Manga Editors - The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor Part I
TokoToko Editor's Misc. Note, a blog run by a female manga editor who has been in the business for over 15 years, has posted a multi-part article titled "The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor." Below is a translation of part one of the article:
The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor Part I
The short answer - I can't communicate well with others. That's all.
The long story - I knew manga to some extent and liked it, so I wanted to be a manga editor since I thought I could handle it. Besides, I didn't want to edit anything else other than manga. I switched from my old publishing company to a new one and was employed there as a manga editor - my dream job.
About three months after my employment, I received the address of a manga artist who at the time created manga for another company. I was to meet the artist as the first representative from my company.
During our first meeting, thanks to the fact that we're almost the same age, we spent a long time talking about books we read when we were XX years old, and we formed a very friendly relationship. Soon we began talking about business. I said that I would accept a series that had been published by another publisher and was left unfinished due to the suspension of its publication.
About two months after that, the manga artist and I decided to begin the new serialization, and I received the drafts from him. When I looked at the story, it was pretty bad, but the manga artist thought it was great. The story contained his "inner world and feelings," but to my regret, it didn't fit the theme of the magazine it was supposed to be serialized in.
I wondered if I should ask him to redraw the manga, since that kind of work couldn't be published in my magazine at the time. However, the act of denying an artist's preference and going against his personality might make him think that I don't want his manga. No, the action wouldn't be my objecting his career and way of thinking; it only meant that his story should agree with the readers of the magazine.
If I had communicated with my colleagues better, I could have persuaded them to run the manga anyway with the artist adding a few touches to it. If I remember correctly, at the time, I showed our department's most reliable senior the rough draft, and he concluded that it wasn't fit for the magazine. I agreed with him and withdrew, partly due to his opinion, and partly because I was then a newcomer.
As a result, I was charged with the unfortunate task of asking the artist to redraw the manga in a way so as to agree with the magazine's theme (the details are confidential), and ended up with the choice of either "to persuade him" or "to run away." The manga artist, who has had much more experience than me, accepted my proposal and turned in works that were very close to what I asked.
Was it a good ending? It was a good ending, but also a wrong ending.
I like manga more than any other entertainment I have experienced. However, just because I like manga and want to be a manga editor doesn't mean I can manage a manga artist. I run away from the real world to avoid standing face-to-face with others, and in the manga world I find comfort - forgetting the bitter truth for even just a moment, and receiving encouragements from manga characters.
My motivation for becoming a manga editor was that "I want to be in a position to create such stories or to help." Not until I became a manga editor did it made me realize how I didn't want to communicate face-to-face with others. I can fight with people I don't like, but I can't stand giving negative remarks and requests to people I cared for. It was much more stressful than I expected, it was the job of denying the career and the imagination of others.
Even though I asked artists to make corrections to their work, it didn't mean they don't like me any more…maybe (In the case of a new artist, sometimes we can't communicate well with each other). Though manga has always been my hobby and pastime, it became a business, and I made money as a manga editor. In the case of my previous job, I asked the writers in a business-like way to correct a caption or to rewrite a lead role in the story, because I didn't have any feelings for the genre, which allowed me to look at work objectively. "What one likes" does not necessarily corresponds to "what one can do," it was what I felt six months after I changed my job, right after I turned 27.
To be continued...