Friday, March 24, 2017

Akagi Chapter 294

It's chapter 294 of Akagi! How much longer will this battle drag on?! How long will it take before Washizu finally pons?! The answer to that question will... will... what? We know?!

Thanks to Crump for the cleans and to Tambur for the typesetting! We'll be playing mahjong tomorrow on the IRC at 4:00 PM MST, and I should actually be able to start streaming again this week!!

Chapter Link

"No. Let's wait."


So... as most of you probably know already, the Washizu arc is set to end 3 chapters from now. How do we know? It says so right on the cover of the magazine, next to the "mahjong player" in the lingerie:

"The countdown has finally begun! Just 3 chapters left to the conclusion of Washizu Mahjong!"

Now of course this is big news and I'll get to what this means for the manga, but can I just take a moment to point out how sad this cover makes me feel? It started a while ago, but these covers look more like Japanese playboy issues than mahjong magazine ones. Just look at how much space the girls are taking up compared to Akagi, their flagship manga, and Kai, the main character from their #2! There's only 4 series on the cover, the 3 biggest ones and the new one "Warau Ageha", which has, you guessed it, a girl with her tits hanging out as the main character. These issues used to be able to hook people in with their exciting gameplay and mind-bending mind games but now it's a shell  of its former self, barely floating by thanks to the horny men that probably only buy them so they can take them home and pleasure themselves to them. It gets even worse when you look inside. I popped in one of the DVDs that come included to see what it was, and there were only 2 mahjong matches surrounded by clips of girls who are apparently mahjong pros running down the beach in bikinis and bending over to get things in suggestive poses. Several pages of ads are devoted to online hookup sites and escort services!

I bring this up because it shows how Akagi was seriously the only thing that was holding Kindai Mahjong afloat, and now that its popularity has gone down the tubes due to its slow pacing and probably also its reliance on magic and miracles, the magazine needs to plaster cleavage all over the covers to get people to buy them. According to a video I found on nicovideo, as well, Volume 33 of Akagi even got Yasuoka and Ohgi confused in the introductions at the start of the volume! Yoshioka and Suzuki I could understand, but YASUOKA and OHGI? This shows to me that some or all the people involved are phoning it in at this point and are leaving Fukumoto to just hang himself with the continuous slow pacing of the manga. And if my suspicions are correct, that's just what he did. The result? The Washizu arc being set to end in 3 chapters. I believe it had to have been cancelled, or else there's no way Fukumoto would be willing to wrap up everything that needs to happen in 3 remaining chapters.

But, one way or another, it's fact. All I can assume is that the pacing is going to rev right up to max speed to have Yasuoka pon, and then Washizu draw the 5-sou and deal in. Not my ideal ending to be sure, but considering the room we have left, it's about all we can hope for. Let's read on.

...

.....
...It's as slow as ever. The pacing is as slow as it's always been. We're on page 13 and we're still wondering if Washizu will pon. In fact, Akagi taking a draw is being considered as a serious move. Of course Akagi ends up not doing it, but that doesn't matter. This whole chapter is going to be wasted at this rate. Fukumoto is aware he only has 3 more chapters to work with, is he not? Please tell me he is. Now we're on page 22 of the chapter and only now has Akagi finally finished explaining why he won't be cheap.
...What?

WHAT?

WHAT THE FUCK???? THIS ISN'T RIGHT! THIS CAN'T BE FOR REAL! THERE'S NO TIME LEFT! THERE'S ONLY 2 MORE CHAPTERS LEFT AFTER THIS... BUT... THIS HAS GOT TO BE ANOTHER FAKE OUT! IT HAS TO BE A-...

...

...the...



...the haku from...



...the live-action... drama...

...

...next chapter in a week...

15 comments:

  1. I stopped buying the new issues right before this one. I can tolerate the pin-ups, but they're just one of many red flags for the magazine. First they lost the rights to Naki no Ryuu, then Mahjong Kozou was unceremoniously axed despite being one of the last series with good mahjong strategy, and now both Akagi and Usagi are set to end after years of shit pacing and long hiatuses respectively. I used to be able to laugh the slow pace off, but this chapter just hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So, you're telling me the live action spoiled the ending? Should I go watch it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the acting is laughable but they do a great job portraying the mahjong action IMO, I wouldn't say it's a must-watch but if you're a hardcore akagi fan it's a real treat.

      Delete
  3. It's a shame really

    Fukumoto used to be one of my favorites, but he really should have gotten a wake up call a Decade ago. But i guess, back then he was too big and could pretty much do whatever he wanted. No he is too small and i doubt he will recover back to his prime again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I still believe in Fukumoto-sensei, he's not gonna let it end like this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I literally have no problem with this, only thing is this is a clear Chombo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is Akagi looking at her tits?

    Seriously though, this magazine is kind of sad as you say.

    Anyway, I think it's totally possible to end the arc with not shit pacing in 2 more chapters, assuming end of arc is just Washizu's dying and game ending. Probably will be a bit of an anticlimax, but what can you do. If you're right about cancellation, it kind of reminds me of Bleach. It was a shitshow of ending.

    Note that:
    - end of arc, not of manga - so they may give few more chapters to wrap things after the game. Though given we have Ten one would be enough.
    - they may expand the chapters in length as they are crucial ending phase of long running manga
    - maybe they meant 3 not counting this one?

    And how this will end? I don't think there's game after that, Washizu will say profound something to Akagi, perhaps regain some clarity for a bit and commend him, Akagi will say something respectful to Washizu, Washizu will die out of exhaustion and blood loss.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Man, Kindai Mahjong has really gone down the drain.
    And what is this chapter? Was this ending really the ending that Fukumoto originally envisioned?

    From what it looks like in the next chapter (which is already out in Japan), there will be 2 or 3 more chapters that will conclude the Washizu arc, but Akagi will continue in Kindai until the beginning of 2018, meaning there will most likely be another mini-arc tacked on.

    Let's hope for the best...

    ReplyDelete
  8. No matter what happens I still love Akagi, I am hardcore FKMT fanboy blind to everything wrong he does...
    Thank you for your work and your time, looking forward for the next chapter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Are there 3 chapters left? Or 2 chapters left? You think with 294 chapters they'd at least go to 300?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2 chapters remaining in the washizu arc, 12 more in the series. Sounds like it'll end at 306.

      Delete
  10. I...I actually feel really bad after reading this chapter.
    Overall, I found Fukumoto's pacing justifiable because unlike let's say dragged out shounen battles, there was always something to marvel at when the whole thing was over. Kaiji's mahjong match lasted 130 whole chapters but at the end, if you looked at the thing, you could definitely see a flow of events that seemed planned out. Same with Akagi really.
    I do understand though that this obviously hurt his popularity, so if Akagi did get axxed Fukumoto does bear some responsibility.
    However, since it was already hinted at by the live action, I would really like to think that he planned out this ending since a while ago. It makes me feel somewhat better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Of course it ends with Washizu dying anticlimactically.

    That's the only possible end.

    Not just death, a meaningless death - the true nature of gambling.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fukumoto's pacing will look a lot better in hindsight. Waiting a year for a few draws is ludicrous, but if you have all of those chapters to hand and you're reading through them one after the other, it's a completely different story. The problem is not in the slow pacing itself, but a mismatch between the storytelling techniques and the medium of a monthly magazine. Imagine reading a book at 10 pages per month - it would be just as maddening.

    I'm sad that Akagi's going to end, and even sadder that it's going to end so soon and seemingly so abruptly. I don't know how much gas FKMT has left in the tank, but I'd love to see a new FKMT mahjong manga rise from its ashes. Maybe Harada could get a backstory? Or a completely new character? Can only hope.

    ReplyDelete