“Cat’s Eye” 40th Anniversary Original Art Exhibit Special Interview (PART 2)
To commemorate the Original Art Exhibit, we talked with the artist Tsukasa Hojo and his editor on Cat’s ♥ Eye at the time, Nobuhiko Horie (current, CEO of Coamix Co., Ltd.)
On to “City Hunter”
Hojo - There was the Weekly Shonen Jump Fans’ Award in those days, where artists could create one-shot works.
It was the first City Hunter I draw for this.
While serializing "Cat's ♥ Eye," I was drawing one-shot works of "City Hunter", one of which appeared in a special edition and was very popular. Even before Cat’s ♥ Eye ended, the editors seemed to think that City Hunter would be the follow-up.
Ryo Saeba is based on Kamiya (the Rat) from Cat’s ♥ Eye, but as I went through trial and error exercises creating the series, he turned into a different character.
Horie - I knew that City Hunter would be an enduring series from the earlier one-shot story days.
We always used to say that when Kamiya (the Rat) makes an entrance, he propels the plot, so the next series should be about him.
That’s why Cat’s ♥ Eye, followed by the City Hunter series, was a natural transition for me.
On the 40th Anniversary
Hojo - I never knew if I had the talent, but I kept going. When I look back and realize that it’s been more than 40 years, I don’t know how I managed, to be quite honest.
In the very beginning, Horie-san persuaded me to move to Tokyo, saying, “Give it five years.”
Frankly, I didn’t think I could amount to much in five years.
I felt that my taste was off the mainstream, beaten track. Things that I didn’t like became hits, or things I loved would quickly disappear. So I still don’t know how I lasted for 40 years.
Of course, Horie-san played an important role.
Now, I want to draw a manga that feels old-school, fantastical...something that doesn’t need to be very real.
Horie - Tsukasa’s had a great ride.
He seems laid back and won’t let his drive or passion come to the surface, but that’s probably not how he is inside.
His talent attracted many people and turned the last 40 years into an extraordinary journey.
During the series, we’d figure out each other’s thought processes as the manga artist and the editor and learned from each other. So we didn’t need to explain too much.
Last Question: On Each Other, or Any Messages for Each Other
Hojo - I’ve already told him anything that needs to be said, so I don’t have much more to add…. But okay, Horie-san is like a geyser of ideas and passion, but there are times when I wish that perhaps he could read the room a little. Sometimes.
You know how you can be amazed when other people show you ideas and perspectives you didn’t have? Horie-san is brimming with them.
Horie - I don’t have anything to add, either.
Let me say this, though: I’m not going to congratulate his past. There’s a whole lot more we can still do for manga, like the company we’ve started, or nurturing young talent, etc.
I hope we can continue to work on these together.
But Tsukasa has done everything that he possibly can, and more, so I do want to congratulate him on his well-deserved freedom to do anything he pleases.
Tsukasa’s Cat’s ♥ Eye and City Hunter are not just classics; new executions are being brought to life, such as depictions created by different artists, and live-action films. I hope Tsukasa can fully enjoy these as well.
See Tsukasa Hojo art print collection