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Monochrome Talk


The man that Eiichiro Oda-sensei, creator of charming characters and a world full of dreams and adventure, does not cease to admire is Akira Toriyama-sensei. This is a dream cross-talk which came to life from Oda-sensei's fervent request. Both of them come from different places and have an age difference, but using their passion for manga and for illustrations as a common point, their talk really got exciting!!

I had thought, "This is better than Disney!" -Oda


-- First of all, Oda-sensei, can you tell us your feelings towards Toriyama-sensei?

O: Of course, he's god! He's in a completely different dimension. In any case, he's just too good at drawing!

T: I kinda feel out of place here... (LAUGH)

O: To tell the truth, I never read Arale-chan*1 at all. How I met Toriyama-sensei's manga was in the second episode of Dragon Ball*2, but I fell in love at first sight. I thought, "He's too good!" Back then, I loved Disney, but I had thought, "This is better than Disney!" Do you remember that character named Ranfan*A during the Tenkaichi Budokai?

T: Oh yeah, there was her!

O: It's strange for me to ask if you remamber, but it seems as though you've forgotten quite a bit of characters... (laugh) Anyway, you know how Ranfan took her clothes off, right? Her armpits during that scene were really drawn well. I had thought that you were the first person to properly draw someone's armpit that well. Back then, all I drew were people's armpits. That, and Taopaipai's*B hands.

For me, Toriyama-sensei is a being like god. He's in a completely different dimension!!

- Eiichiro Oda

T: Taopaipai...? You're getting to the more subtle charactrers.

O: What!? Taopaipai is one of the tremendously major characters!

T: The one with the braid?

O: Yes, yes. The assassin. The one that throws a pillar into the sky and rides it himself.

T: Oh yeah, I drew that, I did....

O: His hands when he posed was really drawn well. During that time, the only thing I drew were hands. Those two were my two big shocks during Dragon Ball... armpits and hands.

T: But, Dragon Ball grew to have more and more muscular characters. I somewhat regret thinking about studying (muscle modeling) back then, but I still haven't gotten around to it...

O: Toriyama-sensei, how your characters put on muscle was really, really stunning! I had been a reader of Kinniku-man*3 and I thought, "Amazing!" (laugh)

T: I had thought too much about how they looked, so I think it's complete nonsense when you really look at it as muscles, though.

O: No, no, it's perfect. Sensei, the girls you draw are rather muscular as well. That in turn makes them a bit sexy.

T: That's just because I'm not good at drawing girls. (dry laugh)


For mecha designs, I do think about how it propels itself as well. -Toriyama


O: That's right... Toriyama-sensei, your mecha illustrations are really amazing.

T: They're all made-up as well, for the most part. But there is something like a blueprint just for inside my head of a sort, like how it propels itself, and where the fuel tanks are.

O: That's what is amazing. You usually wouldn't think of things like that. I have no idea about machines at all, so I can't draw them.

T: The logic behind them all are all bogus, but even for strangely shaped mechas, I do think about things like "How would I get onto this thing?" and such.

O: Well, the shapes really don't have to be useful in real life.

T: But you know, it's all right to draw them in an illustration; but when you draw it in manga, you have to make it reappear many times. It really proves to be a pain. If I go all-out to draw something, it comes back to strangle my neck later on.

O: True, it's a completely different matter when you have to move it around. That reminds me, you know how in Dragon Ball, the Pilaf entourage was aboard a mecha that combined*C, right?

T: ????

O: They did. I was thrilled that the three mechas combined into one! Like, "Amazing!" And, when only two combine, it turns into an ostrich form.

T: Oh? It was for transportation?

O: Yeah.

T: A robot?

O: Yeah.

T: Oh... I think I drew something like that.

O: You even thought about their transformations.

T: I thought that far...?

O: Yes, you did think that far. (laugh)


Now that I think about it, why was it this one? -Toriyama


-- What are your illustrations that you each think that it was your most favorite piece, of all that you can remember?

T: My favorite piece?

O: I know. Toriyama-sensei probably doesn't remember... but I remember seeing a comment of that sort.

T: Really?

O: You mentioned something of the sort in some interview.

T: *D? (pointing at the illustration)

O: You're correct. (laugh) You mentioned that it was the only one you liked.... I had thought, well what about all the others?

T: That's right, yes, yes, I said it, I did say that this was my favorite! But then, looking at it now, I wonder why I said this one was the one I chose.


T: Maybe I liked it because the green-yellow in the background was so pretty?

O: Comments from back then said that you really liked the overall balance of the mecha.

T: I guess I had thought back then that it went over really well?

O: If the actual artist doesn't know, nobody knows. (laugh)

T: What about your favorite piece, Oda-kun?

O: My favorite one.... has to be that one. The huge poster for Jump that was the first time I drew all five of them together (pp.82-83 in ColorWalk1). There's an illustration where Luffy's entourage of five is on top of a polar bear. I drew that one illustration really large.

T: What, did you draw it at actual size!?

O: I drew it by getting as close to the original size as possible. I taped up two manuscript papers together and drew to the borders.

T: What, you taped up two sheetss!?

O: In the beginning, I really drew spread pages by taping up pages together. I later realized that I just had to draw on A3-sized paper.

T: Oh my, you really are serious. (laugh) But that's basically how it is, because you really don't know how to draw manga.

O: (laugh) Well, you really don't know.

T: In the beginning, I used to draw sound effects like "BOOM" using a ruler, too. (laugh)


It's amazing that it's moving, but it's still calm. -Oda


-- What is Toriyama-sensei's best illustration in your opinion, Oda-sensei?

O: The cover of the for the second volume of the comics*E was one of my favorites. It's got a nice earthy feeling in its color, and looks really cool.

T: This one, I drew on colored paper. I was saying, "I can't afford to draw on white paper!" It was one of five consecutive weeks of color pages*4.

O: You're kidding!! Five consecutive weeks of color pages!?

T: I was forced to do it! By Torishima-san*5. He really makes you do completely outrageous things!! (laugh)

O: Five consecutive weeks is tough! I'm already got my hands tied up with just two.

T: Why do you like this piece?

O: It's moving, but it's still calm. I think that's what I like about it. The overall atmosphere from the illustration as a whole is just really cool.


It's tough when you draw things that exist in real life. -Toriyama

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