Viz Media’s North American digital manga site, Shonen Jump Alpha is now available for fans to enjoy. The first digital issue made it’s official release on January 30th, 2012. As part of the launch celebration Shonen Jump Alpha’s Misaki Kido sat down to talk to the legend himself, Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto! Kishimoto-sensei talks about how his personal life has impacted Naruto, discusses some of his favorite characters, and shares that the series is getting close to the climax!
In case you are wondering, Shonen Jump Alpha is priced at $25.99 USD for 12 months in North America (which is only $2.17 a month!) They offer exclusive member-only content related to some of your favorite manga series, including Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece, in addition to making the mangas themselves available to read on devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch!
Here is the Interview with Kishimoto-sensei!
When was the first time that you thought of becoming a mangaka and why?
At some point between second and fourth grade I got into Akira Toriyama Sensei's Dr. Slump anime and Dragon Ball manga. I loved his characters. I was especially attached to Dr. Slump’s Arale and Dragon Ball’s Gout. Also, his art really appealed to me. There was something about his cartoony drawing style that felt right, more so than realistic drawings. I thought to myself, I wanted to become like Toriyama Sensei.
Where do you get your inspiration? Do you listen to music or watch movies when you are working?
I do have a DVD player with a little screen on my desk, and sometimes I watch movies or listen to music. I used to do that more often when working, but not so much these days. After drawing manga for 12 years, I’ve learned that it affects my art. For example, if I was listening to a song with lyrics, my manga would start to reflect the sadness. And then when I would look back at the drawings, something about it felt off from what I intended. So I decided to shut off anything that could affect my drawing.
But I do love movies and do get a lot of inspiration from them. In my free time, I go to the movie theater to try and catch every blockbuster film. I also look for DVDs of hard-to-find movies in stores. I like watching big trilogies like Star Wars, horror movies like SAW, romance movies like 500 Days of Summer, and classics like The Sting.
My all-time favorite movie is Akira, but I love Hollywood movies in general. My recent favorite was How to Train Your Dragon because the scriptwriting was so fantastic. As a fan of the original comics, I liked Tin Tin. I thought the movie was true to the comic, and CG animation made it seem more real than if it was live-action.