Taken from Terebaru 1986. Translation by Toshiaki Yamada via Rumic World.
It is rare that Akira Toriyama and Rumiko Takahashi, the two most popular mangaka in Japanese manga history give interviews, but we had an opportunity to talk about manga and anime with them.
First of all, we asked them to tell us about their new anime Dragon Ball and Maison Ikkoku!!
You are both writing very different stories than your previous series, going from Dr. Slump to Dragon Ball and from Urusei Yatsura to Maison Ikkoku. Please give us some comments about this?
Toriyama: For one thing, I wanted to change tempos and structures so as to draw a clear line between the old and new series. For example, I drew Dr. Slump in an American-like style and am writing Dragon Ball in a Chinese-like style.
Takahashi: Eventually, if you don’t change the tempos of your stories, making a new story becomes meaningless. And sometimes I can draw new manga because I changed tempos.
Toriyama: It would be difficult to draw manga if you don’t change your stories.
So, what elements did you take special care with when you changed the tempos of the stories?
Toriyama: I made it a rule not to play around this time. I reduced play-things as much as possible. When I wrote Dr. Slump, I really played with my stories. For instance, I myself appeared in the manga…(laughs). But this time the story is important.
How about you, Takahashi?
Takahashi: I have wanted to write apartment stories for awhile. In the past I lived in an apartment in Nakano. And next to my apartment, there was another strange apartment on the verge of collapsing.
So, is the life at that apartment the inspiration for Maison Ikkoku?
Takahashi: To be honest, that is not the only one. My room, for instance…
Perhaps, your room was empty like Godai’s.
Takahashi: Yeah! There was nothing more than what was necessary for living. These days’ people don’t live in shabby houses like that. In my mind, I imagined just a bed and stereo, etc.
Toriyama: I often take my ideas from my experiences as well.
Takahashi: Speaking of which, I think it was a few years after Maison Ikkoku began its run. One day I went back to my hometown, and for some reason I read my diary from my high school days. I was really convinced that the writer of this diary was destined to write Maison Ikkoku. And I thought that showed through there.
How do you create your characters, their appearances and natures?