Naruto And John Wick Were The Two Biggest Inspirations For Kagurabachi, Says Author

Takeru-sensei says he also loved watching Marvel movies from childhood and both those and Naruto were ingrained in his veins.

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Kagurabachi is quickly gaining a lot of traction lately, especially here in the west. The road to international fame literally began with fans meme’ing the hell out of it due to the manga starting out as a typical cliche revenge plot. But as the story progressed, people genuinely started praising it for its art and intense action. For a young man in his 20s, it couldn’t get bigger than this!

In an exclusive interview with Asahi Newspaper dated May 2, 2024, Hokazono Takeru, the author of Kagurabachi, reacted to the manga’s immense popularity and shared his inspirations that led to him drawing and creating manga.

Who is the writer of Kagurabachi? Takeru Hokazono explained -

(Hokazono Takeru’s avatar)

Regarding Kagurabachi’s popularity, Takeru-sensei was initially pretty scared that a lot of people were checking out his work, so much so that he felt intimidated while drawing each chapter, despite the whole manga being out of his comfort zone. However, the support from fans and their appreciation for his work made him feel at ease.

“At first, I was quite nervous. Suddenly being viewed by so many people made it daunting, to the point where creating each episode was intimidating. But since more people started appreciating it, I’m glad.”

During the interview, he talked about how much movies and American media influenced his works. But what’s even more noteworthy is the fact that he cited NARUTO as the MAIN REASON for getting into manga in the first place and one of the main influences for Kagurabachi.

“I’ve always loved “NARUTO” (by Masashi Kishimoto), and I’ve always vaguely thought, “Manga is great,” “I want to become a manga artist.” Looking back now, I was too influenced by “NARUTO” (laughs). Since I only knew “NARUTO,” I thought manga was all about drawing action.”

Takeru-sensei says he also loved watching Marvel movies from childhood and both franchises have been ingrained in his veins, hence they’ve played a big role in shaping up his career and works.

“I’ve always loved Marvel superhero movies. They’re cool and exciting. That initial impression has always been strong. The things like Marvel and “NARUTO” that I’ve been exposed to since childhood, I’ve been so engrossed in watching them that I’ve never really thought about what’s good about them. They’re already part of me.”

However, for Kagurabachi in particular, the author cited John Wick and Tarantino movies as his key inspirations. He particularly mentions that the paneling and pacing in Kagurabachi resemble the style of Tarantino.

Nevertheless, he’s a big fan of Hollywood movies in general and mentioned 2 other directors than Quentin Tarantino whom he loves.

“But “Kagurabachi” is probably influenced by movies like “John Wick” that I watched after “Enten.” I mainly watch Western movies, and directors like Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan. I think the pacing of the panels is influenced by Tarantino.”

The Tarantino influence in Kagurabachi is a no-brainer. One look at Chihiro would tell you he’s a reference to Kill Bill.

(Kagurabachi and Kill Bill)

Also, Chihiro’s edgy and silent behavior resemble Batman from Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. There’s so much one can pick out from Kagurabachi!

About Kagurabachi:

Kagurabachi is a manga series written and illustrated by Takeru Hokazono. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since September 2023. Viz Media and Manga Plus are publishing the series in English on a weekly basis (simulpub).

MangaPlus describes the overall plot of Kagurabachi as follows:

Young Chihiro spends his days training under his famous swordsmith father. One day he hopes to become a great sword-maker himself. The goofy father and the serious son–they thought these days would last forever. But suddenly, tragedy strikes. A dark day soaked in blood. Chihiro and his blade now live only for revenge. Epic sword battle action!

Source: asahi, Twitter 1 | 2