WARNING! Movie 20 spoilers included.
A: Well… I’m not conscious of it.
Q2: What do you think you are for everyone out there?
A: Well… I wonder about that. I’m Conan’s creator… Hum… I really don’t know. I’m always shut in my room and working.
Q3: Is mangaka very lonely job?
A: It’s very lonely.
Q4: Have you met any young mangaka who admire you and got inspired by you to become mangaka?
A: I haven’t. (Audience laughs). There are fan letters that say “I admire you, I want to become a mangaka”
Q5: You said you’re not conscious of it but do you feel any pressure from the admiration many place into you?
A: I don’t. I don’t feel anything like that. (Replies at once)
Q6: You’re very popular so… Do you have any bodyguards?
A: Yeah! A bodyguard was assigned to me when I went to Germany!
Q7: When you work on the stories… Do you take into mind what kind of stories could be popular or what the readers would like to read?
A: Hum… I don’t… think much about it. I prioritize what I want to draw. If I try to figure out what the readers like I’ll most likely end up guessing wrong. (Someone: Really! Have you had that experience before?)
Q8: You said you receive tons of fan-letters but do you write answers to them?
A: Japan has “New Year’s cards” and I always write my replies in those.
Q9: Do you read opinions about Conan on the Internet? What do you when you find a comment that criticizes Conan?
A: Yeah. I check them out. If there’s a comment that criticizes Conan then I don’t come back to that website. (Audience laughs)
Q10: Conan is being loved across the world, not only Japan. But did you predict it’d end up like this? It’d seem it’s also pretty popular in Western countries as well, did you know?
A: I didn’t expect that. On the contrary: I thought nobody would take it seriously.
Q11: We’re now at Volume 90 but when did you start thinking that “this is working”?
A: Ever since Volume 1… (laughs). (Sorry for not being humble!)
Q12: How do you manage time when you’re busy?
A: When working on the key frames… Then I only sleep 3 hours a day
Q13: How much time do you work like that?
A: 5 days.
Q14: You don’t rest on weekends or holidays?
A: I don’t make a distinction
Q15: So you spend 5 days to make 1 file?
A: Wrong. The key frames take 5 days. Drawing the file takes 3 days.
Q16: Do you have a studio at home?
A: Yes, my home is my studio.
Q17: You don’t have any pressure regarding deadlines?
A: I don’t. Edits made when busy are bad! (laughs)
Q18: Have you ever missed a deadline?
A: I haven’t! (Replies at once)
Q19: What do you think it’ll become of manga and anime in the future?
A: Well, I’m wondering that too. I don’t think much will change… As long as they’re popular… I haven’t taken that into consideration when writing the manga
Q20: Which has more readers in Japan? Digital manga or printed manga?
A: Hum… I wonder about that. Digital seems to be in the rise, though.
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)
Q22: Do you have any mangaka you admire?
A: Tetsuya Chiba. And Mitsuru Adachi too.
Q23: I’ve been a fan of Conan since elementary school (no won my 30s). Will Conan end before I die?
A: Do your best to live on.
Q24: Is there any prediction on when will Conan end?
A: It’s a secret!
Q25: Conan is popular but can you tell about your other works?
A: Huh? What? What? Ah… I drew Yaiba a long time ago. Because I did kendo in the past. Kaito Kid as well… I don’t know what I could explain about it… I like Arsense Lupin a lot so I put that passion into Kid’s character
Q26: You said that drawing manga is a lonely thing and that you stay in your room and only sleep 3 hours, but how do you manage to stay healthy?
A: I’m not healthy. (Audience laughs). No, no, no! You shouldn’t laugh at that!
Q27: Conan is very popular and goes on but, do you have any ideas of any series you want to continue once Conan ends?
A: I haven’t thought of any.
Q28: Why is it that Vermouth and Sharon and mother and daughter?
A: Ah… Is it OK to say that? Hmmm… Look forward to it.
Q29: There’s a manga about mangakas named “Bakuman”, but do think that its story is correct or realistic?
A: I saw the anime. That’s a lie. That doesn’t happen in real life. Doesn’t. There’s a lot of things… most of them… that aren’t real. The authors said they did like that to make it interesting. Real life is more sober than that.
Q30: Have you considered any fellow mangaka a rival to compete against, or have you been irritated by any?
A: (laughs). That hasn’t happened… In my case, though. I’m a sloth myself so I myself am my greatest rival.
Q31: Do you have any plans to draw a manga showing a mangaka’s real lifestyle?
A: (laughs again). I don’t.
Q32: In “Bakuman”… You can see the relationship between the mangaka and the editor, but how is the relationship between you and your editor?
A: Nothing like the one in the manga. The editor might be a different company, even. Conan is one of the main manga in the Shonen Jump of Shogakukan. I think that the Sunday mangaka who saw Bakuman thought “that’s not true!”.
Q33: Apart from manga… Do you believe that works explaining a mangaka’s lifestyle are close to the real stuff?
A: Yeah. What was it? “Overprintable”. That was pretty real. It was made into a TV drama too.
Q: Your clothes make me recall Akai Shuuichi but… why?
A: HUH? * laughs * … No way… Well, I came cosplaying as Akai. (laughs).
Q: When you write the stories… Amongst the DBs, Kaito Kid, the BO, Heiji Hattori and others… Is there a type of story you enjoy a lot when you write it?
A: Kaito Kid is fun and the BO is exciting.
Q36: How about those cases when Heiji and Shinichi solve a mystery together?
A: Well, I enjoy them too. They’re fun.
Q37: Is there any important lesson or message you want to transmit through the manga?
A: I’ve been saying this for some time but… Boys are cool and girls are cute.
Q38: A lot of songs are used in the anime and it got popular. Do they ask for your opinion when the songs are chosen? What is your favorite main song?
A: They only asked me the first time. That was the only time I told them my opinion… There a lot of songs so… Choose by yourself. My favorite one is the very first song “mune no dokidoki”.
Questioner: “My favorite is Garnet Crow’s ”Wasurezaki”…” (ED 20)
Aoyama: “Huh? Wasurezaki? Huh? I don’t recognize the name. (Audience laughs). Garnet Crown? Ah… I like Garnet Crow.
Q39: You’re a Gundam fan, right? Akai got his name from Char, and Amuro is from Rei Amuro. Are there other works that influence Conan apart from Gundam?
A: Are there…? Apart from Gundam? What could it be…? I can’t think of any. Sorry.
Q40: I believe that, in Japan, mangakas and editors are very close and create a manga together, but how much do they influence and how do they collaborate in balancing things?
A: We might spend meandering about 12 hours to come up with a trick. Once we decide on the story then we don’t discuss editing.
Q41: Have you heard of any real-life policeman or private detective inspired by Conan who’s solved any real-life cases?
A: I haven’t! (Audience laughs). But I heard about someone who, imitating Conan, jumped into a river to jump someone who was drowning.
Q42: You draw murders as a mangaka, but have you thought about someone possibly using the story or a trick in real life to cause a case?
A: Fortunately enough no-one has insofar caused any cases in which they imitate Conan. But if there was a real-life case like that I promise I won’t draw a story that resembles it.
Q43: Are there any cases in Japan of a manga being qualified as not being too good?
A: Hmmm… Are there? Both children and adults read a lot of manga nowadays. Time ago it was children only. That’s why my parents were against me becoming a mangaka. They said it’d end up being no good.
Q44: The Darkest Nightmare is the 20th movie. The manga has 90 volumes. (Conan’s popularity) increases by the year but why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Well… What can I say…? I work hard on the manga but the movies have also been working hard since their beginnings. And thus popularity has gradually spread… I believe that maybe that’s what makes it popular.
Q45: Apart from the script, do you get involved in some other aspect of the movies?
A: Well, I draw key frames and help fix the storyboards
Q46: You can see Singapore in the staff roll, right? Why is that?
A: It’s not like I decided THAT… (laughs). Guess they choose there because we don’t have a big, huge Ferris wheel here.
Q47: Will Singapore show up as a location in Conan’s story?
A: I have a tentative plan do that
Q48: When will that be?
A: Hmmm… When…? Hmm… Within a year’s time? I don’t know.”
Q49: In the manga? Or in a movie?
A: In the manga. It’ll eventually be adapted into the anime.
Q50: Regarding characters’ designs… For example, Conan’s bow tie. How did you get the idea for that?
A: That’s… “Shichi – go – san”… There’s a traditional Japanese event called “shichi – go – san”. Boys wear like that. I wore like that when I had my “shichi – go – san”.
Q51: Where do your ideas for many cases, tricks and episodes come from?
A: Well… From a lot of places. I see interesting movies, read interesting novels, and come up with interesting ideas.
Q52: Do you get inspiration from real-life cases?
A: No, I don’t.
Q53: You’ve just answered that you don’t want them to resemble real-life cases but… You make your cases in a way that the “fiction” aspect prevails in them?
A: Yes, I do. If I use a real-life case someone might feel annoyed at that, after all.
Q54: Conan is supposed to be an elementary school student. But there are a lot of dark aspects in the series. What kind of readers do you have in mind when you work on the cases?
A: Well… I don’t have any specific kinds. I aim for every kind.
Q55: Some readers have grown and become adults ever since the series began, right? Have you felt the need to change the story to take in mind the growth of the readers?
A: I haven’t. Kids are very smart, and when I write a childish story some say “this is for kids” and they look down on it
Q56: Do you also get ideas from children close to you?
A: I don’t have any children close to me. (laughs)
Q57: So you come up with everything using your imagination?
A: Correct. Sometimes using my experiences as a kid.
Q58: I guess most people are interested on it yet… Do you have an idea of how will Conan’s end be like?
A: I have it, of course
Q59: How much time will it take to get to that resolution?
A: That’s a secret.
Q60: If Conan goes back to Shinichi would the story continue as the life of the high-school student Shinichi?
A: Well… I haven’t really given it a thought yet. But that could be interesting to do.
Q61: Kogoro has 2 disciples, no? Do Amuro and Wakita know each other?
A: Huh? Why do you think that? Ah… There are a lot of things involved there. Look forward to them.
Q62: Why did Curacao die? Why did she have to die?
A: Ah… Curacao? Hmmm… That was sad, yeah. But, well… Hmmm… I think that even if she’d lived on she wouldn’t have an easy life. I’m sorry (public laughs)
Q63: Do you feel pressured by the level of popularity? Like, when popularity is high do you feel that you want to keep on? Or that when a new volume is less popular than the one before you feel troubled?
A: No, I don’t. I don’t feel that at all.
Q64: Is there something specific you do to relax?
A: Nope… Ah. Well. I like baseball so I watch baseball.
Q65: Will Conan alone defeat the BO? What about Akai and Amuro?
A: Akai and Amuro will be needed, of course! (laughs). I think that things may happen as you imagine.
Q66: There are a lot of mangakas who have cameo appearances in some movies: do you intend to make a cameo appearance in a movie?
A: * laughs *… No, I’m too shy to do that. I was once asked to do a cameo appearance but I refused the offer.
Q67: What’s your favorite female character of the manga?
A: Well… That’d be Ran – chan. Is that OK?
Q68: What are the key elements (those things you consider important) when it comes to making a Conan movie?
A: Hmm… They’re always different. For this year’s one I thought of involving the BO…
Q69: When you draw the manga you take the movies and anime into consideration?
A: Well, I do
Q70: You’ve been keeping that in mind ever since you began serialization?
A: Nope. When I began serializing it there wasn’t an anime so I didn’t think of those. I didn’t think such a small manga would have an anime.
Q71: Did you use yourself as basis for creating Kudo Yuusaku? Because he can be smarter than Conan
A: Nope, I’m not that smart. If I’m forced to say who was the basis that’d be Mycroft from the Sherlock Holmes novels.
Q72: Will Eisuke Hondo make a comeback?
A: Say… (laughs)… Do you really want him back? Well… I might give it some thought
Q73: What motivated you to become a mangaka and what motivated you to create Conan?
A: I liked mystery stories. The reason I became a mangaka was because I was good at drawing. I also liked coming up with stories ever since I was a kid so I thought of drawing a story I’d come up with.
Q74: Does that mean that you were popular amongst your classmates?
A: Nope, I was only slightly popular (laughs)
Q75: There are lot of double-faces (NOCs) infiltrating the BO. How can they infiltrate SO easily? The BO doesn’t check their backgrounds?
A: You’re right. It’s very mysterious indeed. (laughs).
Q76: Kichiemon Samizu appears in Conan. You don’t intend to make a spin-off about him?
A: A spin-off? Ah… True… That could be interesting. He’s a very useful character.
Q77: You fulfilled your childhood dream of becoming a mangaka, right? Is there a next dream or dreams you want to fulfill?
A: Other dreams? Ah… I’d like to be director even if it’s a one-timer experience
Q78: Director of a Conan movie?
Q79: A live-action Conan film?
A: Ah… That would be neat.
Q80: What actors would you like to have in the casting?
A: Do you mean Conan’ actor? Hum… That’s a hard question. Hmmm…
Q81: What would happen if the story was written from Shinichi’s Pov?
A: Huh? But the story is Shinichi’s PoV to begin with. Ah. Do you mean if he hadn’t become Conan? If that’d been the case the series wouldn’t be this popular. (laughs)
Q82: Do you have any advice for people aspiring to become mangaka?
A: Hmmm… Let’s see… What should I say…? If you want to be mangaka then I think it’d be better for you to go to upper college, if possible. Why, you ask? Because you must be able to think of a good story. That’s what mangakas must do.
Q83: Will Dr. Araide appear once again? Did you wholly forget him?
A: Ah… Dr. Araide, huh… Until you asked me about him I’d forgotten about him.
Q84: Will a Conan videogame come out?
A: I think that there are already Conan videogames. There are several in Japan. But I don’t know if they’re as popular as Pokémon GO, though.
Q85: Did you parents support you in any manner when you decided to become a mangaka?
A: They didn’t support me. They were against the idea. But now they’re very thankful of my decision.
Q86: When did they thank you?
A: When I began to gain money from my activity. (laughs)
Q87: Are there people who you invited into the world of manga?
A: There’s a senior from college who’s become a mangaka. That would be it.
Q88: Will Lupin meet Conan again?
A: Ah… I’ve heard people talk about that here and there
Q89: Which is your favorite (Conan) movie?
A: Hum… This year’s movie, I think…? It was good, wasn’t it? Of course it was… Hmmm… I think that, as you can see, it was impressive and cool. Because I added a lot of corrections. (Laughs)
Q90: In the Phantom of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes is depicted as Kudo Yuusaku instead of Conan. Is there a reason for that that (Why’ that)?
A: That way it gets more interesting, doesn’t it?
Q91: How much time were involved with the movie?
A: About a whole year. Maybe a year and a half. We’re doing the meetings about the next year’s movie already.
Q92: Do you have plans of doing a collaboration with other characters of other stories like Harry Potter? (Have you actually approached their makers?)
A: * laughs * . Well… I wonder about that. Conan would be surprised if an owl landed on his arm. Well. If they actually happened I think they could be interesting to see.