BFMTV, news and weather channel based in France, had the lucky chance to sit down with Mikio Ikemoto, Boruto manga illustrator. The interview wasn’t very long & BFMTV were only able to ask few questions but very important & insightful ones nevertheless.
How did the graphic conception of Boruto’s character unfold? What was the most
difficult point in the creation of this character who is inevitably suffering, as in the
manga and in real life, of the comparison with Naruto?
When I was first left with the serialisation of Boruto, Kishimoto-san gave me an advice: “Do it freely, without trying to stick to Naruto’s drawing, or forcing it. Even if you try, it’s never going to be the same, there is no sense in giving you the series if it’s to create a copy.” In a hand, I’m sorry for the Naruto fans that it’s not Kishimoto-san who is drawing. But in another hand, as it’s me that he entrusted with the series, I’m trying to do the best work possible while following my feelings and being responsible of what I create. For the reasons that I just explained, I’m not feeling any difficulties with the creation of Boruto. But I’m still very far off the graphic quality that satisfies me, so I’m still working on it to offer the best of my capacity.
How is the collaboration with Masashi Kishimoto going? What indications does he give you for the drawing and scenario? Does he take action on the (story/drawing) board to add some modifications?
Kishimoto-san usually checks during the scenario’s phase. So I’m pretty free for the nemu (the cutting) and the drawing. When the final nemu is ready, Kishimoto-san verifies it and sometimes it happens that he does some remarks about problematic points, or things that I could improve. But in general, he lets me do.
Could you explain your work? Which type of tools do you use?
Firstly I sketch with a criterium (Mechanical Pencil) on IC’s paper. Then I ink with a G-pen (quill usually uses by mangaka that make thin but also thick stroke) by using ink for technical drawings (the drawing of mechanical, electronics or mechatronic products). For coloured illustrations, I’m using watercolours VIFART paper of Maruman brand and I’m perpetuating the Naruto’s tradition by colouring with Copic’s markers.
Why did you choose to start showing Adult Boruto before talking on his story in the form of a flashback?
This opening scene was Kishimoto-san’s idea. We thought that we needed different beginning than the movie, we needed something with more impact, and we reached this form. But it was decided very quickly and I didn’t have any design for adult Boruto, so I didn’t have the chance to let the idea grow. So when this scene will reappear, maybe that the design will have changed a little bit.
Big Thanks to Maxime Garcia for Translating this interview for us.