A manga artist with a talent for sketching famous manga characters on the fly impresses backstage at this year’s Jump Festa.

Jump Festa 2017 was held this past weekend, December 17-18, at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba Prefecture. This annual exposition celebrating manga and anime is sponsored by Shueisha, the publisher behind the iconic Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and similarly titled anthologies. Year after year it draws large crowds of fans hoping to get wind of the latest news pertaining to their favorite Jump series and to receive autographs from esteemed manga artists.

One such artist in attendance during this year’s event was Kentaro Yabuki, best known for his 20-volume Black Cat manga series which was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2000 to 2004. He was mentored by the great Takeshi Obata, who is responsible for the gorgeously detailed illustrations in Hikaru no Go and Death Note, so it’s no surprise that Yabuki’s skills are top-notch, even compared to other professionals in his field. Since 2004, Yabuki has concentrated his efforts by working solely as an illustrator for other manga authors’ works.

The editorial department of monthly Jump Square magazine even seemed to be in awe of Yabuki’s skills, posting some of his quick “sketches” from break time on their official Twitter account:

▼ “Luxurious break time in In the Jump Festa Square waiting room. This single drawing encompasses my deep respect for Yabuki-sensei. It’s definitely on a higher level than a mere sketch.”

▼ After coloring in the hair:

Longtime Jump fans will recognize the character sketch as that of Kurama, one of the main characters of Yu Yu Hakusho, which was an immensely popular manga and anime series in the early 1990s. In perhaps a fit of snarkiness, Yabuki even wrote “Togashi ” at the bottom of the drawing (referring to original Yu Yu Hakusho author Yoshihiro Togashi), only to cross it out and replace it with his own stylized signature.

We can only imagine the editorial staff’s jaws collectively dropping as they witnessed Yabuki recreating Kurama so faithfully with no preparation. They then posed this:

“Vice Editor-in-Chief K asked, ‘Yabuki-sensei, please draw Goku next!!!!’ Several minutes later, everyone in the waiting area was shocked speechless (LOL)”  

This time Yabuki drew Dragon Ball‘s Son Goku, perhaps the most famous Jump character of all time. While many young manga artists have grown up emulating original artist Akira Toriyama’s trademark drawing style, it’s still impressive how well Yabuki was able to capture it in his own quick sketch.

In our own snarkiness, might we suggest that Yabuki take over drawing Togashi’s currently on-extended-hiatus Hunter x Hunter manga? He’s already proven his skill at replicating Togashi’s artwork, and it would be nice to have a conclusion to the series one of these decades!

Source: Kinisoku
Featured image: Twitter/@JUMP_SQ