“Sonny Boy” is an original work that will be the focus of TV anime titles that will start airing in July. The manga artist and illustrator Eguchi Hisashi is in charge of the original character designs.
Since Eguchi is in charge of the original character designs for the first time in 18 years, this work had already become a hot topic before the broadcast began. Eguchi Hisashi is a big name for the generation of 80’s and 90’s manga and subculture lovers. He is said to be the best at drawing beautiful girls in Japan, and I’m sure many of his fans were delighted to be able to see his skills in an anime.
Let’s take a look back at the greatness of Eguchi-san, his career, and the tremendous impact he has had on the manga and anime industry, and the world in general.
Gaining attention as a gag manga artist
Eguchi Hisashi made his debut as a manga artist in 1977. With “Susume Pirates (Sail Onwards! Pirates),” which began in the same year, he quickly gained a huge following as a gag manga artist.
“Susume!! Pirates” was a work that depicted the members of a fictional professional baseball team, but it was a groundbreaking work that opened up the genre of baseball gag manga, whereas most baseball manga had a serious, sports-oriented style. With a style that incorporated a wide range of topics, from extreme parodies to current events, his works had a great impact on society, including the creation of the once popular word “burikko”.
Later, in 1981, he began his greatest masterpiece as a manga artist, “Stop! Hibari-kun!”, in which he created the character Hibari-kun, who looks like beautiful woman but is actually a man, a forerunner of today’s cross dressing men, and fully demonstrated his sense of modeling beautiful girls.
Perhaps Eguchi-san’s most significant achievement as a manga artist is that he updated the design of beautiful young female characters in manga. It is no exaggeration to say that he is the one who set the standard for today’s manga, where it is commonplace to see beautiful girls competing with each other.
While he is famous for his beautiful young female designs, he also draws great-looking male characters, and his sense of style is demonstrated in the manga “Age”. In “Age”, he is also famous for creating designs that make women’s nostrils look cute. The characters in “Sonny Boy” all have neatly drawn nostrils, demonstrating Eguchi-san’s sense of style to the fullest.
Eguchi-san’s manga has gained a reputation not only for its interesting content, but also for the fact that the frontispiece and other drawings are extremely well done as illustrations. This trend became evident in the later stages of the “Susume!! Pirates” series and “Stop!! Hibari-kun!”, where he drew very sophisticated pictures every week.
Dominating the world as an illustrator
Eguchi-san began to work as an illustrator, making the most of the sophisticated and pop-like designs that he had been displaying in his frontispiece. He has demonstrated his sense of style in many fields, including magazine covers, illustrations, corporate illustrations, and CG jackets. He is said to be the best illustrator in Japan when it comes to drawing beautiful women, and his sense and pop style have blossomed greatly in the world of illustration.
Her famous work during this period includes the design of the menu for Denny’s, which lasted from 1992 to 1997, and the binding of the works of Sarah Paretsky, an author specializing in women’s detective stories, which she has been working on since the 1980s.
Eguchi-san’s work has been featured on numerous advertising posters and magazine covers, and his illustrations have become familiar to many people, many of whom may have seen them in magazines or on posters around town in the 1990s.
He is one of the most successful illustrators who came from a manga background, and his sense of style has greatly influenced many future generations, not only in the manga industry but also in the illustration world, such as Nakamura Yusuke, whose style can be said to be one of the standard “beauty paintings” of today.
Demonstrating his design sense in anime
Eguchi-san is also active in the world of animation, making use of his sense for designing beautiful women.
His own manga works “Stop! Hibari-kun!” and “Age” have also been made into anime, but his first work as an anime character designer was for “Roujin Z”, an OVA masterpiece written by Otomo Katsuhiro. The main character is a beautiful woman, which is Eguchi-san’s specialty, but this work also features many old people, and it seems to have been a new frontier for him in terms of drawing old people.
Eguchi-san also worked as a character designer for “Perfect Blue,” the feature film debut of director Kon Satoshi. He also worked as a character designer for NHK’s original anime series “Uninhabited Planet Survive!”, which aired from 2003 to 2004.
The upcoming broadcast of “Sonny Boy” will be his first animation work in 18 years. I wonder what kind of activities the characters, who make full use of Eguchi-san’s simple and cool design sense, will show. It will be interesting to see how the anime develops.