There are many stories about how manga authors are inspired by those who have come before them. This is not one of those stories.
Gantz creator Hiroya Oku stirred up a mini-controversy on Twitter the other day by posting a story about his complete lack of interest in Yoshihiro Togashi, the man behind legendary manga like Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter.
The tweet goes something like this:
When I was a young manga artist, someone other than my regular editor came to pick up my pages one evening. He just kept talking about how amazing Yu Yu Hakusho is. I said, “I don’t know it at all,” and he ended up talking until the morning about how great what’s-his-face Togashi is. I wanted to say, “why don’t you go tell this to Togashi himself?” … I don’t know him, man. I know who Yasutaka Togashi is, though.
Yasutaka Togashi is, incidentally, another manga artist who once went by the pen name Piston Yasutaka.
As you might imagine, the tweet sent many an Oku fan reeling, asking things like, “wait, sensei, you’ve seriously never read Hunter x Hunter?”
Anyway: ain’t no rule that says every manga author has to read every other manga author. But if you’ve ever read a chapter of Gantz and wondered whether it was inspired by something written by Yoshihiro Togashi, the answer is clearly a definitive “no.”
若い頃、臨時で原稿取りに来た編集さんが夕方に来て どれだけ幽遊白書が凄いかをとうとう語り続けて 全く知らないですねーって言ってんのに朝方まで冨樫なんとかさんは凄いって…本人に言ってやってくれと思ったけど泳がし続けた僕も悪かった。いや、知らんし。とがしやすたか先生は知ってるけど。
— 奥 浩哉 (@hiroya_oku) February 23, 2020