Mangaka Yuu Watase "Traumatized" From Difficult Editor

Mangaka Yuu Watase "Traumatized" From Difficult Editor

Arata the Legend

While working on Arata: The Legend, Yuu Watase was often forced to change her plots and panels for her editor, who retaliated when she voiced concerns.

Mangaka Yuu Watase, known best in the west for Fushigi Yugi and Ceres: Celestial Legend, wrote in a blog post about her struggles with her previous editor for her ongoing manga, Arata: The Legend. She noted her chapters were often delayed because of how often her editor asked her to redraw pages or change the story to become something different entirely.

When Watase confronted her editor, who she refers to as Mr. I, about her concerns, he responded harshly in retaliation, Watase said on her blog. After speaking with others who worked with Mr. I, Watase came to the conclusion that he treated everyone in the same manner.

Watase had the story for Arata: The Legend planned out and had discussed story development with the editor. She believes either there was a miscommunication or he never understood her vision. When she insisted on pivotal scenes staying the same, he told her, "Draw it exactly the way I tell you." According to Watase, his corrections were inconsistent and he would frequently cut things she insisted were important.

"It was very difficult to deal with and caused a lot of stress, especially with a weekly publication," Watase wrote. "It was pretty much hell... 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... 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."

Around the time of Arata: The The Legend's Yakata Arc, starting in the tenth volume, Mr. I was replaced by another editor. Watase said she has had a better experience with this editor, but she still feels traumatized.

Arata: The Legend received an anime adaptation last year, and Viz Media publishes the manga in English for North America. The 22nd volume shipped in Japan in December, while in North America the 16th volume was recently published.

Source: Anime News Network

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I'm going to assume this is an editor that works for the publisher?

If so, sounds like Watase needs to take her concerns on up the food chain.

Then again, this is Japan. She should just do what her superior tells her.

Man, that's awful. I knew that editors have a lot of control over manga, but I didn't know it was this bad. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you need an editor to tell you an idea you have just doesn't work, but this sucks.

That's just depressing. I love manga, but the industry is just fucked up. Writers having to continue works they wanted to have finished, the stress of having to get out a chapter on a weekly basis, and shit like this makes me disgusted.

As someone who does my own comics, there's a fine line between an editor that understands and knows what should be allowed and what needs to be redone, and a power-mad despot that walks all over the creativity of other people because he or she feels they know better than the creatives creating the comic.

Thankfully, my boss is pretty understanding and open-minded, even if I have had to alter a story or two to fit within the established guidelines and continuity.

Trishbot:
As someone who does my own comics, there's a fine line between an editor that understands and knows what should be allowed and what needs to be redone, and a power-mad despot that walks all over the creativity of other people because he or she feels they know better than the creatives creating the comic.

Different industries.

With manga, editors ARE largely the creator who creates the comic, while the writer and the artist are limited to their own fields, more similar to a movie's director vs. it's screenwriter, than to western book publishing with creative writers and their optional publisher-editors.

Tough break. That's why manga artists don't get as much chances to create what they want unhindered. Too much editors putting the boot in. If only going it alone was more an option over there. Its all about creator owned stuff now.

Alterego-X:

Trishbot:
As someone who does my own comics, there's a fine line between an editor that understands and knows what should be allowed and what needs to be redone, and a power-mad despot that walks all over the creativity of other people because he or she feels they know better than the creatives creating the comic.

Different industries.

With manga, editors ARE largely the creator who creates the comic, while the writer and the artist are limited to their own fields, more similar to a movie's director vs. it's screenwriter, than to western book publishing with creative writers and their optional publisher-editors.

There is NOTHING optional about stuff my editor approves or doesn't approve. If he says it goes, I can try to convince him otherwise, but it's ultimate HIS call to make, not mine. The difference is he recognizes the talents on display and only steps in if something is out of line; he doesn't try to CONTROL the story, but rather guides it to being a unified whole with the other artists and writers working on their books.

Wow, I haven't heard of a situation like this since Makoto Raiku's case, though I'm fairly confident that it is relatively common.

This is the part of the comic book/manga industry I despise the most. It's pieces of shit like Makoto's editor that makes me sick to my stomach. I know its different business practices between countries but that is no excuse to force your will over someone else's creation. There needs to be a way to protect creator's from shit like this like a union. Whether you can complain to the higher ups or not, at least you will have someone outside of the office watching your back.

I didn't even realize Watase was still an industry presence. Last contact I had with her was reading Alice 19th. She's not very good! But editors in the industry are notoriously crazy, the king probably being the guy that locked Togashi in his hotel room near the end of Yu Yu Hakasho, which resulted in WSJ giving him his free ride contract as an apology.

This is always sad, and it makes me wonder if it's reasons like this that some manga that had such promise turn out to be such let downs. I would not be able to handle something like this. I would quit.

FredTheUndead:
I didn't even realize Watase was still an industry presence. Last contact I had with her was reading Alice 19th. She's not very good! But editors in the industry are notoriously crazy, the king probably being the guy that locked Togashi in his hotel room near the end of Yu Yu Hakasho, which resulted in WSJ giving him his free ride contract as an apology.

yeah... Yu Yu really went downhill during the Dark Tournament Arc. Just because the popular thing at the time was tournament arcs, due to a large part of DBZ. it was WAY better off more as a Case Closed with ghosts. which is why i enjoyed the first arc a lot. it was well written, thoughtful, interesting, and my god the feels.

FredTheUndead:
I didn't even realize Watase was still an industry presence. Last contact I had with her was reading Alice 19th. She's not very good!

To be fair, Alice 19th was her worst series ever in my opinion, The other stuff she's made is much better.

Not to make light of her difficulties, but hasn't this been the problem with every comic book since the history of the medium?

 

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