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The Legend of Kiyu

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 6 months ago

The Legend of Kiyu


Kiyu is the god of cancelled manga.

First, it's important to understand that Jump is by far the most cutthroat manga magazine. The future of any series, long or new, is entirely decided on the basis of the weekly survey postcards. A new title that is not popular will be killed after as little as ten weeks. Even long running series like Shaman King are not immune, so young, inexperienced writers like Kiyu are rarely given a chance to grow as an author.


Kiyu's first cancelled manga is the oddly boring Rocket de Tsukinukero. As a manga, it fails to provoke any actual pain, but neither does it actually inspire much love. What makes it interesting is the slightly unhinged style; for some reason, the panel frames are really, really thick. And midpage scene transitions are punctuated by a sort of manga eyecatch: the words "Live Like Rocket!" jammed between two frames. The book was never popular, and received the ten week bullet in the head. This bullet usually gets three weeks notice, and the authors have a chance to try and wrap things up. This usually leads to events suddenly moving rather quickly, a phenomenon known as the King Crimson effect, after a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure character with the power to fast forward reality. Live Like Rocket has the most deranged use of the King Crimson effect anyone can remember. It abruptly leaps two years into the future, and the main character now has a girlfriend, a character who had not even been hinted at before. Despite the fact that, one week prior, the main character had been in love with a completely different woman!


But it is not for his manga that Kiyu became a god. It is not for his manga that every internet manga freak knows his name. No, it is for his author's notes. Author's notes show up in every issue of Jump; a short little three line comment on the table of contents. Most people never read, and they are, as a rule, completely banal. Rumor has it most authors don't even write their own. But Kiyu was different. Kiyu's comments were from space crazy. The first couple were next issue advertisements, which was odd enough. But then Kiyu began addressing his comments to other Jump authors. And every last one of them was completely unanswerable.


"Hide's memorial opened. That man was so rock he went beyond music into the ground. Right, Takei-sensei?"

"I like summer evenings. They're so sultry you can't help but feel erotic, right Togashi-sensei?"

"Ruben's first victory. Weren't you moved by the sight of a grown man crying like that, Araki-sensei?"

"Moral deficiency. But that was probably their first cell phone, so there's no help for it, eh, Oda-sensei?"

"It's Pooh-san. San, not Chan. You love him almost as much as Tigger, don't you, Higuchi-sensei?"


Quite naturally, all of these authors completely ignored him. But the internet didn't. This comment style spread like wildfire, with all commentary on Jump manga being written in this style, addressed directly to the manga authors. Every wiseass on the net had a blast poking holes in their favorite targets, Kiyu style. As if adding fuel to the fire, Kiyu suddenly declared: "They always turn down my first comment. This is because while I'm an adult, I'm still a child, a fact of which I'm quite proud."

These are his SECOND comments!? In god's name, what were the originals!?

And, of course, the next week was the last issue of Live Like Rocket. Kiyu's final author's note: "I hate children who don't know pain. I hate adults who have lost their hearts. I like gentle manga. Bye-bye."


Two years later, in 2002 he returned with a new manga, Number 10, a soccer title that debuted during world cup fever and failed to interest anyone at all. The odd layouts were abandoned, the comments were perfectly normal, and even his die hard fanbase was bored silly by the actual book. It too was cancelled after only ten issues. Those who picked up the book were shocked to find an advertisement for his next work (which is still on the horizon) which is clearly going to be a massive swing back to totally 'rock' if he ever manages to convince someone to let him publish it. The taglines? "This era has no interest in concepts like good or evil." "Killers? Yeah, we're all going the hell."

While Kiyu has been quiet for several years now, sharp eyed fans have spotted his touch in the background of Busou Renkin, so it seems he toils onwards as Watsuki Nobuhiro's assistant. We can only hope he will be back someday, and finally get it right.


November, 2006 -- Now using his real name, Matsui Katsunori, Kiyu is doing the art for a wine manga in Business Jump.


December, 2006 -- Shaman King's Takei Hiroyuki begins a very bizarre new series in the pages of Jump. One panel from the first issue:



Andrew Cunningham

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