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The sad truth about manga and their anime adaptations

written by Alex Lopez December 1, 2016

Manga is a cash cow for anime studios. Fans get excited when their favorite manga becomes a movie. But not everyone wins when a manga becomes a movie. In fact, the creators of your favorite manga usually get left out in the cold.


Hideaki Sorachi, creator of Gintama, published a Q&A in the 51st collected volume of the Gintama manga. Part of that interview made its way to Twitter. In the Q&A, the question came up about if it was true or not that Sorachi “must be living at Roppongi Hills” since the film adaptation was a hit. His response:

To tell the naked truth, regardless of  how many people watch the film or how much the gross earnings are, not a single yen goes to the author. We are only paid an upfront license fee.

Sorachi goes on to say that the profits of the films go to the movie studios. The profit for the creators comes from releasing individual mangas. But that doesn’t mean that Sorachi despises what he does.

But the reason why I slog to fulfill these film adaptations, to the extent that I’m peeing blood, is because there is a place in this world that is more wonderful than a mansion at Roppongi Hills. And that place, ma’am, is in your heart.


It has to be frustrating for creators like Sorachi to see their work become a massive success and not get rewarded for their efforts. Artists of all kinds spend their lives to bring joy to people all over the world. But sometimes that work doesn’t receive the respect due. It is fans like us that help support the artists and the work that they do. And fans like us can continue to support the hard work of these creators. Without the support, mangas like Gintama would not continue.

What are your thoughts on this? Sound off in the comments.

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