The Sad Truth of Being A Manga Artist

Every week, dozens of new manga chapters arrive 
to entertain all of us consumers Ju Jutsu Kaisen, My Hero, One Piece, Hajime no Ippo I can go on and on about the manga that I fervently wait for, be it weekly or monthly But something that often goes forgotten is what goes on behind that awaited weekly release The blood, sweat, and tears that manga authors–or mangakas–   put into creating a mere 20 pages. But what is just 20 pages, a couple minutes out of our day for us readers, is a week of non-stop work, little 
sleep, malnutrition, and stress for the author   anime like Bakuman have shed light on 
the life of a mangaka in a very realistic   way and the sad truth is that being a manga 
writer is essentially voluntary enslavement   Meeting deadlines, living up to fan expectations, company expectations, and their own expectations as writers thinking up a plot Today I will go into the sad and dark reality of being a   manga author and the extreme toll it's 
taken on countless authors to this day After getting picked up by a big publishing 
company like Shonen Jump, though you would   expect it to get easier from there, this is far 
from the truth for mangakas.

There are no breaks   The weekly schedule for most mangakas relies on 
less than six hours of sleep every day A number that reduces usually the bigger and more popular 
the manga is Eichiro Oda (yes ik it's the wrong picture lol) the author of One Piece and the biggest manga in the history of the world,  is reported to on average sleep only 3 hours from 2am to 5am Another source claims that these three 
hours actually consist of only 30-minute naps every four hours So, why is time so limited? Well, you have to imagine creating a short story from   start to finish all within one week and all of the 
processes involved After turning in the previous week's chapter on sunday, the cycle begins anew. Immediately. According to an anonymous mangaka's schedule, from noon on Sunday to 5am on Tuesday it consists almost entirely of storyboarding   Deciding on panels, what characters appear in each, the story of the chapter, how it ends   Essentially planing out its entire structure. The only break in that long period of time is two hours for sleep   and one hour for breakfast – that is as long as 
you consider meetings with their editors as   still work of course.

And you can tell from 
the rest of the week just how packed it is   coloring the panels, shading, working on the final manuscript, only three hours of free time exist in   the entire week excluding eating and sleeping 
which are the bare necessities But again, to return to the idea of voluntary enslavement that I mentioned earlier–because it does seem rather harsh– we have to remember that it is voluntary. 
Mangakas, despite the terrible schedule, do this all for a reason Yoshiro Togashi, the author 
of Hunter x Hunter, which is notorious for taking   long periods of hiatus, stated that, "It has come to 
the point where either the story concludes first   or I die before that happens.

But… I do intend 
to finish it" that end game looks rather bleak   considering Hunter x Hunter's current hiatus chart 
lines with primarily breaks for the past years   but we can never underestimate the passion of a mangaka Likewise, Oda told his current editor when he first joined to, "Die for One Piece"  Mangakas are extremely dedicated to their craft   Of course sleep deprivation isn't the 
only cost of being a mangaka either   Sitting in a chair for so long working on manga leads to numerous health hazards, they can develop   diabetes, despite almost all mangakas being very skinny and almost frail Tendinitis can develop in their hands from drawing so long Something that is so common amongst mangakas that it   isn't even an expectation that they'll get it 
they just accept it as a way of life One of the members of Clamp, a female mangaka collective 
who created Card Captor Sakura among other names, suffered from lumbar compression fracture in 
2011 because she spent too many hours hunched   over her chair and straining her back drawing  Tagashi, the author of Hunter x Hunter also deals   with aggravated back pain that prevents him 
from consistently putting out chapters Other series like Vagabond and Berserk, despite being 
some of the most highly rated manga of all time   also suffered an early fate due to health concerns 
of the authors This culture of overworking yourself isn't exclusive to mangakas however, 
as the concept of Karoshi, "Death by Overwork"   is very prevalent across all of japan.

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