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Naruto Creator Masashi Kishimoto Comments on His Next Manga Samurai 8

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto held a press conference at Shueisha in March to share information about the upcoming Samurai 8: Hachimaruden manga, which will be written by Kishimoto and drawn by Akira Ōkubo.

Kishimoto began by talking about Naruto, which he launched in 1999 and completed in 2014. After completing the Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring side story manga in 2015, Kishimoto said that he finally felt as if he had been "released." "I got so tired that I lost the energy to draw manga," he said with a laugh. However, even though he had been working on manga for long enough to see a child grow into an adult, it took just two years for him to think: "I want to draw manga again."

"I may have felt like I poured everything into Naruto, but in my heart I knew it wasn't perfect, and that thought tugged at me. Around the time I ended Naruto, I felt like the way to draw manga had finally clicked in me, so I wanted to channel that into my next work."

Samurai 8: Hachimaruden combines samurai with science-fiction. "I love science-fiction and samurai, so I want to draw manga about those themes, but considering my age it's getting unreasonable to throw myself into manga like that, so I decided to combine the two themes into a single work." Kishimoto revealed that the very first manga he submitted to Shueisha was also a samurai story, although it didn't win any prizes. "This manga is kind of a revenge for that," he said, laughing.

Kishimoto indicated that Samurai 8: Hachimaruden will probably be less accessible than Naruto was because it opens with several pages of jargon, although he has done his best to make it digestible. "If you're a new artist, I wouldn't start out with sci-fi, but I thought that I'd have more leeway coming straight off Naruto."

As for the reason why his former assistant Ōkubo is drawing the art for this new manga, Kishimoto explained that when it comes to a weekly serialized manga, it's impossible to draw all of it by oneself. At some point during the serialization of Naruto, Kishimoto started drawing his outlines for each chapter with the help of Ōkubo. He also said, "It's hard to admit this frankly, but Ōkubo's art is so good that in my heart I can't help but admit defeat."

When asked how Samurai 8: Hachimaruden will be more interesting than Naruto, Kishimoto said, "I thought about it a little while working on Naruto, but I'm more socially conscious now and I would like to put that into my next manga." He also said that one of the themes of the manga will be "It's okay to be imperfect."

"I know it's a contradiction for me to say 'I want to draw the perfect manga' only for it to have the theme 'it's okay to be imperfect,' but it was Naruto's imperfections that motivated me to draw my next manga, and when this one ends, the imperfections will inspire me to draw the next one after that."

As for how long this new manga will be, Kishimoto has no inkling. "Let's just go with 10 volumes for now. I remember saying one time that Naruto would be 15 volumes. It always ends up being longer."

Samurai 8: Hachimaruden will launch in Weekly Shonen Jump's 24th issue on May 13. It will be the first Jump issue of the Reiwa era.

Source: Comic Natalie


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