Act-Age fans, prepare for a major dose of disappointment. Shonen Jump has just cancelled the manga series following the writer’s arrest for some very disturbing behavior. While the writer’s actions are unacceptable, we wish the best for the artist, and hope that her reputation doesn’t get tarnished by this.
When a Mangaka Goes to the Dark Side
Fans of the hit manga Act-Age were shocked to learn of its cancellation over the past weekend, and of the reasons for it. On August 8, police in Japan arrested Tatsuya Matsuki, the writer of Act-Age, for indecent behavior towards middle school girls. Matsuki apparently approached them on a bicycle at night in 2 separate incidents, and touched them inappropriately. The girls then sensibly reported the incidents to the police. They analyzed security camera footage of the area, and determined that Matsuki was the culprit. The police arrested him shortly afterwards. Matsuki readily admitted guilt to the charges without denying any of them.
Shueisha’s response was to cancel the Act-Age manga series Matsuki had been working on with Shiro Usazaki as the artist. In fact, Shonen Jump will not even publish this week’s chapter. Chapter 122 will be the last chapter, and the story of Act-Age will just end at that chapter with no conclusion to the overall plot.
Personally, I think this is an entirely appropriate reaction to Matsuki’s behavior. It reminds me of the response to Harvey Weinstein’s crimes. People who engage in such behavior need to be punished for it. It’s such a shame that Matsuki is bringing down Usazaki-sensei along with him.
When a Bad Mangaka Drags Down a Good One
The artwork for Act-Age was primarily what drew me to the manga in the first place. The sheer amount of detail and the unique style made Act-Age one of the most visually appealing manga out there. It was here that Usazaki-sensei outdid herself. Unfortunately, Act-Age‘s cancellation means that all her great artwork has now gone down the drain. The preorders for the print edition of the manga volumes in the US have all been cancelled. There’s also pretty much zero chance that Act-Age will get an anime because of this. Heck, even the planned stage play was cancelled. So it’s likely that Usazaki-sensei will not see much, if any, of the money Act-Age should’ve made.
Hopefully, Usazaki-sensei‘s reputation won’t be tarnished by her co-creator’s behavior. It’ll be great to see more of her gorgeous artwork appear in another great manga. One that hopefully won’t see a tragedy like with Act-Age. Let’s all wish her our best.
Tatsuya Matsuki’s arrest means that Act-Age is now no more. Unfortunately, its cancellation also bodes ill for Shiro Usazaki-sensei, as all of her fabulous art has all gone to waste. Let’s hope that she finds another manga series to work on in these troublesome times.
Source: Viz Media