Masashi Kishimoto is a well-known figure whose brilliance has been acknowledged all over the world. His best-known work, Naruto, has been made into numerous anime series, motion pictures, computer games, and other media. Naruto is more than just a tale. Kishimoto has depicted a picture of characters that we can all relate to in one way or another.

Naruto has always been dear to our hearts and helped us understand what it means to be human above all else. Whether it’s the capacity to dream and hold onto it, the strength of friendship, the destruction of loneliness, or the loss of a mentor, a beacon of hope, friends, and comrades.

Mario by Masashi Kishimoto (Credits: Viz Media)

The author has, nevertheless, also contributed to a number of other works that did not have the same level of success as Naruto. Before beginning work on Naruto, Kishimoto worked on a one-shot series called Mario. Unlike his prior works, Mario was intended for an adult seinen audience.

Masashi Kishimoto Talked About The Differences Between The Original Mario Draft And The Jump SQ Version

A young Naruto (Credits: Pierrot)

The protagonist of Mario is a man who is half Italian and half Japanese, who lives in New York and works as a contract killer for the mafia. To increase the mystery surrounding the manga, Kishimoto deviates from his usual fold in a flurry of treachery. This comic is captivating, and it’s not a surprise that Kishimoto considered Mario to be among his best creations, given the character’s dark, mysterious, and morally gray nature.

In a 2013 interview with Masashi Kishimoto, talked at length about the difference between Mario‘s original draft and the Jump SQ version. The interviewer questioned if the current draft was pared down from the original 130-page version, and Kishimoto replied:

This will be like a lame excuse, but when I originally created Mario, I didn’t think about it being in a magazine. I just drew whatever I wanted to, and that’s why it became so long. But 130 pages is way too long for a magazine, so I cut it down to 49 pages. To do it perfectly I’d need a good 160 pages though. [laughs] Not that I would have time to do it if it actually was that long, of course.

Kishimoto further mentioned the issues he ran into while editing the draft. He said that he kept getting pulled into the past and although he should have started from scratch as if it were a brand new work, he couldn’t make himself do it. This was because he couldn’t get rid of the image he had of it when he originally wrote it. Hence, trimming it down was tough for Kishimoto.

Masashi Kishimoto Disclosed How It Felt To Redraw His Old Art

Mario manga panel
Mario manga panel (Credits: Viz Media)

Proceeding with the interview, the interviewer asked Kishimoto how much time it took him to work on the draft. Kishimoto replied that he didn’t actually spend that much time on it. It seems like even a legendary artist like him is a procrastinator. Although he was asked to do it a while ago, he just kept delaying it until the last moment. Then he had to scramble to get it done with the deadline approaching.

Then, he was asked how it felt to redraw his old art and Kishimoto responded:

I think I can make things look a lot cleaner now. I’ve been drawing Naruto for over ten years now, so I think that has influenced me. I based the color artwork for the preview on a page I drew back then. It’s pretty fun to compare them. (See page 50) I drew the background on the original one, and an assistant did the background in the new one. I took out some of the small details like the cigarette and ring. 

He also mentioned that the scar on Mario’s left side is covered with a bandage but not in the new version. There was originally a plot reason for him to hide his scar but that part of the story got cut, so it didn’t make sense for him to have the bandage anymore. He said that the scar is a remnant of the original story, so he left it in even though it wasn’t a part of the current plot.

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