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Editorial Harrassment on Watase Yuu

Fushigi Yuugi mangaka Watase Yuu wrote na entry in her blog yesterday revealing her negative experiences with her former editor on her ongoing manga, Arata: The Legend.

Staying up all night for the pages to be checked early in the morning which lead to drawing again in order to reach the next morning's deadline had given Watase headaches often. and with it, she then realized that her exhaustion was because she was being asked to redraw lots of scenes from her manga Arata: The Legend.

The six-chaptered Suzukura Arc's release was delayed because most of its pages were redraws. "This situation is outrageous. It doesn't make any sense for a story to only 'come together' after having to redraw practically everything. If we'd drawn all of this when we started, we wouldn't have to go through this. You already had the plot worked out from the beginning, Watase-san... How did it end up becoming a totally different story?" says one of her assistants.

Watase then explained that she had already worked out the plot of Arata: The Legend in her mind and was even discussed it with her editor but then, she's wasn't sure if he understood it or not. She even stated that when there are scenes that were disagreed by the editor, it will be taken out, even if she kept on explaining that they were pivotal. The answer would be, "Draw it exactly the way I tell you." One reason for her to kept of redrawing layouts.

Since the time Watase received her publishing debut with Pajama de Ojama in 1989 as serialized in Sho-Comi and had been in this career for decades, this experience was considered as her first. This event made her ask herself if she would still continue her career, added to the fact that it made her confused and tired to the fact that it lessen her desire to "create". She even had a word with other mangaka and learned that her editor, "Mr. I," gives everyone the same treatment and even questioned her why she kept listening and following what he wanted and she told them that if she won't, he will not approve his work and she will be "stuck". Added to that, speaking out would only make things worse.

Regarding her manga Arata: The Legend, Watase tried her best to work with the editor. According to her, every time she tells him that following a specific theme is what she wanted in the story but still, the editor kept on making corrections, which are inconsistent as Watase had noticed. She also said that he forget the things she had mentioned and edit the manga the way he wanted it to be.

Watase stated, "It was very difficult to deal with and caused a lot of stress, especially with a weekly publication... It was pretty much Hell. At some point, I was no longer doing it for the sake of the readers, or even for the sake of the manga as a body of work. I was just drawing storyboards and layouts solely to get his approval and keep going... Just thinking about how nothing I drew would get approved made it more and more difficult to draw successive pages, and nonsensical cuts and edits made it hard for me to draw anything at all."

When she was working with the Yataka Arc, Watase's editor was replaced giving her a better experience, though she was still traumatized, for he doesn't demand too much, only for few changes with a line of two in dialogues. "It seems to me that Mr. I thought the readers were imbeciles, and it makes me sad when I think of all the reasons why I draw manga." she concludes.

The content of her blog post can still be read here though the original post was already been removed.

It was in 2008 when Arata: The Legend was first released in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday maagazine and its 22nd compile volume was released in Japan on December 18th. It was also published in North America, releasing the 16th compiled volume on December 10th by Viz Media. Lastly, a 12-episode adaptation was also aired last spring, having Crunchyroll streams it as it aired.

Via Anime News Network

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2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Poor Ms. Watase. I can understand how Manga editors can be so demanding at times.

  2. Unknown Says:

    There are a lot of things to go in order for the person to get credit and succeed. If the upper management fails to support the lower level, then problems will arise and will affect big no matter how small it will be.

    Ms. Yu Watase doesnt deserve to get treated like that. The right directions for creativity and profit must find ways to make those work together in a harmonious way.

    The editor is overstepping his authority and therefore Ms. Watase should find a better editor suited for her direction.

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