Hajime No Ippo manga creator George Morikawa has reaffirmed his stance on the rights of original creators. In a recent tweet, Morikawa articulated his unwavering belief in the absolute authority of the original author and the importance of safeguarding their creative vision.
Addressing aspiring manga artists and fellow creators, Morikawa articulated, “The reason is absolute because the original author is absolute.” His words serve as a rallying cry for creators to assert their rights and maintain control over their works, despite potential challenges or controversies they may face along the way.
“The reason is absolute because the original author is absolute. Just as before, this message is also for aspiring manga artists. Despite facing backlash, authors have continuously asserted their absolute authority. The rights of primary creators, including manga artists, novelists, and screenwriters, are protected by law. And what’s crucial is that only the original author knows the future. That’s why it’s absolute.“
He highlighted the fundamental principle that while readers, editors, and adapters may have insights into past content, only the original author possesses intimate knowledge of the future trajectory of their stories, making their authority absolute in shaping the narrative.
“Everything seen by readers, including editors and adapters, is already a thing of the past. Only the original author knows about the world beyond. This is especially true for ongoing serializations that are yet to be completed“
According to him, the notion that past alterations, interventions, and adaptations from external entities can have a profound impact on both the present and future of a work. He stresses the importance of open dialogue among creators, editors, and adapters, advocating for a culture of mutual respect and appreciation for the creative process.
“Alterations, interventions, and adaptations from the past can erode the present and influence the future. That’s why discussion and expressing opinions are important. What’s necessary is not a domineering attitude but rather respect, gratitude, and courage.
I believe it’s unacceptable for the future, eagerly anticipated by both creators and readers, to be ruined or lost by others who only know the past. The only ones who can protect the future are the original creators (authors).“
Furthermore, Morikawa emphasizes the autonomy of creators in deciding the fate of their works, including the choice to refuse media adaptation—a decision he asserts belongs solely to the original author.
“Sometimes, discussions can lead to a better future, and the choice, such as refusing media adaptation, belongs to the original author. This is also absolute.
I may have come across as assertive and arrogant, but the content I’ve written is my personal opinion, and I don’t think I’m always right. When you encounter trouble, I hope you’ll remember that there have been people who have said and done similar things.
I wrote that only the original author can protect, but it feels daunting even when holding strong rights. Don’t let them fight alone“.
Morikawa’s tweet was shared by Higa Aloha, the author of Polar Bear Cafe. She had put her manga on indefinite hiatus back in 2012 after revealing that she had not earned a “single yen” from the anime adaptation.
Moreover, Higa had pointed out back then that she had issues with the way the manga was adapted into the anime, and that her inputs were not being considered by the production committee of the anime.
Morikawa’s comments also come on the back of mangaka Hinako Ashihara’s death. Ashihara too had problems with the way her manga was adapted for NTV’s live action drama segment, and had consistently voiced her concerns regarding it.