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Hi! I dug around the Internet to see if I could get a full list of interviews Gosho has ever given so far, and this is the fruit of my work.

  • コナンドリル オフィシャルブック (Conan Drill Official Book), published May 1 2003 - (TRANSLATED)
  • Detective Conan vs. Kaitou Kid Perfect Edition pg 169 - (Raw text)
  • 朝日新聞夕刊 (Asahi Evening Newspaper), published January 13, 2006 - (Full raw text)
  • Press conference in Erlangen, Germany on June 17, 2006 - (TRANSLATED) (German)
  • Aoyama Anime 10th anniversary interview on 2005-2006 - (TRANSLATED)
  • 名探偵コナン&金田一少年の事件簿01 (Detective Conan & Kindaichi Case files #1), published April 10, 2008 - (TRANSLATION)
  • オトナファミ6月号 (Otona Fami or Adult Family June issue), published April 21, 2008
  • 週刊少年サンデー17号 (Weekly Shonen Sunday #17), published March 27, 2009
  • Aoyama & Monkey Punch interview from 2009 - (TRANSLATION)
  • 少年サンデー1983 (Shonen Sunday 1983, a special issue commemorating Sunday's 50 years of publishing), published July 15, 2009
  • ガンダムエース3月号 (Gundam Ace March issue), published January 26, 2010 - (PARTIAL TRANSLATION)
  • オトナファミ6月号 (Otona Fami or Adult Family June issue), published April 20, 2010
  • Masters of Manga, published July 6, 2010 - (TRANSLATION)
  • オトナファミ6月号 (Otona Fami or Adult Family June issue), published April 20, 2011 - (TRANSLATION)
  • ミステリマガジン6月号 (Mystery Magazine June issue), published April 25, 2011
  • 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day), held January 3, 2012 - (SUMMARY)
  • Otona Fami or Monthly B.L.T published April 2012- (TRANSLATION) (raw source)
  • Sankei newspaper interview, published June 30, 2012 - (Raw source)
  • 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day), held January 3, 2013 - (SUMMARY)
  • Magic Kaito Treasured editions - Gosho on Magic Kaito - (PARTS 1-3 TRANSLATION]) (PART 4 TRANSLATION])
  • Detective Conan Super Digest 1, 2, & 3 - (TRANSLATION)
  • Three unknown interviews from 2008, 2009, and 2010 - (TRANSLATION)
  • File 865 Shounen Sunday Special Booklet - (PARTIAL TRANSLATION)
  • Unknown Super Digest Interview - (Korean Transcript)
  • 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day), held January 4, 2014 - (SUMMARY)
  • Asahi Evening Newspaper, published January 6, 2014 - (TRANSLATION and link to full raw) (Raw source)
  • March (part 1) 2014 and April (part 2) 2014 edition of the Monthly Conan Newspaper - (TRANSLATED Part 1) (TRANSLATED Part 2)
  • Leaked interview notes from the May issue of the magazine 「ダ・ヴィンチ」 (da Vinci) with the Japanese actor Takeru Satoh, leaked April 13, 2014 - (SOURCE) (TRANSLATION)
  • Leaked interview notes from the May issue of the magazine 「ダ・ヴィンチ」 (da Vinci) with the fans/reporters/whatever, leaked April 15, 2014 - (SOURCE) (TRANSLATION)
  • Super Digest Book 50+ - (PARTIAL TRANSLATION)
  • Super Digest Book 60+ - (TRANSLATION)
  • Super Digest Book 70+ - (TRANSLATION)
  • 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day), held January 3, 2015 (ALL QUESTIONS) (Source and translation part 1) (Translation part 2) (Source and translation part 3
  • Postcard and animal crossing hints 2014-2015 - (SUMMARY)
  • Super Digest Book 80+ - (TRANSLATION)
  • All Super Digest Books 10+ through 80+ in one place - (TRANSLATION)
  • 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day), held January 3, 2016 - (TRANSLATION)

(Lol you can see that Gosho usually gives interviews around April, probably for hyping up the movies.)

Of these, I have the raws for Conan Drill, Detective Conan & Kindaichi Case Files, and the Monkey Punch & Aoyama Gosho talk from Endless Youth & Co. I'm thinking about translating them, but I want to make sure they're not translated already - so, I'm wondering if these three interviews are translated already or not?

Interviews from other people

EDIT: Copy & pasting some older posts I've made:

Wait wait wait, didn't Gosho say in some interview somewhere that the name of Anokata appeared in the series already?


Aha! From this website that summarizes theories and facts from 2chan board . . .

From 2006 Asahi Evening Newspaper interview article

Friday January 13, 2006, Asahi Evening Newspaper article "Anime, Manga [are] good stimulus"

In fact, the boss' name already appeared somewhere in the manga. Please see if you can find it. . . .

Another blog backs claim this up

From Q&A in a gathering between Aoyama Gosho and Conan fans in 2005

Q. On the Black Syndicate/Organization?
A. A formal name exists. If mentioned, the boss' name will be exposed so I can't say.

Erm, I'll see if I can get a confirmation on this somewhere, when I have time . . .

From "Detective Conan & Kindaichi Case Files" 4th Issue

Q. Only self noticed/knows about this!!
Takayama Minami: who "anokata" is . . . None of the [other] casts know.

This seems to be some interview with Minami, who, as you know, voices Conan in Japanese. I'll see if I can get a confirmation on this, too, but I don't have much time right now, ha ha.

EDIT: This Japanese website compiling info on Conan confirms that the Detective Conan & Kindaichi Case Files #4 did a special report on what the voice actors know that the general public don't. I guess I'll have to buy the issue to really see the full interview, hmm. /EDIT

So if the second source is to be trusted, Anokata's name popped up before sometime in 2005 - and since the first source is reliable, definitely by January 13 2006. The 2chan blog says this means the name popped up somewhere before File 551, but you guys can check that for yourselves.

Anyways, I think we can effectively rule out the "new character" possibility, yes? ^^ These show that the name of Anokata has appeared in the series.

Sources, sources.

I can give a source - and it's from 2chan, essentially. ^^; This is my original post - and as I mentioned in that post, it's up to you to believe this spoiler or not. I can translate the entire post where I got that spoiler from, if you'd like:

445 : 作者の都合により名無しです : 2011/06/25(土) 15:28:12.02 ID:rjCoLlGx0 [1回発言]

445: Anonymous: 2011/06/25 (Sat) 15:28:12.02 ID:rjCoLlGx0 [Commented 1 time]
The spoilers from a talk show Gosho reportedly did yesterday at a university is crazy
Like, you're gonna spoil that much?
It was crazier than [the interview in] OtonaFami

(Note: すごい can mean 'great, terrific, horrible', etc, but for this context I chose 'crazy')

(446-450 pretty much ask 445 to spill the details, then)

451 : 作者の都合により名無しです : 2011/06/25(土) 17:11:43.51 ID:nflQXEXH0 [1回発言]



451: Anonymous: 2011/06/25 (Sat) 17:11:43.51 ID:nflQXEXH0 [Commented 1 time]
Ignore the idiot putting on airs
I'll give the spoilers instead

Professor [Agasa] isn't BO boss (Note: 黒幕 literally means 'black curtain' or 'political fixer', but I'm pretty sure it means BO boss here)


453 : 作者の都合により名無しです : 2011/06/25(土) 18:39:03.56 ID:WCtBexQ10 [1回発言]

453: Anonymous: 2011/06/25 (Sat) 18:39:03.56 ID:WCtBexQ10 [Commented 1 time]
There was a 'Whoa!'-inducing report that said
On future developments, [Gosho said that he'll] re-read Volume 28

457 : 作者の都合により名無しです : 2011/06/25(土) 21:48:18.35 ID:ava55YlP0 [1回発言]





457: Anonymous : 2011/06/25 (Sat) 21:48:18.35 ID:ava55YlP0 [Commented 1 time]
Anyways, here's what through searching

There was a Q&A session with the attendants,
and [Gosho] answered, "Professor Agasa isn't the BO boss"

Why 'バーロー (bah-loh)'? (Note: You usually say 'baka', but Gosho likes to say 'bah-loh')
Because Touch and other works by Adachi Mitsuru said 'bah-loh'

Talks about how popular Sera Masumi is during lecture

Was enjoying あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。 (We still don't know the name of the flower we saw that day)
Enjoyed the last episode then came to lecture
[He] looks forward to watching 花咲くいろは (Blossoming Iroha)

Hmm, you're right, I need better sources - *googles, since apparently that's what the 2chan guy did to get all this info*

It seems true that Gosho really did give a lecture at his former university (Nihon University College of Art), according to the university's website. This page talks about the Nichigei Award for Excellence, which Gosho apparently received this year - the website mentions that the award ceremony was moved from March 11th to April 8th due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, so the ceremony happened this year. This website also mentions that the university plans on having the two winners (one of whom is Gosho) give a lecture later. (授賞式は、3月11日の東日本大震災から間もない4月8日、芸術学部新入生歓迎式プログラムとして江古田キャンパスの大ホールで行われ、ご出席いただいた林真理子氏からは、壇上から受賞の喜びとともに励ましの言葉が述べられました。また、仕事の都合で残念ながら欠席された青山剛昌氏は、ビデオで心あたたまるメッセージを届けてくださいました。お二人には後日、学内で講演を行っていただく予定です。)

Then this fan website says that the lecture commemorating the Nichigei Award for Excellence is held on June 24th 2011 from 2pm at Nihon University College of Art Ekoda Hall. Apparently only university students could attend. (学部所属の学生さんのみ参加可能 ... 2011/06/24の14時から、日本大学芸術学部の江古田大ホールで日藝賞記念講演会として、青山先生の講演が行われます。)

One more evidence for the lecture! The university's blog mentions that Gosho's lecture is on June 24th 2011. Here's the poster from that blog:


Okay, the fact that the lecture happened on June 24th 2011 at Gosho's alma mater seems legit . . . BRB googling more.

EDIT: Also, you have to admit that, while 2chan may not be 100% accurate, they do turn out to be mostly right most of the times. ^^; I mean, I learned about OtonaFami from there, and I always go to the 2chan Shonen Sunday Spoilers board to check for the latest spoilers on the latest Conan file, which has turned out to be pretty accurate so far. I'm also impressed that the lecture turned out to be true, as well.

EDIT2: Found one evidence for claim that "Gosho said Agasa isn't BO boss" via Twitter! This 青木敬士 (Aoki Keishi) person is, according to his profile, the Associate Professor at Nihon University of Art, Literary Arts(Creative Writing), and apparently organized the lecture that Gosho gave on June 24th (this tweet says that, since he is organizing the lecture, his classes are cancelled for those days). He also lent his pen to Aoyama when Aoyama was signing signatures, and he got excited and jokingly tweeted that maybe he should take care not to wipe off Gosho's fingerprints (lol).

This tweet is the main evidence:

青山剛昌先生、講演会の質疑応答で「阿笠博士は黒の組織のボスじゃありません」って明言しちゃってたけど(汗) ……もしかしたら叙述トリックかもしれないよ(笑)

Aoyama Gosho-sensei declared definitively during the lecture's Q&A that "Professor Agasa isn't the Black Organization's boss," ha ha *sweats* . . . maybe this is a narrative trick? (laughs)

This tweet corroborates with what the 2chan board said about Gosho's favorite shows - maybe this is that one 2chan guy's source? I dunno.

講演会来場者との質疑応答のなかにあったんですが、青山剛昌先生も「あの花」の最終回は楽しみにして観ていらしたそうですよ! あと「花咲くいろは」も

This was included in the Q&A with the attendants - reportedly, Aoyama Gosho-sensi also enjoyed watching "Anohana"'s last episode! "Blossoming Iroha", too

Oh! I found Nihon University's profile on Aoki Keishi.

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Translated the Aoyama & Monkey Punch interview from 2009! Nothing about DC's plot is revealed, but interestingly enough Aoyama says that he ran out of ideas by the third chapter of DC and didn't think that the series would last past one volume ha ha. One interview down . . .

As always, let me know if I made a translation error, or if the English is confusing.


The dream confrontation between Lupin III and Conan in anime will be realized. What were your impressions when you first heard of this?


Aoyama: From Conan's side, [Lupin III is] the most powerful adversary currently imaginable. I'm highly excited.


Monkey Punch: When I first heard of the talk, I thought, is it possible to realize this? But I thought that, if it is, then it definitely must become interesting.


Aoyama: I also wondered if it was possible (laughs).


That's true, it's a stunning project.


Monkey Punch: The scriptwriter must have gone through a lot of trouble. I have absolutely no idea what the story will be like.


Aoyama: I, too, checked the script here and there. Of course the parts where Conan appears, but since I love the original work for Lupin III, included revisions like “Lupin isn't like this” (laughs).


Since there is the Lupin III promise to include Fujiko's shower scene and so on, [this show] might be a little different from the usual Detective Conan.


Monkey Punch: [i'm] excited for that.


It's also established that the police detectives appearing in both series are acquaintances.


Aoyama: Both Inspector Megure and Inspector Zenigata are from the Metropolitan Police Department, aren't they? (laughs)


Aoyama: In Detective Conan, Maurice Leblanc (creator of Arsene Lupin) appears as the name of the writer who wrote the gentleman thief. Since [Lupin III is] the grandchild of the Lupin written by that Leblanc, Lupin III is a fictitious person in Detective Conan's world. [Conan will] have a face-off with that [fictitious character], so this truly is a “dream” confrontation. Although this got cut, I really wanted to include the “Lupin's grandchild” line.


Monkey Punch: In this anime, Conan is a boy, and Lupin is a young man. I wondered how they'll put these together. In Edogawa Ranpo's novels, there was a face-off between the Kaijin Niju-Menso (Twenty-Faced Fiend) and Shounen Tanteidan (Boy Detective League) - I'd like it if that kind of feel is used.


Aoyama: In Conan's case, the main character is both the Shounen Tanteidan and Akechi Kogoro. The small guy is the sharpest person in the Conan world. In that sense, the confrontation is a good one.


Also, what's worth watching this time?


Aoyama: For Conan, the entanglement with Lupin & Jigen. I especially recommend the entanglement between Jigen and Conan. I added the scene where Conan, who has looked at Jigen's hands, said “You're no ordinary man, are you?”


I would like to ask Aoyama-sensei – what is Lupin III's appeal?


Aoyama: I have loved the original work since childhood - definitely [say] the cool feel [you] can get from the entire work. It's also similar to 007 in the old days.


Monkey Punch: I have consciously tried to draw that way.


Aoyama: The style is cool, too. The characters' limbs are thin. In truth, the atmosphere of Conan's mouth when he grins is in Monkey Punch-sensei's imitation. I received quite an influence.


Monkey Punch: Thank you kindly for that. At the time, serial magazines' readers were not boys but young adults, so with that in mind, I tried to draw with an adult-like style.

青:僕が「ルパン三世」にふれたのは小学3年生ぐらい。本屋さんで買ってきて家の本棚に並べていたら、エッチすぎるからと親に処分されて、後でまた買い直したこともあります(笑)。(編集部注 扉のページでモンキー・パンチ先生が持っているコミックは、青山先生が持参した私物)

Aoyama: I came across Lupin III around third grade. There was one time, when I bought it from the bookstore and lined it up on the bookshelf, my parents thought that it was too sensual so they confiscated it - I had to buy it again afterward (laughs). (Editorial notice: The comic Monkey Punch-sensei is holding on the front page is Aoyama-sensei's)


Lupin III was too stimulating for elementary school children back then, wasn't it?


Monkey Punch: Actually, back when I was drawing Lupin III, a child who might be in kindergarten said “Buy Lupin!” to the mother at a bookstore, and the mother replied, “[You] can't read things like these!” (laughs)


Aoyama: Back then, I felt excited from turning the page.


Aoyama: I am deeply moved to hear that you know about Detective Conan. Actually, I have something I want to ask. How did you get the pen name, Monkey Punch?


Monkey Punch: I got the name at a certain editorial department. I first wanted to decline [the name] since I thought it was strange (laughs). At the time, there was a jinx where pen names in katakana did't become successful, and the editor-in-chief at the time told me, “You break that jinx. If you don't like it after a year, you can pick your favorite name.” That was the start.


Aoyama: The pen name suits your style, and I first thought that [the name] was a foreigner's. American comics have backgrounds with high contrast, right?


Monkey Punch: I like European artists and received their influence – things like that combined together and here I am.


Aoyama: Where did Lupin III's idea come from?


Monkey Punch: I was told that I'll get the cover and the opening page when the new magazine comes out, at right there I thought, Arsene Lupin. Then I said that I want to do something Lupin-related without reflection, and I started working.


Aoyama: I prefer the cool Lupin III in the original work. In the original work, [Lupin III was] Lupin Empire's third generation and had minions all over the world; the similarity to Arsene Lupin was appealing.


What is Detective Conan's appeal according to Monkey Punch-sensei?


Monkey Punch: I actually wanted to do mysteries in Lupin III; personally, when I think of detectives I think of Agatha-Christie-like, genuine deductions. In that case, the word count becomes considerable at the end and no longer manga-like. So I wanted to find a good way to do this. Then I watched Detective Conan for the first time, and my eyes were opened. A boy who's actually a high school student – I think that this is what appeals to children. I feel that [Aoyama Gosho] really did it. I should have made Lupin III swallow a pill and become a child, too (laughs).


Monkey Punch: How long has Detective Conan continued so far?


Aoyama: About 15 years already.


Monkey Punch: It's amazing that you've continued for so long.


Aoyama: Oh no, coming up with ideas is a lot of trouble (laughs). I came here after spending hours from morning coming up with ideas today, for example.


Monkey Punch: For me, I serialized when I absorb several things, so I didn't struggle coming with ideas. Although, the ending involved expanding what was in the head and was a lot of trouble.


Aoyama: For me, I ran out of ideas from the third chapter (laughs). I thought that the series would end by the first volume, and that no one would read manga with such high word count.


What do you two take care to do when drawing your work?


Monkey Punch: I got influenced by the voice actors' voices for the characters after my work got animated. After I watch the anime with Yamada Yasuo-san's voice, the manga's lines become ones that Yamada-san might say.


Aoyama: That's true.


Monkey Punch: The calm Lupin becomes the “Ara ara ara”-type. I struggled trying not to be influenced by the anime's Lupin.


Aoyama: In Detective Conan, Kamiya Akira-san does Kogoro's voice, so lines like “I don't want to be told by dad's hoarse voice” were used. Also, since Tsuburaya Mitsuhiko's Ootani Ikue-san's voice is cute, Mitsuhiko gradually became a cute character. There are children who think that the anime is the original, too, and when I receive fan letters that say “[The manga is] different from the anime”, I can't help but think, the [manga] is the one that's original . . .


Monkey Punch: Children, looking at my drawings while watching anime's Lupin III, told me that “This is different” (laughs). After becoming an anime, the sharper parts from the times I started drawing became softer, and I changed the style and atmosphere, keeping children in mind. The work's atmosphere is quite different when comparing the beginning and the end, isn't it?


For the end, please leave a message for all the fans.


Monkey Punch: As one of the viewers, I want to enjoy the interesting combination of Lupin III and Edogawa Conan. If you could enjoy that, I am happy as the original author.


Aoyama: Actually, I haven't checked the contents at all, so I am excited about the airing. Everyone please be sure to watch with excitement.

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Well, I do hope that some of us will care. ^^; I think that the interviews are interesting, since you can see what Gosho prioritizes when he draws the manga - you also see the business side of drawing manga, which I think is valuable information.

Besides, I think that the lack of info on Gosho's interviews over here is a serious problem. We can see the movies, the anime, the manga, and a lot of other things, but you can't really find the interviews anywhere. We keep hearing about spoilers about what the manga will be like in the future, but we can never get any evidence anywhere. I get frustrated with that, at the least.

EDIT: Aaaand another one . . . The Kindaichi & Conan creators interview. That's all the raws that I have, aside from Conan Drill. This interview shows Japanese culture well, I think, as well as the priorities Gosho has when it comes to drawing manga. No real plot spoilers in this one, but it's a good read, I think.

I've taken much more liberty with the translation this time around, in order to make the English a little more readable. Let me know if I've taken too much liberty, or if I've blatantly mistranslated, or something . . .


First, pleast tell the details on how the serializations began.


Seimaru Amagi (the writer for Kindaichi): At the time we started Kindaichi Case Files, genuine mystery manga using tricks were hopeless. When I started this job, there were a few themes that I wanted to do, and mystery manga was one of them. I thought of plans according to that.


Fumiya Sato (the illustrator for Kindaichi): For me, after returning from a trip, there was a probe about Kindaichi from the editorial department. At the time, it didn't sell, so it was the time when I thought about things like “what should I do next?”


Gosho Aoyama: Same feel for me. In my case, I was probed, “Since Kindaichi is popular, can do you do that kind of manga for Shonen Sunday?” At first, though, I had no interest at all. It would be a lot of trouble, you see.


Sato: You were already drawing Magic Kaito at the time, though, right?


Aoyama: That's thief material, you see. For thief material, you only have to steal something so it's easy.


Amagi: By nature, children love mysteries, and we read mystery novels when we were small, too. For manga, I thought that I could do it if I stretched it long with mysteries.


Aoyama: But when you actually do it, you understand why no one does it. Lines are long, and it's a lot of trouble.


Sato: At the beginning of Kindaichi's serialization, I thought it would only last about a year.


Aoyama: I, too, thought that it would only last about three months, since it's difficult to continue material-wise.


Sato: And then you do it at a weekly pace, so it's too unreasonable.


Aoyama: But Kindaichi served as quite a reference. I practically copied the part where the culprit is completely black.


Everyone: (Laughs wildly)


Amagi: That's Sato-sensei's invention. In the original work, I only wrote, “make sure you cannot identify the person.”


Sato: They're merely black, that's all.


Aoyama: But you can't tell who it is, and it feels eerie.


Amagi: There's a rule to it, isn't there? You draw the same body type for both men and women. Then, when the culprit is revealed, even if the body type changes no one makes a joke about it.


Aoyama: In novels, you explain the evidence, culprit, etc. in the text, but in manga, you can deftly draw them somewhere in the panel to build your trick.


Amagi: Mysteries are basically novels, so visual mysteries were untouched. When I realized that, I thought that I could do it for a long time. Meanwhile, I'll continue to give Sato-sensei trouble.


Do you verify your tricks?


Aoyama: For the trick that locks the door from the outside with tape, I got the editor to go outside and test it. But for tricks involving sealed rooms, I must show all the room beforehand for the trick. That is quite difficult.


Drawing-wise, drawing apart the characters must be a lot of trouble.


Aoyama: A lot of characters appear in Kindaichi at once – drawing apart seems like a lot of trouble.


Sato: I don't put much effort into drawing apart anymore (laughs). When I draw, things like “I might draw this tear-inducing, good-things-saying character the same way I drew that mean lady” happen.


What about the characters' names?


Aoyama: For me, I match with the theme of the work – for example, if the story was about the sky, I would give bird-related names. I get letters like “this time, [the names are based on] birds, right?” This is for self-satisfaction, though.


Sato: We don't use realistic names, do we?


Amagi: We try not to repeat the mood of the previous names. Characters that don't appear for long lasts only about three chapters, up to maybe 15 chapters, so in a sense the characters are built on the name. Give dubious names to dubious guys.


Aoyama: I see.


Sato: For forsaken heroins, we may use kanji's meaning “winter” or something that feels cold.


Aoyama: Characters are named well in Kindaichi. The names are quite scary. Names are truly important, aren't they?


Sato: You can convey a mood through the name's ideographs.


Both Conan and Kindaichi take place at various locations. Do you go to places for reference?


Aoyama: When I drew the story about the sleeping car train Hokutosei, I actually rode it. When I took pictures, I had to get off in the middle, though.


Sato: I drew material about trains, but I never went . . .


Aoyama: But traveling with the editor is dull, isn't it?


Sato: That happens!


Amagi: What did we do at Kindaichi's time?


Sato: The staff went and took pictures. We never went to Hokkaido! Even Hajime went many times, though he's only a high school student.


Aoyama: (laughs)


Snowy places appear often in Kindaichi. What is the reason?


Sato: Because it's easy to isolate people in winter.


Aoyama: There was a trick that made footprints appear by sprinkling salt, wasn't there? I thought that it was good.


Amagi: It was simple and easy to understand, and it was beautiful, too, wasn't it? I like the phrase “sakura snow”, too. I had a lot of fun writing it at the time.


Aoyama: At the time? (laughs)


Sato: We tried to change the taste a little for that, since we'd done this for a long time back then.


Did you do location hunting at the time?


Sato: No, not at all!


Aoyama: (laughs)


What do you think is the appeal of mystery manga?


Amagi: The number one appeal would be solving mysteries. That aspect is manga-esque now, isn't it?


Sato: In the end, if there is a mystery, one must solve it.


Aoyama: Love comedy is an element in Kindaichi and Conan.


Characters like female high school student heroines and sexy women appear, don't they?


Amagi: It's a promise.


Aoyama: Not much sexy girls appear in Conan, though beautiful women might float naked in a bathtub in Kindaichi.


Sato: That's because we're at Shonen Magazine (laughs).


Amagi: Shower scenes and such.


Aoyama: The editorial department would stop it in Shonen Sunday (laughs).


Sato: Shonen Sunday doesn't do it much from the old days, do they?


Amagi: Mystery mangas are logical and hard to understand, aren't they? So you include eye-catching panty shots to make the readers want to try reading, because you don't want to limit the audience.


Sato: Those kind of pulls really does become the start sometimes in manga, doesn't it? Some readers start reading simply because cute girls appear in the manga.


Aoyama: For me, I drew with the intention to include elements of love comedy in Conan from the beginning. The protagonist becoming small is truly a love comedy, you see. I thought that having a small boy and a girl that the boy's real self loves would be interesting.


Amagi: That sounds interesting, even if it wasn't a mystery manga.


Aoyama: Yes, that part by itself without deductions would be good, I think.


Amagi: The small boy might look inside a skirt really quick.


Sato: That's only in Shonen Magazine!


Amagi: That's true (laughs).


Then, what is especially troublesome doing a mystery manga?


Amagi: Though the motive for the case is really important, in truth there aren't much variation, is there?


Aoyama: You use everything, and running out of ideas on interesting motives become imminent (laughs).


Amagi: Since the readership is wide in manga, you have to hype up dramatically or else the readers may start feeling unsatisfied.


Sato: The motive for the murder starts changing, too. In the old days, you use “my lover was killed . . .”, but recently it became “in truth the person wasn't even my lover!” - it becomes distorted like this.


Aoyama: That's true, twists are essential.


Amagi: If you make it a simple revenge and the like, you get told that you've already done it before.


Aoyama: I think “I did this, didn't I?”, even when I'm drawing myself.


Amagi: Yes, yes. I ran out of ideas for motives in the first 1~2 years. I've had difficulty ever since.


Catch phrases are characteristic, too, aren't they?


Amagi: They tighten the story, and I like how it gives the expectation that the tables will be turned from that point on. Thanks to “In the name of grandpa”, I feel that I've gained one chapter's worth.


Aoyama: In Conan's case, he says “Edogawa Conan – a detective” from time to time, and that's it. Maybe I should make him say “In the name of ___”, at least once.


Everyone: (laughs)


Amagi: Yes, let us exchange!


Aoyama: You'll make him say “Kindaichi Hajime – a detective”?


Amagi: I like it!


Sato: But he's a high school student.


Amagi: Someone might joke, “He's not [officially] a detective, is he?”


As a result of the two works' influence, manga with a lot of text increased, didn't it?


Aoyama: Maybe, perhaps.


Amagi: It became acceptable due to the hits, didn't it?


Sato: The readers nowadays can apparently understand better.


Amagi: For example, in the old days, the amount of text in this manga, which was also made into a film, was impossible. It's at the level that if you applied for the New Talent Award, you'll be told to cut down the text to a third.


Aoyama: But readers came to accept this.


Sato: Games exist, too – readers got accustomed to reading more text, didn't they?


Aoyama: But the one that created most of this is Kindaichi, isn't it?


Then, do you prohibit yourselves from doing anything in the manga?


Aoyama: That would be indiscriminate killings. I take care to include a motive, even if it looks indiscriminate.


Sato: It'll be a different manga if we do a psycho killer.


Amagi: Indiscriminate killings and the like feel like you've run out of ideas, and there's the fear that they might interest those with cruel tendencies.


Aoyama: That's true. It would be problematic if people sympathized with the culprit and attempted murder.


Kindaichi focus on longer cases, and Conan focus on shorter cases, don't they?


Amagi: About 14, 15 chapters.


Aoyama: That's amazing. In Conan, one case is three chapters, six chapters at the longest. First, a person dies, then the mystery is presented, and finally the case gets solved. This is the golden pattern. Right now, I can't draw more than that. You two are doing well.


Sato: That's because the plot is divided with Amagi-sensei.


Amagi: But sometimes you begin before you complete the plot.


Aoyama: Do you never contradict each other?


Sato: It does happen.


Amagi: For example, even though it's a wedding, the bridegroom is missing. [in another example,] I said that, since I'll put it in the pre-manuscript later, why don't you put a bag or something over the head, and there really was a bag over the head.


Aoyama: Does Sato-sensei never want to change the original work?


Sato: As you'd expect, I can't change the trick, but sometimes I change the emotional parts.


Amagi: On how to draw the characters, there are parts that I leave completely to you – with those parts, you have some degree of freedom, yes?


Aoyama: Since I think [of ideas] on my own and draw on my own, sometimes I arbitrarily change arrangements with the editor. If you work with someone, I thought that that aspect seems troublesome.


Amagi: It's actually all right.


Sato: Sometimes I add a gag ad lib. I've changed the flow in the end at times.


Finally, do you have anything you want to say?


Amagi: Can I start? Aoyama-sensei, please continue Conan until your death!


Aoyama: I do feel like dying from exhaustion (laughs).


Amagi: If Aoyama-sensei does it, we can work hard, too.


Sato: Yes, yes. In manga, if you don't have a rival in your genre, it's easier for your work to go to waste.


Aoyama: It's an incentive for me, too.


Amagi: In truth, our fan bases are slightly different, so we can divide our habitats well.


Aoyama: We're no [Yomiuri] Giants and Hanshin [Tigers]*, but let us work hard as rivals.

* Famous Japanese baseball teams

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^_^ Thank you very much for translating this for us. I realized I have missed a lot of interviews! And thanks for the Interviews list at Wiki page as well.

Again, thanks! ^_^ I honestly appreciate your endeavour.

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I didn't know that mangas such as Kindaichi or DC were influent to the point where they made people accept mangas with more text. It's true that when you read most of the big hits from the past, theere's very little text compared to mystery mangas.

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Interview in Conan Drill from 2003 translated! No spoiler on the plot here, though there are a lot of interesting tidbits.

Note: I took a lot of liberty with the English this time, since I wanted to focus more on making the English sound natural and readable. I usually try to translate as directly as possible, but I realize that the weird English probably turns off a lot of people – let me know if I've taken too much liberty, though.

Also, Gosho says a lot of things here that he mentions in future interviews, like how he was told to change Conan's name to Doyle since there was a work called Future Boy Conan, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. You kinda realize that interviewers keep asking the same questions, maybe because they don't bother looking over past interviews, ha ha.


  • The plot for conan was planned in two weeks
  • Gosho is not "high-strung / neurotic" - he seems pretty laid back
  • Apparently, in File 125~, the dude pays the gal to be his lover
  • Gosho has an editor who is from Kansai, and looks at DC's Kansai-ben – this makes sense, I've read people on 2chan talk about how young Kansai people these days don't say "ame-chan" (Files 778-780), but since Gosho gets coached on Kansai-ben by an older guy, the Kansai-ben in DC is rather dated.
  • Gosho has two younger brothers, one who's an engineer and another who's a doctor. The engineer helps Gosho with tricks related to cars, and the doctor helps Gosho with medicine-related topics, like APTX. The doctor is also an anime otaku who advices Gosho about which voice actor should voice whom.
  • Gosho also seems to have connections who are former police detectives, people working at banks, CSIs, etc.
  • Gosho decided when he started that Conan won't cry
  • Gosho only draws characters with names, leave backgrounds and characters without names to assistants - does that mean that the forensics dude who wasn't Tomo-san in File 756-758 will become important someday?! Lol I dunno.
  • Maybe you guys knew this already, but apparently Paikaru/Baiganer isn't a real brand of alcohol – the name comes from a character in Lupin III.


Q: Aoyama-sensei became a manga artist after graduating from college, right? Have you decided to be a manga artist from your student days?

青山 大学時代から漫研には入っていましたけど、大学へは美術の先生になろうかなと漠然と考えて進学しました。小学生の頃、卒業文集に「将来は漫画家になる」と書いたらしいんですが、それも自分では覚えていないんです。でもまあ、子供の頃から絵や漫画を書くのは好きだったので、教科書にパラパラ漫画なんかを描いて遊んでいましたね。ただ、漫画を描いていると親には叱られましたから、コソコソではあったけど。漫画を始めて投稿したのは大学4年のときでしたが、卒業して漫画家になるといったら親には反対されました。学校の先生ならいいけど、漫画家なんてやっぱりどう転ぶかわからないやくざな商売でしょう。親としては、そりゃ心配しますよね。


A: I was studying manga since my college days, but I entered the university while vaguely thinking that I will become an art teacher someday. Apparently I wrote "I will become a manga artist in the future" in my elementary school's graduation anthology, but I don't remember it. Although, I did like drawing pictures and manga and such from childhood, and I drew flip books and such into my textbook. My parents scolded me when I drew manga, though, so there was a sneaky quality to it. I submitted manga for the first time when I was a fourth year university student, but when I told my parents that I will become a manga artist after graduation, my parents opposed me. Being a school teachers is fine, but being a manga artist is, after all, an unpredictable, yakuza-like business. Of course you would worry if you were a parent.

The direct cause behind becoming a manga artist for me was when a senpai, who was already a manga artist, asked me, "Hey, Aoyama, do you want to try submitting?" Then, I sent one to a certain shonen magazine, and the work received a kasaku*. This wasn't at Sunday, though. After this, I thought that maybe I could possibly be good. This was when I was a fourth year university student.

*佳作 (kasaku) directly translates to 1. well executed work or 2. second best work at something like an art/literature contest (source); however, given the context, it seems that if you receive this then you debut as a manga artist, so I left the original Japanese term since I'm not sure how to translate it. Some people translate it as an "honorable mention", but I don't know how accurate that is.


Q: Back then, were the people around you already searching for permanent jobs?

青山 そうです。僕も一応、教育実習へ行ったんですよ。まだ地元の高校の美術教師になる選択肢もありましたから。


A: Yes. For me, I trained to be a teacher, just in case, since I still had the option to become an art teacher at my hometown's high school.

Although, when I received the kasaku, I think I lost the urge to continue down that path. I drew the background for Ponkikki and such for part time jobs, so I wasn't searching for a permanent job at all.


Q: How did you live as a university student? The characters in the manga that sensei draws are all unique - I suspect this might be due to influence from human relationships during student days.

青山 うん、影響は学生時代に限らず、子供の頃からの蓄積でいろいろあるでしょうね。大学時代は、麻雀ですね、麻雀をよくやっていましたよ(笑)。住んでいたのは最初、西武池袋線沿いの江古田で、そのあと千川。ここがいちばん長かったんですが、大学に近いのですぐ麻雀のメンツなんかは集まるわけです。誰かの家に集まってやる事が多かったですね、お金もなかったですし。けっこう僕は強かったんですよ、当時。でも今はだめですね、やる時間がそもそもないですし、やってもみんなが楽しければいいやと思って、高い手を狙って打っちゃう。そうすると負けます。負けるだろうなと思って打って、やっぱり負ける(笑)。

A: Yes, though I think I was influenced not only during my university years but throughout my life, accumulating from my childhood. As for my university years, I did mahjong - a lot of mahjong (laughs). I used to live first in Egoda, which is along the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, then in Senkawa. The distance was the longest here, but it was close to the university so we met up for mahjong and such. We met up at someone's house many times, since we didn't have money. I was pretty strong back then. Right now, not so much - I don't have time to play, and even when I do play I think that we should just have fun, so I aim for a high hand. If you do that, you lose. If you play thinking that you'll lose, then you really will, as you'd expect (laughs).


Q: Even if you say you didn't have money, it wasn't such a period back when sensei was a student, right?

青山 いや、けっこう貧乏だったなあ。カレーには肉を入れられなかったし。5日ぐらいそんな貧しいカレーで食いつなぐんですよ。毎日毎日カレー。でも米は田舎から送ってもらったので、食う物が何もないってことはなかったけど。


A: Nah, I was pretty poor. I couldn't put in meat into curry. I would eat such an indigent curry for five days straight. Curry day after day. But I was sent rice from my hometown, so I did always have something to eat.

If you have rice, you manage, don't you? I ate nothing but curry everyday and I played mahjong at someone's house - I think I was the very picture of a poor college student.


December 31, 2002, nighttime. The interview took place, since sensei's schedule was apparently only open on this day. I could imagine that sensei was considerably tired; I thought that it couldn't be helped that sensei might be ill-humored. However, you couldn't tell that he was tired, even though he must have been. My impression was that he was upright as a human being and as an adult, though he was of course aware that he was first-class as an artist.


Q: In truth, I thought that it couldn't be helped if Aoyama-sensei had a difficult temper, until I met you like this. It is the truth that mystery writers often have complicated personalities, to say nothing of their difficult schedules. I'm surprised that you are far more cheerful than I've imagined you to be.

青山 もっとストレスの固まりみたいな人間を想像していました?もちろんストレスはあるけど、もともと神経質な方ではないんですよ。だからハードスケジュールでも耐えられるというところもあるかな。



A: Did you imagine someone who was stress personified? I have stress, of course, but I've never been the type to be highly strung. I think that that's why I can endure difficult schedules.

I, too, think sometimes that some writers are highly strung when I read their work – the type who are good at searching people from scratch, and such. For me, I'm not that type of person at all. I haven't inconvenienced the editor* much, either . . . or at least, I'd like to think so (laughs).

I haven't quarreled with the editor, either. Even if there's a quarrel, it's not about manga, it's about something really trivial. The editor is a Hanshin fan, and I'm a Giants fan; when Hanshin won consecutively against the Giants in the match where the Giants' championship was at stake, I happened to have promised to draw the illustration for the movie poster. But I was in a bad mood, so I said, "I'm not drawing!" (laughs) Since the editor was understanding, he didn't contact me anymore that day (laughs). This isn't really a quarrel, is it?

*Strictly speaking, the term could be plural, but I've left it as singular here since Aoyama seems to be talking about his editor.


Q: You got an kasaku with a submission to a magazine other than Shonen Sunday, right? Did you not want to continue at that magazine? Why the move to Shonen Sunday?

青山 佳作に選んでくれた漫画雑誌の、編集者が「僕は君の絵は好きなんだけど、今のうち雑誌では絵柄を変えろといわれるだろうから、よそへ行ったほうがいいよ」とアドバイスしてくれて。だったらあだち充さんが好きだし、全体的に絵がかわいいし、サンデーに持っていこうかなと思ったんです。そうしたら、わりとすぐにいけると言われて、その後はけっこうスムーズに。


A: At the manga magazine where I was kindly given the kasaku, the editor kindly advised me, "I personally like your art, but you'll probably be told to change your style sometime soon, so it'll be better for you if you went elsewhere." If so, I like Mitsuru Adachi, and the picture is cute overall, so I thought about moving to Sunday. Then, I was told that I could go sooner than I'd thought, and things went smoothly after that.

But then, a senior manga artist told me, "You should visit the editorial department many times until they memorize your name," so I visited the editorial department whenever I could. When I received the Newcomer Award with Wait a Minute, I already had an editor, in my case. There are many newcomers just like you, so to stand out you must bring in the name (roughly sketched manuscript) often. I did that intentionally. For about half a year, I visited quite insistently, saying "I fixed the name again!" Almost everyday. It's not like I had anything else to do, and I wanted to serialize as soon as possible.


Q: Magic Kaito's serialization started in that evironment, didn't it? In Sunday's Special Edition?

青山 そうです。単発で少しずつ描かせてもらったりしていましたけど、基本的にはその間、無職ですよね。漫画家として食べていけるようになったわけじゃないですから。学生時代にバイトで貯めたお金と、新人賞の賞金を食いつぶしていました。




A: Yes. I was allowed to draw from time to time, but you're basically jobless during that time, aren't you? You can't eat as a manga artist, yet. I was eating with the money I saved through part-time jobs as a student, and with the prize money from the Newcomer Award.

Although, you might think that this was a difficult time period the way I talk, but those days were actually really fun for me (laughs). In the end, I was doing what I liked, since I like manga.

I also had a lot of time when I was a newcomer, so I could play my favorite games. Back when I used to draw manga while playing Dragon Quest, I had a promise to meet with the editor. Then, when the editor called since he was at a cafe near Egoda's train station, I replied, half asleep, "Uuuum, I can't gooo, since I don't have the gold yeeet" (laughs). Then I hanged up, and when I got a call again after thirty minutes, I vaguely thought, "I said something weird, didn't I?" (laughs).

The editor back then was a good person, too. Things were fun back then, in many aspects. Now, I don't quite have the time to play games as I used to.


Q: Did you realize that you could continue as a manga artist, that you could eat as one with Magic Kaito?

青山 そうですね。当時の編集長が「マジック快斗」をあまり評価してくれなくて、「これが単行本になって10万部売れたらおごってやる」って言われていたんです。だけどあっという間に越えちゃって、その時単行本が売れるって儲かるんだなと思いました。そのあと「YAIBA」の連載が本誌で始まったんですが、週間だから単行本が出るのも速いでしょう。それでずいぶん楽になりました。生活もですが、精神的にもですね。忙しくなって遊ぶ時間はなくなっちゃいましたけど。



A: Yes, I think so. The editor-in-chief back then didn't like Magic Kaito very much, and he said, "I'll treat you something if this gets sold as volumes and sells 100,000 copies." Then the number was passed in the blink of time - I thought, it's profitable to sell volumes, isn't it? After that, YAIBA started at the magazine, and since the magazine is weekly, volumes came out quickly, too. Things became much easier after that, not only in terms of livelihood but psychologically, too. I did become busy and lost time to have some fun, though.

Conan was decided when I met up with the editor to discuss what to do next after YAIBA ended. At the time, Kindaichi (from Kindaichi Case Files) started at Shonen Magazine, and since I like mysteries and it seemed interesting, I wanted to have a go at it. At first, I/we thought about a hardboiled-esque comedy with a title like "Tale of a Detective" or something similar. But Conan is the royal road to shonen manga, isn't it? Becoming small, and then getting threatened by bad guys.

The plot was finished in about two weeks, but it's not something I/we thought neurotically about. Conan turned back to a first grader, since Shinichi is 17, so I thought that turning back exactly ten years would be easy to understand. I get asked if why I chose first grade, but that's pretty much all the reason (laughs). Although, there also was a bit of an aspect that, since first graders are completely children, someone that age will be laughed at and then forgiven for doing anything.


Q: Did you decide the characters' appearances along with the plot?

青山 ほとんど同時に。絵については1分もかかってないかな。

A: Almost at the same time. I don't think that the pictures took more than a minute.


Q: The idea for Conan's glasses was decided at the time, too?

青山 スーパーマンが好きなので。彼はクラーク・ケントのときにはメガネをかけていたでしょう。それが頭にありました。新一のときはメガネしていないけど、コナンになるとメガネ。




A: I like Superman, you see. Superman wore glasses as Clark Kent, right? That was what was in my head at the time. No glasses when he's Shinichi, but glasses once he turns into Conan.

I just remembered, I wanted to make a rule-breaking manga. In shonen, Arare-chan is about the only one who is a protagonist and who also has glasses. Strictly speaking, Nobita-kun isn't a protagonist.

Also, names (characters/letters). In shonen, there was a rule that manga with a lot of names in it don't become popular. There was another rule I tried to break – hmm, what was it? Was it about the name, Conan? Since it was the same as Future Boy Conan, the editor-in-chief didn't make a very good face. I think I was told to change the name to Doyle-kun (laughs).

My editor was excited about breaking the rules, though.


Q: Going back to what you have just said about shonen manga's royal path – your work also has an element of love comedy; childhood friends are also royal-path material, aren't they?

青山 そうですね。幼なじみはまあ、僕の趣味といわれればそうだけど(笑)、ラクなんですよ設定が。幼なじみで昔から知っているというのはストーリーが展開しやすいんです。ラブコメではやっぱりあだち充さんの「タッチ」とか好きでしたから。テレビドラマだと「男女七人夏物語」。今の若い読者の子はこのドラマを知らない人も多いでしょうけど、ラブコメの最高傑作だと僕は思っているんですよ。ああいう雰囲気を出したかった。


A: That's true. You could say that it's my preference to use childhood friends, though (laughs). The setup becomes really easy. It's easy to develop the story when the characters are childhood friends who have known each other for a long time. I liked Mitsuru Adachi-san's Touch, after all. As for dramas, I like The Tale of Seven Men and Women*. Though most young readers now probably don't know about this drama, I think that this is the masterpiece of love comedy. I wanted to bring out such an atmosphere in my work.

Although, despite the presence of love, neither Shinichi nor Hattori chases after women, do they? They're a little different from a normal high school boy. In the end, detectives are fairly different, whether you're talking about Holmes or Seishi Yokomizo's Kindaichi. That's the appeal of detective-type people, though.

*There's a Japanese Wikipedia page for it, but that's about it. Apparently it ran from July 25 to September 26, 1986 on TBS, and was so popular that its ratings exceeded 31% at one time.


Q: Have your names ever been disgarded before?

青山 イラストレーターの女の人が愛人の画家に殺される回(FILE. 125「落ちる死体」~)で、「俺はおまえにお金をやる。だからおまえはオレを満足させる。それで50・50でいいじゃないか」と書いたら、これはちょっとまずいですって。サンデーでは確かに生々しいかなと思いました(笑)。結局、「仕事をやるから家庭に口出しするな」というような、あっさりしたものにしたんです。そのぐらいですね。

A: In the case where the female illustrator gets killed by her lover, who is an artist (File 125~ "Falling Corpse"), I wrote, "I give you money. You give me satisfaction. That sounds like a fair deal to me," and they told me that this was not good. I do agree that it was too raw for Sunday (laughs). In the end, I changed it to something light like "I'll do my job so don't meddle with the family." That's about it.


Q: What about collecting data? I'm often surprised about how firm the factual areas on police relations, crime knowledge, and such are.

青山 編集者の友達に鑑識や銀行の人がいたり、アシスタントの親せきが元刑事だったりするので、聞いてもらって。たとえば貸し金庫を夜中にあけるとしたら何が必要か?とか。警察用語でも出していいものは作品で使わせてもらうし、「これはちょっと秘密だから出さないで」というものも当然ありますし。




A: The editor has friends who does CSI or are working at a bank, and the assistants' relatives turn out to be former police detectives, so I ask them. For example, what do you need if you want to open a safe at night? I get to use some police terminology, too, though of course there are secret ones that I can't use.

On car-related subjects, I ask my brother, who is one year younger than me. He's an engineer. I ask him things like, if you insert ice between the front wheels and the ice melts, what will happen? The radiator's water will probably drip if the cooler was kept open – then, where would the water drip from? Things like that. (File 221)

On medicine-related subjects, I have another younger brother, who is a doctor. He and I came up with the APTX. To be rejuvenated . . . you can't get your bones back to the way it was, so that aspect is fictional, but maybe it's possible to rejuvenate cells, and such. This younger brother is also knowlegeable about anime, so he advised me on who to pick for voice actors. Also, on Hattori and Kazuha's Kansai dialect, the editor, who is from Kansai, looks over them carefully for me.

On site research, I've rode the sleeping car train Hokutosei with the editor before. We had a meeting around dusk once, and suddenly decided to make this case center on Hokutosei. By chance, I/we managed to obtain the ticket(s) for next morning. Unfortunately, we didn't go up to Hokkaido and got off at Utsunomiya, so it was a bit of a waste. The train conductor surprised me. I said, "I have to get off in the middle?"


Q: What do you struggle with the most in Conan's story?

青山 動機ですね、犯人の。トリックを考えるのが大変だと思われますけど、僕としては動機の方にいつも苦労しています。


A: The culprit's motives. People often think that coming up with tricks is troublesome, but for me, I always struggle with the motives.

Grudges pop up a lot, but if it happens too often, then it's not interesting anymore. But then, I don't like indiscriminate murder, either. For example, someone kills people because it was hot outside – that leaves a bad taste, doesn't it? I don't want to do things like that. I also don't let the culprit die. The culprit commits suicide in the end only in the Tsukikage (Moon Shadow) Island story, right?


Q: On the characters, is there something you decided the characters won't do?

青山 コナンは泣かない、ということぐらいですね。あくびして目に涙がたまるのはいいけど、号泣しない、感情移入して泣いたりしない。これは最初に決めたことです。ほかにもいろいろあるけどあんまり言わない方がいいですよね。読者のみんなに捜してもらうほうが楽しいでしょう。

A: Conan doesn't cry, but that's about it. He might have tears in his eyes from yawning, but he won't wail, he won't cry from empathy. I decided this at the beginning. There are other things I decided, but it's better not to say them, isn't it? It'll be more fun for the readers to search for themselves.


Q: Do you decide the story with the editor?

青山 はい、編集者と最初に話しながら決めていきます。これは前の話が終わったら仮眠をとって、すぐその日のうちにやります。フリートークのような感じで、トリックから話の流れから結末まで、一気に編集と一話分、つまりおよそ3~4週分を決めてしまうんです。


A: Yes, I first discuss with the editor and decide. When the previous case ends, I take a nap, then I discuss within that day. With a free-talk-like style, we discuss from the trick, the flow of the story, to the conclusion, and we decide one case at once – in another words, we decide what will happen for the next 3~4 weeks.

So the overall schedule goes like this: one case ends, I take a nap, I meet with the editor within that day, then I finish the name (pre-manuscript) in three days, then I meet up with the editor again, and then I ink it, then I add the finishing touches in the next four days. This is my week.


Q: You can't rest at all, can you? You must have other things to do within that period, too.

青山 ええ、休めないです。原稿を完成して寝てるときぐらいしか休みはないですね。休載のときは旅行なんかもしますが、それでもコナンのことを考えていて完全に休みにはならない。息抜きは野球を見てるときぐらいですね。

A: No, I can't rest. I rest only about the time when I sleep after finishing the manuscript. I might travel when Conan doesn't print, but even then I think about Conan so it's not truly a rest at all. I relax only about when I watch baseball.


Q: Everyone is curious about how Conan will develop in the future.

青山 いや、それもいっぱい言わないのが楽しいでしょう(笑)。読者があっと驚くような展開を考えていますけど、今はまだ言えないことのほうが多いですね。

A: It's probably more fun to not say much about that (laughs). I am thinking about a development that will surprise the readers, but for now there are more things that I can't say.



Even if sensei does take a few weeks of vacation, no one forgets about Conan, and the popularity doesn't go down, either (though this will trouble the editorial department). Even though sensei climbed up to that point, he continues writing Conan amid an even more difficult schedule. I wonder about where such an energy come from.

One more thing, sensei never said the word "job". Though writing manga is undoubedly a job for sensei, it seems to be completely different from the what is called "labor".


Q: What is important for a manga artist? What would you advise people who want to become manga artists, for example?

青山 なんだろう・・・・・・。僕はあんまり自分で「ああ、俺は漫画家なんだな」と強く意識するような瞬間ってないんだけども。




それから、世の中のことで自分が知らないことはたくさんあるでしょう。アニメに関しての話なんだけど、視聴率で「F1, F2」という専門用語を聞いたとき、あ、これで何かできないかなと考えちゃったりしましたね*。新しいことを見たり聞いたりしたときに、何かできるんじゃないかと考えるのは大事なことです。

A: I wonder . . . I never had a moment where I had a strong sense that I am a manga artist.

You might say that, at the core, you have to like it. You can't continue if you don't like it. Also, you must have a sense of inquisitiveness. These might be common, but that's all that I can think of.

On inquisitiveness, say you see a boring movie. Don't say "Boooring!" and be done with it, for me I would think about how this part should be like this, how if this is done then it will be come more and more interesting – things like that.

Interesting movies are fine the way they are, but what are you doing to think when you see a boring one? That's why boring movies are surprisingly better for me results-wise (laughs).

Also, there are a lot of things that you don't know about in this world, right? In a story related to anime, when I heard of the terminologies "F1, F2" for ratings, I end up thinking if I could make something out of them or not.* It's important to think about what you can do with things you've never heard of before.



*Symbols representing TV viewers' age groups. F1 = female, 20~34; F2 = female, 35~49; others are as follows:

F3 = females 50 and above; M1 = male, 20~34; M2 = male, 35~49; M3 = males 50 and above; C1 = children, 4~12; C2 = children, 13~19.


Q: Your head constantly turns toward creative work, doesn't it? Creative brain, perhaps.

青山 そうですね。だからやっぱり好きじゃないとだめでしょ。普通は旅行に行ったらなんにも考えずのんびりするんだけど、僕もそうしようとは思うんですが、つい普段の癖で何かネタになりそうなことはないかなと。基本的にマジメってこともあるんです(笑)。ただしあんまり根を詰めるとダメなんですけども。

A: That's true. That's why you have to like it, in the end. You're usually carefree without any thoughts if you travel, and I try to do that, too, but I end up thinking about if I can find material to work with out of habit. At the core, there's an aspect of diligence (laughs). You shouldn't strain your nerves too much, though.


Q: Are you all right from tendonitis? They say that being a manga artist means a fight against tendonitis.

青山 一回なりかけて、ヤバイなというときがありました。元々、筆圧が強いので腱鞘炎にはなりやすいタイプなんです。それからは描き方を変えましたね。細マジックで、何度も線をなぞって太くしていくんですよ。ピグマの0.1ミリというペンがあるんですが、それでサッサッと。そうすると腕に力を入れなくてもすむんです。


A: There was one time when I almost got it. I always had strong pressure on the pen, so I'm the type who easily gets tendonitis. I've changed my drawing style since then. I use a thin marker and trace over the same line many times to make it thicker. I use the PIGMA 0.1mm pen. That way, I don't have to put much pressure on the arms.

Except for background and unimportant characters, I draw everything. Meaning, I leave things like backgrounds with cars, CSI's and police people without names to assistants, then draw the characters who have names myself.


Q: On the art, which manga artist did you receive influence from?

青山 「ルパン三世」のモンキー・パンチさんですね。コナンがお酒を飲んで元の身体に戻るときがあるでしょう?あの「白乾児(パイカル)」というお酒は、「ルパン三世」に出てくるすごくかっこいい魔術師の名前なんです。あとはあだち充さん、意外なところでは少女漫画家の松苗あけみさんかな。それから大友克洋さんは世代的に、僕らの年齢だとみんな多かれ少なかれ影響を受けているんじゃないかな。

A: Monkey Punch, of Lupin III. There's a time when Conan drinks some alcohol and reverts back to his former body, right? The alcohol called Paikaru comes from the name of a magician that appears in Lupin III. I would also say Mitsuru Adachi-san, and surprisingly a shojo manga artist named Akemi Matsunae-san, I think. And people my age all received influence to some degree from Katsuhiro Otomo-san, I think.

(Ha ha, I wonder if Miyano Akemi's name comes from Matsunae Akemi's . . . it sounds like it does, doesn't it?)


Q: Sensei is single, but if you marry you can't continue living like this, can you?

青山 無理でしょう。生活が変わっちゃったら、今のペースは維待できない。最初にコナンを立ち上げたときも、「これは大変だよな」と思いました。で、実際やってみたら本当にあまりに大変なんで、もう上の人からどうこう言われるんならやらない。勝手にやらせてくれなきゃいやだと言ったぐらいです。そうやって、生活も作品も好き勝手にやっているから続けていけるんでしょうね。



A: No, I can't. If my lifestyle changes, I can't continue the current pace anymore.* When I started Conan, I thought that this would be a lot of work. When I actually started, it was truly so much work that I don't do what my superiors say. I even said that I won't do anything unless they let me do whatever I want to do. This way, I can continue because I'm doing whatever I want in life and in my work.

I was told to change the name from Conan to Doyle, to make Hattori into an absolute rival, things like that, but that's different from what I'm thinking. In that aspect, I insisted on my way as the artist. So I've been doing whatever I want. You should do what you like, as you like . . . This may be quite troublesome to both mind and body, but in the end I think that I want to be consumed there. Therefore, I'm happy, after all, because I'm living this way.

I think I want to continue being a manga artist until ideas run dry, or readers tell me that they don't need me anymore. Though I might say "Aaaah, stooop!" from time to time.

*There seems to be a typo here - I can't find the meaning of 維待anywhere – so I guessed at what it meant.

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^ Well, to be fair, he said that he won't stop being a manga artist, not that he won't stop DC. ^^; Besides, this was way back in 2003 - since he's thought about retirement, I think that he's changed his mind by now.

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Some of you might already know about this interview from dctp, but I just found it so here it is . . . It's always good to have multiple translations, right, so that if there's a discrepancy then people can figure out what the translation error is?! So here it is.

From 2chan, another blog confirms this interview

As usual, since the Japanese language likes to leave out subjects, I'll be filling in what I think the subject is, but it might not necessarily be accurate.

例のガンダムエースの対談 ※コナン関係を抜粋

The rumored Gundam Ace conversation *Extracted the Conan-related segment


Ikeda Shuuichi x Aoyama Gosho (2010 March issue)




Ikeda (voice actor for Char Aznable, the namesake of Akai Shuuichi, in case you didn't know): By the way, under what circumstance did a character named "Akai Shuuichi" emerge?

In Conan, the characters are always named after famous detectives.

It's curious that Gundam is the basis of this name.









Aoyama: There's also the possibility that (I) ran out of detective-based names (laughs)

When it was decided that (we) would introduce an FBI agent who would side with the protagonist, Conan,

I wanted to base the image of that astute investigator on Char.

That's why (I) decided on just the last name to be "Akai (red)" at first.

After that, when (I) pondered on what the first name should be, (I) decided it to be "Shuuichi" after you, Ikeda-san (laughs)

Since Conan's real name is "Shinichi," and "Shinichi" and "Shuuichi" sound similar,

(I) wouldn't normally pick (this name), but I thought that it would be okay, just this once.



Ikeda: What an honor! Since I get to voice the TV-version as well,

I feel a quite a deep bond (to the character? to Gosho?).




Gosho: For the anime's important character's, I get asked by P (I don't know what the heck P is), "Do you have an image (of who the voice actor should be) in mind?"

For Akai, I requested (by replying), "Who else but Ikeda-san!" and the wish came true!




Ikeda: Will there be more Gundam-based (ideas? characters?) in Conan?






Aoyama: If Conan's ally's highest ranking member is Akai,

then it would be interesting if there were characters with Gundam-based names in the Black Organization as well.

Like "Amuro Akira/Tooru" (徹 can be read both as Tooru or Akira) (laughs)

For Gundam, the good guys and bad guys should be reversed. In this case,

the voice actor is more or less decided (laughs).


Ikeda: That's true, there's only that person (laughs)

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There was recently a Q&A event with Gosho called 青山剛昌先生と話そうDAY (Let's talk with Aoyama Gosho-sensei day) on January 3rd, 2012 at Tottori. You can see a brief video here, and some pictures can be found on this blog.

According to this blog, these are some of the answers Gosho gave - also, she says that she left out some answers that she thinks Conan fans should already know. She also apologizes for possibly forgetting some answers. So far, this is the only blog I can find that reported on what Gosho said in the Q&A, so here they are!

The emphasis is mine.

  • いつになるか分からないが、川中島の戦いを扱った長野県警が出るデカい事件を用意している。
    Not sure when (it will be published), but a huge case using the Battles of Kawanaka Island involving the Nagano Police District is being prepared.
  • 仕事場のデジタル化で変わった事→仕事場がトーンで汚れなくなった。
    Due to the digitalization of the work place, the work place doesn't become dirty after using tones
  • 何巻まで続く?→100巻まではいかないと思う…けど分からない。
    Until what volume will (Conan) continue? → (Gosho) doesn't think (Conan) will reach 100 volumes, but (Gosho) isn't sure.
  • 沖矢さんを消さないで!→うーん、どうだろう…。
    Don't erase Okiya-san! → Hmm, I'm not sure...
  • 千葉刑事の下の名前→高木刑事が声優さんと同じなので違う名前にするかも
    Detective Chiba's first name → Since Detective Takagi's is the same as the voice actor's, maybe (Chiba's first) name will be different (from the voice actor's)
  • 睡眠時間→朝9時~昼12時。原稿上がった時は12時間くらい泥の様に眠る。
    Time of sleep → 9am ~ 12pm. Once the manuscript is done (Gosho) sleeps like mud for 12 hours. (Gosho sleeps three hours a day?! O_o)
  • 蘭の誕生日教えて!→差し支えあるので今は言えない。でもまだ誕生日来ていないので蘭は現在16歳。
    Tell me Ran's birthday! → Since there's an obstacle can't tell for now. But since the birthday hasn't passed Ran is 16 right now.
  • 今でもお気に入りのエピソードは東都タワー爆破未遂事件
    Favorite episode is still the Touto Tower bombing attempt case
  • ボスのメールアドレス、青山先生がご実家に電話する際、市外局番が七つの子に聞こえた為、これは使える!と使ったらしい。
    On the Boss' email address, when Aoyama-sensei called home, since the area code sounded like Nanatsu no Ko, he thought "I can use this!" so used it, apparently

The rest of the list is about the movie - if you want me to translate, let me know, since I'm too lazy right now, ha ha. ^^;

EDIT: Oh! This topic is pinned! I never noticed. Cool! :3

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Some very fascinatingly interesting information there. Didn't know that Ran was 17 yet, but I guess it makes sense considering her birthday hasn't happened in the manga yet.

His sleeping schedule doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

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Looking forward to the huge case involving the Nagano police district !

As am I. My brother literally squeed when he heard what it was going to use. xD He loves reading about stuff like Shingen Takeda and the like.

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