Konjiki no Gash creator 雷句誠 / Makoto Raiku brings a series of scandalous allegations regarding the conduct of his editors to light, as if his last were not severe enough. Shonen Sunday magazine and publisher Shogakukan, coincidentally also in trouble with the ending of one of their major series, and also having abused a somewhat charismatic lady mangaka, seems set to have its reputation utterly destroyed. In an interview with Raiku the details emerge in lurid detail, and the full story is provided below.
It seems his work involved working with five editors over seven years of serialisation, and each apparently brought their own particular brand of oppression to bear.
First, we hear of an editor being routinely late for meetings, treating them a little more than inconveniences, and being intolerant of any criticism or corrections. Such is the least of Raiku’s complaints, however.
“The editor who was worst at being late kept everyone waiting. Without any advance notice, he would keep us waiting for an hour or more. When he finally did turn up, he came out with the excuse that he was in some important meeting with a big name figure. When I slaved to meet a deadline for submitting a colour piece, he wouldn’t even come to pick it up, saying “Whenever’s fine”. When I lost it and raised my voice at him, he suddenly came out with the excuse that he caught a cold”.
The litany of infamy continues, with Raiku complaining of another editor who barely read the manga he was submitting, and who interfered in the story based on his own misapprehension of the manga. So aggravated was Raiku (and here we perhaps get a hint that maybe Raiku is a more complex character than his apparent victimhood might suggest), that he struck a table out of aggravation with such force that he broke a bone in his hand and had to suspend publication for two months whilst recovering.
Next we hear of a big name editor who apparently harried an assistant he deposited with Raiku with such ferocity that the unfortunate assistant was soon reduced to a nervous wreck, constantly being shouted at over the phone, told to “Die!”, and phoned whilst sleeping to be harangued for having the temerity to sleep when work remained to be done.
We also hear of an editor who told his charge, by fax no less: “I ain’t got time to meet with you. Write it like this”. Proceeding thus the story soon suffered, and when the mangaka finally offered words of protest, the situation deteriorated and serialisation had to be terminated.
It’s no wonder then, that Raiku was willing to declare on his blog that he would have no further truck with Shogakukan. He says of 800 responses he received by email, all but a few dozen were words of support.
Whether or not he possesses a more combative personality than he lets on is probably something which can be left aside, given that his story is corroborated by other mangaka apparently also suffering at the hands of a publisher seemingly so little concerned with the artists under its employ.