Hajime No Ippo mangaka, George Morikawa, recently expressed concern regarding the authenticity of an illustration found in a fan collection on his Twitter account.
Morikawa had received a post from an overseas fan showcasing their Hajime no Ippo collection. While appreciating the fan’s dedication, he noticed a colour illustration at the centre of the collection that was not created by him.
He also noted that the illustration had his name signed on it, suggesting that it may have been acquired by the fan for a fee. This discovery angered the mangaka very much and expressed concern on the growing problem of fake signatures appearing in online auctions.
“I don’t know if this applies overseas, but I want to say this. Hey, if you’re a Japanese artist, you should follow the rules,” he added.
In order to protect the privacy of the fan who shared their collection, Morikawa refrained from sharing the photo of the artwork.
However, he recognized the creator of the illustration as someone who was in charge of key animation of Hajime No Ippo anime due to its high quality.
Morikawa also pointed out that the artwork in question dates back to the 2010s, and there’s a possibility that the artist may have worked on several other series, including Hajime no Ippo since then.
He also warned those involved to stop such practices.
Checkout a translation of George Morikawa’s tweet below:
I received a post from a foreign fan showing off their collection of Hajime no Ippo. I was very grateful to see it, but the color illustration in the center was not drawn by me. I can identify the person who drew it because my name is signed. It is also possible that they gave it away for a fee, and I am very angry. In recent years, fake signatures have been circulating on auctions, and this could lead to an increase in such crimes. I don’t know if this applies overseas, but I want to say this.
Hey, if you’re a Japanese artist, you should follow the rules.
I will not publish the photo because it belongs to the other party. The illustration was also drawn by someone who was in charge of the key animation for my anime, so the quality is certainly high. However, it is from the 2010s, so there is a possibility that they have done multiple things, including Hajime no Ippo, up to now. You should stop doing this.
Hajime no Ippo is a Japanese boxing-themed manga series written and illustrated by George Morikawa. It has been serialized by Kodansha in the shonen manga magazine Weekly Shonen Magazine since October 1989, with its chapters collected into 138 tankobon volumes as of July 2023.
A 76-episode anime adaptation produced by Madhouse aired on Nippon TV from October 2000 to March 2002. A television film and an original video animation (OVA) were released in 2003. A second series titled Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger aired from January to June 2009. A third series Hajime no Ippo: Rising aired from October 2013 to March 2014.