This installment takes a look at a series that title that might be completely new to the majority of manga readers. To manga editors and publishers however, this is a manga that is near and dear to their hearts. Actually you could say this should be considered a manga editor's bible. This is a series that takes readers to the core of the manga industry. Beyond the printing and distribution, past even the creative process, this manga focuses on the heart and soul of manga editorial. Who picks the manga you read! Why is manga marketed the way it is! And how creators and editors come up with the stories that you love! All of this is revealed in KING of EDITORS.
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This program was produced by Erin F. and features Erin and Ed Chavez for the MangaCast.
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9 of 10 manga editors approve the use of school uniforms on
their covers! Bright colors and mahou-shoujo also help boost sales!
Reading manga for 25 years; typing about manga for seven years; talking about manga for two years and I can honestly say I don't know much about the real nitty gritty hehind the industry. Sure walking through the offices of places like Viz helps. But those places look more like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory with Pokemon oompa loompa and readable wallpaper. In Japan manga is a business not some candy induced dream.
Editors and creators want nothing but the best... or so they say!
Editors have small cramped offices where they work long hours. Staff spends a good amount of time every week banging on doors to collect files for up-coming magazines. It's a high stress, high stakes competitive industry where nothing but perfection is tolerated. In many ways working in for a manga publisher could be best compared to being a prize fighter. The hours are very long. The best go out and do their business day and night, rain or shine. Manga making and manga selling is always on the brains of these people. And like a prize fighter, the life of a manga editor is over-flowing with mature content - boozing, drinking and naked meetings in the men's room!
Even on the can... Naked... Japanese editors only want the best for their readers!
Publishers be damned!
This looks like my dinner with Broccoli Books last year at YaoiCon.
In Tsuchida Seiki's Henshuoh (King of Editors) readers get to experience the battles manga editors have to go through to provide a nation with engaging entertainment every week. Inspired by a friend and his love for Ashita no Joe, former professional boxer Momoi Kanpachi takes on the competitive world of manga publishing by bringing back the honesty and beauty that has been missing in that increasingly corporate business. When mangaka were just coasting along with long filler arcs, Momoi gives them an uppercut of reality by telling the artist his work is crap. If an editor is stifling his artists creativity by running a series to the ground, a jab of truth through reader survey results. If an artist is not living up to his potential fighting in the ero-doujin ranks, Momoi goes to MangaMarket, to the doujinshi-ka's home turf, to ask for a challenge! If Momoi is tossed in the manga ring I expect Young Punch is going to move up the seinen manga ranks one challenge at a time.
Place your bets on who will win in the end!! I pick the readers!
Why can't I imagine Stu Levy ever burning with manga passion like this?
The Bottom Line
Upside - Otaku themes are doing well right now and it doesn't get more otaku than manga about manga making. Whoever releases this will likely get plenty of publicity from the publishing world because of the subject matter. Pats on the back all around. And if publisher V doesn't want to risk a 16 volume run they could take a ride on the 4 volume omnibus release instead! Seinen readers love big books (we can curl them when we are not reading them).
Downside - Salaryman manga has not made it over yet and this series possibly isn't the best place to start. Even with the Ashita no Joe moments and the male nudity there is not enough action or hard-boiled drama in this manga for your modern day seinen reader. Sorry no anime tie-in for this and I don't see the live action drama coming anytime soon either. Essentially, this is the manga version of Animation Runner Kuromi... Did that DVD sell well here? And that was only a couple episodes long
Outlook - Once again the Manga Draft is confronted with another Shogakukan property, which firmly places the fate of this series in the hands of our friends at Viz Media. Back in the PULP days this would have been an ideal follow up to Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga. In this new era of mangadom however, I have to wonder how easy it would be to market and sell what essentially is an otaku version of a salaryman title. The Ninja Consultants recommended this title for nomination because Carl Gustav Horn had recommended the property but given the subject matter I don't think DH would take on this property either (not enough swords or Yamasaki Housui). A boutique publisher could easily take this title on and handle it well in an omnibus format. Possibly a bit too pop for FanFare (not so much for Spanish Ponent Mon though) but this could be an interesting pick up Vertical. Either way Jack Tse would end up becoming a manga editor before you'd see this series on bookshelves at Borders.
Projected Draft Position: Free Agent
NOTE: The images above were scanned from the Shogakukan bunkobon version.
If you are interested in a scout report of a certain title, feel free to send an email for the Manga Draft to samacast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or post your suggestions here!
Previous Manga Draft Reports:
Detroit Metal City
Shin Angyo Onshi