Sekihiko Inui is best known for his work as the original manga artist for Comic Party. Inui-san attended this year’s Anime Expo to promote his new work, Murder Princess recently released in the United States by Broccoli Books.
Inui -san held two panels, we were unable to attend the first but made it to the second. The panel began with a brief history on Inui-san himself, such as originally being a part of the doujin circle MIX-ISM in 1997.
The highlight would be the unveiling of Inui-san’s newest work, Ratman, an American comic book inspired manga that will be published in Shonen Ace. He went to great lengths in sneaking a couple pages of the manga for us to see. The series will have a near future setting, where corporations build heroes whose fate is based on their popularity with the public. The story’s protagonist is kidnapped by an organization, and experimented on. He is put to do “bad things”.
Ratman will be published monthly. Inui-san wishes that Ratman will continue as long as possible. Currently for the first chapter he has planned 75 pages.
At one point in Inui-san’s career, he was working on 3 projects at once, including Comic Party, and Murder Princess.
In regards to Murder Princess, the series is roughly about a kingdom under an uprising, and through supernatural means the princess and a bounty hunter switches bodies. The princess pleas the bounty hunter to save her kingdom and in return the bounty hunter would inherit the kingdom in the princess’s body. Thus, the legacy of the Murder Princess is born.
Inui-san mentions that he’s very happy with the opening of the anime adaptation of Murder Princess. He was offered for his manga to be animated into an OVA and he wanted to see his characters in motions. The production team chose the voice actors and Inui-san is very pleased with the results especially the voice of Alita, the main character of the series. She has a strong and powerful voice to her which amazingly fits well with Alita’s personality.
The panel was then left open to questions.
Influences for Ratman When asked about if Ratman was directly influenced more by American heroes such as Batman or Japanese heroes like Kamen Rider, Inui-san replied that he’s a fan of both heroes; however he’s more interested in American heroes. As you can guess, Inui-san is a fan of American comic books. He regularly buys imported comic books, and wishes that he could buy more “hero type” toys in Japan.
Favorite Comic Party Character When asked who his favorite character is in Comic Party, he replied that if he had to choose which character he liked the most, it would have to be Mizuki Takase. He also likes Eimi Ooba lot too.
Favorite Galge Character As already mentioned, Comic Party originally was a galge, and was asked who his favorite galge character was, his reply was the class representative, Manaka Komaki from To Heart 2. Inui-san added that he couldn’t “believe that you got me to admit that [laughing]”.
Rock Bands A fan noticed that Inui-san makes a lot of references to American bands in his work, and asked who he listens to. Inui-san replied that he likes rock bands such as Green Day, Zebrahead, etc.
Inui-san ended the panel with a raffle giving fans a chance to win a place at his autographed sketch session.