‘Didn’t Think He Was A Genius’: Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Editor Reveals First Impression About Author

Chainsaw Man author Tatsuki Fujimoto is widely regarded as a genius by fans for the story-telling style in his manga. However, his editor Shihei Lin, with whom he shares a long working relationship of 13 years, had a different impression of the author initially.

Shihei Lin on Tatsuki Fujimoto and Chainsaw Man production in an interview with Hobonochi
Manga editor Shihei Lin

In a recent interview with Hobonichi, Lin answered a question from the audience revealing that he has been Fujimoto’s editor since the time the author submitted his manga for an award. And at first Fujimoto did not strike him as a genius when the editor saw his work.

Instead, Lin felt that the Chainsaw Man author was just like the other young artists whom he had handled back then – talented with a high creative spirit.

“First of all, I can’t say that I immediately recognized him as a ‘genius’ when I first saw his work. Initially, he was just like any other young and talented artist with a high creative spirit,” Lin said in the interview.

Lin then continued to talk about his working relationship with Fujimoto, which he claimed was nothing peculiar. According to the editor, they went through the standard procedure of “reviewing the storyboards, discussing ideas, addressing concerns, making adjustments, and submitting the manuscripts” and that they kept doing this day in day out.

“We do this diligently every week, every month, every year. It’s not because he’s special; it’s just our routine,” Lin said.

The editor added that Fujimoto always had a wealth of ideas and that his creative direction was clear. So, for him, it was always a matter of choosing which idea to pursue rather than getting stuck.

And since they have been working together so long, the meetings between the two is mostly spent on sharing recommendations.

“Since we’ve been working together for a long time, about half of our meeting time nowadays is spent discussing things like what we’ve recently watched or read, so it’s more like sharing recommendations,” Lin said.

Shihei Lin joined Shueisha in 2006 as a manga editor. He initially worked in the editorial departments of Monthly Shonen Jump and Jump Square, before moving to the editorial team of Shonen Jump+, of which he is still a part.

As an editor, Lin has worked on numerous popular titles, including SPY×FAMILY, Chainsaw Man, Dandadan, HEART GEAR, and Kindergarten Wars. He is also the development manager of the app “World Maker”.

Fujimoto published his first serialized manga, Fire Punch, in Shueisha’s Shōnen Jump+ online magazine. It began serialization on April 18, 2016 and was collected into eight tankobon volumes.

The author’s second major work Chainsaw Man, began serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from Dec 3, 2018. The manga won the Kono Manga Sugoi award and the Harvey award. The second part of the manga began serialization in summer 2023 on Shonen Jump+ platform.

Fujimoto is an author who has not shied away from creating one-shots and short stories. He launched two one-shots in the year 2022. Goodbye, Eri released in Japan on April 11, 2022, and the latest one FUTSUU ni Kiitekure (Just Listen to the Song) on July 4, 2022.

Source: Official Interview