To all the readers, it’s nice to meet you! I’m Ootaka Shinobu!
When you all hear of adventures, what are you reminded of? The sea, mountains and ancient ruins right? I’m an indoors person and leaving my room is nothing like an adventure, plus it’s troublesome. However, even though I’m like that, my heart and mind is free. By the way, it’s been decided that I’ll be drawing an adventure manga.
That manga is called ‘Magi’ and the protagonists, 'Aladdin’ and 'Alibaba’, run about scorching deserts, miraculous labyrinths, mysterious new continents and more throughout the world. By all means, please enjoy yourself!
Well, as far as I’m concerned, being published weekly is a dangerous and adventurous situation but, as I thought, it seems I’ll be able to survive.
I’ll do my best!
Good afternoon, it’s Ootaka!
A month has passed since I began my serialization. I’ve received many letters and comments of encouragement. I read all of them. Thank you so much! While receiving your words of encouragement, I am also drawing manga today!
About Magi’s 7th Night…
I really liked drawing those ‘animals’. In the 7th Night, those ants and, er, slimes were enjoyable to draw. In the world of Magi, because I draw real and imaginary animals, I’m exited for just what type of animal I’ll draw next!
However, it can’t be helped that the animals I draw aren’t cute or popular. The expression in their eyes seems wrong. I think its the influence of my drawing hand. I think I want to persevere and aim to be an author who can draw the sparkling eyes of a camel and ant.
Good afternoon, it’s Ootaka. I wonder how all of you are handling the hot weather. Where I work on Magi, we all pass the time by drawing the manuscripts and playing Dragon Quest 9 among other things. The illustration is for the numerous letters about Leila and Sahsa I’ve received. They only appeared in the 1st Night, but they are characters with emotional attachment!
This week, in Magi’s 8th Night, Aladdin’s bad condition caused a crisis. And in the manga for the first time, a rival-ish enemy, the feudal lord Jamil, participated actively. I like drawing good characters as well as villains but, I’m excited to draw villains! Please enjoy next week developments too!
Good afternoon, it’s Ootaka! In the 9th Night, Alibaba persevered all alone. Feudal Lord Jamil seems to know Aladdin but…? I’m sure you’re aware but, Magi’s main characters’ names are referenced from ‘Arabian Nights’ a lot. The tale’s character’s personalities range from being similar to completely different from Magi’s. It might be really interesting to compare them when reading.
Good afternoon, it’s Ootaka.
In Magi’s 10th chapter, the spotlight was on the slave Morgiana a bit. If you investigate slavery, it’s difficult to study (in terms of feelings) but, since I was going to draw it, I felt like the background research shouldn’t be disregarded. I think thinking about it helped me draw it.
Morgiana’s facial expressions don’t change much. If I have to say it, I am much better at drawing emotional and asserted characters; I have trouble with reserved characters. But, until now, I did not draw those types of characters; I think it’s worth doing something fresh. From now on, I want to challenge myself with various types of characters.
Morgiana’s name means ‘Coral’.
This week in the 11th chapter, ‘something’ was on the other side of the gate. Concerning the 11th chapter, the assistants helped out by drawing the pictures! Please look at the gorgeous two-page spread of that 'something’! As for myself, I salute them for their hard work.
I gave them instructions like 'a somewhat grand impression’ and every time, the assistants skillfully render it. For that they have my deepest thanks. I’m sorry for everything and thank you very much. In order to not lose to backgrounds, I will continue to work hard.
By the way, at this time I’m putting my best effort into drawing pictures of character’s facial expressions but, when I draw them, because my face spontaneously becomes similar to what I’m drawing, my face becomes exhausted.
Every time I go to the massage shop, I’m told 'Your facial muscles are very tense’. Even though my muscles are tense, I’ll keep at it.
Magi’s 12th chapter had Alibaba as the lead.
In the original story, Alibaba is one of the protagonists. I can say with confidence that I remember that even though I had decided on this Alibaba, he kept fluctuating.
In addition to Aladdin, I thought that I should make another protagonist appear. I remember that at first Alibaba was to appear later on in the world with a darker personality. Aladdin, with his cheerfulness, was supposed to act as a contrast to his gloomy personality. But the adventure was becoming depressing so I stopped that idea (lol).
Alibaba’s behavior is optimistic because when thinking about the opposite, he wouldn’t talk very much and that would be difficult to draw. There are times when characters don’t come out as expected; even if you try, surprises might happen. I end up feeling like I’m communicating and socializing with a real person. In order to get along with my own characters, I believe that I have to want to draw despite trials and errors.
Good afternoon, Ootaka here.
At the end of the Dungeon Capturing Arc, it seems like an atrocious ending for the feudal lord but don’t you think that from the beginning he was a terrible person? When he was a kid he probably wasn’t like that. It might be revealed in Chapter 13 of Magi. Please remember!
Summer will end soon, huh? This year too, the sound of Tokyo Bay’s fireworks was able to reach my house. I love summer! Until next time.
Finally last chapter I was able to introduce this piece’s title: ‘Magi’. The word 'Magi’ seems to have various meanings, but, generally, it seems to imply an existence with super-human intelligence who governs over predictions and sorcery. Now, I wonder what type of being they will be in this comic…?
I can report that the 14th Night will have a center color. It’s also the climax of the Labyrinth Arc. Please bear with it!
By the way, I was at the usual coffee shop (which was suspiciously full) having a meeting with my supervisor (a well-aged adult with a serious face) when we got into a heated argument. We were yelling things like 'an existence with super-human intelligence who governs over predictions and sorcery’ and 'the magician who created the world’. The waitress didn’t interfere but gave us our bill. I was rescued. Next time you happen to see a cartoonist and an editor like that, gently let them know!
Last time, a gigantic ‘Djinn’ appeared in the Labyrinth’s depths and knew about Aladdin’s situation. In this week’s edition of Magi (15th Night), Aladdin’s secret draws near!? I can say with confidence that Dungeon Capturing will be returning. Will Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana was able to return alive from the dungeon as expected? Please enjoy the climax of the Labyrinth Arc!
Ah- That’s right! Thank you everyone who sent me encouraging letters and blog comments on WEB Sunday! I’m extremely happy! The other day I recieved a letter that had a picture of a cute cat enclosed with it. It was soothing. And because of that, I went and bought a camera. I want to go out and search for soothing places I can take pictures of. But, in the end, I always come back with only pictures that can be useful for my comic…
I wonder how the seven-chapter Dungeon Capturing Arc was? Last time, Aladdin and the others were discussing breaking out of the crumbling dungeon but, just what is waiting for them outside? The Labyrinth Arc concludes with the 16th Night. While remembering the story until now, I’m glad people have read it.
I can report that Magi’s 16th Night will have a center color. I always want to try to draw a slightly different atmosphere with the color pages, so please look for it!
Last week was a double issue! I wonder how all of you are doing. I drew Magi’s volume cover! I put all my effort into drawing it so please look forward to it!
This week’s issue (Magi’s 17th Night) is the epilogue of the Labyrinth Arc. Please observe Aladdin and Alibaba from here on out. It can’t be that /that person/ will be reappearing!? Please enjoy!
This week’s 18th night was the beginning of a new arc. The scene for Aladdin’s story has moved far into the East. Aladdin and Alibaba’s motif is Arabian but, I think from now on I want them to travel to the East and West. Please look forward to an Asian-Fantasy Magi!
By the way, I was looking at photographs of nomadic children and I was surprised that when they are elementary school age they can all handle attractive horses. I wonder if it feels the same as when riding a bicycle!? It’s amazing!
Speaking of which, lately it’s been troublesome to ride bicycles.
(The rest of the blog post was an advertisement for Ootaka’s assistant)
I can announce that, in this week’s Magi, the Kouga Arc will continue for awhile. Please look forward to Aladdin discovering many different cultures and human relationships in Kouga. This time too, a new character has appeared. Until now, she wasn’t the type of female character that I wanted to draw. Look forward to her!
By the way, the picture this time reconfirmed that Aladdin does not look very good in red clothes.
Actually, when I was doing the color scheme for Aladdin’s design, I hesitated between dark red and dark blue. Finally, after taking Aladdin’s personality into account, I decided on blue.
Aladdin doesn’t really get fired up and push forward with his own aspirations; he’s the type of protagonist that supports those around him. He is not a hero but a magician. Because of that, he became the blue Aladdin rather than red.
Magi’s 20th chapter was also looked at in this week’s edition.* It’s been so sudden since I was first serialized, I don’t really remember, but I have drawn 20 chapters. It’s already October huh…. Everyday, for weekly serialization, it is very hectic, but also very enjoyable.
Right now I’m drawing an omake. It will be an introduction about my work place and my business meeting with my editor! Please look forward to it!
The picture is of my photocopier. Recently it has been breaking down and, while printing, the red toner has become sticky and paper has been spewing out of it. It’s scary because it looks like blood. I think I have to hurry up and fix it.
TL Note: Ootaka is probably referring to being cut out of the magazine. When you are serialized there is always a chance that you can be dropped out of the magazine if your rankings are too low (read Bakuman for more info). Long running and central series (i.e. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc.) do not need to worry about it. The first 20 chapters are extremely important.
This week’s Magi was the 21st Night. We’ve entered the middle of the Kouga Arc; I can feel the tension beginning to wear off. Please look forward to it.
I’ve been drawing the angry faces of the characters, and only angry faces, such that my facial muscles are beginning to cramp up. I’m looking forward to how Aladdin will be influenced.
And, this time, I wonder if we drew a little bit closer to Aladdin’s secret? We’ve reached the last development of the Kouga Arc this week. Please make sure to read it!
I drew these things. They are next year’s New Years cards. It’s a tiger-dressed Aladdin (he wasn’t eaten).
These New Years cards are for a [Shounen] Sunday certain project, so please make sure to check it in detail!
The Kouga Arc is finally nearing it’s climax. Look forward to it!
The picture is of my roughly ten-year-old pen holder. If I remember correctly, when I was in grade 4, I received and saved that point from a Shinken* seminar. Regretfully, at that time pen nibs were extremely useful.
I was sure that the first time I wanted to become a cartoonist was in Junior High**, but now that I think about it, it seems like the signs were already there when I was 10. Even before I submitted my work for serialization, I have always used and continue to use this pen holder for drawing. Of course, for ‘Magi’ too!
In this week’s issue, Magi has an opening color page and the number of pages has also increased. Look forward to it~!
* A writing seminar run by the Benesse Corporation for elementary to high school students.
** Grade 7-9
This illustration is the cover page of the first volume. Aladdin is the landmark against the deep blue sky. If you happen to see Aladdin flying through the sky in the bookstores, please try to pick one up. The picture will be used for advertising, so please take one!
This is personal but… I usually draw red and orange pictures, so it felt refreshing to be able to paint a picture with it’s base being blue.
I will show volume 2’s cover page in next week’s blog post. Look forward to it~
This week I’m showing the cover of the second volume. It’s Alibaba. We planned to have this cover contrast the first; it’s bright red. This picture is being used for advertisement. Please feel free to take one.
Speaking of which, this is a Silk Road*! I drew a marketplace (bazaar) scene but since long ago I have wanted to draw it. I did my best, in the scenery, to draw the woman’s patterned clothes (Atlas Silk). It’s handwriting.
I drew a specific extra comic about an uncommon story for Magi… The secret about Aladdin’s sarashi is revealed!? Volume 1 and 2 are simultaneously being released; please pick up, if only one, copy! They will be for sale around December 18th (Friday).
This week’s chapter of Magi, the 26th Night, was the completion of the ‘Kouga Arc’. Aladdin has set out on a new journey. In the new arc, characters that he met a long time ago, and along the way, will reappear. Look forward to seeing a part of Ugo’s face when Aladdin remembers the past this chapter!
By the way, last week’s chapter a Djinn that knew Amon appeared. To create the Djinn, I referenced ancient documents and the like of demons. For that reason, a corner of my house is filled with questionable books about black magic and it gives off a strange color….
Paimon is the general of the sky.
Magi’s first and second volumes will soon go on sale!
The paper-wrapper on the volumes is curved like the crescent moon. Because it was created for a specific purpose, please also enjoy them! Inside the volume are extra pages about the time before Magi debuted, about the period when I was submitting it, and my introduction. Please read it!
Look forward to the hard-working Morgiana’s struggles in ‘Magi’.
In Magi in this magazine’s issue was the second chapter of Morgiana’s arc. Against the group of thieves, Morgiana jumped, soared and kicked, but it’s really enjoyable to draw Morgiana moving about. That’s my reaction since this really is a job where you don’t move; I’m jealous of Morgiana.
This year is coming to end… After this I will begin to create the last manuscript for the year!
Everyone, in this issue and next year’s as well, please continue to enjoy Magi.
Happy New Year! Please treat me well this year also!
To celebrate the new year and get into the spirit, Aladdin and everyone have been drawn. Thinking back on it, I generally didn’t have a chance to draw three people together. When they stand together in a line, I imagine they look like a traffic light* compared to when I draw the monochrome manuscripts. Color really makes me realize that.
Now, this time it’s the continuation of the Morgiana Arc. In this series I seem to just draw girls, and girls, and man-like women; somehow, it’s a strange feeling. The second-half of the series is approaching. I would love it if you could read it!
* The color ‘blue’ and 'green’ can both be represented by the word 'ao’, especially for traffic lights.
New Years vacation has ended! During the vacation, I drew the cover for the third volume. Before the day of release, I thought that you might want to see another backstage, so please check again then.
In this week’s issue, Morgiana’s fight against the thieves’ fortress came to an end. Lately there have been painful developments, but a while ago a character and Morgiana might’ve had a violent meeting…?
Speaking of which, this weekend I have the privilege of holding a meet and greet and autograph signing in Osaka at the World Hobby Fair. This is the first time I’m going to Osaka /and/ holding an autograph signing. I’m nervous but looking forward to it. To those coming to the meeting place, please treat me well!
This past weekend I went to Osaka for the World Hobby Fair! The venue was overflowing with games and toys and it was really hot. I also forgot about my age and had fun. In the afternoon I had the privilege of having an autograph session. I didn’t have a chance to say the usual ‘Please read my comics’ to people, but I met many readers; it was a very luxurious time. I received letters and flowers. To the people who came to the venue: I was very happy. Thank you very much!
Now, about this week’s Magi, the Morgiana Arc has come to a close. Please look forward to the characters’ new journey and meetings! Speaking of which, now that we have exited the Morgiana Arc, regarding the slave trader Fatima, I didn’t explain it in the story, but they are not a woman, but a man. My process for him was to draw a man’s face, and then apply make-up after. His face without make-up is surprisingly plain.
This week I had the cover page and the opening color. On Sunday, if you happen to see Aladdin’s face on the front cover, please read it!
Last week the Morgiana Arc concluded. “I want to draw an adventure comic!” was what I thought when I started Magi, but in the story we haven’t traveled a considerable amount. For a long time I’ve been enjoying drawing and introducing the scenery during the middle of the journey.
Aladdin and everyone’s journey still has a ways to go. From this week onwards we’ll be breaking into a new chapter, so please read it! There will be a new setting, tons of new characters and tons of development.
Which reminds me, lately authors have been slowly forgetting about blond characters. By the way, I want more of them to appear.
Since last week, Magi has begun a new chapter of the story. It feels like a long time since the last, and I want to bring it to the climax, but please bear with me.
Now, last week a new character appeared. Sinbad (and his two attendants) were based on King Harun al-Rashid* (and his two attendants) from Arabian Nights.
In Arabian Nights, the fact that many people have a Mito Koumon-like** entrance, in groups of three, is very interesting.
A long time ago I was doing his design, and I never considered that he’d be making his entrance with only a single leaf!
* Yell at me if I have this wrong. Original: ハルーン・アラシッド
In last week’s edition, the King of Balbadd, Ahbmad Saluja, and his younger brother, Sahbmad Saluja, made their appearance.
They are very important characters, but somehow their faces turned out this way. Please disregard my weakness in drawing plain and unattractive faces.
Furthermore, when I draw young girls and women’s faces, I’m not very good at drawing them slenderly or muscular. Nothing can be done to fix it, so I stress out about my drawings a lot.
Now, this week /that character/ finally makes a reappearance! Please read it!
This week’s Magi said farewell to increased page count. We’ve reached the first crossroad of the Balbadd arc, so please read!
This week’s chapter also saw three new characters appear. Although they are not currently referenced within “Arabian Nights”, it might be interesting to try and search for one.
By the way, each time a new character appears their name is always off by one character and such. Furthermore, this comic has a lot of misprints, but that’s because my handwriting on my manuscripts is so bad.
Which reminds me, when splitting the bill, the shop attendant couldn’t decipher the “大” (Oh) and “高” (Taka) that I wrote.
The misprints are fixed for the volume releases, so when that time comes please remember me.
Last week’s 35th Night had Alibaba himself finally appear. It’s been a while since I last drew him so I had some difficulty.
I absolutely hate drawing the dreadlocks of the new characters, and among my assistants it’s a hated topic.
Now, this week’s magi has a center color page. On March 19th, 2010 volume 3 will be sold. If you happen to see the front cover illustration, please take a look! I had trouble drawing the frontispiece this time. Drawing flame-like flames is really difficult. I practised too…
Which remind me, the image is of the male magi characters. Last week’s backstage was of the female characters. I noticed there are about three times as many male characters as female. From now on the number of characters will increase and it’ll get busier. Please look forward to it!
It’s still the beginning of the Balbadd Arc, but the development engine is just revving up. Last week Alibaba and Morgiana met face-to-face for the first time in a while, but another unexpected meeting took place. Please look forward to Morgiana’s continuous activities.
By the way, next week Magi will be on break*. But next week’s backstage will have an extra comic. Next Wednesday we won’t be meeting in the magazine, but let us meet in the backstage!
Lately there have been a lot of serious developments so I drew an extra comic with a ‘drawing the strength out of your shoulders’-like feeling. Please enjoy it.
*That was the week of 2010/03/10.
Magi is taking a break this week. Sorry! I drew an extra comic instead. It takes place between last week’s and the week before’s chapters. Please read this story about extracting shoulder power. Without further ado, please read the 36.5th Night “Night Flight”, a story of Alibaba’s and Morgiana’s activities.
Alibaba didn’t do anything in the 36.5th Night, but I wonder what you think about that? From now on, whenever there is a break, I will draw an extra comic. I would like to meet you all every week as much as possible, so please view the backstages! Magi will be resuming as per usual next week.
ALSO, on the 18th of this month* the 3rd volume will be sold! Alibaba didn’t show up much so I drew a special extra. The front cover has Morgiana. If you see an orange over with Morgiana glaring at you in the bookstore, please pick it up. Thank you!
* This was March 18th, 2010
In this week’s edition, Magi’s serialization resumed! This time we started off with Alibaba’s reflection on his past. It was difficult to visibly draw the head-to-body ratio of the 6-year-old Alibaba. Ever since the success of volume 2 I’ve been pulling the story together and I can finally reveal it! Enjoy!
Tomorrow (March 18 2010), when Magi’s Volume 3 goes on sale, is fast approaching! It’s already volume 3. It’s the compilation of Aladdin’s Kouga Arc and the first half of the Morgiana Arc. Either way, as it’s the turning point in the characters’ growths, please read it.
The third protagonist, Morgiana, appears on the front cover. It isn’t actually the scenery of the Dark Continent, but rather the image of her longing for her hometown. As such, the vague yearning for her family and benefactor are mixed in. I wonder when the day the protagonists will actually head on an adventure to the Dark Continent will be? I want to hurry up and draw it!
This weeks’ magi had the second part of Alibaba’s reflection on his past. This week’s picture is of Cassim. At first Cassim was a character with a much easier to understand situation, but as I drew him, he became a person who considered complex things. In the original Arabian Nights he is Alibaba’s actual older brother, but in Magi they aren’t related by blood. Alibaba’s reflection comes to an end this week so please look forward to it!
Now, Magi’s volume 3 went on the shelves last week on the 18th*! Won’t you try to find it at the bookstore? That gorgeous design on the obi was actually drawn specifically for this. My assistant drew it and I coloured it. Assistant, thank you!
By the way, when I drew the opening, title and spine color illustrations for this magazine, when it was published the spine’s color washed out so much it had to be projected onto the book. The face of Aladdin surrounded by the Rukh was dimly projected onto the spine, but it looked more like a certain Kouga grandma.
* March 18th 2010
The picture is part of some materials that I passed over to the assistants several times while working on drawing the manuscripts.
I have the assistants draw all of the backgrounds, most of the small details and some of the clothing for Magi’s manuscripts.
In the case of my drawings, the assistants fill in the fine details in reference to my general, rough sketches.
Now then, in this issue the reflections came to an end. The trio had a leisurely reminiscence, but the conversation will take a change and rapidly come alive. Please don’t miss it!
Also, also, everyone who’s given me words of encouragement at Web Sunday and through letters, let me thank you once again! I received the impressions from when the 36.5th Night was published the other day, which was greatly encouraging. I’ll keep persevering, so please continue to look after me!
At the end of Shounen Sunday in the author comments, I often end up receiving comments from Gekkou Jourei’s Fujita-sensei and my heart beats a lot. Fujita-sensei, thank you for your concern, but please don’t mind Magi and have Aladdin* participate more….!
It ends up taking a long time from when you write something until it is published in the author comments so I’ve written it here….
In this week’s issue, various characters have been jumbled all together for a huge free-for-all fight. Enjoy!
By the way, lately I wondered if I should use other works for reference and bought the PSP game “Gladiator”. It’s interesting.
The world of Magi is a fictitious world, but I made the period for the setting and culture based on Arabian Night’s approximate Middle East with the impression that gladiators were present in the Western countries at the same time.
In this week’s Magi it was Alibaba VS. Sinbad! A showdown between fellow Dungeon Capturers. I wonder if Alibaba will win?
Last week Sinbad’s group went berserk. As a manga author, it feels really good to draw main characters rampaging. However, for the assistants who have to draw those main characters brushing aside the countless small mob characters crisply, it seems like it feels more like hand-copying sutras. (Hand-copying sutras takes a very long time.) Thank you Assistants.
Now then, lately I’ve started to work on volume 4 of Magi. From the 3rd volume I received several recruitment questions. Thank you. If there is enough empty space in volume 4 I thought about wanting to draw something there, so please look forward to it!
This week’s Magi is a story of Alibaba’s perseverance. Even though everyone is gathering around him and putting a lot of pressure on him, I want Alibaba to not give up. Oh right! This week a character that hasn’t been around for awhile appears! I have a hunch that the pressure on Alibaba will only increase more and more, so look forward to his do-or-die situation.
By the way, before I got used to drawing him, Alibaba was an extremely difficult character to draw. Because I’m really bad at drawing droopy eyes, I’d lose focus and draw a droopy-eyed character with slanted eyes. That also happened a few times with Alibaba, but naturally he’s a droopy-eyed character. On the contrary, slanted-eyed characters like Sinbad, Morgiana, and Masrur are easy to draw.
In last week’s chapter, Judar reappeared. And this week he leaves. “Judar” also appeared in the original Arabian Nights. He is an interesting character who is fairly similar to “Aladdin” (or rather, practically identical), which was shown in an episode. In Magi, from now on he’ll be influenced more and more by Aladdin’s group and the story, so look forward to it!
By the way, going back to the topic in last week’s backstage, Judar has the easiest face to draw. When I’m just running the pen over the paper and saying something like “for the moment I’ll draw something”, his face shows up.
Ah. Speaking of pens, my 10 year+ favourite Maru pen’s penholder recently finally broke. I’m so sad! Tearfully, I’m using a brand new one. I’ve set aside the broken pen holder for memory’s sake…