What the hell! Well this has been a longtime coming. Welcome to the Otaku Mind and it’s ranting time. When I first started the Otaku Mind I didn’t want it to be me just ranting about the crap that goes on the anime/manga industry. I wanted it to be a place where we could all come together and share our thoughts about stuff. But there are sometimes where the injustices of an industry are too great that need to be address and one of those injustices is the treatment of Keijo.
For those unaware Keijo the popular sports/ecchi series written by Daichi Sorayomi in 2013 came to an erupt end this April shocking a lot of people. The story revolves around a sport called Keijo a sport in which girls in swimsuits battle on a platform floating in the water and try to knock each other off using only their butts and breast. Despite the abundance amount of fanservice once you look pass it you’ll find a very good series with good characters, story, and action. It was a series that knew it was filled with fanservice but also took itself serious with its subject and presented something engaging. Because of this the series gained popularity so much so that last year it received an anime which made my list as one of the best animes in 2016. Everybody thought that with the anime the series would continue to thrive for months if not a year or two to come but no, it came to an end in April or rather it was forced to end at the demands of the publisher. Keijo appeared in Weekly Shonen Sunday, not to be confused with Jump even though both magazines are owned by the same company. Anyway, following the completion of the series, Daichi posted a blog in which he talks about the difficulties he had while working on the series such as not having an assistant despite asking his publisher for one numerous times which resulted in him overworking himself that he actually passed out while drawing at his desk a few times. He also talks about how he was told to end the series around the time the anime was ending but somehow managed to keep it going a few more months and even he admits he was dissatisfied with the ending and wished he had more time to work on the series. To emphasize how much more this guy got the shaft from his publisher, Keijo was always featured on the last pages of the magazine which are usually reserved for the least popular manga. Even when the anime was airing it was stilled featured on the last pages which doesn’t make sense because from what I’ve heard this series was popular in Japan having an online following and everything. Plus, it had an anime which was proof that the series was popular. All this just proves that the publisher which is Shogakukan just didn’t like Daichi or his work.
This leads to the question of why did Shogakukan not like Keijo or rather have such little faith in it despite its popularity and following? Well the first and only thing that comes to mind is the theme. I mean what else could there be? Like I said the series was popular. After looking at some of the mangas featured in Shonen Sunday I saw a lot of them were basically slice of life lazy Sunday afternoon stories. They’re not bad they’re just mangas you would see yourself reading on a Sunday afternoon to relax as opposed to the mangas in Shonen Jump which you find yourself reading and going back to read again. Anyway, the theme of Keijo is about girls in swimsuits using their butts and breast to knock each other into water which I’m guessing the publisher didn’t like and found vulgar. Oh yeah, the other mangas may have a fanservice scene here and there but not enough to earn them that ecchi tag (aside from Food Wars but that’s in the Jump magazine). Thanks to Keijo’s theme and the artwork you can easily label this with the ecchi tag where I’m guessing the publisher didn’t want to associate their magazine with. Having this mindset is a shame because it just means the publisher failed to look pass the fanservice and see a really good story hidden within it. Unfortunately, a lot of people have this mindset when it comes to series heavy on fanservice and immediately wave it off as a bad series.
I really do feel terrible for Daichi. The guy is obviously a hard worker who loved working on this series and everyone who read it enjoyed it as well but he misfortune of getting screwed over by a publisher who just didn’t like his work and wanted to screw him over. This sadly happens more than you think in the manga industry. Bleach suffered through something like this as well. Again, I wasn’t a big fan of Bleach but it was one of the big 3 mangas that got a lot of people into anime and manga and thus deserves respect for doing this. Tite Kubo, the author of Bleach says he worked with an editor who didn’t like the story all that much, didn’t have much faith in his work, and didn’t really try to help him make the story better. Because of this Bleach kept suffering and suffering until finally it ended on a sour note upsetting fans and everything. It’s terrible and just proves just how much publishers and editors have power over authors and it needs to change otherwise we’re gonna keep seeing great series that we love and authors we respect keep getting screwed over and I don’t want that happen. As someone who writes blogs and enjoys what he does I understand the hard work, effort, and time put in to make it entertaining and to have someone come along and hold you down just because they don’t like you or your work is frustrating and wrong. Being a manga artist is a time consuming and stressful job. The least publishers can do is make their lives less stressful and show a little more faith and trust in their work.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you guys think about this, and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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