Hungry for an epic battle manga? If you’re not into Toriko, the manliest, most scrumptious manga in Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, you are totally missing out! SJ Alpha members can read our full interview with Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro below. Get a jump-start on understanding the true secrets behind the toughest Gourmet Hunters, the best chefs, and the most exotic ingredients in the world! Let’s chow down! Fork! Knife! Itadakimasu!
Q: Toriko is a unique series even among the other SHONEN JUMP manga. Tell us how you came up with a concept that focused on food.
MS: The theme of Toriko is all based on food because I find those moments when people are eating food to be very intriguing.
Q: There’s lots of scientific facts in Toriko. How long do you spend researching every week?
MS: Some weeks, I do my research for five minutes online. Other weeks, I spend half a day reading books. But I don’t particularly get too deep into research.
Q: What is Toriko’s Capture Level?
MS: He is getting stronger and stronger, so even I don’t know his exact Capture Level.
Q: What does God taste like?
MS: I can’t tell you yet.
Q: How is it different having Toriko fight a person, rather than a monster?
MS: When Toriko is fighting a person, he has emotions. When he is fighting creatures, he would never feel an emotion like anger. Generally, Toriko only feels gratitude toward his food.
Q: What’s your Full-Course Meal?
MS: For the most part, I was the one who came up with the story for One Piece x Toriko: Taste of the Devil Fruit. Oda Sensei gave me a few pointers regarding Luffy’s dialogue. All together, it was a really fun experience.
Q: Other than Luffy, which Jump character do you think would be good friends with Toriko?
MS: Actually, I am not involved with the Toriko anime. All I know is that it’s really hard work to make anime.
Q: We hear you have family in Arizona. Other than the Southwest, are there other places in the U.S. that you have been to or want to go to?
MS: It’s also in Arizona, but I would like to see the Grand Canyon. The landscape would be unlike anything you see in Japan. Also, it would look like a scene out of Dragon Ball.
Q: Will there ever be a Butt Bug plushy?
MS: Not at this time. However, if one existed, I would buy it.
Q: Digital comics like SJ Alpha are getting popular in the U.S. How do you feel about the growth of digital comics?
MS: I am hoping that manga going digital will be a way to reach more people and bring awareness to more people. I also think it would be interesting to see some new form of manga with expressions that are unique to digital.
Q: What does the future of manga across the globe look like to you?
MS: Regardless of whether it’ll be in print or digital, manga will always be entertainment.
To read more great creator interviews, become an SJ Alpha member today!
Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro Creator Sketch Video (Members-Only Exclusive)
Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro Spotlight
More Creator's Interview: Masashi Kishimoto Spotlight
More Creator's Interview: Tite Kubo Spotlight
More Creator's Interview: Eiichiro Oda Spotlight
Interview by Hope Donovan and Misaki C. Kido (@Onnabancho_J)
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