is born from the encounter with
Mr Nabata BOB Hiroo
Representative of LIGHTAIR, Nabata BOB Hiroo
We talked to Mr Nabata BOB Hiroo from Gujo Hachiman, the representative of LIGHTAIR, producer of GJ8man, about the charm of Gujo Hachiman, GJ8man, and Ms Momoko Sakura who loved Gujo Hachiman.
Interview with Mr Nabata BOB Hiroo
We are hearing the reason why Ms Sakura loved Gujo Hachiman and the secret story of the birth of GJ8man. He also talked about the reason why he continues to make it now.
We hit it off well together once we met and the birth of GJ8man!
I got to know Ms Sakura through a common friend. She loved Gujo Hachiman, so our common friend introduced me who is from Gujo Hachiman to her. Even before she actually visited Gujo Hachiman, Ms Sakura remembered her colleague from Gujo Hachiman talking about his hometown and what she saw on TV about the scenery at Gujo Hachiman. She was always enthusiastic about it. When she finally stopped by Gujo Hachiman because of her new job, she became completely captivated and came to Gujo Hachiman once a month. On the day we first met, we were so excited and talked until 5 o’clock in the morning! After that, I guided her around Gujo Hachiman. After meeting several times, Ms Sakura said “I created a hero for Gujo Hachiman!” and showed me GJ8man.
The birth of GJ8man!
From the picture written on a piece of paper like a memo, the story became bigger and bigger and I finally decided to make an animation series. As I just wanted to show how I am proud to be born in Gujo, I started with my close friends. Ms Sakura wrote the script, she even wrote the lyrics for the theme song and acted as the voice of the bad guys. I felt like I need to do this! So I was in charge of the voices of GJ8man and Water Fairy, and sang the theme song.
Cherish our Gujo Hachimanwith its vaunted water
Gujo Hachiman is important in creating the story. Every time I think about how to draw Gujo Hachiman, which Ms Sakura loved. I am really particular about drawing what I see “now”, for example, when I drew Sogisui, I even drew some parts where the stone was missing.
He has also thought about what the bad guys do. The bad guys who appear in GJ8man are not really bad, they only do bad things with a little bad heart that everyone has. He tells children to understand why they cannot do bad things in an easy understanding way. The power of water is amazing because the bad guys are converted by the water in Gujo! Ms Sakura said, “A clean river flowing beside the town, clean water running through the town, and drinking fountains everywhere in the town are all Gujo Hachiman so proud of.” How we valued water is also conveyed by how we use it.
Also, we decided to create a crazy hero. At first, I assumed that Hachiko would be cute, but Ms Sakura said, “Let’s make here under normal.” These not very bad guys and crazy characters are making the story very interesting.
Gujo Hachiman loved by Ms Momoko Sakura
Although Gujo Hachiman is a tourist spot, it doesn’t look like a tourist spot. Local people live normally. I think that is why Gujo is so attractive. When you come here, you can sneak a peek at people’s lives from the outside. I think Ms Sakura was looking forward to coming to Gujo Hachiman with this kind of feeling too. In our story, the townscape of Gujo Hachiman, festivals, and Gujo Odori Dance Festival which Ms Sakura loved, are depicted everywhere.
It is also important that the ending is always Nagaragawa Railway. Even though he is a hero, every time he has to take a train from Mino-Ohta Station to Gujo Hachiman Station to get home. The ending song “Night of Nagaragawa Railway” that we hear at the same time is full of sadness. Ms Sakura used to travel from Tokyo to Gujo Hachiman on Nagaragawa Railway, so I think she had a strong feeling for it.
Feelings for Gujo Hachiman connected through GJ8man
For me living in Tokyo, GJ8man is a connection with my hometown Gujo Hachiman. I wanted to contribute to the local community someday, so I think I have been able to get involved with Gujo Hachiman for sightseeing through GJ8man. Also, I haven’t been able to meet my respected Momoko Sakura, but I think I’ll be able to stay connected through the GJ8 Man.
The future of Gujo Hachiman and GJ8 Man
“GJ8man will continue forever.” Ms Sakura said. It would be great if we could inherit our thoughts and continue the story so that the whole country and the world could know about GJ8man and Gujo Hachiman. In cooperation with the locals, we will do our best to liven up the city and become a character loved by everyone. We look forward to your continual support!
GJ8man manhole cover
which is hot among “Manholer (Manhole cover lovers)”, comes to Gujo Hachiman!
A manhole cover of GJ8man is said to be located in two places in Hachiman. Even if you are not a manhole cover fan, you will love to reach for this designed manhole cover installed near a famous place. The manhole cover of GJ8 Man was selected as the 13th manhole cover card too.
Representative of LIGHTAIR, Nabata BOB Hiroo
Born in Gujo Hachiman and grows up in Gujo Hachiman until high school. After he studied design in LA, USA, he started a design company, LIGHTAIR, in Tokyo in developing characters and contributing to the community.