• +


The epic Katsuhiro Otomo movie AKIRA has finally the ultimate 'behind the scenes' book it deserved for a long time. Akira Animation Archives dives deep more than a decade ago in the production of the movie that defined a period in the japanese animation. This book contains hundreds of production drawings, concept art, background paints, layouts and storyborads with interviews and comments by the director Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋), the chief animators Takashi Nakamura (なかむら たかし) and Koji Morimoto (森本 晃司) and the key animators Toshiyuki Inoue (井上 俊之), Hiroyuki Okiura (沖浦 啓之) and Hiroyuki Kitakubo (北久保 弘之)


Publisher: Kodansha (講談社)
Release date: 2002-XII-24
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 194
Size: 11.6 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches (A4)
Retail price:¥2,800
ISBN-10: 4063301958
ISBN-13: 978-4063301953


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/TPgHLJ
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1volAkF
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1vUIgnA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2w2QXEw
Amazon DE: https://amzn.to/2P1EN7A
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1CWNP7z
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1CWNT7e
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2B67OvV

●DVD● AKIRA 'dts sound edition' LIMITED EDITION 〈初回限定版〉

Pioneer has released today in japan a 2 disc limited edition of Katsuhiro Otomo's epic animation film AKIRA on DVD. The first disc that includes the film with a newly remastered 5.1 dts soundtrack is the same that comes in the standard single disc edition release. The second disc includes more than 4500 production still, including the complete storyboard of the film drawn by Otomo, and hundreds of backgrounds and character sheets as well as the original release trailers. This limited edition comes with a special sleep case with an illustration by Katsuhiro Otomo that was reprinted in the page 14 of the artbook KABA 2.


Publisher: Pioneer (パイオニアLDC)
Release date: 2002-XII-21
Format: NTSC | Region 2 | DVD9+DVD5 | 16:9 LB
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1
Subtitles: none
Duration: 124 min (movie)
Retail Price: ¥3,990
Catalogue number: PIBA-1267


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/19z8jLx
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1E1vJGb
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1N510hn
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Dh04Qq
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1N50XCd
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1N50TCp
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2QgMkjJ
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2O3Q7is


Publisher: Pioneer (パイオニアLDC)
Release date: 2002-XII-21
Format: NTSC | Region 2 | DVD9 | 16:9 LB
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1 Subtitles: none
Duration: 124 min (movie)
Retail Price: ¥3,990
Catalogue number: PIBA-1268

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1cK7JJp
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Fd3DcL
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1Dh0upY
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1c5dHrI
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1c5dGnO
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1c5dzZp
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2CyQC2Q
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1IHb1uF

2011 ● SINGLE DISC EDITION ● Re-release

Release date: 2011-VI-22
Format: NTSC | Region 2 | DVD9 | 16:9 LB
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1 Subtitles: none
Duration: 124 min (movie)
Retail Price: ¥1,890
Catalogue number: GNBA-1328

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1cK80vZ
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Fd41bh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1H2Sj2i
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Dh0W7B
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1Dh0VR8
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1O4V2tO
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1Dh0VAG
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1c5e85q

●DVD● SO WHAT Special Edition

Today it was released on DVD the live action movie directed by Naoto Yamakawa (山川直人) SO WHAT, based on an original 28 page manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, published in Manga Action (漫画アクション増刊 ) in 1978-VI-10. and later collected in the book GOOD WEATHERThis 5000 unit Special Edition DVD includes a 28 page booklet with the complete manga.


Publisher: Happinet Pictures (ハピネット・ピクチャーズ)
Release date: 2002-X-25
Format: NTSC | Region 2 | DVD9 | 1.78:1
Audio: Japanese Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: none
Duration: 98 min
Retail price: ¥4,935
Catalogue number: BIBJ-3221

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1DshJ9Q
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1G7MYaH
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1bSeXOP
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1yHG3NE
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1bSeVGJ
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2NY91Hw
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2M9prLF


The movie was later released in a standard format.

Publisher: Jidasu (ジーダス)
Release date: 2010-XII-22
Format: NTSC | Region 2 | DVD9 | 1.78:1
Audio: Japanese Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: none
Duration:98 min
Language: Japanese
Retail price: ¥3,990
Catalogue number: JDXD-26927

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1b6c0ZG
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/19MPXa6
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1G7Na9Z
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1P3yifi
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1P3yknj
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1yHGx6h
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2Mf6UOc
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2NSKBiK


Hipirakun (ヒピラくん)  is a original story by Katsuhiro Otomo illustrated by Shinji Kimura that was originally published by episodes in NeNe (ねーねー) magazine. All the eight chapters released between 2001 and 2002 were collected in this book. Shinji Kimura later directed the animation version of Hipirakun.


Publisher: Shufu to Seikatsusha (主婦と生活社)
Release date: 2002-IX-27
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 48
Size: 27 x 22 x 1.5 cm
Retail price: 1,300
ISBN-10: 4391126907
ISBN-13: 978-4391126907


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1dlAwar
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1I1Co2T
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1RgWcaZ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1YQSAwd
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1YQSBAd
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1TIexxW
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2Ct8gVP
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2QegpA5


Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.1
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #34 in 2001-I-15
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.2
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #35 in 2001-III-15
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.3
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #36 in 2001-V-15
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.4
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #37 in 2001-VII-14
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.5
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #38 in 2001-IX-14
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.6
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #39 in 2001-XI-15
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.7
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #40 in 2002-I-15
4 pages | Color

Hipirakun (ヒピラくん) ep.8
Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #41 in 2002-III-15
4 pages | Color

2010 ● JAPANESE RE-RELEASE by kodansha

Publisher: Kodansha (講談社)
Release date: 2010-IV-9
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 52
Size: 26.4 x 21 x 1 cm
Retail price: ¥1,500
ISBN-10: 4063648249
ISBN-13: 978-4063648249

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1iOQDNf
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1EpKej7
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1FzK2lm
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1wYIXCa
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1YQSSTR
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1xdwVFq
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1wYISyj
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1wYIQ9q


Publisher: Dark Horse
Release date: 2005-III-10
Language: English
Number of pages: 48
Size: 10.4 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
Retail price: $13.95
ISBN-10: 1595820027
ISBN-13: 978-1595820020 


Publisher: Casterman
Release date: 2007-X-16
Language: French
Number of pages: 48
Size: 30 x 1 x 25 cm
Retail price: 14.95€
ISBN-10: 2203553278
ISBN-13: 978-2203553279

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1QSmtKO
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1YQX06l
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1QRz4wy
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1YQWWn1
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1YQWUM3
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1TIianJ
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2Qe6URC
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/2Cxb0BC

●ILLUSTRATION● IDEA magazine No.294

Katsuhiro Otomo has drawn the cover illustration of this months IDEA (アイデア) magazine No.294: BLACK & WHITE. The illustration is reprinted in the page 86 of Katsuhiro Otomo's KABA2.

Official site:


Special feature: Black & White / THE End; Hajime Tachibana / Serials: Invisible language Vol. 3 by Paul Elliman / Serials: When Pigs Desgin Vol. 16 by Kyoichi Tsuzuki / Bound-in Series: Wall Vol.3, Photography by Yasuhide kuge, Art Direction + Design by Fumio Tachibana / News + Information / bound-in poster : yokoo news paper / special supplement: Works of Graph


Publisher: seibundo-shinkosha (誠文堂新光社)
Release date: 2002-IX-1
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 210
Retail price: 2,771


This months EUREKA (ユリイカ) magazine focuses on manga artist Fumiko Takano (高野文子)and it includes a long conversation with Katsuhiro Otomo.


Publisher: Seidosha (青土社)
Release date: 2002-VII-01
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 277
Size: 22 x 14.2 cm
Retail price: ¥1,300
ISBN-10: 4791700910
ISBN-13: 978-4791700912


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/29fMJyu
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29qcegZ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29e6RBQ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29mfPPl
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/29mg3pL
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/29mfWL1
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/29mg2lV
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/29mfRa6


The agony and the ecstasy of drawing and continuing to draw

Fumiko Takano Manga date very quickly wouldn't you say? All that effort, for something that won't even last ten years.

Katsuhiro Otomo That's not really the case, surely?

Takano You don't think? I'd say pictures go out of fashion more quickly than novels.

Otomo Meaning you actually think about whether things are going to stay in vogue (laughs)?

Takano I most certainly do (laughs). In the case of a novel, a good one will last for a century. Even films will do thirty years, fifty. Manga don't have any staying power at all.

Otomo Sure they do.

Takano Nope. There's just something about pictures - I think they definitely go in and out of fashion.

Otomo But not that much, surely. Although I suppose the kind of illustrating that's trying too hard to be cool at any particular time might. Work like this, with such original beginnings, doesn't end up on the trash heap, surely?

Takano Jack Finney wrote a sci-fi novel called Time and Again, in which the protagonist is an illustrator. He travels back to the past, to about the 1880s. There he sketches a likeness of his lover, but does so as a silhouette of her in profile, drawn using his finger on a steamed-up window. Thinking he's done a fine job he declares, "That's you", but she has no idea what he's talking about. In the 1880s, the concept of drawing a person as a silhouette had not yet emerged, apparently. It seems Finney worked in advertising design, and reading this, one could imagine that.

Otomo On a bigger scale, you could say the same thing about before and after the advent of perspective, for instance. Although that might be broadening it just a bit too much (laughs).

Takano Well, I don't imagine my illustrations will be around in a hundred years' time (laughs). But when you consider something can take three years to complete and not even last a decade... .In ten years, even this'll be old hat.

Otomo When you say dated, what exactly do you mean?

Takano I mean read by nobody.

Otomo You reckon? Your previous tankobon are still in circulation though aren't they?

Takano They are but...

Otomo There you go then - they've lasted ten years.

Takano Now that you mention it, yes (laughs). They have indeed been around ten years.

Otomo Most tankobon don't last ten years, so that's amazing. It's why they produce things in shinsoban (new edition with new cover) or bunko (novel-sized) format. On that note, I occasionally marvel that Highway Star is still coming out in its original form (laughs). Akira too is still being distributed just as it was when it came out.

Takano Now that's impressive (laughs).

Otomo I mean, Highway Star is over twenty years old. So see even manga can last ten or twenty years. Take Osamu Tezuka's Shin-Takarajima: copies are still fetching good prices. The problem lies rather with publishers, which stop putting things out, meaning they can no longer be read.

Drawing alone or as a team

Takano Do you think producing manga alone and as part of a team are different?

Otomo You mean whether or not you have assistants?

Takano Yes. Anime of course are a whole different kettle of fish, but what do you find different working with and without assistants?

Otomo With Akira, there was a certain volume and density, plus the length was an issue, so I used assistants, because it would've been too hard to do it alone. If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't use assistants. I'd rather go solo.

Takano Back when you were doing your earlier stuff like Boogie Woogie Waltz and Good Weather you did the whole lot yourself didn't you, even the backgrounds?

Otomo I was doing what I had to do to put food on the table, meaning I had to draw one a month, and while I did get people to help a little right at the finish. there was never any idea of using assistants to help churn out high volumes of work. With Akira I just happened to think of trying it. These days they seem to use lots of assistants and make a real party of it, and I guess that's enjoyable in its own way, a bit like a university club. But things are diversifying, with a growing number of people also choosing to do it all themselves.

Takano If you'.re working for one of the weeklies like Jump you take on assistants as a matter of course right from the start, but more and more people are preferring to draw manga in a different way to that, to work solo.

Otomo When I was working for the likes of Garo and COM years back a lot of the material was very idiosyncratic, but then Jump went into mass production, and now everyone has found these bizarre places like Afternoon, kind of like a teenage magazine but not, and to my mind there are some odd individuals coming out of there. All of whom work without assistants. Well I guess that's a healthy trend. On the other hand, putting out that more adventurous material relies on getting the bankable artists to churn it out and make a profit, so mass-produced manga do have their merits.

Takano Ah, my husband often chides me about that. His favorites are titles like Hajime no Ippo and Shura no Mon.

Otomo So we owe a lot to those whose work really sells.

Takano That's what he says, he he he.

How manga are drawn, and read

Takano There's something I was going to ask you when we met today. I just can't get into Hikaru no Go or the manga of Naoki Urasawa. How come, when everyone else finds them so interesting? Am I some kind of weirdo?

Otomo No comment (laughs).

Takano My other half loves them so we always have them in he house. And I'm always keen to at least have a peruse.

Otomo I haven't read any manga at all lately. What is it that makes them so hard for you to read?

Takano I think it's the pictures.

Otomo They're both quite good in their own way, surely?

Takano They're well drawn, no doubt about that. But I find them a bit claustrophobic. They don't allow you to look away. It feels like a succession of code puzzles you have to plod through for the story to progress. You can't read them to relax, and the speed at which you read is determined for you.

Otomo Conversely you could say that makes for a superlative sort of work, allowing readers to immerse themselves totally in another world. Which makes for a good manga I guess. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have much clue because I don't read them either. There's just something about manga technique, you know, getting people to read manga for the technique, that gets up my nose. I don't like it when manga seem well executed, but lack that X factor that makes them memorable. Magazines like Comickers drone on at length about the syntax of manga, but I'm afraid I just think, why bother even looking at that, what a drag. When I was doing Akira, we discussed quantity and quality, but I made up my own sort of manga syntax, really. I leamed to think hard about things like, if I draw this illustration the next frame has to be like this, and the reader's line of sight has to be guided in such and such a way. At the time I seriously considered writing a book on "how to draw manga,'' but soon realized that this was actually my personal way of drawing, and it'd only be bragging about my own technique, so wouldn't be any use as a manga primer. Manga has to be about taking something someone has made, breaking it down and doing it a different way, and the idea of any sort of grammar is absurd ... although truth be told it does exist. But even if one could make people read manga in a particular way, it strikes me that the inherent flexibility of manga lies in another person promptly altering that. 

Takano It's that idea of manga just suddenly appearing on the market in guerrilla fashion. What I find fascinating about manga is the way that because it's cheaper than making a film, and requires minimal investment, manga lets even those living out in the sticks suddenly take up pen and paper and think, "Maybe I can do that too!"

Otomo That's very healthy, in my view. It means a constant process of breaking and rebuilding. Difficult though. When you consider that, there isn't really any need for syntax.

Takano But when you're drawing, you gradually start to work it out don't you? Make up your own rules as you go?

Otomo I find I gradually get sick of that (laughs}.

Takano You mean when you've been at it for a long time?

Otomo That's right. Which is why I take my hat off to authors who can keep churning stuff out (laugh).

Takano You'd think they'd get tired of it.

Otomo I guess they're busy, and once you've completed a certain amount you just have to get on with it.

Takano But haven't you also noticed the recent rise in niche works aimed specifically at small readerships?

Otomo How does that apply to you then?

Takano I draw for the majority.

Otomo Really? (laughs)

Takano Though for all that I don't have many readers ... (laughs). I draw for people who would not class themselves as manga fans. I mean, it's not like I'm saying anything especially complex.

Otomo Well yes but...because you work incredibly hard, I think that comes across. Your manga can't be read by ordinary people, people who think manga should be simple, take no effort to understand.

Takano Ah, well that's the way of the world isn't it - it's the readers that just don't get it.

Otomo Surely that's because you demand that they do ( laughs). Aren't you choosing who's going to read your stuff?

Takano But in my view reading something, reading a book requires at least that degree of understanding.

Otomo Someone said to me ages ago that something I'd worked really hard on was a bit hard to understand, but when I draw I envisage a few high school students somewhere who just happen to pick up one of my manga in a spare moment and think wow, this is interesting, never read anything like this before. My ideal would be to have a short story in a bonus edition of some weekly magazine that a boy racer might just happen to spot on waking up at a mate's place after a hard night out and, not knowing my name, see a bizarre manga in there and become hooked (laughs). In that sense my dream is to have not just people who like comics but anyone read my work and find it interesting (laughs). At one stage I was a co-driver for a truckie, and we'd blat along highways through the night and rock up at some drive-in place where everyone would be sitting around eating, worn out from driving. The books in places like that are all titles like Shukan Manga and Manga Goraku. Seeing this it struck me that this was how I should be drawing, for these sorts of books. To me that seemed the healthier option.

Takano Well, I suppose so ...

Otomo You get readers who come to those autograph gatherings, right. Do you think of them as "my readers"?

Takano Yeeesss ...

Otomo Don't you? Sure you must think, who are my readers, where are they and what are they doing? Just as readers wonder what sort of person Fumiko Takano might be, I think we wonder what sort of people our readers are.

Takano That's true. Now, this might sound a bit weird, but reading tor pleasure, whether manga or books - and this will sound odd coming from someone who's made a whole business out of it - don't you think there's something not quite right about the whole concept?

Otomo Meaning reading is not pleasurable?

Takano In a way I think we read books to make ourselves smarter.

Otomo You crack me up (laughs).

Takano Yes it does happen to be fun along the way, but the actual object is to go from dumb to smart. We read novels, or whatever, as how-to guides to becoming wiser and not messing up in life.

Otomo Well, reading a book can be in itself an intellectual quest, a kind of hunger. Reading something a person has written is about finding something in there you want to know. Reading a novel merely to pass the time is actually quite a sophisticated thing to do. So I think your assertion is correct.

Takano You think so? But hang on, when I was drawing The Yellow Book you asked what I was drawing, and I said yes, I am indeed drawing, and when I said my motive for drawing was the theme, you laughed and said, come on Takano, is it about setting the world to rights and all that. show us justice according to Fumiko Takano then (laughs). So I was holed up for three years. determined to show you. Except that when I published the book, it seemed nobody thought that. When I said my motivation for drawing lay in the themes, Shinichi Sugimura also said "Are you a left-winger then?" (laughs) It's not about being left-wing or right-wing; I was able to work hard at it for three years because I had a theme. But those who read something rate it on whether they were surprised by the angle or suchlike. or being enjoyable along the way. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course. But come to think of it, at the time you chuckled, but when I met you a few months later you said it was interesting. I'd like to think you agree with my idea of what constitutes right.

Otomo I'm certainly impressed. 

Hard slog that's always new

Otomo You've talked about your work being "hard slog." Does this mean you no longer want to draw?

Takano Hmm. well if I maintain my thematic focus, I'll end up one of those people who do and say the same thing, won't I? If one were to make one's own calls on what's right and wrong, and vow not to do anything one perceives as bad, I get the feeling that not only drawing but just ordinary life, living would become harder. So doing that is risky. Thus I'm thinking I should stop about where I am now; if I take this any further things could really deteriorate. I didn't think about that sort of thing when I was younger, of course. In my Zettai Anzen Kamisori days I got a kick out of surprising people, a bit like a child who surprises an adult and then says "Oh, did I give you a fright?"

Otomo But I guess that's healthy in its own way. It's what everyone does in their youth in this setting.

Takano When you were young, what did you think about as you drew?

Otomo Manga weren't always technically sophisticated, were they. I like manga, but at a certain point you start to take more of an interest in illustration, photos, paintings, all sorts of other things. I found those things interesting and looked at them, studied them if you like. Returning to manga having done that, I realized that no one was really doing anything worthwhile; there was a time when I thought ah, this'll do, wouldn't it be so much more interesting to do it like this? The manga that (Osamu) Tezuka started moved little by little from using accessible characters and expression to tell a story to drawing out different elements, something more akin to illustration, photos, film. (Shotaro) lshimori also did that, and yes while everyone does it, from my point of view I still found myself thinking why not do it a bit more like this, and rapidly injecting that into my work. So there was this "actually they also do this kind of thing in the outside world" kind of thing happening. Well I suppose I did that out of youthful enthusiasm. When you're doing that all the time, you can become trapped by an obsessive need to offer something new each time you draw.

Takano Mm, yes there is that.

Otomo To be honest I suspect there's a part of me that thinks if I used about this amount of technique, could express myself to this degree and had about this amount of story I'd end up like those manga artists that churn out the same old stuff time after time ... ( laughs).

Takano You're right, why are we so scared of that? It's incredible really: there's no reason why one shouldn't keep churning out the same stuff.

Otomo I agree, there's no reason not to slip into a particular groove, but part of why people do is the difficulty of producing one new thing after another. If it really is this tiring. When you're young, it's fine because the things you want to try and your own ability are elevated in unison, but after you've been doing it for a while, you've pretty much done everything you want to. Times change and so does your personal way of thinking. But because your skills don't progress as much as your ideas, you adapt to suit, compromise somewhere, and head off in a different direction. 

Watching intently to draw

Takano Why do all those young chaps they call designers these days look so frail? Where have all the solid, reliable-looking young men gone? They all look so slouched over already in their early twenties. The lines they draw are all wispy; they need to harden up a bit.

Otomo I too have times when I can't concentrate, and that's when I do some good abdominal breathing exercises. Store up some strength just below the navel. The thing about powers of concentration is that if you really can't concentrate, you can't do anything. To draw manga you need to build up some energy. You have to be able to soar right to the heights and take flight. In short, it's a job that has to be fulfilling, or it can't be done.

Takano Yes, you're right there. Now that you mention it, the other day my husband brought me a copy of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, opened the section with comments from the author and asked, "Do you do this too?" It didn't actually say abdominal breathing, but Hirohiko Araki does do the same.

Otomo To be honest I find it impossible to concentrate with a hangover; still I do keep working, doing abdominal breathing to force myself to concentrate. Really concentrating hard is indeed very tiring. Gathering one's idle wits together and directing them at the work slowly becomes more difficult, which is why everyone starts resorting to technique instead. Gradually thinking up ways to get by without doing a particular thing.

Takano Which seems to end up like looking at a photo to draw.

Otomo So after a while you can look at various manga and work out who's been concentrating as they draw, and who's just cruising.

Takano That's true. Even with the same person you can see that sometimes they have it together, so why not others?

Otomo Because they go into cruise mode. There's a difference between people who figure that as long as have a certain amount of skill, and can draw characters with cute faces, it'll all work out somehow, and people who draw without using cute faces. (Looking at The Yellow Book) Now it struck me that this would've been hard slog (laughs).

Takano It did me in physically, that. When I told my iaido teacher, he said that it was because I hadn't done enough training, and if I was that knackered on finishing, the next opponent might turn up and take me down at any moment.

Otomo That's a bit harsh (laughs). Once you start to feel that's too tough, I suspect gradually you lose the ability to do that...lt's exhausting. after all. All that harshness.

Takano Yes.

Otomo When I decide to do the story myself. I have to be on guard, eyes narrowed just like some martial art. Otherwise It'll end up going off on some strange tangent.

Takano You end up being able to move neither forward nor backward (laughs), wondering when to move, and looking behind you all the time.

Otomo I move ahead, with objectivity, and eyes half closed at all times, then right at the end finally have that little eureka moment. And if there is no catharsis, if there's no catharsis somewhere, then it is really hard, isn't it.

Takano Then there's what you might call the follow-up after the execution.

Otomo I imagine it's tough if you're doing that. But they say it comes back to you.

Takano I wonder.

Otomo Everyone's in the same boat aren't they? Manga are difficult. I suppose you could say the same for novels, but your whole self emerges in even a single work, so you have to confront that. If you're loath to face up to yourself you gradually take evasive measures, and if you run away from yourself, you find you can no longer draw. You do see them occasionally though. Manga artists whose drawing rapidly goes off-track are people who've stopped looking. In pictures, all that sort of thing comes out.

Takano Frightening, isn't it.

Otomo It certainly is. You can tell by looking, "Ah, this guy isn't actually looking himself." For instance not worried that their sketching is all wrong and just this strange screen tone is neatly applied. When I see that sor t of thing I think well, it's all over for him. That's what producing work is all about. Putting your own work out there means showing how bad you are right now, or how good.

Takano There are times, aren't there, when people seem to draw simply to confirm how useless they are at it.

Otomo Putting stuff out because they don't realize, right? Because it's their job. Just drawing and drawing, and continuing to draw because even though everyone says it's terrible, they can't see it. That's what I'm most afraid of.

Takano There's part of me that thinks I'd hate to end up like that.

Otomo Yes, my greatest fear is to keep drawing when people are saying what I put out is awful. But I guess there are guys somewhere saying nuts to that and still drawing, and some will put out a lot of rubbish. Difficult isn't it? It's because manga developed as a genre for making money, but are still not up to much as culture. Although by the same token I suppose it would be odd if it did suddenly turn into "culture."


Katsuhiro Otomo has drawn the cover illustration for the book ADIDAS MANGA FEVER (アディダス マンガフィーバー).


Publisher: Style / Asukashinsha (スタイル/飛鳥新社) 
Release date: 2002-V-31
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 194
Size: 24.8 x 19 x 1 cm (B5)
Reatil price: ¥ 880
ISBN-10: 4870315009
ISBN-13: 978-4870315006


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1aokquD
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1I78oCw
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1FfpS1r
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BF57EK
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1ARfh69
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1BF59g1
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1BF563G
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1GAgRx5


 KABA 2 (page 37)


Katsuhiro Otomo has drawn a The Lord of the Rings Illustration in April issue of Animage (アニメージュ ) magazine to accompanied  by comments on the new film by Peter Jackson. The illustration is reprinted in the page 79 of the art book KABA 2.


Norma editorial has released in Spain a folder that includes six thick paper posters featuring original illustrations by Katsuhiro Otomo back from the day AKIRA was being serialized in Young Magazine. The illustrations comprehend the cover illustrations of AKIRA volumes 2, 5 and 6, the regular and Special Collection Laser Disc covers and the illustration used for the poster to promote the release of the soundtrack of the animation film AKIRA. Each poster comes with a thinner protective kind of paper, featuring another six great black and white illustration works by Otomo.


Publisher: Norma Editorial
Release date: 2002-IX-2
Language: Spanish
Number of pages: 12
Size: 39x26 cm
Retail price: 14€
ISBN-10: 848431491X
ISBN-13: 978-8484314912


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/2d1C5g7
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cDvBoZ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2d9lW8M
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2d1Bqv4
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/2d1CvmF
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/2d1EB5U
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/2d1BrPB
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/2d1Blrg

●DVD-AUDIO● Symphonic Suite AKIRA 2002

Victor Entertainment has released AKIRA symphonic Suite in DVD-AUDIO format. Composed by Shoji Yamashiro (山城 祥二) and perormed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi (芸能山城組), this album includes the music featured in the animation film AKIRA newly remastered for this DVD-A medium that can be enjoyed in a glorious 192KHz/24bit/4.1 channel sound, accompanied with 325 still images.


Label: Victor Entertainment (ビクターエンタテインメント)
Release date: 2002-III-21
Retail price: ¥4,725
Catalogue number: VIAL-60001


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1iurj00
Amazon US: -
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2XHBq99
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1cmumm5
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1k8ylJC
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/19BEAkU
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/19IO6NA
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1k8yuNs


1. KANEDA(金田)
5. TETSUO(鉄雄)THE THEME OF TETSUO2/AWAKING 1 2(鉄雄のテーマ2・覚醒1,2)
6. TETSUO(鉄雄)AWAKING 3/MEDITATION(覚醒3・メディテーション)
7. TETSUO(鉄雄)CODA(コーダ)
8. DOLL’S POLYPHONY(ぬいぐるみのポリフォニー)
12. MUTATION(変容)
18. REQUIEM(未来)INVENTION/TOCCATA(インベンション・トッカータ)


HIPIRAKUN (ヒピラくん) ep.8

Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #41
2002-III-15 | 4 pages | Color

Original story by Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋)
Illustrated by Shinji Kimura (木村 真二)

Collected in the books:


HIPIRAKUN (ヒピラくん) ep.7

Published in NeNe (ねーねー) #40
2002-I-15 | 4 pages | Color

Original story by Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋)
Illustrated by Shinji Kimura (木村 真二)

Collected in the books: