuu Tokusentai" [Ginyuu Special Combat Team] episodes, my kids were watching them, so watched along with them. Tokusatsu shows are pretty funny.
I: Is the Ginyuu Tokusentai pose the result of influence from tokusatsu shows?
TA: Yup (laughter).
I: Did you watch cartoons as a child?
TA: I watched anime like Tetsuwan Atom 2 and Tetsujin 28 Gou 3 until about fourth grade. Later in my elementary years, I liked watching live action stuff and kaijuu [monster] movies, and by middle school, I started watching regular movies.
I: Do you remember the first anime that you ever watched?
TA: I don¹t remember the first one that I saw, but one that really left an impression on me was Tetsuwan Atom. I would send away for Atom stickers and avidly collect them. Later, I saw 101 Dalmatians 4. I remember that this work too, had wonderful drawings. I also saw, on TV, shows such as Osomatsu-kun 5. We would all imitate the "Sheeeee" pose of the character Iyami (laughter). In addition, I liked Eightman 6.
I: What do you think about Dragon Ball, whose popularity today is comparable to the popularity of yester year's Tetsuwan Atom?
TA: Is that so?
I: Yes, it is! (Enormous laughter) Well, now that we got a lot of laughs in, I would like to close this interview. Thank you very much for the long time today.
That is the end of the interview
- June 5, 1995, At Toriyama Akira's residence
TORIYAMA AKIRA SUPER INTERVIEW
From Daizenshuu Vol. 6: Movies & TV Specials.
Interviewer: How would you position the animated movie Dragon Ball?
Toriyama Akira: I consider the movies to be a 'different dimension' from the original, printed comic edition. With the movies, I become part of the audience.
I: What is your role in the movie animation production?
TA: I check the plot and scripts that come from the animators at Toei Studios. I also design and edit characters and change names.
I: Are there characters that you yourself have designed?
TA: There are, such as Bojack [Movie #9] and Broli [#8, 10, 11]. Recently, they have been Tapion and Minosha [#13]. (For more info, refer to p. 182 [of the Daizenshuu])
I: How do you come up with the characters?
TA: I review each of the plans for the movies that come from Toei, and I design chara that match the stories.
I: In the animated movies, is there an antagonist character that you are particularly fond of?
TA: I thought that the transformed version of Janenba [#12], designed by animators at Toei Studios, was really 'cool.' I like the way the character moves in the fighting scenes. Incidentally, there are none of my own design that I like.
I: Is there a method to how you create antagonist characters in the original comic?
TA: Generally, I think to myself, 'maybe I should do this next' and develop the story. Then, I think of the characters. I'm always trying to think up fresh, new enemy chara that haven't appeared before, but it's difficult.... However, I believe I was able to develop Majin Buu well. Other times, there are often situations where I remain unsatisfied.
I: When creating a character, what part do you start thinking of first?
TA: I begin with the face. While thinking of the face, I conjure up the body. After deciding on the face and the body, I picture the basic attire. With clothing, I keep in mind whether it matches the environment that the character appears in, or if the chara is involved in battle, whether the outfit is easy to move in during fighting.
I: When creating antagonist chara, do you go through many revisions?
TA: In terms of number of pages, there are times when I draw 30 pages and am still dissatisfied, and there are also times when I draw one page and say, 'this is about it.'
I: What got you into designing game chara?
TA: I think Torishima-san (first editor) started me off. At first, I was less than willing, but in the end, it turned out to be very useful for me. I realized, 'so, there are worlds like this.'
I: By the way, what led you to come up with Goku becoming Supersaiyajin and his foes powering up [and transforming]?
TA: I am often forced into a quagmire because I keep approaching a limit to the characters' 'strength.' For example, I hadn't been planning that Goku could become Supersaiyajin. At the time I came up with "Supersaiyajin," I realized I had to change Goku's appearance in order to specifically show that he had now powered up. But design-wise, the facial expressions seem a little evil. I was concerned, 'is it OK for a good guy to look like this?' But, since he transforms by anger, I thought that 'may be it's all right after all.' That was a somewhat bold decision. Regarding enemy chara, if the editor says 'I don't like it' I change them on those grounds (laughter). Soon, 'transforming' became the norm for characters, and that put me in another bind.
I: Were you thinking of other methods of powering up for Goku other than Supersaiyajin?
TA: At that time, I didn't have time to think of many different options, so there aren't any.
I: 'Fusion' is another way to power up, right? How was that concept born?
TA: That, I think, as a concept, came out of a discussion with Katsura-kun* that 'there is nothing stronger than Supersaiyajin.' We usually just fool around with each other, and he jokingly said at the time, 'in that case, maybe the only remaining way to become stronger is to fuse together.' I replied, 'hey, that's a great idea! You do say good things sometimes. This is the first time you've helped me.' (laughter) That's how that idea was born.
I: How about the conception of 'potara'?
TA: Well, that was just because fusion was being used up in the movies, and I was thinking, 'what should I do?' Since I had been drawing earrings, I wondered, 'can I use these somehow?'
I: So, you didn't draw the earrings as a way to fuse together from the beginning?
TA: Nope. They were initially just decorations.
I: Then it was a product of the circumstances.
TA: I've long been walking such dangerous fine lines (laughter). However, when I'm cornered, my brain waves seem to sharpen, and somehow ideas start to flow. In addition, I'm good at forceful finagling (laughter).
I: That's amazing.
TA: No, it's not amazing at all. I'm always anxiety ridden. In the previous episode [of the comic] I wrote that 'something phenomenal is going to happen.' Thus, now I have to stick to my words and have to do something that really is awesome. I'm suffering inside (laughter).
I: In the field of filming technology, in the movies, Reviving Fusion!! Goku and Vegita [#12] and Dragon-ken Explosion!! Who's Gonna do it if Goku Doesn't [#13]* there are computer-rendered special effects; how do you feel about such techniques?
TA: Instead of the notion, 'let's use any new technology,' I tend to believe that interesting films can be created without such technology. However, if movies can be prepared more effectively with it, I agree to its use.
I: Is there anything that you yourself would like to do on a computer?
TA: There are. I only think of ways to make things easier, such as taking a 4-view drawing of a mecha and making it move. Or, drawing preliminary sketches and having them rendered into final drawings (laughter).
I: By the way, of the movies and TV specials, which is your favorite piece?
TA: I like the story about Goku's father, Burdock. It's very dramatic and is the kind of story that 'I would never write.' I mean well when I say that it seemed as though I was watching a different kind of Dragon Ball.
I: I would like to inquire about more personal matter; what is the first drawing that you did that you really felt good about?
TA: My earliest memory of having done a drawing 'right' is that of a horse. I still remember it. I felt that 'the joints were drawn well.' I have liked drawing for a long time, and when we were little, since there weren't many forms of entertainment as there are today, everyone drew. When I was in elementary school, we all copied manga and anime drawings.
I: In that case, perhaps that period of your life is connected to your present occupation as a manga artist.
TA: It might be. I stubbornly kept drawing. At first, we all draw at the about the same level. Eventually, I began drawing original pictures of my friends' faces, and it was then that I began to feel that 'drawing pictures is fun.'
I: Is there a 'starting point' to your drawing?
TA: I myself believe it was Walt Disney and Tezuka Osamu*. When I was a child, there were drawing schools called 'Zugayasan.' Local children would boisterously congregate and draw pictures. I remember one day, I drew a picture from 101 Dalmatians, won a prize, became ecstatic, and here I am now. (laughter).
I: Aside from manga, do you ever personally draw illustrations?
TA: No, I don't. But, I have a habit from childhood of restlessly looking around my surroundings. Even when I go out shopping, I enjoy observing the appearance of the city rather than the actual shopping. The city scape, little objects and clothing that I observe have been useful in drawing manga. Also helpful was when I was forced to draw everyday objects when I was working for a [graphic design] company. 'Ugghh... Why do I have to draw one hundred pairs of socks?!,' I would complain (laughter). In retrospect, those things may have helped me.
I: Do you ever sketch out something you see?
TA: No, I don't. I burn the images into my memory. Therefore, usually when I try to draw it on recall, I make mistakes. 'Was it like this?' (laughter) But, I remember the general image. Although not accurate, I rely on my memory, and I can draw most things. I guess perhaps there isn't anything that I can't draw.
I: In the interview for the 5th volume [of the Daizenshuu], you mentioned that you'd like to create an original anime, but what role would you want to have in the work?
TA: I would like to compose the story and the character design by myself. I'm thinking of creating one that anyone can enjoy, whether old or young, male or female. Furthermore, if possible, I want to draw the manga first before the anime, so when the animation is actually being produced, it will be easier to transmit the feelings of the work. If I draw it out first, I can also see if it is interesting. Even as a one-shot deal, I would like to draw it. Right now, I'm searching for a plot.
I: In closure, do you have any info on the upcoming movie?
TA: The film that will be released next spring, it seems like, will be 'the story from comics volumes 1 through 8 that will be recreated in a condensed form.' [Movie # 14, The Path to Ultimateness*, March 1996] In addition, the people at Toei want us to pay attention to the special effects techniques that they will be using to spice up the movie. During the early broadcasting of the TV anime, Dragon Ball, the people at Toei and I weren't used to the drawings yet, so I'm curious as to what they can accomplish with their current expertise. I hope you all can look forward to it too.
I: Thank you very much for the valuable discussion today.
- October 5, 1995, at the Shueisha Offices
These are the only reliable and resourceful interviews official from the Daizenshuu. Don't listen to the folks that use the "Super Otaku Magazine" as a source for anything in either the Manga or the series.
James A. Nelson