Our friends over at Crunchyroll hosted a manga signing and fan meet event with Aiya Kyu, the manga artist of The Rising of the Shield Hero (Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari) inside the bookstore Kinokuniya San Francisco on 6 April 2019. Fans could personally meet and get her to sign one of the latest copies of Vol. 10 in English prior to its release on 16 April 2019.
We gathered some questions with the help of our followers on Instagram and within the MANGA.TOKYO team, which Crunchyroll kindly forwarded on to Aiya Kyu on our behalf.
Interview with Mangaka Aiya Kyu
Tell us how you came to work on Shield Hero.
Comic Flapper’s editorial department told me it was on the table, and that’s how it all began.
Who’s the most fun character to draw?
It would have to be Naofumi, since he’s the protagonist and all.
Who’s the most annoying character to draw?
I go into each project looking to portray every aspect of the story, so nobody in particular.
Shield Hero has a lot of bad guys. Is there anyone among them you would very much like to avoid meeting?
If possible, I don’t want to meet any of them.
From the outside looking in, it’s very hard to imagine the process involved in portraying what goes on inside Naofumi’s mind. Did that give you any difficulty?
Since this is based on a novel, there are times when I deliberately leave out certain textual details in favor of visual pointers instead. On the other hand, there are times when I have to make things simpler to understand. Striking the right balance is a complicated process.
We all know the anime’s airing currently, but what about the manga? Are there things that you could only do in this medium, or things you put particular effort into because of it?
Organizing the art to guide readers from panel to panel and establish a solid tempo for the manga is always a big priority for me.
Which moment of the story is your favorite?
Picking out one moment is difficult, but if I had to say, I guess the part where we first meet Raphtalia left a big impression on me.
What’s the process when you adapt a novel to a manga? What’s the hardest part of it?
I read the novels, plot out the flow of the story, and then draw manuscripts. And I always focus on how to make the story more enjoyable to read in manga form.
If you could be any character in the story, which one would you be?
That’s a hard question to answer, but I find Filo to be a very appealing option, since she can transform.
Did the anime meet your expectations?
While I can’t judge because I’m simply an artist adapting it to manga form, I always find it emotional when I see characters from something I work on moving around and talking!
The Japanese manga is currently being published by Media Factory and will release its 13th volume on 23 April 2019. Fans in North America can purchase the light novel and manga in English. They are published by One Peace Books. Watch The Rising of the Shield Hero with English dub on Crunchyroll, the same day as it airs in Japan.
One Peace Books
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast