Gosho Aoyama's assistants
Gosho Aoyama gets support by a group of mostly 5 to 7 assistants during the work at his manga, which is a rather unusually high number for the industry. Most of them are friends from his days back at the Ekoda Campus (Fine Arts) of Nihon University, who were part of the same Manga Research Club. They also help him coming up with names for the characters and the featured detective in the Detective Picture Book. Several of them grouped together as the Ekoda Detective Group and created the Detective Conan Special manga together with Yutaka Abe, Denjiro Maru, Masaru Ohta and Kazuhiro Kubota.
He has several characters and places designed and/or named after him in their works: He appears as a kitsune-like student at the school in Nonchalant Lupin and got cameos as a member of the "film crew" in the first and last omakes of Magic Kaito. He also has some background cameos. He furthermore shows up as an unwitting customer in Kumo-Otoko's restaurant in Yaiba who gets chased away. There are also several stores named after him in the series. As "Yamagishi-san" he's a member of Shigeo Nagashima's baseball team at Kohnan High School in 3rd Base 4th, as well as a manager of Yoko Okino in Detective Conan and Zero's Tea Time. In the omakes of the second to last series he is "Detective Puppet Yama-chan".
His own works include Cocktail & Bar Course (カクテル&バー講座 Kakuteru & Bā Kōza), a guide to bars and cocktails in the form of a manga, and Secrets of Buddhism (Bukkyō no Himitsu 仏教のひみつ), another guide about buddhism, also in manga form.
Keiji Asou (麻生 圭二 Asou Keiji) is another assistant active for him since his first work and seemingly helps Gosho with inking the manuscripts and sharing two side-by-side desks with Masaki Negishi.
He lent his name to Dr. Asou in Nonchalant Lupin (which he also appears in as a student independent of that character), the natural sciences teacher Keiji Asou in Magic Kaito (in which he also appeared as a member of the "film crew" working on the series in Volume 5), as one of the "men of Japan" in drag in Yaiba and Keiji and Seiji Asou in Detective Conan. In the omakes of the latter he's the "Homicide Detective" and the "Detective General".
Hotori Kurosato (黒郷 ほとり Kurosato Hotori), real name Natsuko Shibuya (澁谷 夏子 Shibuya Natsuko) is an assistant that worked for Gosho somewhere during the serialization of Detective Conan. Their own work, Lisa's Inedible Table (リサの食べられない食卓 Risa no Taberarenai Shokutaku), got recommended by Gosho. They appeared in Volume 100 omake. Natsuko Shibuya from "Elementary Teacher Assault" is named after them.
Koichi Kishida (岸田 晃一 Kishida Kōichi) is often shown as a rather huge guy (with the P.E. teacher based on him getting called a "gorilla" by Conan Edogawa) with a contrasting shy and poetic personality, often depicting himself as some kind of parody on Waldo. He's an assistant of Gosho since at least somewhere during the run of Yaiba. For Gosho's website Conatsu he created a short manga about Ayumi Yoshida, Ayumi no Yabō: Zenkoku-ban ("Ayumi's Ambition: Nationwide Edition").
The anime version of the very first murder victim, Kishida, the Teitan High School's P.E. teacher Mr. Kishida (also serving as a model) and several stores seen during Yaiba and Detective Conan are named after him. Furthermore, he's one of the "men of Japan" dressed in drag in Yaiba. He also appears as a member of the "film crew" working on Magic Kaito in Volume 5. In the Detective Conan omakes he's the "Big Head Detective" and "Poet of Life".
Masaki Negishi (根岸 正樹 Negishi Masaki) is an assistant supporting Gosho since his first work and seems to help him with inking the manga manuscripts, sitting next to Keiji Asou. He also has a sub-page on Gosho's website Conatsu, "Chef Negishi no Cooking Book", an online cook recipe book. According to Gosho, he has hayfever, which causes him to associate spring with Negishi's sneezing.
He's got several background cameos in Yaiba and appears as a balloon figure and a member of the "film crew" working on Magic Kaito in the omake of Volume 5. Masaki Negishi and Akio Negishi in Detective Conan were named (and the latter seemingly modeled) after him and in the omakes he's the "Chubby Detective", as well as "The Once Chubby, Now Fat Detective". He can also be seen together with Yutaka Tani in a TV show Kogoro Mouri watches.
Ryo Kameshiro (神城 亮 Kameshiro Ryō), real name Sana Murakami (村上 紗菜 Murakami Sana), is an assistant that worked for Gosho somewhere during the serialization of Detective Conan. They appeared in Volume 100 omake. Sana Murakami from "Black Bunny's Club Case" is named after them.
Yutaka Tani (谷 豊 Tani Yutaka) is one of the assistants working with Gosho since his first manga. He sits right across him in the studio and seemingly helps him with layouting/sketching the manuscripts. He also seemingly is the person mainly responsible for maintaining Gosho's website Conatsu and made several artworks and graphics for it, including the character roulette, where he's also got his own private sub-page, "Super Lovely Sonoko!! Fanpage", a fan website about Sonoko Suzuki and her seiyu.
During his cameos he's often depicted as a man with sunglasses and distinct lips, sometimes being drunk. In this function he appears as a dancing drunken man on Aoko Nakamori's christmas party in "Star War" from Volume 3 of Magic Kaito, as well as part of the "film crew" working on the series in the omake of Volume 5. He also appears several times in Yaiba, also being one of the "men of Japan" dressed in drag. In Detective Conan he can be seen together with Masaki Negishi in a TV show Kogoro Mouri watches and in the omakes he's the "Alcoholic Detective".
Unknown female assistant
Gosho Aoyama has a younger female assistant supporting him since 2011, also drawing several of the background and unnamed side characters appearing in the manga chapters since 2016. A young woman appears as part of the "film crew" working on Magic Kaito in the background of the omake from Volume 5 with the other assistants who probably is supposed to be her, carrying away a prop tree. While her name is never revealed, two new assistants are revealed in Volume 100 omake (Hotori Kurosato and Ryo Kameshiro), indicating that the mentioned female assistant could be one of them.
Yutaka Abe (阿部 ゆたか Abe Yutaka), a prolific mangaka himself since the seventies, became known in Japan for original works like FIGHT!, Hai! Step Jun! (which was also adapted as an anime) and 100% Tantei Monogatari (which Gosho assisted him with, who was his kōhai during university), as well as commissioned manga like Dragon Quest. Besides assisting Gosho with his works in turn, he also created the manga based on the movies and illustrations for the novels of Detective Conan. He always worked together with Denjiro Maru.
- In Yaiba, Gerozaimon Geroda comes up with the plan to dress the men of Japan in drag to lead Empress Kaguya into a trap, who can only suck out the life energy of female persons. The men he is envisioning that way are Yutaka Abe, Koichi Kishida, Yutaka Tani, Gosho Aoyama and Keiji Asou.
- Gosho Aoyama and his assistants often went outside and played some baseball during the time they worked on Yaiba. Nowadays, with Detective Conan, there isn't the time for that anymore. They are often playing "KanColle" (Kantai Collection) instead, a card game depicting warships from World War II as young girls.
- The assistants also usually cooked something themselves in the past, but there isn't time for that anymore either, so they order food from a convenience store.
- One of the assistant's relatives are members of the Japanese police force, which Gosho Aoyama used to ask them for research purposes. Furthermore, the wife of one of his assistants is called Kazuha, which Gosho thought to be cute, so he used that name for Kazuha Toyama.
- ^ Interviews#Erlangen, Germany Interview
Q: How many persons work on the manga?
A: Gosho Aoyama works together with six assistants.
- ^ Interviews#Masters Of Manga Interview
12: How many assistants do you have? Some of them went on to create new stories based on your characters and situations with the title of Detective Conan Special. What do you think about this? How do you feel having your characters and plots in others’ hands?
A: I have five assistants. About how I feel letting others take control of my plot and characters, I felt anxious at first, but later on I’ve discovered they really make me think: “Wow, this situation is not bad at all, why didn’t I come up with it before?” (laughs).
- ^ Interviews#Otona Fami Interview #3
Q: Magic Kaito, your first serial work, started the following year. Things are going favorably.
A: Though my university classmates and lowerclassmen were assisting me, when contribution fees were paid for the first time, we all went to a sushi restaurant to celebrate.
- ^ Interviews#Otona Fami Interview #3
Q: Until what age do you want to stay active?
A: As long as I can. I want to retire when I reach Agasa's age (53), I think, but once I retire I think I'll start wanting to draw manga again. The assistants who've been with me since the beginning are aging, too – there's a lot of trouble. But, just like Chaplin, I'll keep saying “My best work is my next work”!
- ^ a b Interviews#Gosho Singapore visit Interview
Q21: Do you have any assistants? And are they young mangakas?
A: I’ve got 6 assistants. They’re colleagues from the college manga club. They’re all… pretty old. But a young girl joined us. She’s the only one who looks lively… (laughs)
- ^ Interviews#Aoyama Gosho x Mitsuru Adachi Interview
Aoyama: Kyoujin fans don't' change much do they? (laughs) Heck, even my assistants from my college days haven't changed. We've been together without losing anyone this whole time. From when I was submitting works to magazines to now, I've used the same assistants.
- ^ Super Digest Books#Super Digest Book 30+
Q80: How did you meet your assistants?
A: We were friends or kohai during college.
- ^ Super Digest Book#Super Digest Book 60+
Q59: How do you come up with the suspects' names?
A: I think about it with my assistants after having decided on the theme.
- ^ Super Digest Books#Super Digest Book 70+
Q3: For the Meitantei Zukan (the Detective Picture Book at the end of the volumes), your assistants are the one who choose them, right?
A: In general, the assistants are the ones who choose. By the way, all the Japanese authors who really exist have had permission obtained from them before they are featured. Likewise, we also seek permission from the Japanese actors who appear.
- ^ Super Digest Books#Super Digest Book 80+
Q84: Who decided wich character owns wich car?
A: I decided for Subaru's RX-7 and 360, but it's Yamagishi who decided for the other cars.
- ^ Super Digest Books#Super Digest Book 80+
Q70: Does Akai-san have a gun he really likes? He’s always using the one he stole from a Black Org member… When he shot Gin with a rifle, what kind of rifle was it?
A: I should ask my assistant Yamagishi.
- ^ 「超入門」カクテル&バー講座 | 原田和子の本･情報誌 - TSUTAYA/ツタヤ
- ^ まんが・仏教のひみつ | 松本義弘の絵本・知育 - TSUTAYA/ツタヤ
- ^ Questions given by the Shonen Sunday magazine#2010
Q: Now that spring is here, what sort of things do you most associate with the season?
A: My assistant Negishi always starts sneezing from his hayfever.
- ^ Sherry's soliloquy#2011
Apparently, a new female assistant will come this week…
- ^ Interviews#Otona Fami Interview #3
Q: When did you start walking down the path of a manga artist?
A: I was opposed by my parents, so I almost gave up my dream of becoming a manga artist during high school. Instead, I entered Nihon University College of Art to become an art teacher. There, manga research (?) existed, which didn't exist in my countryside high school (laughs). An alumni manga artist, Abu Yukata-san (Bear-chan's Christmas, Detective Conan Special Edition, etc.) was there. I went to be an assistant at Abu-san's work place, and he said, “Do you want to draw manga for real”? That's where it started.
- ^ Q: Did you ever think you would fail as a manga artist, or did you regret your decision?
A: [...] In the days I was drawing "YAIBA" it was way more peaceful. The pictures were difficult, because it was an action manga. If I hurried I could get the names done in about a day, and could get everything finished in about 5 or 6 days. Then, with my left over time I'd go play baseball. My assistant would be like "Let's go play ball!" And, I still had free time left over. If I tried to do that while making "Conan" it'd be too difficult...
- ^ Interviews#Monthly Conan Newspaper 2014
Q: What about your meals?
A: [...] A long time ago, sometimes my assistants would make something. Now that we're working off computers we're even more busy and my assistants don't have time to make any food either. Our dinner is from a convenience store!
- ^ Interviews#Conan Drill Official Book Interview