To coincide with the resumption of the serialization of the popular manga “Hunter x Hunter,” I went to the exhibition of original drawings by the creator, Yoshihiro Togashi.
Due to anticipated crowds, tickets were sold on an hourly capacity basis. For example, the ticket I purchased can only be used for admission between “10:00 and 11:00 on November 9” and cannot be used at any other time. Although there was no specific time limit for exiting, admission was restricted at the venue that the next person can enter for the number of people who left. Even though it was a weekday morning, tickets were sold out and the place was packed. This was reminiscent of Togashi’s popularity. I saw about 10 men in suits, but I wondered if they were in between jobs.
My impression is one word: Brilliant!
First, the opportunity to see a raw manuscript is valuable. Few cartoonists draw cartoons with ink on paper anymore. I was moved by the fact that there was a raw, unprinted drafts right in front of me. Although digital technology has evolved, there is a complete difference between a line actually drawn by a person with a drop of ink and a line drawn on a pen tablet on a computer. There are several types of pens used in Manga. I could clearly see how they are used differently.
And to my surprise, it was a very beautiful manuscript. Usually, raw comic manuscripts are dirty. By dirty, I mean that the black ink has been corrected with white ink where it has run off, there are still rough drawing, or drawing instructions have been scribbled in light blue pencil that will not show up on the print. Fans go to see the raw manuscripts, because they want to see the dirty and find traces of the hard work the cartoonist put into the drawing. Togashi’s Manga manuscripts, however, were so beautiful that they looked almost identical to the pictures seen in print. The cleanliness of a manuscript often reflects the author’s personality. Togashi may be a meticulous person.
The best cartoonists have their own original manuscript paper (I don’t know why). The name of the work or author is printed on the edge of the paper. Togashi also uses his own original manuscript paper, but his wife’s paper was mixed in among them. His wife is also a Manga artist, Naoko Takeuchi, creator of Sailor Moon. Hunter x Hunter was drawn on manuscript paper with “Naoko Takeuchi” written on it. This was very interesting.
Messages from other Manga artists were also on display. They talked about what they liked about Togashi’s works and memorable scenes. Eiichiro Oda of “One Piece,” Hirohiko Araki of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure,” Koyoharu Gotoge of “Kimetsu no Yaiba (Blade of Demons)”, Gege Akutami of “Jujutsu Kaisen” and other distinguished Manga artists drew illustrations on cards, which were also displayed in their original form. These are attractive cards that we all dying for.
In Japan, exhibitions of raw Manga manuscripts are frequently held. However, these are only works up to the year 2000. This is because most Manga artists have since moved to digital drawing. I would like to visit as many as possible while the raw manuscripts of the manga are still available.
I will introduce a little bit of the venue.
Of course, taking pictures inside is prohibited, so this is just the exterior.