After being released in Japan back in 2021, Before Chainsaw Man: 17-21 was finally released in English. There, Tatsuki Fujimoto revealed a big source of inspiration that he shared with renowned anime film director, Makoto Shinkai.
Specifically, Fujimoto shared his thoughts on his works in the compilation volume’s foreword.
In typical Fujimoto fashion, he ended the message with a comedic twist, though it did start with a solemn story of a formative experience in his youth.
Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Comments on One-Shot Compilation
Viz Media recently released Tatsuki Fujimoto Before Chainsaw Man: 17-21 in English. It is the first of a two-volume series that compiles Fujimoto’s previous one-shot manga works.
As the title implies, the manga in this compilation were made when he was 17 to 21 years old, the time before he worked on Chainsaw Man and even Fire Punch.
This first volume features the following four one-shots: There Were Two Chickens in the Garden, Sasaki Has Stopped the Bullet, Love Is Blind, and Shikaku.
Meanwhile, Volume 2 will contain four more one-shots which will be released in April.
While this is a must-have compilation for fans of Fujimoto’s work, he mentioned in the foreword that he was initially against publishing a one-shot collection.
This isn’t because he isn’t happy with his work, but because he was too lazy to draw a cover and write a foreword. Though he did say how glad he was that the one-shot works got published.
Despite this comedic message, his comments do have a somber opening.
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Fujimoto and Shinkai’s Shared Inspiration
In his message, Fujimoto recounted a story back when he was 17 years old and still in art school.
Back then, he volunteered to help with reconstruction efforts following the March 11 (3-11) earthquake.
He was soon discouraged by how little progress they have made even after a day of clearing out debris.
Fujimoto mentioned how powerless he felt at that time, and this is something he has carried with him in his works since then.
Fujimoto isn’t alone in being deeply affected by the earthquake, as renowned anime director Makoto Shinkai also revealed in a previous interview that the earthquake serves as the inspiration for his later works.
While they go about it in different ways, it’s clear to see how 3-11 affected their work.
For Fujimoto, it can be felt in the sense of powerlessness that his characters face in works such as Chainsaw Man.
Meanwhile, Shinkai’s works since Your Name have featured a major disaster in one way or another.
Even his latest film, Suzume no Tojimari, features a disaster that is about to befall Japan.
Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man continues with its latest chapter next week.
Meanwhile, Shinkai’s Suzume will be released in the US this April.
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