Mugen Monday - Fifteenth Edition
For Those Who Dare Dream.
Creative juices can sometimes be ‘easy come, easy go’. Whether a digital artist, a storyteller, a novelist, or a Mangaka for that matter - we all go through difficulties in pouring our creative soul unto a work we had begun in the past.
Yet some of these monsters in the world called Manga authors do not stutter from such setbacks. Take for example Oda, although I would not go so far as to make the bolsterous claim that he never flinches - which he does for he too is human, but all in all he has set quite the standard.
Both of his works have remained impeccably on the top since time immemorial, or since the 90s to be more technical and less poetic.
Yet due to the recent surges of health issues related to the spine, Togashi has been extremely unable (if that’s a word) to continue his work as a Mangaka.
Mind you, unlike the kind who fall out of their creative juices, Togashi has done a tremendous job for a person who has difficulty standing and thus draws his manga while lying prone on the bed.
Yet in a recent rumour (if such is right), we come to see that Togashi apparently has let someone know the ending of Hunter x Hunter - in a contingency that if he were to pass away, then at least someone shall be able to continue his legacy. In an epic ‘All Might gives his hair follicle to Midoriya’ moment of passing on the baton.
Image rights belong to BONES Studio
(Although I would add the entire situation regarding Togashi is quite poignant as well, and as such our team at Spiel Anime do wish him lightspeed)
Similarly, when we take things further into a more diverse range, we find not just one author, but multiple authors of different art working to animate a certain Manga.
And the recent weeks’ hot news has been the situation related to Jujutsu Kaisen and Mappa.
Long story short, the entire situation revolves around Mappa’s giving its staff an insane overload of work, insane overtime, and hardly any pay that justifies such overbearing pressure. Yet through it all, the animators at Mappa have delivered. While most fans are sympathetic to the situation, some have called out the JJK production quality dropping for a while now.
We have gone a length deeper into this topic below in the next segment of this newsletter, into something that is quite poignant as well - why the situation of Jujutsu Kaisen may not improve at Mappa and the potential consequences of this entire fallout.
Oh before we move forward, here’s this amazing article by Laveena and Rishiraj that has taken our breath away this last week.
- From the Editor’s Desk
Rhytham Das, Editor-in-Chief, Spiel Anime
Sasu-Saku ship (the original version on that)
Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, told the anime voice actors of Team 7 that Sasuke would eventually end up with Sakura before the anime even began airing.
This means that the pairing of Sasuke and Sakura was always planned, even though it was not explicitly shown until the end of the series.
Sword art parody!
In the movie Gintama: The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya, Shinpachi and Kagura's designs are parodies of Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online. Shinpachi wears black clothes and wields two swords, while Kagura wears white clothes with red accents and has long hair.
Why the Jujutsu Kaisen Staff Situation isn't improving anytime soon
I asked our editor Rishiraj to come down on the Jujutsu Kaisen Staff situation, and as always, he had quite a number of good things to say.
The recent Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 has proven that if MAPPA wants to make an anime, you better be sure that it's going to be a banger. But behind their almost blasphemous levels of animation hides what one used to call "Slavery".
The staff behind each episode of Jujutsu Kaisen has suffered a fate they did not sign up for, what they thought of as a boost to their portfolio ended up boosting their depression.
You must be wondering why I am being so harsh on MAPPA. An animator's salary is not that high, and the studio has exploited this seemingly frail situation.
The studio has made its staff overwork themselves on multiple projects such as Attack on Titan, Chainsaw Man, and Jujutsu Kaisen, almost to the point of no return. The workload was so great that animators could not even visit their families for weeks and months at a stretch. Hammered down to the ground, the animators had no choice but to go online about their grievance as their higher-ups turned a blind eye to their situation.
The escalation - what really happened
The situation escalated almost to the point that audience perception regarding the studio started wavering and there was a huge wave of unrest from the netizens.
The studio quickly doused the situation by distracting the people with announcements for upcoming projects. However, when MAPPA tried to silence the staff working on Jujutsu Kaisen by making them sign an NDA, the flames roared out of the cave once more.
This situation has grown progressively worse over time, and now it is at a level where the staff is so overworked that some episodes have poor animation - Episode 15, some episodes are rumoured to get delayed, and some episodes have been released incomplete - Episode 17.
Yes would you believe it, the recent episode was not the full potential of what the staff could do, but instead a mere prototype which was a result of their exhausted efforts.
Looking back at the situation, it is hard to consider that the situation would improve in the coming future. There are many reasons for this assumption:
As stated earlier, MAPPA could simply hire more staff if the current staff decides to leave. While the quality will be compromised, the studio will still earn a decent profit from the popularity of the franchise.
The studio is an icon of greed and has continued to exploit the resources to reap as high a profit as they. Continuously picking up projects while their hands are full has been a constant reminder of this fact.
The studio has yet to face any serious repercussions for their moves. The flames have not been fanned to the extent where the studio has to worry about their money. They douse the situation before it could ever affect them.
There are people who are oblivious to what is happening to the staff, and they are a significant portion of the community, which prevents from any eminent changes from happening to the show's response.
These reasons greatly affect how MAPPA perceives the situation. Without being in any impending threat, the studio can continue to progress as they have been.
This eliminates any hope that the situation might get better for the animators. These poor animators have suffered grave injustice and we hold the power to make it to them. Yet ironically, what we lack is also strength in numbers to make a change.
If you haven't already watched the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen, we recommend you get onto it here. We would also request you to share this newsletter to your friends by checking the links below.
Well, that’s about all, and it’s time to depart. But until the day we meet again, dare dream.
For Those Who Dare Dream.