Negima’s Ken Akamatsu’s Exclusive Contract With Kodansha Ending

Negima! fan Hata reported a couple of things from Akamatsu-sensei’s recent tweets.  Here’s the first tweet in question.

Basically, Akamatsu-sensei is answering a question posed to him on whether his next manga series will be published in Weekly Shounen Magazine or not. Akamatsu-sensei’s answer confirms that he’s no longer exclusive to Kodansha, and has a new editor.

The next two tweets are about Akamatsu-sensei having all of the original, manga materials for A.I. Love You, Love Hina, Negima!, My Santa, and another short work he did shipped to his home.

He also gives some extra info about Love Hina and A.I. Love You.

So, what does this mean?

Well, it would seem to explain the timing of Akamatsu-sensei’s ending of Negima!  When he recently posted on Facebook about the manga not being “truncated,” I’m told that this is most likely the English term used by Sensei to indicate that the manga was NOT canceled, rather than it ending just as he planned.

Mahou Sensei Negima

This has led to a lot of speculation from fans all over. Hata reports on one popular theory, which is that the movie, which ships on the 17th with the LE release of Negima! volume 37, contains Akamatsu-sensei’s original manga ending (give or take whatever changes SHAFT made).  However, Kodansha forced Akamatsu-sensei to extend Negima! until his contract expired, thus we got the “hated” school festival arc.

Another popular theory is that Akamatsu-sensei is not happy with Kodansha, in light of the movie’s poor showing at the box office.  I’d be unhappy with SHAFT personally, but that’s another issue.  Besides, with the language barrier and nondisclosure agreements in place, it will be difficult to know the truth here.  However, Akamatsu-sensei does have all of his original materials now.

Considering that Negima! will end in time for Golden Week, Akamatsu-sensei will get to take an actual vacation, and I’m sure his wife will be happy about that. ^_^

At this point, until we see how Negima! ends, it is impossible to really speculate on whether there will be a new Negima! series or not, to be published on Akamatsu-sensei’s J-Comi site.  Whether there is another Negima! or not (and frankly, with all the side-stories out there which could use a telling, I wish he would put some new, Negima! materials out there), I do think his next work could well end up on J-Comi.  It would be an opportunity for Akamatsu-sensei to have complete control over his product, and allow for officially sanctioned English versions to be put up.  I think that it shouldn’t be too difficult for Akamatsu-sensei to have book publishing deals to allow for tankoubons to be printed in Japan and manga books to be published everywhere else.

As I am reminded, Akamatsu-sensei’s lack of an exclusivity contract doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d drop all ties with Kodansha. It may be that Akamatsu-sensei wants to shift to a monthly title, thus lessening the stress on him and his staff that a weekly publication has been putting on them.  So, his next title could be published in one of Kodansha’s monthly manga magazines.

Regardless, things are seemingly becoming clearer now on why Negima! *HAD* to end now when it appeared that the manga story could easily go on for a few more years.

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30 Responses to “Negima’s Ken Akamatsu’s Exclusive Contract With Kodansha Ending”

  1. Lan says:

    damn that must leave a bitter taste for the fans. he could have at least done what Trigun did and continue it with a new publisher under a new title.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So the method of CLAMP seems to be better than making a long linear story… and a flash kill the hero because of business. 🙁

    “the manga story could easily go on for a few more years.”

    Yes, this story and universe have got potentials. I wanted to see them.

    NOW I think waiting for Negima DJs and unofficial side stories can be better than an another non-Negima Akamatsu manga. 🙁

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >So the method of CLAMP seems to be better than making a long linear story… and a flash kill the hero because of business. 🙁

      Business, or that CLAMP wrote themselves into a corner, or otherwise got bored. ^_^;

  3. Ultimaniac says:

    What!? Okay, I enjoyed the last arc and though I’m not exactly happy with the directions this ending is heading, I think I can still accept it. If Akamatsu had ended the manga the way the movie ended, I would’ve hated him forever. I don’t blame SHAFT or Kodansha for the movie, the premise for the story from the beginning was just plain garbage and made no sense. That’s why it didn’t do well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So that’s why Akamatsu is ending Negima because he’s moving to a new editor and not working for Kodansha?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      One speculation is that Akamatsu-sensei may be moving the manga to either (1) a monthly publication or (2) moving it to J-Comi (assuming it isn’t ended for real). So, if Akamatsu-sensei IS moving the title, then it would end as a Weekly Shounen Magazine title and might have to be renamed where it is published next.

  5. SetsunaAngel99 says:

    I guess this makes Negima’s rushed ending a bit more forgivable. We all know Ken is not to blame. These publishing laws and censor laws in Japan are so shady and ridiculous it just makes me cringe, when an artist has no full creative range over his own IP. Kodansha had Negima for 9 years. Didn’t do anything with it in 9 years. Ken being as rich as he is already. I think J-Comi will be great for him. This will enable him for freedoms excluding Japan’s crappy laws on censorship.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I don’t think Akamatsu-sensei is that rich, but he is certainly having no problems paying the bills. ^_~

      As to the censorship aspects, I did manage to get a look-see at an old, H-doujinshi by Akamatsu-sensei. I was struck that it was only slightly more ecchi than what he does now, meaning that he had girls showing nipples. It didn’t have any hardcore stuff for his part of the doujinshi. Assuming his other H-works are in that vein, censorship isn’t really a problem for Akamatsu-sensei. After all, he could write a seinen title, and then have a soft-core series.

    • SetsunaAngel99 says:

      I have a friend in Japan who told me he is a pretty rich mangaka. Ironically the most phucked over mangaka in the industry.

  6. burnpsy says:

    Since when did the movie do bad at the box office? Last I checked, it did rather impressively for something that was only in a handful of theatres.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Poor wording on my part. It was poorly received at the box office by critics and fans after they saw the movie. Even Akamatsu-sensei felt compelled to write an explanation on his blog to fill in what had been cut from the movie (all of which is added back in the DVD/BD release).

  7. I would like to suggest that Akamatsu wants the freedom that he wanted, in his own tome, under his own rules. Being a mangaka is really stressful, despite being successful. Having Kodansha out of the picture sure makes me feel good, especially since Kodansha has done a poor job doing Negima 30+. The reason why Negima 29 and 30 had the material was because Del Rey did the job while Kodansha was being transferred rights to the manga. But of course, the hated extension of the arcs made me feel better when the news today was announced – having forced the arc into “filler” arcs.

    Now the big question in the manga: Does Negi meet his dad in the end?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Now remember, Akamatsu-sensei not having an exclusive deal with Kodansha doesn’t mean he won’t work with them in future. I suspect that even if Sensei doesn’t deal with Kodansha in Japan, he’d not interfere with Kodansha Comics publishing the manga in the U.S.

  8. DeltaResilience says:

    “It may be that Akamatsu-sensei wants to shift to a monthly title, thus lessening the stress on him and his staff that a weekly publication has been putting on them. So, his next title could be published in one of Kodansha’s monthly manga magazines.”

    This would sound great if and only if this sort of action is officially confirmed. Though I will admit that a month sounds way better then ending an awesome series. Dgrayman become a monthly and still going ok, though I do prefer it being weekly but what can ya do?

    Also, just found this Sep 2011 article so this may be outdated but
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/09/29-1/mahou-sensei-negima-volume-37-limited-edition-to-include-movie-dvd

    In it, it mentions something about an ” “astonishing project” that is in progress. ” Can anyone update me on this as I’ve been behind on the negima news till only recently.

    http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/09/29-1/mahou-sensei-negima-volume-37-limited-edition-to-include-movie-dvd

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Though I will admit that a month sounds way better then ending an awesome series.

      Well, the manga, as it stands at present, is ending. So, if it manages to continue in some fashion, I expect it would be under a new name. That’s what happened with xxxHOLiC.

      >In it, it mentions something about an ” “astonishing project” that is in progress. ” Can anyone update me on this as I’ve been behind on the negima news till only recently.

      I’ve not heard anything more than that.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think the evil last boss is
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    !Ken Akamatsu! who CAN destroy Negi, the girls, the Magic World and Mahora.

    Our last hope is boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi… er… Eva-chan!

  10. Negimafan123 says:

    *sigh* Well, I’m not as shocked as I was the day I found out lol, But this is still very sad to me T_T

    Negima was the first manga whose story I actually read. And now it’s ending so quickly D:

    But I guess if it’s Akamatsu-sensei behind the wheel, then there might be some big suprise good thing at the end of 355 ^^

  11. Anonymous says:

    Welp. Looks like he isn’t going to continue it anywhere else. ;_;

  12. I was hoping these last 3 chapters would be longer, but eh, I like how he ended it. I think he skipped over all the little events (and the one BIG one) specifically so he could do a spinoff covering all these little things.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      So was I, but then it was pointed out to me that for the final tankoubon’s page count to be right, the final chapters had to be normal-length, though the last chapter had one extra (color) page.

  13. Anonymous says:

    can i know what next manga will ken akamatsu make?

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