Shinesparkers is proud to present a translation of tweets from Izuki Kouji (also translated as Idzuki Kouji), the mangaka (author) of Samus and Joey and Metroid EX, which was published in Comic BomBom from December 2002 to April 2004. With Kouji-san’s permission, we sought to translate a selection of his tweets in an attempt to preserve a record of his thoughts and feelings for future reference. In the tweets, Kouji-san shares his memories of working on Samus and Joey and his thoughts on Metroid Dread. They were originally published between March 15th, 2021 and January 8th, 2022.
Disclaimer: In an effort to ensure that Mr. Kouji’s words are not misinterpreted in our translation, we have also included links to his original tweets in Japanese. All timestamps are in Japan time. Per Mr. Kouji’s request, we have used Romanized translations of his name (Izuki), Joey (Joy) and Comic BomBom (Comic BonBon) within his tweets. We hope you will enjoy them.
I’m thinking about doing a little something for Metroid’s 35th anniversary. I’ll upload old drawings, scene documents, etc.
First off, we got 2 pictures. The first time I drew Metroid for an artist competition
Izuki and Metroid(1)
Updated irregularly ( ^ω^ )
I thought that if I were to draw a Metroid manga in BomBom, a children’s magazine, I should definitely draw a story of a boy’s growth through Samus. That hard worldview cannot be depicted in a children’s magazine. I thought it would be a manga that only shows the strength of Samus.
That would be a waste!
Why is Samus strong, and what does strong mean?
Samus can be a good example to tell the boys what it means to be strong!
With this in mind, I made the plot, but Nintendo said no.
I knew they would deny it. I went to Nintendo’s HQ in Kyoto to talk directly to the director, Mr. Sakamoto.
Mr. Sakamoto said, “This will destroy the world view of Metroid.” We were disappointed. But in the end, the people on the top accepted our enthusiasm! If we work hard, a way will open up for us! The editor and I rejoiced on the Shinkansen [bullet train] on our way back from Kyoto. It is a nostalgic memory. It was the start of serialising this Metroid story in a kids’ magazine
Izuki and Metroid (2)
Irregular update ( ^ω^ )
We began the challenge of involving a boy in Metroid, but the first obstacle was how to get Samus to accompany the boy, Joy. To be clear, Samus is strong enough and doesn’t need a teammate, and even if he begged her, he would put himself in danger and be a nuisance to her.
The only way for her to get rid of that kid who’s bound to recklessly go out to space is to leave him at the care of someone who’d understand him. That way, he can be be integrated in the story while keeping a contact with Samus. That’s where I designed Samus’s business partner, Diesel. The name evocates horsepower (Movement/action) and pollution (He has a dirty mouth)
He has a junk shop, so with Samus, and her trashing a lot of stuff, the partnership would fit perfectly and would be profitable, and young Joy would be lucky to see what Samus does on the side! That odd combination of Samus / Joy / Diesel will liven up the story ♪
“Hard-headed Metroid fans won’t like it…”, I thought, but unlike Magazine Z’s Metroid, my Metroid would expand the universe outside of the main lines, and would be a special story of seeing Samus’s strength through a young boy’s point of view. But I did what I wanted all the way to the end, and it was a very pleasant job to do ∩^ω^∩
Izuki and Metroid Part 3
Here’s an irregular update to get people excited for the 35th anniversary. Here’s the first friend Joy made when he went to space, U-ton. (Samus and Joy volume 2) A bio-droid on the brink of becoming scrap he met by chance. U-ton and Joy become friends but that friend has a big problem…
This story was created to portray the meaning and weight of Samus pulling the trigger to keep the peace, and to help the boy grow up.
This is a scan of the manuscript, so please forgive the pencilled in notes.
U-ton is built as a killing weapon, but due to a defect, it is close to exploding. They want to save their friend, but there is nothing else they can do.
U-ton is unable to stop himself from exploding so begs Joy to destroy him. Joy is at a loss as U-ton’s self-destruction draws nearer.
This is the latter half of the manuscript, and there are no transcripts pasted on it. It may have been changed to data printing around this time.
As the explosion caused by his rampage is imminent, Samus doesn’t shoot and leaves the decision to Joy until the last moment. Samus could easily end it herself but shows the depth of her character by waiting patiently. I felt that if it were Samus, she would want to set a good example for the young boy.
Samus’s true form is famous. I will not speak of her for those who do not yet know her, but I had a hunch that because of her character, she could lead the boy and the readers. That is why I was eager to draw up an extra edition of Metroid’s story.
Irregular update 4 to get people excited for the 35th anniversary of Metroid.
My daughter has told me she wanted to read Metroid EX for the first time in a while, so I was looking for the prints and copies.
Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice if a lot more people could read them?
Nintendo-sama, could you somehow allow this?
Izuki and Metroid (5)
An irregular update for the 35-year excitement
We were successful in putting a child in a universe as serious as Metroid, but I was particular about details for Joy.
I absolutely did not want the boy to carry a gun or a sword, so I came up with a special glove that combined offense and defense so that he would not be slowed down by Samus.
The idea was to give the kid a weapon that could create waves to form a wall or an attack proportional to his mental strength.
However, I was also worried about how to express Samus. I thought Samus would appear like some sort of robot to readers who didn’t know about Metroid. The stronger and cooler I’d draw her, the more noticeable it would be.
I had planned to reveal Samus’s true identity at some point. However, if the identity of Samus is revealed too early in the story, the boy will not be able to follow her blindly. It is a boy’s own pride, you know (laughs). That is why I planned to reveal her true identity at the very end of the series.
Irregular update 6 to get people excited for the 35th anniversary of Metroid.
When read by a child who does not know Samus, the stronger Samus is, the more robotic or cyborg-like she appears. To get around that, I prepared a villain who looks a lot like Samus. I could have just described what kind of person Samus is, but I thought that should come later.
I thought that by making the enemy in a similar suit a bad guy, I could make the reader feel that Samus was the exact opposite and that a good person was inside.
This enemy’s Samus-type suit has an open mouth.
That was disgusting and a personal favorite of mine.
The point I was careful in drawing the metroids was not to tamper with Samus in an arbitrary way. So I had to set up changes around Samus without messing with her. That’s where the significance of having an immature boy comes in. It was fun to portray the unknown side of Samus while people around her were scrambling around.
Irregular update 7 to get people excited for the 35th anniversary of Metroid.
I tried not to play with Samus in an arbitrary interpretation, but that is also a fetter. If a character is the strongest, it is difficult to create the best part of a shonen manga that depicts pinch points and growth, and a strong enemy that surpasses Samus cannot be created without taking the original work into consideration. So…
That’s why we need Joy. In Samus & Joy, I depicted the story as a boy becoming aware of his path and what he lacks, and I prepared “Metroid EX” as the next stage of the story. I knew I would be told no again, but I proposed to Nintendo that Samus losing her abilities. Her strongest ability is taken away by her enemy and she becomes normal.
At the time, it was rejected by Nintendo, but I convinced them that a weakened state could be spinned into taking the items back, which was part of the thrill of a Metroid game.
In fact, regaining the lost abilities by defeating enemies made the story dramatically more fun, and I made a manga based around Joy and Diesel’s solidarity.
It would be bad if Chozo’s technology could be easily analyzed, so I prepared an enemy that kept entering the brains of geniuses all over the galaxy and had him build a machine that would take away Samus’s abilities using the technology stolen from the geniuses. Then I destroyed it so that it could never be used again.
With Nintendo approving of Samus losing her abilities, starting the story of Metroid EX suddenly became much easier, and then a lot of adventures happened. For instance, the portrayal of Samus in the games is that of a strong and silent character. However, ->
My image of Samus isn’t that of a hard-headed, brusque person. I see her as a charming person who can sometimes insert a pun into a conversation. So I drew this plotline in EX, though I thought I might be opposed to it. Samus returns one last pun and defeat the enemy, who keeps making pun after pun. It’s Samus no one has ever seen.
I was pretty sure that would convey Samus’s intelligence and that little something that’s cute about her, and it made it in the story without trouble.
Maybe Nintendo grew more tolerant of my ways after I put so much care and attention in drawing the first part of S&J, didn’t they?