The April and May 2022 issues of Ultra Jump included an interview with Masanori Shino. Shino is a chief animation director and character designer working with David Production for the anime adaptation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean. The magazines released on March 19 and April 19, 2022 respectively.
In this interview, Shino discusses behind-the-scenes details regarding Stone Ocean and his thoughts on designing its characters.
What did you have in mind when designing the characters for “Stone Ocean”?
Shino: To be honest, Stone Ocean is the only part of the JoJo series that I’ve physically bought volumes of. I’m personally strongly attached to these characters, so I had fun while drawing them. I was conscious of how much of the original work’s details I could retain when designing them. Since the anime is made by a large number of animators and staff, it’s often necessary to omit details in consideration of the schedule. However, if certain points are omitted then it’ll no longer be “JoJo”. That’s why in this work I wanted to incorporate the original design as much as possible. It’s actually pretty annoying (laughs).
What was the most important point when designing each character?
I think the character that develops the most in Stone Ocean is Jolyne. The transformation of her appearance from the beginning to end makes her look like she’s a different person, so I had a hard time deciding which appearance I should base her design on and the features to include. As the story progresses, Jolyne keeps growing tougher and more beautiful so I’d like to depict her properly.
Ermes is the most difficult character for me to draw. It took me some time to figure out how to do her P*dator-like haircut. She might be the most complicated out of everyone in Stone Ocean…?
(Note: In the Predator films, the Predators have dreadlock-like appendages on their head.)
Compared to Ermes, Foo Fighters is the easiest character to draw. Since she also plays a comedic role, I tried to give her a wide variety of expressions as much as possible.
I was careful about designing Emporio‘s body proportions in comparison with the other characters. He is a rather unique character, so I made sure that he would not look out of place alongside Jolyne and the others.
Jotaro‘s design was based solely on the style of Part 6. His character becomes slimmer and slimmer each time he appears after Parts 3 and 4. Your opinion may differ as to which Jotaro you like best, but I personally prefer his physique in Part 6 the most. When I first designed Jotaro, I ended up making him look a little young. That is, until general director Kenichi Suzuki reminded me that he’s supposed to be more-or-less a father; that’s when I changed him to look more mature.
In Weather‘s case, I had to be particularly careful of his body proportions. He looks 8-9 heads tall due to his hat, so I needed to balance his height relative to the other characters. I actually recall Araki-sensei pointing out issues when it came to the size of his hat.
Generally speaking, Anasui is very pretty, so my goal when designing him was to draw out his androgynous appeal. Incidentally, I’m also a big fan of his original look in the manga. Araki-sensei apparently said it’d be perfectly fine if Anasui was a girl in the anime. If that had happened then…
For Pucci, I had the most difficulty with balancing his hairstyle and facial features. Besides that, he also has many complex facial expressions that can range from “virtuous” to “evil”. Similar to Jolyne, it was tough having to create several model sheets for him in reference to the story’s final stretch. Since he’s the main villain, I made sure not to take his design lightly.
[Translated by Vish and MetallicKaiser (JoJo’s Bizarre Encyclopedia)]
About Masanori Shino
Masanori Shino is a veteran animation director and character designer born in Nagareyama, Chiba, Japan. Nowadays, Shino is well-known for his character designs in numerous animated series like Black Lagoon, Gungrave, No Guns Life, Hunter × Hunter, and Terra Formars. He is also notable for his mech designs in shows like Brain Powerd and After War Gundam X.