Yudetamago Interview

Words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation towards Shimada-sensei for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer questions for my blog.  His incredible talent and limitless imagination are awe inspiring, and I am thrilled that he has been willing to reach out to this American ユデッキー!


The time Shimada-sensei takes on a daily basis to interact with fans is the stuff of legend.  I cannot thank him enough for the interest and kindness he has shown towards Nama Niku!

While I can think of an endless barrage of questions that I would like to ask about characters, plots and Kinniku mysteries, I decided to go with questions that deal primarily with the International presence of Kinnikuman.  After all, Nama Niku is dedicated to International Kinniku fans.

Nama Niku welcomes visitors from the following countries on a daily basis, and without you I could not be doing this: USA, Japan, Germany, China, The UK, Thailand, Canada, Spain, France, Philippines and Brazil.  Thank you to all my readers wherever in the world you may be ~ 友情パワー!

Here is the English Translation of the Original Japanese Interview (Included Below):

Nama Niku: First off, it is an absolute honor and humbling experience to be granted an interview with you.  Your talent and creations are so and meaningful to me that it is hard to even know where to start.

The stories in Kinnikman feature characters from all over the world. What was it that interested you in introducing characters from so many different countries into the pages of your comics?

Shimada-sensei: When Kinnikuman was created I wanted to create a world with a global point of view.  There was only Terryman at first, and then I had the idea to hold a Choujin Olympics to make things more grandiose and interesting.  

At the time this happened, there was a lot of excitement around the Moscow Olympics even though there was a boycott by Japan and other Western Nations.  Subsequently, in the world of the Kinnikuman comics, the Choujin Olympics were a big success and served as an opportunity for Kinnikuman to become a real hit.

Nama Niku: Kinnikuman's popularity has certainly grown outside of Japan since its creation.  Did you ever think the series would be popular with overseas audiences?

Shimada-sensei: No, I didn't think about it at all.  The story of Kinnikuman was based in a city in Japan with Japanese buildings everywhere, and Kinnikuman himself living in a Japanese style wooden house.  At first we didn't even think that the manga would be made into a TV anime.  

At the time, Jump Comics were under the assumption that if a manga series became an animated series then they would be unable to sell magazines and books, so they were really not for the idea at first. Because of all of those factors, I had no idea that our Japan based manga would ever be popular overseas.

Nama Niku: Currently, the Kinnikuman Niesei manga is being released in America by Shonen Jump/Viz Media. Are there any plans to release more Kinnikuman comics and or anime in America?

Shimada-sensei: I heard that as far as the manga in America goes Nisei (Ultimate Muscle) will be the last.  Kinnnikuman Nisei: Kyukyoku Choujin Tag won't be released in America, because of the bad economic state of the publishing industry.

Nama Niku: You mentioned on Twitter that you were not even aware that M.U.S.C.L.E. had been released in America back in the 80's.  How involved are you in the marketing of the Kinnikuman brand overseas and at home?

Shimada-sensei: I didn't even know about M.U.S.C.L.E.. I discovered it on my own when I went to Hawaii.  I found one just like the 4-Pack that 100t-san (Nama Niku) gave me.  After that, there was talk about releasing the first anime series in America, and the editor of Jump Comics and myself were actually going to do a press conference in the US.  

However, due to the fact that the Mattel Kinkeshi became a huge success on their own without the anime being released, the talks for releasing the anime in America disappeared.  If we had released the original series in America at that time, the 4Kids release of Kinnikuman Nisei (Ultimate Muscle) might have had better success in North America.  

Nama Niku: Can you tell me anything about the new Mayumi story mentioned at the recent Muscle Summit?

Shimada-sensei:  The time period for the story would be the Taisyo period when Japan was really going through a great and exciting time.  I thought the idea of Mayumi wearing a Hakama Haori (Traditional Japanese Period Clothing) fighting with Akugyou Choujin would be really interesting.  It is almost like the world of Sugata Sanshiro (Kurosawa films) and could be really interesting.

Nama Niku: Is there any message that Yudetamago would like to share with their overseas fans?

Shimada-sensei: The theme of Kinnikuman is world peace.  Even though the Choujin bring different cultures or customs from their respective countries, when they get in the ring and fight, they do so with only their highly trained bodies, and without the use of any weapons.  

After these fights, they will develop their friendships and end up building many comrades without taking sides.  In the end, it is alien invaders that the Choujin must band together against to fight.  In this case as well, the Choujin settle their disputes and fight with only the use of their bodies and not weapons.  Even in this case however they can end up being friends with these alien invaders.  I want to create a world where we are all family and where Choujin are friends.

Nama Niku: Thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy schedule!

Original Japanese Interview:



嶋田先生: やっぱりキン肉マンを作るにあたり、ワールドワイドな世界観で作品を作りたかった。最初はテリーマンだけでしたが、じゃあ世界の超人を集めてオリンピックをやったらもっと派手でおもしろいのではないかと、ちょうど時代はモスクワオリンピックでもりあがってるときでしたから、結局日本や西側諸国はボイコットしましたが、漫画の超人オリンピックは大成功となりキン肉マンも大ヒットのきっかけとなりました

生肉: 海外でのキン肉マン人気はすごいですが、ここまで海外でキン肉マンが人気になると思われましたか?

嶋田先生: まったく思いませんでした舞台もも日本の街や建物がいっぱいでてきましたし、キン肉マンの住んでるのも木造家屋ですし、アニメ化されることもおもってなかったです。当時のジャンプはアニメーションにすると雑誌や本が売れなくなると保守的でしたから こんな日本が舞台の漫画が海外でヒットするとは夢にもおもいませんでした。

生肉: 現在、キン肉マン2世はアメリカのジャンプ/Viz メディアから発売されています。今後、アメリカでアニメまたは漫画を発売する予定はありますか?(新、旧問わず。)

嶋田先生: アメリカでの漫画は「キン肉マン2世」が最後と聞きました「2世究極の超人タッグ」は発売されないそうです。出版不況が問題のようです

生肉: ツイッターにて、アメリカ80年代に M.U.S.C.L.E.が発売されていた事を知らなかったとつぶやいていましたが、キン肉マン、キン肉マンブランドのマーケティングに、国内国外関わらず、どのように関わっていらっしゃるのですか?

嶋田先生: 知らなかったです。ハワイに行ったときに自分で発見しました 100tさんにいただいたあのタイプです。その後アメリカでのアニメのファーストシリーズの放映のはなしがあり私やジャンプ編集長がアメリカで記者会見まで開く予定でしたが アニメをやらなくても マテル社のキンケシが売れているので 放映の話はなくなりました。あの時ファーストシリーズをちゃんとやっていれば その後の4kidsの「キン肉マン2世」の北米放映はもっうまくいったでしょうね。

生肉: マッスルサミットで少し触れられましたが真弓ストーリーに関して少しお話して頂けませんか?

嶋田先生: 時代を日本が元気だった大正時代あたりにして、羽織、袴姿の真弓が 悪行超人と戦ったらおもしろいかなと 「姿三四郎}」のような世界観で描いたら面白いんではないかと。

生肉: ゆでたまご作家先生方から海外のファンに何かメッセージはありますか?

嶋田先生: キン肉マンは世界平和をテーマにした漫画です。 たとえ文化や習慣が違う国の超人どうしも戦うときは武器を使わず己の鍛えあげられた肉体ひとつでリングで戦い、戦い終わればノーサイド友情が芽生えどんどん仲間が増えていきます。そしてさいごには宇宙からの侵略者たちとは全世界の超人が力を合わせて戦います。そのときも武器を持たず鍛えた生身の体同士で決着をつけます。そして最後は宇宙の侵略者とも 友達になります。世界は家族 超人はみんな友達であることが描きたかったんです。

生肉: お忙しい中本当にありがとうございました。

Original interview conducted in Japanese, and translated into English. Nama Niku is a far cry from a professional translating service... please forgive any shortcomings - (_米_) 

Originally posted HERE on 12/17/10.