“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?”- Langston Hughes
(I don’t like using this image when not talking about HxH because it’s so powerful to me, but this discussion deserves it.)
So it happened yet again. Shounen Jump, the biggest manga publisher in the world, has dumped yet another work with amazing potential. The author, once again, has been snubbed by the establishment. Things like this may make you question why great artist die poor.
I am of course talking about the tragic cancellation of Yagi Tomohiro’s “Red Sprite”. This isn’t the first time a series by this man has been canceled, unfortunately. He previous work “Iron Knight” was much longer, and a shining example of many things that make manga great. Its themes, characterization, artwork, fights, story, none were perfect. All were amazing. The best of the best. And through Red Sprite’s pacing was rushed, it’s adventure cut short, not even given the same time amount of time as Iron Knight to properly wrap up loose ends, I couldn’t shake the feeling of a work from a master frantically trying to please. Like a student who ran out of time to write his essay on an exam, one that would have been a master stroke.
I understand the idea of a magazine that gives its readers exactly what they want right when they want it. My Favorite series run in this magazine. But it’s also clear what these practices can do to those who deserve better. We see it time and time again. Bleach, Naruto, Barrage, Red Sprite, Iron Knight. Casualties of War. A war for the right to exist and end on one’s own terms. A never ending war. Never will Jump’s Axe dull. I wanted to analyze, to understand why; Red Sprite would live. Instead, I re-read both of yagi’s series, and I learned why it died:
Shounen Jump has always been this way. Perhaps I’m being hyperbolic. There will be no “Make Shounen Jump Great Again!” though I speculate some of the editor themselves think that. But there can be hope and change. In this business, time, is a fans greatest ally. If this were a movie with Tomohiro as the star, I guess you can call this the second act. He’s at his lowest point, all hope seems lost. But this is shounen, after all, so you know a hiro will always win in the end 😉 . Many an artist have striked that golden balance the 3rd time in Jump’s history. And I have hope that Yagi will as well. After all, You’re a Knight Tomohiro. The Greatest Knight.