—-What kind of impression of Allen do you have, sensei?
“First of all, Allen is the most difficult character to draw. Writing him is also complicated. I’m not such a philanthropist as Allen, how should I put it… I’m not as kind (smiles wryly). I draw Allen’s actions while thinking to myself that I could never act like that so, in a different way from Kanda, I burn up calories. On one hand, I am very conscious of the fact that Allen is the main character in a magazine aimed at young men therefore I don’t want to turn Allen into a boy that only feels troubled. I aim to draw him main-character-like and extremely cheerful …But his life is sad and not easy at all. That’s why I have to find a balance in Allen’s facial expressions between sorrow and strength. That makes his expressions difficult to draw. When I try to draw him and think “Like this..?”, I’m often told by Allen “Not like that!”. When I’m in the middle of drawing him, I frequently yell back “Well then, what should it look like! I have no clue what you’re thinking!!” (laughs).
—-What visual aspect do you pay most attention to?
“Allen has various type of smiles; his smile when he lies, his smile when he’s sad, his smile when he’s smiling from the heart… I have to draw those smiles with the different nuances. Maybe no one even notices the differences… (smiles wryly). In other words, he’s a character whose smile isn’t easy to draw. In contrast, it was really easy to draw Allen for the cover of Night #205. He’s dressed as a semi-gentleman, or should I say as a clown… it was easy to draw him as someone who’s wearing a mask.”
—-What is his image-color?
“Purple and an emerald type of color. I’ve become more conscious of the fact that Allen’s image contains those two colors since moving to Jump SQ.”
—-What’s in store for Allen?
“Having left the Order, I think he’ll somewhat follow the path that he walked during his training with Cross. Allen’s rough life style… For example, he’ll swindle people out of money with gambling (laughs), his roots might shine through. Maybe Allen will be invigorated?! Good luck, Allen! (laughs)”
Katsura Hoshino-sensei talks about Kanda Yuu!
—-What kind of impression of Kanda do you have, sensei?
“I was completely unaware of Kanda’s popularity at first. For better or for worse, I saw him as just one of the exorcists. But the way my editor was actively in favor of him and the fan’s cheers made me gradually realize that Kanda is a popular character. I stress about properly drawing him as a beauty. I can draw 10 older men like Leverrier and the Earl in the time it takes me to draw Kanda once (laughs).
—-What visual aspect do you pay most attention to?
“I guess his hair and eyes. Kanda is a person that “says things with his eyes”. That’s why I pay attention to his eyes in his battles. Also, I draw the highlights in his hair with more care than I do for the female Lenelee’s.”
—-What is Kanda’s image-color?
“Blue. His hair is also blue on the cover of Volume 20. Not too bright, not too dark… I guess navy blue-like.”
—-What’s the origin of the surname ‘Kanda’?
“It’s written in Volume 20. Kanda was born as a Second Exorcist in the “Mitoshiro World”: a rice paddy for the gods… “Kanda” holds this meaning*. He was given the name “Kanda Yuu” because he needed a surname upon entering the Order accompanied by General Tiedoll. Kanda remembers the past so he doesn’t want to be called Yuu by anyone but Alma. That’s why I think that it was lucky for Kanda to get a surname.”
*(T/N: mitoshiro (御戸代) has the same meaning as kanda (神田): a rice paddy of which its rice is offered the gods. Similar to how the Second Exorcists were also, in a way, sacrificed to the gods.)
—-Why does Kanda wear a ponytail?
“Wouldn’t his hair get in the way otherwise? (laughs). That’s why any kind of hair tie is fine as long as he can tie his hair. He isn’t particular, so even a ribbon would do. He normally uses Lenalee’s hair ties as well (laughs).”
—-Will Kanda appear again?
“I clearly established Kanda’s and Allen’s relationship inside me in the Alma Arc. They stopped simply being on bad terms and Kanda became a character that’s easy to move around. That’s why I want to have him appear properly when he returns. At this point I think he can become someone who supports Allen.”
The Noah Family
1st disciple of the Noah Family
I already decided on what the Millennium Earl’s human face would look like before the series started running. That’s why I’m happy that I finally got to show his face. I remember creating him after thinking that having a tired older man as the final boss would be interesting considering grief is one of d.gray-man’s themes. I modelled his face after the editor of the JUMP J-books editorial department. My taste is completely reflected. I have something to say because people often have the wrong idea: while the Earl’s human version has a sweet tooth, he’s not fat…! He’s not overweight!! I want to make that perfectly clear (laughs). I’ll reveal the secret of his outward appearance later down the story. I can’t say much yet, but that plumpness is very important (laughs).
2nd disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Tryde
In the large Noah family his role is to make sure there are no betrayals. I made eyes cold and look like he’s killed countless people, because I wanted to make Tryde the most difficult to handle character. He’s like the Noah’s death god. But I removed parts of his outfit and gave him short pants, because if I make him too bloodthirsty it’d be harder for me to draw him (laughs). His outfit is changing considerably from the way it looked in early sketches…
3rd disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Joyd
Human Name: Tyki Mikk
I wanted to give Tyki short hair at first for his re-appearance in Night #187. I gave up on that idea afterwards, so this is a phantasmal Tyki (laughs). I want to cut his hair because the long hair is bothersome but… the readers might be shocked if I suddenly shorten his hair (smiles wryly). It’s probably obvious just by looking at the rough sketch, but his clothes were black at first. I discussed with my editor whether to make the Noah’s clothes white or black until the last minute. Because black is ultimately the colour of the Exorcists, I decided on white in the end just before I started writing the official series.
4th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Desires
Human Name: Sheril Kamelot
It was really easy to create Sheril. I totally understand his ideas (laughs). I wanted to make each Noah wear clothes that fit his or her personality. It was easy to give him a fitting outfit because he seems to like perverted things and what not. He has a snake-like image, maybe because he’s very persistent.
5th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Wisely
Wisely has the image of a mountain hermit sage. I originally made his hair black because the Noah’s hair is normally black. But, wanting to give him a ‘tired’ feel because his powers require using his head, I made his hair white on the monochrome draft. I’ll agonize over what official hair color I should give him in the future. I love his turban. I thought about giving it a more elaborate design but gave up on that idea due to various reasons. Wisely might be my favorite Noah. He’s the liveliest one.
6th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Fiddler
Because he’s a Noah that has harmful microbes inside his body, I wanted him to leave an impact visually as well. I made the hair on top a poisonous-looking light blue to showcase his strangeness. But I gave him knee trousers because I wanted to show that he’s juvenile… or should I say, foolish on the inside (laughs). There are swirly decorations attached to the cuffs of his trousers in the sketch but I got rid of those. Furthermore, his triangular earrings stand out. Without the earrings he’d be pretty dull from a visual point of view (smiles wryly).
7th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Mercyma
I wanted to make Mercyma look like someone who doesn’t mind trading blows. That’s why I made his shirt barely cover his nipples and made it look like hitting him would be painful. In any case, I just wanted to show his six-pack abs (laughs). Most Noah have good looks, but I wanted Mercyma’s face to look wilder. His hairstyle, clothes and sunglasses look different in the actual story so the rough sketch is completely useless now (smiles wryly).
9th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Road
Human Name: Road Kamelot
Road gives off a strong Gothic Lolita impression. Because of this, I made sure that her new clothes aren’t too different from the clothes she has worn so far. That’s why she has hardly changed (smiles wryly). But she only shows a bit more chest now. I wonder whether she looks less childish and more feminine now.
10th & 11th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Bonds
Human Name: Bondomu
The only thing that I was certain of was that they should both have bandages on their left arms. Actually, it’s due to the Innocence that Krory infected them with… it’s still affecting them and their wounds haven’t healed yet. Because they were revived while suffering from those wounds, they’re burning with hatred towards Krory and their personalities have grown considerably darker. Rather than giving off childishness, they’re now giving off danger. I thought about giving them matching clothes because they’re twins, but I changed my mind because they’re completely different on the inside. Devit is wearing punk-rock clothes and Jasdero is manlier than before. I removed Jasdero’s stitches to show that time has passed.
13th disciple of the Noah Family
Noah Name: Mightra
Mightra a really inconspicuous Noah. He takes cares of everything behind the scenes: he’s like a lentigo. That’s why I felt like “he’s needs no individuality!” and made him wear alien-like clothes (laughs). People seem to think that the Earl created the Ark but Mightra created the Ark and the scull, etc. Mightra didn’t appear at all during the fights on the Ark because he worked behind the scenes (smiles wryly). He works hard in unseen places as the person in charge of the Noah’s technology. Please look forward to the day when he takes off his mask.