Who is the mastermind behind the series?
Name: Nobuhiro Watsuki (和月 伸宏)
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Birthday: May 26, 1970
Blood Type: A
In Tokyo, Japan, on May 26, 1970, a great artist was born. As a young child, Nobuhiro Watsuki practiced Kendo constantly at school. Unfortunately, though, he was not really good at it and never won his games. But at his high school, Nagoka High, Watsuki won the Pop Step Award for the manga, “Podmark“. He had been influenced by Osamu Tezuka and other artists like Fujiko Fujio in becoming a mangaka (manga artist).
Nobuhiro Watsuki assisted Takeshi Obata (Mangaka for Hikaru No Go) and has had many now known artists as assistants such as Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King). He helped produce Arabian Lamp – Lamp and Chikara Mito Denzetsu. Around this time, Shueisha Jump were looking for some talent. As many might know, Shueisha has a tendency to take new artists and turn them into something big. They did just this in 1992 when Watsuki gave Shueisha a 31-page prelude to our Rurouni Kenshin. The excerpt was called Rurouni: The Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, which can be found in Viz‘s Shonen Jump Graphic Novel Volume 1. Kenshin Volume 1 came out on 9-7-04 in Japan. From there on, Watsuki became famous.
In drawing Rurouni Kenshin, Nobuhiro Watsuki used various ideas in history and even in his own life. The series, as we know, is based on the Meiji Era and so Watsuki bases most of characters upon former soldiers and figures in this time period. To learn more about the characters’ actual figures, refer to the Characters page.
Watsuki uses himself as a character somewhat also. His favorite character, Myojin Yahiko, symbolizes his own childhood along with the frustrated feelings he felt during his Kendo classes. People who met him during the Animecon in 2001 say he was very shy!
Watsuki is a normal person; he has interests and hobbies too! He likes to play video games like Vampire Hunter and Samurai Showdown. His favorite anime would be Neon Genesis Evangelion and Kodomo no Omocha. He likes reading some American comics like Spiderman and X-Men. He likes action movies too such as Die Hard, Midnight Runner, and Back to the Future. Oh did I mention he loves Jim Lee? (Cause you all know Jim Lee is the best!)
Nobuhiro Watsuki is a great mangaka and we, along with many others, would like to see more of his publications. As for other works, Watsuki has worked on Gun Blaze West (but stopped after one volume) and his most recent work Buso Renkin began publication on June 2003 in Shueisha Jump, and ended in 2006. It is being made into an anime during Fall 2006. Let us all praise him and his genius.
Interviews / Outside Info
In 2002, Watsuki-sensei attended Anime Expo. People who attended said that Watsuki was very shy (when called sensei XD) and also he was suprised at all the attention he got. There was also a panel dedicated to him, so this little interview was taken directly from Anime on DVD. A different translation of this interview can also be found here. So all credit goes to them, I just posted it here. [click here] to read.
When VIZ released its version of the Profiles (a.k.a. Hiden), I decided to sit down pain-stakingly and copy the entire interview in the back out. Now please understand that this is before the entire series of Kenshin came to an end, so some of the questions may seem outdated! [click here] to read. It will take me some time to complete all of this however.
Before, many Kenshin sites had the Kenshin Kaden interview, and I had read on there. However, now as every Kenshin site is disappearing, I got hold of only a Kenshin interview from the Kaden which was translated from the Chinese version. The interview is LONG, so it is only partial the one I posted here is from this post. So all credit goes to them, I just posted it here. [click here] to read. ALSO, to read more of the interview and MORE details, PLEASE visit this page (I have yet to ask permission from Mary Ann).
Although not in Watsuki’s words himself, these are little commentaries by two of Watsuki’s assistants about Watsuki in the Kenshin Kaden. They also feature little fanarts for him. Eichiro Oda (One Piece) and Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King) wrote these up and it’s interesting to know what they said. Thank you Janice for translating this for me. Please [click here] to read.
Watsuki attended the San Diego Comic Con (as a guest for VIZ). I don’t know much about what was said and what not, but there is a picture that Fyndra referenced to us of him! Thank you SO much for submitting this picture of Watsuki with a Sagara Souzou cosplayer, this is a very clear picture though.
If you want to listen to Watsuki’s voice, go ahead and click here to view Episode 7 of Busou Renkin where when Tokiko is being questioned by the students, a pig (buhiro, Watsuki’s cartoony alter ego) asks her to swear. According to wiki trivia, the pig is voiced by none other than Watsuki! [5 min/38sec in] (Thank you Nacho for pointing this out.)