Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Editor Yoshihisa Heishi at NYCC 2017

October 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Series 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yoshihisa Heishi at the Weekly Shonen Jump panel at NYCC 2017

In Japan, manga editors are more than just people who know the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry. Editors work intimately with manga creators, exchanging story ideas and guiding the creators to success, and even look after the creators’ health and well-being. When Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! manga was first serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan, its founding editor was Yoshihisa Heishi. Heishi eventually rose through the ranks to become the magazine’s editor in chief, and today still works at Shueisha’s shonen manga department as its director.

This past weekend, Heishi attended New York Comic Con where he was a guest at VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump panel. He offered some tidbits about Yu-Gi-Oh! and Takahashi during a brief Q&A.

“How did Egypt become such an important theme in the story?” asked Urian Brown, an editor at VIZ and the panel’s moderator.

“Before the manga started, Takahashi-sensei was really interested in Egypt and Egyptian culture,” explained Heishi through his translator, English WSJ Editor in Chief Andy Nakatani. “The Millennium Puzzle was originally not supposed to be used. It was going to be a different item. But since he ended up using the Millennium Puzzle, Egypt became a more important part of the story.”

“What was it supposed to be originally?” asked Brown.

“I can’t say,” Heishi laughed.

“What was it like working with Takahashi-sensei?” Brown continued. “Can you give us any details about his creative process?”

“When Takahashi-sensei was making the manga, I didn’t really see him having trouble or questioning himself when he was creating the manga,” replied Heishi. “He would go through the struggle unseen, not out in the forefront. Every week, they’d be playing card games and video games and things. He would play every week with his assistants. […] The ideas came from that.”

“Did you try out any of the dangerous Shadow Games in the manga, like yo-yos on the roof or the nitroglycerin air hockey?” asked Brown.

“No! Kids, please don’t do this at home.”

* * *

Check out video of the full panel for discussions and insights about even more Shonen Jump titles, like Rurouni Kenshin and My Hero Academia.

Related posts:
‘Spotlight on Yu-Gi-Oh! & Creator Kazuki Takahashi’ Panel at SDCC 2015

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