Manga Editors - The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor Part II
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 two of the article:
The Reason I Quit My Job as a Manga Editor Part II
There is a big difference between "what one likes to do" and "what one can do." I realized this when I first faced my own abilities and limits. Although you may say I'm using exaggerated languages, I was really shocked back then. I later changed my career because I believed that "what I like to do" equals "what I can do," which also equals "I am suited to what I like to do as a job."
However, it was rash of me to sum up the entire thing back then. Aside from my own abilities, I discovered a secret technique of manga editor, that is: "One who draws manga is the manga artist (not me)". You may think that idea is a matter of course. In the story of "Hatarakiman" volume 3, a man named Sugawara, who is transferred from a weekly journal office to work in a weekly manga magazine office, said, "Until now, I was able to work just by myself, but the situation has changed. What do I have to do to make other people work?" His words described the hardships of manga editors, but also described the appeal of being a manga editor.
I once had a chance to talk to another manga editor. The editor works with a publisher which, according to rumors, has an editor who is in charge of writing a manga's original story. The editor told me that every editor there hammered on their drafts. This is all I can say because I heard the story from him a great while ago, thus I won't know if it's still like that over there. Nevertheless, if an editor goes to such lengths to work on a manga, I would say the editor should at least be seen as a collaborator for the manga. Even if the editor is not the original author, the accepted way may not necessarily be the only right way.
A manga editor is a career that supposedly "is qualified by anyone." Some jobs demand a so-called aptitude, or inherent ability. For example, some people need to be adept with figures or be sociable, etc. As for editors, one doesn't need to have any special skills. Not all of the editors have to be good with people, since some authors are not very sociable.
Going back to the main point, whatever ways an editor goes about doing his or her work, the job for manga editors is to cheer up the author. I faced my own weakness at this point. I preferred to do things myself rather than to ask for help. Although it was a little difficult, I felt it's also the easier way. This self-understanding gave me an opportunity to rethink the question "What kind of editor do I really want to be?"
To be continued...