Hirohiko Araki, creator of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, may be a vampire according to an Internet theory that the mangaka does not age. Side-by-side comparisons of photos of the artist have convinced fans and possible vampire hunters that Araki must be thousands of years old and possibly immortal. Even if it were true, it would be just one of the many eccentricities that have endeared him to his fans.
A collage of Araki's portraits put together by a user on 2Chan in 2011 demonstrated the man's victory over aging as he appears to maintain the same supple skin and flawless hair that he had in 1980. In 2020, now at 59 years old, Araki was chosen to be a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics design committee and at an unveiling of his artwork appeared, as usual, ageless. A new collage was made in commemoration of the undying meme.
荒木飛呂彦先生の比較表2020年版を作りました pic.twitter.com/ADUBHF0r6W— レッド・ジャッペリン男爵 (@Japerrin_1838) February 15, 2020
Araki joins Keanu Reeves in defying time itself, perhaps turned into creatures of the night by the same progenitor. Sure, there are other possibilities -- perhaps there exists a portrait of Araki hidden away in an attic that ages for him, or maybe it's his daily hygiene routine.
In 2016, Araki was declared the winner of the Men's Fashion Unity association's 45th Annual Best Dresser Awards in the “Academic and Cultural Arts” category. Mobbed by interviewers drawn to his timeless beauty at the Tokyo reception, Araki divulged his dark secret: “Every morning I wash my face with Tokyo's tap water,” he said.
Trying to mask the reality of his origins -- officially, his birth date is listed as June 7, 1960 -- Araki can't help himself by throwing bones to his flock of fans enthralled with the mystery. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure begins with a vampire, after all, and during a post-award show interview, Araki says that his classy appearance is unusual and that often he looks very different, as translated and reported on by Anime News Network. Sure, the question was whether or not manga artists are sloppy and unkempt and if he himself were the exception, but his humility only fuels the meme, being that he is perfect in every way.
Of course, Araki's oddball status in the manga world doesn't end with his perfect hair forever. His taste in western music spills over into his art with many of his characters named in homage to rock artists. Tom Petty (Tonpetty) Ronnie James Dio (Dio Brando) and REO Speedwagon (Robert E.O. Speedwagon), to name a few. His designs and knack for naming characters after their musical influences have made localizing material related to the series, including video games, a real pain as it often draws the ire of copyright laws. When JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle was released outside of Japan in 2013, the character known in the manga as Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap -- a reference to the band AC/DC -- was simply referred to as D4C.
Often, a window into Araki's mind is given via the author's notes in his manga. In Steel Ball Run Volume 10, “Illinois Skyline, Michigan Lakeline,” Araki waxes poetically about a calendar on the wall in his office and perhaps hints at how his vampire's eyes interpret the passing of time.
“... Every time the month changes, I have to flip the page to the next girl, and somehow, that makes me feel incredibly melancholy,” says Araki. “'Goodbye, September girl. I guess we'll never meet again.' That's how it makes me feel. And then I *flip*, and think, 'Wow, October's not bad either!', and that makes me think of how I'm already betraying the September girl. So, what I'm trying to say here is, that a year goes by really quickly.”
Of course, this could all be explained away by eating healthy, exercising regularly and not overworking himself, all things Araki is said to enjoy in a series produced by Shonen Jump in which Araki cooks for fellow manga artist Matsui Yuusei of Assassination Classroom fame. But where's the fun in being grounded in reality? It's best to assume that Araki is, in fact, unrestrained by the rules we humans must obey and instead enjoy the memes as an homage to the ageless artist.