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Post Reply Interview with Nobuhiro Watsuki about Rurouni Kenshin
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Posted 1/7/08
All credits go to this site -->http://www.animeondvd.com/conitem.php?item=190 and also to http://the-oro.com, which helped me find the interview.

*I edited the last entry slightly in order to have it make more sense. Please feel free to check out the original, but I think that they made a slight grammar error and repeated themselves accidentally, thus creating a somewhat confusing sentence. I also went through and corrected various words that were misspelled. They really should have done a better job editing it the first time, but I am grateful that the interview exists anyways....even if it is full of grammar and spelling errors.

Question:1. What was your involvement in the OVA?
Answer:The director was in charge, thought Watsuki checked in on the script and the designs (making sure that Tomoe's ears didn't show). Watsuki said he felt frustrated that the OVA series seemed to more interesting than the manga!

Question:2. What character is Kenshin are you most attached to?
Answer:Yahiko, heh. Not strong but WANTS to be strong and be more manly. Watsuki would like to be someone like Kenshin, but his life style just doesn't match this.

Question:3. Saitou vs. Kenshin - who would win?
Answer:If it was purely a fight - Saito, but if he was protecting something - Kenshin.

Question:4. The ending of the Kenshin manga seemed rushed, were you satisfied with the ending?
Answer:He is happy with how he ended Kenshin - it was a good place to end. Most series keep being pushed and pushed until they lose popularity ad die. Watsuki was glad Kenshin did not end like this.

Question:5. How much research did you do on the Meiji period and its people?
Answer:Kenshin started as a shot story without much research. In the year and half, he had between when the series started he read a LOT of books. He wanted to draw kimonos and swords, so its not very accurate to the Meiji period.

Question:6. Why did you choose the Meiji Period?
Answer:Watsuki didn't want to draw the old hairstyle from Edo period, as it looks kinda strange. He is also a big fan of the Shinsengumi, but he couldn't do the actual revolution since he wanted to do more human drama.

Question:7. SPOILER QUESTION to BE ADDED TO END OF THE REPORT?
Answer: SPOILER ANSWER AT END OF REPORT :)

Question: 8. What do you think of the TV arcs that were not based on the manga at all?
Answer:You can't help having original episodes for a TV series. They could have gone even wilder, dragging Kenshin to Hokkaido or the US.

Question:9. In regards to the anime - TV vs. OVA, happy vs. drama, action va. violence - in retrospect which one did you prefer? Which one represented your work best?
Answer:(sigh) In a lot of ways the OVA for the art, but the happy happy feel of the TV series was also good. Watsuki wants to continue to write what he believes, and he does like happy endings.

Question:10. Will you ever write the story of Soujiro's ten year vagabond trip?
Answer:Drawing such a thing would be really depressing, and he'd rather write what happens AFTER. It might make a good series.

Question:11. What are you favorite aspects of Kenshin and what do you have in common with him?
Answer:Kenshin can sacrifice himself and use his sword for others. Watsuki feels he is most like Kenshin in how he draws upon the past and gets all gloomy about it. Sometimes Watsuki would think "Why can't Kenshin look FORWARD for once??"

Question:12. How was Sanosuke created?
Answer:Sanosuke was created much later then Kaoru and Yahiko. Watsuki needed a guy friend for Kenshin who would punch him and say "WAKE UP". Wasukie feels he didn't write all he could have about Sanuske, and that a character like him would make an interesting main character.

Question:13. What advice to an amateur artist would you give?
Answer:Learn how to convey what you think is interesting to others, so THEY find it interesting. Good art is secondary to this. If others don't find it interesting, its not gonna work.

Question:14. In the last volume of the manga, you mentioned working on a series staring Yahiko. Is there a possibility of you still doing this?
Answer:Watsuki doesn't have any plans to write any seqeuls for a while, and the plans for his next series are in the works. Maybe in 4 to 5 years.

Question:15. In the last manga, you talked about yourself as a commercial artist. A lot of commercial artists get stuck in a rut, do find yourself doing this?
Answer:Watsuki says you should draw what you are currently in love with. You want to draw what you like, but you also want people to like it. He doesn't draw just for the money, and doesn't want to always draw in the same style.

Question:16. Since little of the Jinshu arc was animated were you satified with the end (whether this referred to the end of TV or the new OVA I can't tell) ?
Answer:He would have been happy to see more but its not like he can just say "please make more". If there is enough fanbase saying "We want more" Sony might get off their . . .
Question:17. What historical figures had the most impact on the creation of Kenshin?
Answer:There was an assassin of the revolution(who's name was missed), who had his own mind, and never really bent to the government. He did end up repenting for his killing, however he DID get executed for never submitting to the government.

Question:18. What parts of Kenshin are you most and least proud of and what would you could?
Answer:He was very proud of Yahiko's battle around vol. 5 Watsuki was very happy with how the character was protrayed and got a lot of positive feedback. Watsuki was not proud with Jinshu arc, since he put in too many enemies. He would have made more of contrast between Einishi and Kenshin. With Enishi by himself, fighting for what he lost.

Question:19. How did you create Shishio and which villains are your favorite?
Answer:Shishio IS Watsuki's favorite villain. He portrays all the vile parts of his mind ^^

Question:20. What are you other favorite manga series?
Answer:Watsuki can't really read it manga like a normal fan, but he enjoys One Piece. He thinks One Piece will make it here.

Question:21. What about manga works your by friends?
Answer: The One Piece artist was an assistant of his, but Watsuki doesn't think of him as an apprentice anymore Now he's a rival.

Question:22. How much fanfic and doujinshi have you read about Kenshin and what do you think about what they do with your characters? (GREAT reaction here from Watsuki)
Answer: We does read stuff he's sent, but he doesn't go looking for it. He doesn't appreciate people who draw it JUST cause its popular and will sell. If you are drawing it out of love, well, its their choice even if its smut . . or yaoi. But to note - he has his own Kenshin world view, so don't ask him to tell you that if Kenshin and Sanosuke are together (a fan in Japan did this) - PLEASE don't do that.

Question: 23. What is the origin of Oro?
Answer:He was surprised it caught on so much, since it's just a sort of "huh" thing. It was kind of a placeholder and he ran away with it. Kenshin ended up using it more than he thought he would.

Question: 24. What is your next project?
Answer:He's sorry but he can't discuss much about it yet. But he wants to draw something involving alchemy, everything else is still secret. If everything goes well, we'll start seeing it near the end of 2002, or the begining of 2003.

Question: 25. How did you come up with Kamatari Honjo? How does it feel to see people cosplay your characters?
Answer: The idea was provided by the artist for One Piece. The idea of the cross dresser came from a pun. Then it became a matter of "what type of queer", and he went with "cute" type. Watsuki appreciates all the Kenshin coplayers, and he takes photos of them

Question: 26. Are you going to Comiccon?
Answer:He did go last year, but he can't since he's working on new series.

Question:27. Do you have a martial arts background, and it seems like Kenshin never changes his clothes in the TV series?
Answer:Watsuki has practiced Kendo and his love of sword comes from that. He's very weak thought, and if he was a good kendoist he wouldn't be drawing manga. Little kids think characters change if you change their clothing.

Question: 28. Where did you get the ideas for the special attacks, and what is Shishio's ????
Answer: A lot of the moves are based on real martial arts moves, just over exaggerated. The other half are created by him flinging a sword around in the privacy of his room. Others are homages to favorite games, like Samurai showdown. I couldn't make out the rest.

Question: 29. What do you think of the success of your former assistants?
Answer: One Piece and Shaman King both became great successes as anime. Both are now equals and are good friends. They all used to all live together, but they betrayed him and moved out.

Question:30. It was a great shock to see that Kenshin was such a killer in his teens, so how could you make him so young?
Answer: The editors wouldn't let Kenshin be in his 30s for the series, and 28 was as young as he could get. Looking at the time period, it wasn't so strange as life spans were MUCH shorter then.

Question:31. Were you influenced by Mushashi's teaching in anyway?
Answer: There aren't too many similarities between the two except for strength of self and strength to protect.

Question:7. SPOILER - Why did you kill off Kenshin at the end of the new OVA?
Answer:Watsuki didn't have any input in it, he let the director run wild with it. If he kept drawing the manga, *he would probably have gotten to Kenshin's death, but he didn't want to do it.* Kenshin went through so much crap and deserved a happy ending. But he can't say which is right and which is wrong, it's a personal taste thing. For the DVD box for OVAs, Watsuki wrote some comments about the ending. So hopefully ADV will translate it.
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Posted 1/9/08
ho ho..... good job here lord aoshi..... *clapping*
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Posted 1/9/08
Thanks; although, I must say that posting this topic was somewhat troublesome. For some reason when I pressed the post topic button it didn't refresh the page for me to show that I posted it. Instead it looked like noting happened so I pressed the post button multiple times before opening a new tab to look at the main Team Kenshin page to see if it had been added or not. Needless to say, it had been....multiple times. I then had to lock and send the "extra" topics to the "Closed Topic" area, which was quite an interesting experience. But at least I know how the forums work a lot better now. lol
Posted 1/9/08
^^ very good, i agree with Misao, ^^ heh very interesting interview hehhh^^
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Posted 1/9/08
*sobs* Im not ready to die yet I just started to draw off the power of the will to live
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26 / F / Over the rainbow
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Posted 1/11/08
Thanks i needed to see this
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Posted 1/17/08
so gayna you mi ^^
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28 / M / Phatuum Thani, Th...
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Posted 2/3/08
lol it was such a sad ending
will they have a sequal with kenji?
Kenji looks awesome!
(I like how he fights too! )
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Posted 2/12/08
ohm i agree with Misao hehehe it's very interesting interview, yet he editors wouldn't let Kenshin be in his 30s for the series, and 28 was as young as he could get. Looking at the time period, it wasn't so strange as life were MUCH shorter then.Team Kenshin page to see if it had been added or not. and yet it isn't needless multiple Etc...
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Posted 2/21/08
It's a very sad ending and Sano and Meg should have end together!!
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Posted 2/22/08

Chibi-Hitokiri wrote:

It's a very sad ending and Sano and Meg should have end together!!


eh... the rooster head and miss megumi... i thought so too...
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Posted 2/22/08
hahaha... rooster head!!! but sano liked magdela sayo... even if it's just 4 a while.... but yessss... sano & megumi should be together!!!
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Posted 2/22/08
nani??!! sayo?? nooo -shakes head- that's the only character i hate oh well beside Takeda of course, I actually was very happy when she died muahaha XD
Posted 3/16/08
hmmm i don't remember Sayo....-.-''' eh after Hellsing i'll rewatch RK ^^
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Posted 3/17/08

AngelDemonLight wrote:

hmmm i don't remember Sayo....-.-''' eh after Hellsing i'll rewatch RK ^^


tjk tjk tjk... miss Tomoe,,, sayo's the girl who coughs blood.... the sick girl..... lady magdala... remember that?
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