Axed Manga, Sudden Cancellations and Rushed Endings

Some time ago I wrote a post about why I don’t read a lot of manga, but there was one more thing I failed to mention — axed manga, ones that are forced to cancel usually due to low ratings, legal issues, poor health of the author and so on. This results in a very universal issue for the medium — rushed endings.

And indeed, this is another big reason why I don’t read a lot of manga. In fact, out of all of the manga I reviewed, one of them in my opinion has the best ending, and aforementioned manga has a shitty name like Masterbation Master Kurosawa, think about it (though like I stressed on in the actual review, the manga’s actually excellent despite the name).

I want to point out however, that there are exceptions. There are some cases where a manga may legitimately be reaching an ending soon but the author getting pressured to finish it at the same time. Both happening simultaneously is a rare occurrence, and if it does, a manga can still be salvaged. This was the impression I got from Teppuu — the manga still look like it has more story to tell, but the author managed to “end” it semi-conclusively despite being pressured to finish it. Keijo also seems to fall in the same situation though I never read it.

[HorribleSubs] Gintama - 145 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.01_[2016.08.19_11.50.28]

Nonetheless, this is another reason why whenever I’m asked on the always-famous topic of “Anime VS Manga”, I will pick anime without a doubt. Other than the obvious benefits of animation and sound, anime is an adaption and manga is a source material — that is one huge difference between the two. That means anime adaptions have the freedom to pick if they should follow the manga closely and more importantly, to pick when should the season ends, while manga is forced to continue until the series’s -official- conclusion. Anime just simply have more freedom.

[HorribleSubs] Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.09_[2016.08.19_14.28.24]

The disappointing thing here is that some manga has more than enough potential to be something amazing, but a combination of lengthy build-up, over-hyped expectations, erratic releases, busy schedules and poor health results in a lot of manga getting the infamous issue of rushed endings. These kinds of manga despite the build-up, usually conclude with premature endings and perhaps with a cheap hook for a potential sequel which will never see the light of day. The fact that the lengthy journey of foreshadowing and intriguing build-up is actually amazing just rubs salt to the wound when we arrived at such a rushed destination.

A mangaka's schedule, courtesy of Anime Vios

A mangaka’s schedule, courtesy of Anime Vios.

Though even when I say all these now, I’m just not sure what can be done about it. No matter how good the manga is, and no matter how much people are looking forward to the new chapters, the mangaka’s health always comes first, if not, they risk getting sick or even death. Reports of mangaka getting sick or even passing away is actually a common occurrence. One thing I really like about Kentaro Miura, author of Berserk, is that while people are clamoring for new chapters day in and day out, the author in question is constantly putting the series on hold and is off playing Idolm@ster games like a boss. I mean come on, the man needs his healing too!

[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_06_[720p][F7859A8D].mkv_snapshot_05.38_[2016.08.19_12.01.33]

I would actually love to say that other mangaka should just follow Miura’s footsteps and play Idolm@ster games indulge in their personal hobbies more, but that’s probably impossible especially for newer mangaka. Unless your manga is very popular and has achieved a considerable level of success, the mangaka job is an otherwise extremely unstable job with unsteady earnings — up-and-coming mangaka with their newly flagship titles, can be easily thrown back to the bottom of the food chain just from a bit of hiatus.

Mangaka is a tough job — it’s purely just a gamble with a lots of odds against you, so it really makes you appreciate mangaka who -did- achieve mainstream success despite the grueling schedules. As for the rest who didn’t, their manga gets axed, and then it’s back to the drawing board and hope your next manga would get the mainstream success it deserves.

[gg]_Bakuman_-_12_[7FA6FE91].mkv_snapshot_12.08_[2016.08.19_12.07.13]

This is another reason why I don’t read a lot of manga, a lot of them end prematurely because of sudden cancellations. No matter how good their manga is, they just can’t conclude well. It’s as if the development and hype has grown way beyond the mangaka himself can handle. Paired up with their usual busy schedules and poor health management and it pretty much becomes a recipe for disaster.

At the same time, this isn’t something I can blame the authors with because again, their health always comes first. If they want or need to end their manga soon, then all the best to them and their next series.

What do you think of manga with sudden cancellations?

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This entry was posted by Kai.

2 thoughts on “Axed Manga, Sudden Cancellations and Rushed Endings

  1. It’s not too surprising since there is the expectation to capitalize on the popularity of the series. But yes, the expectations of continuing the series is true, especially since most of the Mangaka’s income comes from royalties and sales. At some point, there needs to be a work life balance and I can understand why some want to take a break. Still, it’s surprising that Mangaka like Japanese animators are overworked. The only blight side is that some more established Mangaka do make a good living.

    • Yeah, but because they are still new at that point, taking a break and putting their manga on hiatus means putting their newfound popularity at risk, and risk going back to square one as people lost their interest. I suppose the first, and perhaps the toughest step, is to get their names out there and establish themselves as a mangaka first. Obviously no easy feat though, lol.

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