p1 bubble: News!
right side text: TOP Image
p1 list: New Info
side text: (illegible)
p2 bubble: Profile
left side text: Could I show my profile as a manga?
p3 bubble: Manga Work Blog
p4 bubble: Shop
right side: When the mouse rolls over it, the bubble gets bigger.
p5 bubble: Online Comics
left side: A button on the side could display the top menu.
p6 bubble 1: Reader Registration
p6 bubble 2: My Page
p6 bubble 3: Login / Logout
p7 bubble: Points
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p9 bubble: Present
1: Before the main event, I'll introduce myself.
1: Sato Shuho Profile
2: Born on Dec. 8, 1973, in Hokkaido.
3: In April 1993, I moved to Tokyo with the intent of becoming a mangaka. "I'll never return to Hokkaido until I become a mangaka," I declared.
4: That August,
p3: (on foot)
5: I decided to go home for summer vacation.
6: From September to February,
7: I spent my time playing mah jong and stuff.
1: In March of 1994,
2: You know that you can't be a mangaka until you actually draw some manga, right?
3: You're nothing but talk, man.
4: If I was you, I'd die.
5: You're such a loser.
6: my friend clued me in to the fact that I talked so much about becoming a mangaka but still had yet to draw any actual manga.
7: In April, I took a leave of absence from school out of frustration.
8: You don't need to quit!
9: Mom, I'm not gonna go to school for a while.
10: Then, I saw an advertisement in a job hunting magazine by F-san, a mangaka looking for an assistant.
11: I...I...I want to become a mangaka...I...I...
12: When I called him, he got pissed and screamed "Speak properly!"
13: For some reason, though, I got the job.
14: The illustration I brought to the interview (crab)
15: That's when I really started working to become a mangaka.
1: This is how F Productions looked at the time.
p1 white symbol: ME
2: I worked 18 hours a day,
3: and slept at the office for three weeks out of the month.
4: One day, after I had worked 70 hours nonstop, I was walking home,
p3 right: wham
p3 left: pyooon
5: and a driver who fell asleep at the wheel hit me with his car.
6: Covered in blood, I lost all sense of what was happening, and screamed.
1: In April of 1995,
p1 sign: Magazine House
2: I finished my first short manga and brought the manuscript to a publisher.
3: The editor gave me this advice: "Don't just read manga, study movies and novels too."
4: You've got too narrow a mindset.
5: This frustrated me, so in May, I declared "I'm not gonna watch any movies, or read any books, OR read any manga!"
6: I sold all my books and threw out my TV.
7: In March of 1996, I officially dropped out of university.
8: That half-assed leave of absence is what's keeping me from becoming a mangaka!
9: In July, I left (escaped from) F-san's studio.
10: I want to draw my own manga!!
11: I am very sorry for all the trouble I caused you then, Master F.
12: By August, I was unemployed.
1: If my death wouldn't make anyone sad,
2: then does that mean I'm not necessary to the world?
3: I tried playing dead in my apartment, but nothing happened, so I started drawing a manga.
6: In October, I became a semi-finalist in Afternoon's Four Seasons Award Autumn Contest.
p4: They got my name wrong...
p4 bottom: Sato Hidemine
7: The manga was called "Hama-guchi."
1: First, I got my own editor.
2: If you don't have a job, I can find one for you.
3: In December, I started working for another mangaka, T-san, as a member of his art staff.
4: T-sensei, I will do my...
5: Don't call me "sensei," alright?
6: No mangaka is a sensei.
7: In January of 1997, I became a semi-finalist in Afternoon's Winter Contest,
8: with a manga called "Look at Yourself."
9: In April, I became a finalist in Afternoon's Spring Contest
10: with a manga called "Promised Land."
11: In July, I became a finalist in Afternoon's Summer Contest
12: with a manga called "Kaneko-san."
1: Then, an editor from Monthly Afternoon said to me: "Stop entering the contests."
2: Next time, bring me something I can publish.
3: So I began taking things in to the editor, and got shot down ten times in a row.
4: This sucks.
5: That's about the time I started thinking about giving up on my dreams of becoming a mangaka.
6: One day, I asked the editor "What's bad about my manga?"
7: You're what's bad,
8: he said.
9: I decided to try out for Weekly Young Sunday's Monthly Award.
10: A 4-panel comic.
black box: Erotic Brothers
11: That December, I won an honorable mention.
1: In March of 1998, my short manga "Congratulations!!" was published in Weekly Young Sunday.
manga book top small: A hot-blooded fool howls at the sea!!
manga book top big: Congratulations!!
manga book black text: You've never seen a couple like these two! Fireworks fly between this man and woman!!
bottom left circle: Super-energetic 32-page one shot!!
bottom right white block: A Young Sunday award winner makes his debut!!
2: That was my mangaka debut.
3: In May, a two-parter titled "Kimura!" was published in Young Sunday.
4: Then, I quit T-san's studio.
5: I'm getting busy, so please let me quit.
6: OK. Do your best!
7: I'm very sorry for any trouble I caused you, boss.
p4 right: bow
p4 left: *I know you get mad when I call you 'sensei,' so I called you 'boss.'
8: In September, a limited edition serialization I created called "Hard Tackle" began in Young Sunday.
1: In December, my first serialization, "Umizaru," began in Young Sunday.
2: The first chapter got 2nd place in the reader survey.
3: In July 1999, the first tankoubon volume of Umizaru went on sale.
p2 small: Here we goooo
4: In December, Umizaru was nominated for the Shogakukan Manga Awards.
1: In February 2000, my editor started to change parts of Umizaru as he wished.
3: That's probably...
4: a North Korean spy ship...
6: That's probably...
7: a spy ship!!
8: These changes only increased as time went on.
9: All we need from you is the manuscript, OK?
10: Supervising Editor
11: Are you telling me you can take responsibility if your manga causes trouble for someone?
12: Vice-Editor Chief
13: It's only a manga, for crying out loud.
14: Editor Chief
15: But it has MY name on it! I'm the one fighting heeeeeere!!
16: If the ones making the manga can't even risk their lives on it, then who can?!
1: And so, I continued to clash with my editors about the direction of my manga.
2: It's a manga, so you've got to make it more cheerful.
3: The scenes where people get saved have got to be the main focus, since they move people. No characters are allowed to die.
4: But I've heard that in real life accidents, there are more deaths than survivals.
5: It may be a manga, but having no death at all seems a bit too unrealistic to me.
6: How many times do I need to tell you? It's just a MANGA!
7: People are paying money to read this, why would they want to be let down?
8: Are you saying there's no value in telling stories about people who die in accidents?
9: Don't you think it's irresponsible to show only one side of an issue to the readers?
10: Manga is about selling dreams to people!
11: In other words, it's about lying?
12: What, you think it's manga's job to make people feel bad?!
13: I've been an editor for ten years here!!
14: What I want to give my readers is the courage to face reality.
1: In October, 2000, I went through my supervising editor and officially requested to end the serialization of Umizaru.
2: This is the conclusion I've come to after serious thought.
3: Right after that, I got a new supervising editor.
4: When I wanted to make another request, he wouldn't help me.
5: My wife's a fan, you see.
6: Later I realized that he didn't even tell the editor chief about it.
7: You're still an amateur, you'd better watch yourself. Otherwise I'll have to talk to the editor chief.
8: So you really didn't tell him anything yet...
13: He was always eating something whenever we talked on the phone.
1: In June 2001, Umizaru ended.
2: In September, I started a serialization called The Death-Defying Negotiator M in Kindai Mah Jong Gold.
3: I was deeply moved that I got a serialization in the same magazine as my mentor, F-san.
4: Then, in February 2002, I started Send My Regards to Black Jack in Weekly Morning.
5: I was super happy to get a serialization in the same magazine as my other mentor, T-san.
1: The first chapter got 2nd in the reader survey.
2: Then, a request to make a TV dramatization came from a commercial broadcast station.
3: However, in that first chapter, four of the lines were changed without my approval.
4: Without any time for me to protest, lines were changed in chapter two as well.
5: And in chapter three, even more lines were changed.
6: In chapter five, a character's name was even changed without my permission.
7: I'm your supervising doctor, Kume.
8: In chapter nine, a supervisor was credited in the manga without my permission.
9: I could have sworn we informed you about the supervision. If you had only told us, we wouldn't have put it in.
10: Well don't!!
11: Well, we can't take it out now.
12: So you don't want supervision, then?
13: The copyrights belong to me, don't they?!
bg text under Syuho Sato: Supervisor / Nagaya
14: They also gave the mass media permission for secondary usage of my work without asking me.
1: After gathering up all the documents that had been submitted, I realized that over 50 separate permissions for secondary usage had been given.
2: The rights to publish a book like this were even handed out.
3: In May, the first two volumes of Black Jack went on sale.
4: The first 200,000 copies were sold out by the second day. After the third day, there was another printing of 300,000 copies.
5: A week later, there was another printing of 300,000 copies, until finally we reached one million sold.
6: Don't you think they're selling a bit too much?
7: That July, The Death-Defying Negotiator M came to an end.
1: In that same month, the TV drama version of Umizaru went on air on NHK's Hi-Vision Suspense.
p1: Wooow...they're moving...
2: In December, I declined Black Jack's nomination for the Shogakukan Manga Awards.
3: We want you to refuse the Shogakukan award and take the Kodansha Award instead.
4 :The Morning Editor ordered me to refuse the nomination.
5: In February 2003, Black Jack won a Japan Media Arts Festival Award.
6: The award ceremony coincided with a manuscript deadline, so I asked my editor if I could be absent.
p4: Attending after three days of no sleep
7: "There's no point to the award itself, but if you didn't plan on attending the ceremony, you shouldn't have allowed yourself to be nominated," he shouted at me.
8: At that time, I was working 18-24 hours a day.
p5: Not a single day off once the serialization began.
1: If I died right now, would it inconvenience anyone?
2: Or would someone go on writing the rest of Black Jack for me?
3: In April, I declined my nomination for the Kodansha Manga Award.
4: Attending after three days of no sleep
7: It has nothing to do with the award itself, but I don't plan on attending the ceremony, so I can't let myself be nominated.
8: You'd definitely get it this year. That's just the problem.
9: But the screening hasn't even started, right?
10: So you want us to start a sales campaign to coincide with the award and inconvenience everyone?
11: Oh...so in the end it's just a race to see who gets the most sales?
12: Who do you think's GIVING you those sales?!
13: I declined.
1: I also declined a nomination for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.
2: Around June, the TV drama version of Black Jack went on air on TBS.
3: Then, a certain organization began severely protesting Black Jack.
4: So the problem was in the contents of the data we used? But we got checks done from the medical supervisors my editor hired.
5: And you editors are the ones who went and collected the data, right?
6: Yes, I'm the one drawing it all, but why am I the only one who gets attacked?
7: You know that you own copyrights for this work, correct?
8: We simply collected the data because you were too busy. It's still your job.
9: I am sorry that there was incorrect data displayed in the manga.
10: But if you say that you bear no responsibility for the data you collected, then can you give me time to collect my own data?
1: You mean you want us to give you time off?
2: The drama's on TV right now, there's no way that can happen.
3: Then please take responsibility for the data you collect.
4: I have no choice but to believe that it's correct when I draw the manga.
5: What the hell are you talking about?
6: We're practically doing your whole job for you over here.
7: The only thing we're doing is trying not to infringe on your copyrights because we're your editors.
8: But if you're gonna be like that, then we might as well not help you out at all. This is ridiculous.
9: Why don't you assholes just do the whole thing yourselves?
1: After that, I got a new medical supervisor,
2: and this sentence was published at the end of every tankoubon.
p1: This is a work of fiction. It has no connection to any actual persons, places, organizations or entities. Anti-cancer drug side-effects differ by person, and there are no drugs that cause the kind of extreme side-effects that appear in this manga.
3: In August, Umizaru II aired on NHK Hi-Vision Suspense.
5: I forgot to watch it.
6: In February of 2004, the editor's name was added to the tankoubon cover next to my name,
7: in order to show that the responsibility for the data lied with the editor.
8: In April, I declined a nomination for the Kodansha Manga Award.
9: Then I declined a nomination for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.
10: In June, I received the Japan Cartoonists Association Award.
11: Then Toho's movie adaptation of Umizaru was released nationwide.
12: Why am I drawing manga?
13: For money?
14: For myself?
15: For the publisher?
16: For the readers?
1: In October, the art staff started demanding a boost in salary.
sign 1: Salary UP!!
sign 2: You're making money, so give us some more!!
sign 3: Up our social standing!!
sign 4: Value us properly!!
sign 5: Get rid of the pay difference between mangaka and art staff!!
sign 6: Peace for the world!
2: At the time, most of my staff members
3: worked 12 hours a day for 12-15 days a month.
4: They earned between 16,500 and 20,000 yen per month, with four months' pay as a yearly bonus. They also got health insurance, food and transportation.
5: So I asked the editors to up the amount paid out per manuscript page.
6: I want to up the staff's salary, so please pay out more per manuscript page.
7: A supervising editor like me has no authority to determine the manuscript payment.
8: But I can deliver this request to the Editor Chief. Are you sure about this?
9: Don't come crying to me if your price gets so high that jobs stop coming.
10: If you want to know the truth, XX-san, who's a veteran, sets his price so high that he doesn't get any work anymore.
1: At the time, it was 23,000 yen per manuscript page.
2: Which means I'm in the red.
3: I was selling over a million total tankoubon.
4: I was always within the top five in the reader popularity surveys.
p2: Author Fees 250,000
Staff Fees 1,400,000
Art Supplies 60,000 ~ 80,000
Materials 30,000 ~ 50,000
Office Rental 236,000
side: Excluding tax and insurance
5: I created an estimate of all the fees necessary to create a manuscript, estimating each staff member's fee at 280,000 yen.
6: Estimating that I would submit 80 pages of manuscript per month, I drafted a request for an upgrade to 27,450 yen per manuscript page.
7: The Morning Editors gave me a response which basically said:
8: manuscript payment is calculated from the author's "reputation X achievements," and is not meant to fund production.
1: It's all basic market principle.
2: If an author is unhappy with the manuscript payment, then they reserve the right to refuse the job.
3: The true price for the ideas is paid through tankoubon royalties, which is how the publisher protects the author.
4: The reason the manuscript payment is cheaper than the cost required to create the manga is because the publishers are deeply hoping that this motivation will lead the author to create an even bigger hit.
5: I asked the Morning editors to submit some documents to me,
p: How much are they paying the other authors?
6: through which I discovered that the average manuscript payment for Weekly Morning serialization authors was 31,680 yen per page.
7: And so, Give my Regards to Black went on hiatus (around December).
1: In April, Tokkou no Shima began an irregular serialization in Manga Times (and went on hiatus in August of 2006).
2: In December,
3: Black Jack's manuscript payment was raised to 33,000 yen per page.
4: When my serialization started up again, I signed an understanding with the Morning editors
5: in which they stipulated that they would set manuscript payments out of consideration of the fees necessary in order to create the manuscripts.
1: In February 2005,
sign1: We can't go on following you.
sign2: My back hurts, so I'm quitting.
sign3: I want more.
2: I let my entire art staff go and hired a whole new roster.
3: In July, Fuji TV created their own Umizaru TV series and put it on air in September.
4: In September, a line in Black Jack was accused of being stolen from a psychologist/reviewer named Kazano Haruki.
5: It was a sentence that I had reorganized and used from data received from my editors, but it's also true that I didn't ask for permission.
6: After apologizing, I added the source in the back of volume 13 of Black Jack.
7: I am very sorry.
8: In December, Black Jack was severely attacked by a certain organization.
11: On the way home from apologizing, the sunlight that slipped in through the train windows felt very sad.
1: In January 2006,
2: I received multiple mysterious deposits into my bank account from Kodansha for no apparent reason.
3: After investigating, I discovered that the Morning Editors had given a Korean publisher secondary usage permission for Black Jack.
4: Then, illegal files of Black Jack began appearing on Korean websites.
5: Altogether, the deposits totaled 32,807,800 yen.
6: I can't accept all this.
7: I returned it all to Kodansha.
8: Or at least, I intended to. But because of a mistake I came up 80,000 yen short.
9: I thought you wanted to return it all? Where's the remaining 80,000 yen?
10: So I returned it.
1: In March, Black Jack went on a hiatus.
2: My distrust toward the Morning Editors had reached its zenith.
1: This reminds me of a question T-san asked me once.
2: Why do you draw manga?
3: Not movies, novels, or music...
4: Why do you choose to express yourself through manga?
5: At the time, I was still an amateur who hadn't even debuted yet.
6: I couldn't think up an answer at the time. Then, a few days later, I said:
7: "It seems like movies would cost a lot of money, and I have no talent for writing or music, so..."
8: "I felt like if it was manga, I'd be able to do it."
9: Then T-san shook his head sideways.
10: And I thought again.
1: I like manga.
2: All scientists need to do is believe in science.
3: All politicians need to do is believe in politics.
4: All religious people need to do is believe in God.
5: I believe in manga.
1: Before continuing Black Jack, I started reading.
p1: About 50 books?
2: I'm going to draw my own style of manga.
3: When I finish it, I'm going to show it to the Morning editors. If they don't like it, then I'll just find a publisher who'll run it for me.
1: In April, I finished my first draft for the first new chapter,
2: and wrote the rest of the plot in sentences.
3: Hello, I'm Sato, a mangaka from the Sato Manga Production Company.
4: I'm calling you because I would like to request some data.
5: Uh...you're a mangaka?
6: I'm sorry, but we don't deal with those kinds of things.
7: I'm calling because I saw your event advertisement.
8: I would really like to be a part of it.
9: Unfortunately, it's first come first serve, so we can't accept you at this point.
10: And we are also unable to supply you with any data afterwards.
1: Hello, I saw your home page.
2: Could I take part in your student observation event?
4: After much trial and error, I ended up collecting data from twenty different events across the country.
5-6: Hello, I'm Sato Shuho, a mangaka.
7: I went out to collect data over 50 times. (On my own dime)
10: Hello, I'm Sato Shuho, a mangaka.
11: Would you mind if I collected some data here?
1: I started writing plots and drafts based on my data.
2: After getting it checked from certain individuals who supplied me with data, I wrote some more.
3: After constructing a proper perspective for manuscript production, I contacted a Morning editor
4: and even introduced my main data suppliers.
5: In May, the Toho film "Limit of Love - Umizaru" was released nationwide.
6: Tax office survey!
7: In June, I created a volume's worth of drafts from my plot.
8: I showed these to the Morning editors and used a proxy to negotiate a serialization.
1: After that, I calculated my manuscript payment based on the understanding I signed with the Weekly Morning editors earlier.
2: I also estimated the tankoubon production fees and asked for higher manuscript payments, as well as a sliding-scale system for royalties, but neither of these were authorized.
1: In July,
2: I started drawing Black Jack manuscripts without a serialization deal.
3: In December, I negotiated with Weekly Big Comic Spirits editors
4: and signed manuscript authoring and tankoubon publishing contracts.
1: In January 2007, I changed the name of the manga to New Give My Regards to Black Jack, and began serializing it in Big Comic Spirits.
2: In February, the first volume went on sale.
side line: *This profile manga was drawn in 2008.
3: I want to deeply thank the readers for waiting so patiently for ten whole months
4: I'm very sorry for all the trouble I caused.
5: despite the hiatuses and serialization magazine change.
6: In 2008, Black Jack is still ongoing,
7: while Tokkou no Shima restarted an irregular serialization in November.
1: I like manga.
2: I've made many mistakes, but I still have confidence in myself.
3: I'm drawing manga for myself,
4: so I've never once been half-assed about my work.
5: And I believe that my readers benefit from this.
6: I want to keep drawing manga for the rest of my life.