Illustrator Hisashi Eguchi Laments Japan's Creeping Homogeneity in Toco Toco Premiere

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Illustrator and manga creator Hisashi Eguchi has been in the business for a long time. He remembers when Weekly Shōnen Jump was the cutting edge magazine of new creators and the late 70s when art was secondary to humor. He also remembers when the train stations didn't all look the same and Tokyo's Jimbocho and Kichijoji were brimming with the mysterious allure of quaint coffee shops and ancient book stores. Things are changing and Eguchi quietly contemplates how much of the areas' uniqueness will be lost in favor of tourism for the upcoming Olympics in 2020.

Inside his studio, the Stop! Hibari-kun creator reveals a little more about himself while discussing his old manga serial. Stop! Hibari-kun's lead character was an attractive, cross-dressing boy, a subject that wasn't as prominent in manga as it is now. Eguchi focused on making Hibari-kun attractive, the kind of girl he would have liked to be born as, not necessarily the type he'd like to date.

"It's really my frustrations of not being born as a girl that drives my drawings," he says with a chuckle. "But women are just so attractive, I'll never be able to catch up."

French TV program toco toco has hosted intimate interviews with Japan's artistic community since 2015. The program follows their subject to some of their favorite local places while also revealing more about themselves. Guests have included Shichirō Kobayashi, UME, Yoko Taro, Keiichirō Toyama, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Gōichi Suda, and more.

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