This article records the translated dialogue between the original creator of the Toaru Majutsu no Index light novels, Kamachi Kazuma, and the illustrator of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series, Fuyukawa Motoi, found in Toaru Majutsu no Index no Subete.
Illustration and images from the franchise occasionally appear with tidbits of trivia as seen from the original book. Moreover, at the end of the dialogue are short profiles for both participants. The subsections that contain questions for Fuyukawa Motoi that originally appeared in conjunction with the images are moved into its own separate article.
——Tell us how it all began. What led to the creation of Railgun?
Ogino (Railgun’s editor): Just like with [Shakugan no] Shana, it started with a request I made to Miki-san. I asked him to let us do an Index manga in Daioh. He said we couldn’t because Gangan was already doing one, so I asked him to let Dengeki Daioh do one for the science side...specifically Misaka Mikoto.
Miki: I thought the idea of a manga in Daioh was great, so we discussed how it should be done. Once we had a general idea of how it would work, we asked Kamachi-san to write the original concept.
Fuyukawa: I didn’t know about all of that. That was before I was brought in.
Fuyukawa: Eh? Why Shirai Kuroko?
Kamachi: At first, I was worried Misaka Mikoto was too powerful a character to make an entertaining manga out of.
Fuyukawa: So you had an original draft using Shirai Kuroko?
Kamachi: I wrote quite a bit before I was corrected. Of course, that version had a completely different story and setting. Afterwards I was asked to use Misaka Mikoto, so I remember having to rethink everything from the ground up to use her properly.
Fuyukawa: That must have been tough. This was your first time writing for a manga, right?
Kamachi: Yes, it was. At the time, I had only written stories centered on Kamijou Touma, a boy, so it was a new feeling creating the Index world so it was centered on Misaka Mikoto, a girl.
Fuyukawa: Hearing that makes me feel more responsibility with my art...
Kamachi: Doing what you have been doing is plenty.
Fuyukawa: This manga came with a lot of passionate fans already attached, so I was—and still am—quite nervous about it. My goal is to be accepted at least a little bit by those fans. I also want to make the manga so people who know nothing of Index can still read it. Not that I’m saying I have a perfect understanding of it myself...
Kamachi: Thank you for your work. I was actually worried whether you would be able to accept the story as I had written it.
Fuyukawa: I know I keep saying these timid things, but I could not understand why you chose me to do it. I was incredibly thankful and surprised, so to be honest, I never thought that much about it.
Miki: At first, we had you draw character designs and some impressive scenes for Mikoto and Shirai. You even told us we could scrap this project if it was no good, but it turned out great and we began working on the serialization.
Kamachi: I think I remember talking with the editor about Shirai likely being the most popular character.
Fuyukawa: I had wanted to draw the magic side characters too, but they ended up not appearing.
Ogino: I think that was because we had not yet decided to keep it science side only at the rough stage. If I remember, it was originally offered to you as a Toaru Majutsu no Index manga.
Fuyukawa: That was quite a bit ahead of time.
Ogino: We have illustrations for almost all the characters thanks to that.
Fuyukawa: Come to think of it, I remember being told there were a few other candidates at that time. I never thought I would be chosen. I just had a vague idea that there was a competition. But as time went on, I got to meet with Kamachi-san and Miki-san.
Kamachi: Was that when it started seeming real? (laugh)
Fuyukawa: Yes. It felt like the project had really begun to move. And I gradually realized I might actually be a part of it.
Kamachi: You’re at the very center of the project. (laugh) You’re like the eye of the hurricane. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: Yes, something like that.
Kamachi: When the serialization began, did anyone you know react to it?
Fuyukawa: Yes! My parents finally found out about a week beforehand. (laugh)
Kamachi: You make that sound so full of despair. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: I was of course really thankful to have an official release, but things can be a bit awkward with your parents. My parents suddenly began buying Dengeki Daioh and reading it in secret so I had to take the magazine away and tell them not to read it. (laugh)
Kamachi: How did they find out?
Fuyukawa: It seems my little brother did some research. All of a sudden, they all knew.
Kamachi: I guess that’s the modern reaction. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: The only other thing was my friends reading it I guess...
Fuyukawa: Kamachi-san, you give me the story several chapters in advance.
Fuyukawa: I feel bad about the parts I change a bit. Sometimes it makes the story take more chapters than the version in your plot...
Kamachi: Well, I send you the framework of the plot rather than a novel. When it comes back to me as a proper manga, I’m always grinning at the various scenes added or the way you handled something.
Fuyukawa: I’m glad to hear it.
|In drawing for the science side, in the end, the Index rough have been shelved. Plans of a future appearance in the work were nothing more than an illusion.||Mikoto, Shirai, and Kazari character roughs. At this stage, it seems that he has yet to decide on his vision for (the images) them. However, it can be seen through the work that a number of the patterns of the characters' expressions have already surfaced. "It is noticeable even in such conditions," said Mr. Fuyukawa Motoi.|
Kamachi: You could call it a wonderful miscalculation.
Fuyukawa: As I said before, what I give the most thought to is how to get everything across to readers of this side story manga who have never read Index. If there are any difficult parts to the plot, I add or remove aspects of the plot to make it easier to understand. Kamijou in Chapter 3 is probably the biggest example of that.
Kamachi: Yes, that was not in my original plot.
Fuyukawa: I added in the Kamijou and Mikoto scenes from Volume 1 of the novels. In the original plot, Kamijou first showed up in Chapter 4, but I added in an introduction so those who had not read Index could know who Kamijou Touma is.
Kamachi: There is a lot you have to do for the manga format and I gladly welcome things like that.
Fuyukawa: I just thought it would be difficult to explain Mikoto and Kamijou’s relationship all at once in the clothes shop scene in Chapter 4.
Kamachi: That clothes shop scene did increase in volume about threefold between the plot and the manga.
Fuyukawa: When I drew up the storyboards from the plot, Ogino-san and Miki-san gave me some guidance. Even if I ultimately just resolved it myself, the process was a sort of team effort. And of course, the biggest element was the original plot as the foundation.
Miki: On Kamachi-san and my end, we will give Fuyukawa-san some suggestions at the storyboard phase, but then he will reject some of the suggestions in the final product. (laugh) Those rejections actually feel quite good. It makes me want to give even better suggestions next time! (laugh)
Ogino: Are you a masochist!?
Fuyukawa: Sometimes it can be hard to fit everything into the limited number of panels.
Kamachi: Arranging things so that the readers cannot tell what was intended or meant is the worst thing for something like this, so I have no problem with those rejections in and of themselves.
|Academy City's science is many years more advance compared to the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the students have advance state-of-the-art digital equipment to wear, none have so far appeared. The portable music player shown here, incorporates a system to DL music through a wireless LAN spot that has been established in Academy City.||The result of the efforts of the Ladies' Fashion Botique's scene. In the Academy City clothing, Saten, Kazari, and Mikoto are enjoying their shopping. According to Fuyukawa Motoi, he says that the layout and the decorations on the clothing were drawn with care.|
——This may be sudden, but there is an interesting story about Fuyukawa-san during the recording of the radio drama. It took place in Daikanyama and when he was heading home he was found staring intently into the show window of a boutique that had already closed. What were you doing? (laugh)
Fuyukawa: I was taking photos of the interior of the clothes shop. (laugh)
Kamachi: That was a ladies’ shop, right? Oh, was it reference material!?
Fuyukawa: Yes, for the manga...
Kamachi: Thank you for all your hard work.
Fuyukawa: I was taking photos at a department store the other day, but I can’t bring myself to do it blatantly. It makes me feel really suspicious. An employee got really mad at me when I was taking pictures in an arcade for Chapter 4.
Kamachi: Going the extra mile like that really pays off.
Fuyukawa: Speaking of reference material, I still haven’t really shown the high-tech side of Academy City. Part of that is due to my lack of imagination, but the wind turbines and drum-shaped security robots that are the symbols of the science side are kind of had to draw. I do want to show that kind of thing more, though. Music players and cell phones are hard too.
Kamachi: And the look of high-tech devices is already starting to change.
Fuyukawa: I can’t change them to the point that the readers do not recognize them as music players or cell phones, so it can be difficult to make any changes.
Kamachi: Then go to an electronics store and photograph the latest model. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: My phone is a model from over a decade ago, so maybe I should. (laugh)
——Tell us about the characters that appear in Railgun.
Fuyukawa: Not that many characters have appeared yet, so that shouldn’t take long.
Kamachi: My thoughts when reading the manga is just how bountiful the characters’ expressions are with Fuyukawa-san’s art. It’s really amazing. Do you try to do that?
Fuyukawa: Mikoto had always been that way, so it just naturally happened. She does and says a lot of things you wouldn’t see in a normal girl from what you would call a “moe manga”. When I draw her based on that personality, the expressions just naturally come out.
Kamachi: The expressions seem so lifelike and almost broken, and I mean that in a good way. I can’t see the other heroines making the same expressions.
Fuyukawa: Mikoto is the protagonist, so I didn’t want to give her too much of a flirtatious feel. Of course, that could change depending on her relationship with Kamijou.
Kamachi: Hmm, there really aren’t that many characters, so it’s hard to find things to talk about.
Fuyukawa: There are only three. (laugh) Saten Ruiko is still a new character, so it’s hard to say anything about her. Is Shirai Kuroko the easiest character for you to write, Kamachi-san?
Fuyukawa: Is it because she is so much like a guy?
Kamachi: I think Shirai Kuroko is the easiest character for male readers to identify with. And she is obviously the liveliest character too. Fuyukawa: Her voice actress (in the radio drama) gave quite an effort. (laugh)
Kamachi: That was amazing. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: I can still remember it vividly. (laugh) At the time, I still had a vague and incomplete image if her character, but when I heard the voice (during the radio drama recording), it helped me construct an image of her. It was like this overwhelming image came flying into my head from another dimension. (laugh)
Kamachi: That voice was imprinted into your mind.
Fuyukawa: And Uiharu Kazari gives off a bullied aura as a contrast to Shirai.
Kamachi: Uiharu had actually not showed up much in the novels, so that impression is still quite new to me. Mikoto and Shirai had appeared enough to have a solidified personality, so Uiharu feels the freshest.
Fuyukawa: But that mask she’s wearing is pretty lame. (laugh)
Kamachi: In the novels, Uiharu often dragged Shirai around, but Railgun has a lot of scenes showing the reverse.
Fuyukawa: I did that to show that it was not just a one way thing. In fact, it starts off with Shirai on top, but Uiharu will eventually become the character from the novels. After being around Mikoto enough, she will learn how to handle Shirai-san. (laugh)
Kamachi: That sounds about right.
Fuyukawa: In Railgun, Shirai and Saten are in charge of the sexual harassment with Mikoto and Uiharu on the receiving end. I think an important point of this manga is that that situation could eventually become reversed.
Kamachi: That sounds like it could make for some interesting scenes. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: Going back to Mikoto, when Kamijou isn’t around, she is an almost perfect character with little to make fun of, so it makes her character livelier to bring Kamijou into the picture. That’s why I want to put him in as much as I can even if he doesn’t show up in your plot.
Fuyukawa: Also, my editor keeps telling me to draw panties. (laugh) I was even told to do away with Mikoto’s shorts. (laugh) But that’s a crucial part of the setting.
Ogino: I did say to do away with the shorts, but I never said to show her panties.
Fuyukawa: Aren’t those the same thing? (laugh)
Kamachi: Sounds the same to me.
Fuyukawa: If you can’t see what’s under her skirt, how are you supposed to know the shorts are gone?
Ogino: They’re completely different things!
Fuyukawa: The way I see it, any characters with panty shots in the novels can have panty shots in the manga. If Misaka Imouto ever shows up, I will view it as okay to give her one.
Ogino: People are going to misunderstand! I wasn’t telling you to draw the panties. It’s just that a lot of Daioh readers don’t like having the main heroine wearing shorts all the time. You should be blaming all the people who haven’t read the novels. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: It’s because there’s no explanation. The novels at least had Kamijou mention it.
Miki: Calm down, calm down. Let’s not focus so much on the sexual stuff.
All: You’re one to talk!!
——There were some interesting similarities in the Q & A.
Fuyukawa: Yes, yes. Come to think of it, we gave the same answer for who we would want to marry and who we would have as a friend. (laugh) I was pretty surprised. There are so many female characters, but we answered the same.
Kamachi: I was surprised, too.
Fuyukawa: If you’re going to marry someone, it has to be Orsola.
Kamachi: She’s one of the rare harmless characters in Index.
Fuyukawa: I think it would make for a calm household. Although, she would probably suddenly answer some question from that morning in the middle of a serious conversation. (laugh)
Kamachi: It might be soothing. And she can cook.
Fuyukawa: She does get quite a lot of points.
Kamachi: Other than not listening, she’s almost ideal.
Fuyukawa: And we both chose Misaka Mikoto for who we would be friends with.
Kamachi: She seems like someone you could openly discuss things with.
Fuyukawa: And you chose Index for a lover.
Kamachi: It’s a bit odd to choose a different person for lover and who you would marry. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: That’s probably because it was two different questions.
Kamachi: I just felt she was a bit lacking for marriage because the costs would be too high and I’m worried I would get tired of her. (laugh)
Fuyukawa: I think I know what you mean. (laugh)
Kamachi: Why did you choose Fukiyose for your lover?
Fuyukawa: She has an upfront and decisive personality yet won’t let her true feelings out. I find that seeming contradiction to be cute.
Kamachi: And the people we wanted nothing to do with were the Volume 9-10 duo.
Fuyukawa: I think everyone can figure out why that is. (laugh)
——A manga adaption of the novels is also running in Gan Gan.
Fuyukawa: Seeing the characters in that manga and especially seeing how Kamijou moves is a good reference for me. It’s only just begun, but as the story advances, I think I will see a lot more of Kamijou. Kamachi-san, do you view the one in Gan Gan any differently?
Kamachi: Hmm, let’s see. I like seeing how the Gan Gan one follows the novels. The Daioh one is interesting in a different way that is more destructive. It’s kind of hard to put in words, but they use the same stage yet give off a completely different type of enjoyment.
Miki: I give this a lot of focus on the novel editor side. The scenes and artwork not shown in the novel illustrations are all designed and approved by Kamachi-san and Haimura-san. And then both this manga and the Gan Gan one use that unified source. I want to do my best to avoid a building showing up in Daioh’s Railgun having a different design when it shows up in Gan Gan’s Index. I want as little inconsistency as possible.
Fuyukawa: I will try my best to show the influence of that reference material in the manga. I talked about this in my Q & A section, but I think an appeal of the novels is that all the characters including the enemies have a background and their own weaknesses. I like how Kamijou tries to protect everything including his enemies’ weaknesses. Personally, I look forward to seeing that in the Gan Gan manga.
Kamachi: I will also be looking forward to seeing that in visual form.
|Two manga published in two magazines. Original illustrator Haimura Kiyotaka had prepared many sources for use in sharing. To go into detail, wonderful rough sketches have been prepared, from the Judgment emblem armband, Index, to such things as the depiction of patterns on Mikoto's character.|
——Please tell us what will happen from here on in Railgun.
Fuyukawa: Timeline-wise, the story takes place just before Volume 1, but the story is going to become much more dangerous.
Kamachi: A single large incident will tie together the entire story all the way back to Chapter 1. The story will focus on pursuing something behind the scenes of the incidents we see now. Something involved behind the scenes of the current Graviton incident is actually related to the core of Academy City. This has not even been explained much in the novels, so I hope it will be explained well enough in the manga format. And if you know more about the novels, your enjoyment of both should increase.
Fuyukawa: That sounds interesting. Of course, I’ll be the one drawing it. (laugh)
Kamachi: We have mostly seen Academy City from Kamijou’s point of view so far. But there are other daily life cycles centered on other characters in the city. If you look at the center from two different points of view, you will start to see the living city that is Academy City. I want to show this in the novels as well.
Fuyukawa: That’s right. I may have said I wanted to put Kamijou in, but other than the novel prologue scene in Chapter 6, maybe it would be better to keep him out.
Kamachi: That can’t really be helped because main idea of this story is that something completely different to Kamijou’s experiences in Volume 1 was happening around Mikoto.
Fuyukawa: I guess it would be best to keep it at the level of having a bit of fun by giving an actual reason for the delinquents chasing after Kamijou in Volume 1.
Ogino: As the manga’s editor, I started the project because I wanted to do Volume 3 of the novels. But to get there, we have to get through Volume 1, what was going on in the background related to “that secret”, and her relationship with Kamijou.
Fuyukawa: That’s right. (laugh)
Ogino: I just have to pray it does not end before we get to Volume 3.
——Thank you very much.
|Fuyukawa Motoi Profile|
|Representative of the House of KARSEA doujin serial. Have been discovered to have released an outrageous book compilation base on certain work from our comic magazine Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh, somehow mysteriously gotten a career after debuting in Dengeki Daioh.[Notes 1] Debuted as the mangaka for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun.|