Hirohiko Araki is a Japanese manga artist that is best known for his bestselling JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga series. This manga series has more than 100 million copies in print, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history.
He has been active in the field since the early 1980s and has also published manga titles such as – ”Magic Boy B.T.,” ”Buso Poker,” ”Baoh” as well as manga versions of the lives of baseball player Ty Cobb and physicist Nikola Tesla.
His drawing typically involves idealized figures in broad, expressive poses at adventurous scales and angles, with scattered, blackened planes and sharply inked lines, lending them a sculptural effect. His style has been described as an experimental, but definitive approach.
During an interview, he said:
”When I create characters’ outfits, I am conscious of two elements: ‘daily life’ and ‘fantasy’. I envision everyday fashion alongside strange, cartoonish, bizarre clothing that would be impractical in real life.”
Araki grew up in Sendai, Japan, as the older brother of identical twin girls.
Hirohiko cites his sisters’ annoyances as the main reason he spent time alone in his room reading manga.
His favorite book as a kid was Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.”
Hirohiko attended a prep school through junior high and high school. There a friend complimented him on a manga he drew for the first time.
Araki left school before graduating from the Miyagi University of Education, a national university at Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.
In 1980, Hirohiko created his first original manga, titled – ”Poker Under Arms.” In 1983, his first serialization was Cool Shock B.T., a manga about a young magician who solves mysteries.
In 1984, he created the first manga series that displayed his signature, entitled – ”Baoh.” This manga tells the story of a man who is implanted with a parasite by an organization and follows as he fights against them.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
The manga series begins in 1880s England and follows Jonathan Joestar (JoJo) and his brother Dio Brando, who tries to kill their father in order to obtain his share of inheritance.
His work on this manga is divided into numerous parts and continues to be serialized for three decades, totaling 124 volumes, circulating over 100 million copies.
Viz Media (one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga) released a translation of the third part of the manga series in the United States from 2005 to 2010, however, the company began publishing JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure from the beginning in 2015.
In 2008, he drew the cover art for a collection featuring Yasunari Kawabata’s short story “The Dancing Girl of Izu.”
Following the 2011 Japanese tsunami, Araki created art depicting the many historic Hiraizumi monuments which were severely damaged in the natural disaster.
He is married to Asami Araki.
When asked about what was his inspiration when he created Johnny Joestar, Araki responded:
”My work centers around protagonists who grow as they overcome hardship. In creating Johnny, I didn’t necessarily set out to depict a hero with a disability.”
Hirohiko later added:
”He was the end result of my pursuit to create a character who could grow, both physically and mentally, during a race where he would be forced not only to rely on other people, but horses as well.”
In 2009, he was one of 5 artists that were selected by the Musée du Louvre to create original works set at the famous museum.
Hirohiko typically pits smart heroes against powerful villains and puts a focal point on heroes carrying out strategic action to overcome these villains. Another main theme of his works are the characters fighting against fate, to various degrees of success/failure.
Araki likes Prince and other African-American singers, as well as rock, jazz, and rap.
During his childhood, Hirohiko repeatedly read the Ai to Makoto manga series.
His favorite manga comics are – Tetsuya Chiba’s “Ore Wa Teppei,” Ikki Kajiwara’s “Ai no Makoto,” and Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s “Babel II.” All these mangas are fighting tales, that Hirohiko admits made a strong influence on his work.
He enjoys the videogames Bomberman and Mario Kart.
Araki specializes in stylish artwork, with beautiful persons dressed in colorful attire, carrying out incredible feats, and striking flamboyant poses.
He once said:
”In my entire life, I’ve only seen a ghost once. It happened a few years ago when I traveled in England. I stayed in a hotel that used to be an old castle. It was only eight o’clock, but I was exhausted, so I went to bed early. A few minutes after I lay down, a woman came out through the slightly open bathroom door.”
”The female ghost floated across the room. Standing beside my bed, she looked down at me with a blank expression. I thought to myself, “I’m seeing a ghost! I thought I had no psychic powers!” Then the next moment I thought, “I’m really sleepy… I don’t want to deal with this right now.”
A book explaining Hirohiko’s methodology on creating manga, titled Manga in Theory and Practice, was released on April 17, 2015, in Japan.
Hirohiko Araki – Net Worth
For example, if it is 600 yen (almost $6), the artist receives 60 yen per any sold manga. Furthermore, if the manga becomes a hit, the manga artist may get additional revenue from licensing of movies and merchandise.
Arakin sold millions of mangas. For example, ”JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” was sold in over 100 million copies. Hence, Hirohiko Araki has an estimated net worth of $4.2 million.