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The Never-Ending Manga: At What Point Should a Series End?




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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:07 pm Reply with quote
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With that in mind, let us know in the comments what long ongoing manga you're currently reading (and any theories you have for its end)!

I haven't really been up to date on those forever mangas, aside the occasional volumes/chapters of Bleach, Conan, One Piece, and others. I did read the entire Dragon Ball saga, but that was long ago when I first started reading mangas, I doubt I'd pick it today, outside of checking it out.

Harem/rom-com mangas usually have limited lifespans, even if they might get stretched if proven popular enough(current example Kanojo, Okarishimasu(Rent-A-Girlfriend)), even KissxsSis is finally ending. However there's always exceptions, and Nagasarete Airantou trucks on like a perpetual motion machine ever since 2002, and with original art style from the first decade to boot Laughing. I still do check it out whenever a translated chapter drops...
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tintor2



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:42 pm Reply with quote
I see no problem in a story continuing as long as it feels organic. Tomino has done it with Gundam, Araki with Jojo, Takei with Shaman King and whoever wrote Pokemon Adventures. Even Boruto seems to understand the problem of lengthy stories as they earlier they gave Naruto an excuse to retire from the battlefield and let the new cast take over. Similar with how Hana is now taking over Yoh in Flowers and post stories as well.

The one that does not seem to get it well is Toriyama. He once said that Goku would retire from the main scenario in the Buu arc as lead but because he had no idea how to write Gohan, he instead made a obvious change and revived Goku out of nowhere. Goku lost the complex maturity he developed in the Buu arc in Super and instead went back to his simplicty childhish nature. It doesn't help that he keeps developing new transformations in so little time like an excuse to sell merchandising.

Another case that also feels a bit Kenshin Hokkaido. The original manga ended with Yahiko's coming of age in samurai fashion by obtaining the sakabato. However, as soon as the Hokkaido arc started everybody went back to their old looks, Yahiko gave back Kenshin the sakabato and even disappeared from the narrative. It's a shame since Kenshin accepting a happy ending is something the manga has been trying to tell for a long time with warnings being given by Megumi about age catching up with his body.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:49 pm Reply with quote
A good example of the second category (hiatuses) for me would be Bastard!! by Kazushi Hagiwara. Last year I went back & read everything that Viz had released during the 00s (Volumes 1-19), & then also finally read the rest that had never been released over here (20-27). While I am sad that we may never see another chapter of Bastard!! ever again, as it's been over 10 years now since the last chapter came out in Ultra Jump, I've come to accept that, and I'm still just so glad that we got whatever we did get of such an outstanding manga that I wish could be given another chance in America, especially since I do kind of see Bastard!! & Berserk as a sort of bizarre two sides of the same coin, especially since they debuted at roughly the same time (Berserk's original one-shot debuted in 1988, the same year as Bastard!!'s serialization).

While not exactly directly tying into the subject of this article, though still semi-relevant, I also have enjoyed what I've read of Otoko Zaka by Masami Kurumada. Originally debuting in the mid-80s, the manga only lasted for three volumes (mainly because it went against the entire style of Shonen Jump action manga that Kurumada himself helped innovate), but ~30 years later was brought back & is now currently at 10 volumes (over three times its original length), with a proper ending possibly coming with the next stretch of chapters that'll get made, whenever that happens.

In that regard, then, how long should someone wait for a hiatus before they should just accept that it may never end, and instead just enjoyed what they did get?
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:08 pm Reply with quote
I've been following Ippo since high school, and it feels like now there may, keyword, may have had a corner turned, because the death of Miura legitimately shook up Morikawa (who considered the late creator a friend). The pacing to the big fights that the entire series has been built around has quickened and more hints have been dropped that the current arc is going to end soon. It's funny because the longer the series went, the more those fights were hyped in the fandom and in-universe, but the clearer it was that he knew that once those fights happened, the story would be for all intents and purposes, done. So there were a lot of curveballs and sidesteps in the interim, only for recent tragedies to remind the author that his time isn't infinite.
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Redbeard 101
Oscar the Grouch
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:49 pm Reply with quote
Part of me feels the longer a manga goes on the more likely it is to burn out and become stagnant. The other part of me obviously wants personal favorites to continue on because you grow to love the characters and whatever story they wind up in.

I think at this point for me the key is the aforementioned stagnation. Does the series still feel fresh? Is it just recycling the same stories over and over? Does the author even want to continue on with the series? One of the best examples for me is the Oh My Goddess manga. It's a personal favorite and special to me. I loved that it went on for so long. It mostly was able to stay fresh and relevant. Towards the end though it did start to suffer. The ending itself was abysmal and rushed to say the least.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:47 pm Reply with quote
At the end of the day, are these not just jobs. As in they start a Manga that gets popular enough for continued publication, their full time job is that Manga. It's not like every Manga that is long, is so because it was supposed to be, but because that's their current job and ending it and starting a new Manga is like quieting their job and looking for a new one.
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delariean



Joined: 11 Nov 2002
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
A good example of the second category (hiatuses) for me would be Bastard!! by Kazushi Hagiwara. Last year I went back & read everything that Viz had released during the 00s (Volumes 1-19), & then also finally read the rest that had never been released over here (20-27). While I am sad that we may never see another chapter of Bastard!! ever again, as it's been over 10 years now since the last chapter came out in Ultra Jump, I've come to accept that, and I'm still just so glad that we got whatever we did get of such an outstanding manga that I wish could be given another chance in America, especially since I do kind of see Bastard!! & Berserk as a sort of bizarre two sides of the same coin, especially since they debuted at roughly the same time (Berserk's original one-shot debuted in 1988, the same year as Bastard!!'s serialization).

While not exactly directly tying into the subject of this article, though still semi-relevant, I also have enjoyed what I've read of Otoko Zaka by Masami Kurumada. Originally debuting in the mid-80s, the manga only lasted for three volumes (mainly because it went against the entire style of Shonen Jump action manga that Kurumada himself helped innovate), but ~30 years later was brought back & is now currently at 10 volumes (over three times its original length), with a proper ending possibly coming with the next stretch of chapters that'll get made, whenever that happens.

In that regard, then, how long should someone wait for a hiatus before they should just accept that it may never end, and instead just enjoyed what they did get?





Thank you.... I thought I was the only one who remembered Bastard!! I've basically given up on its completion.
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Blortle



Joined: 07 Jul 2021
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Every piece of media has a shelf life because you're eventually going to hit a point of diminishing returns with regards to ideas and usually begin to bloat the cast leading to decompression to start fitting everything in which in turn often leads to poor pacing or plots and twists pulled out of your ass to keep things going for something that you don't feel, for whatever reason (usually too popular), you can end yet.

With manga, it depends entirely on the type of series and I'm being generous here with these estimations. I think your typical SoL, romance and romcoms have little reason to ever go beyond 10-15 volumes. Your typical battle shounen or adventure series could ideally end around volume 25-30. A sports series or something along those lines, one where the protagonist has a clearly defined goal that they're shown working towards, can probably fall within that same amount of 25-30 volumes.

If you're anything but an adventure/sports series and your chapter count starts to hit the triple digits that's when you should be thinking of hanging it up and truthfully many should end long before that point.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:08 pm Reply with quote
As gargantuan as it is, I feel like One Piece is an interesting example in that, at least for me, it's never felt like it's continuing just for the sake of doing so. By Oda's own admission the story has grown far more than he ever intended originally, but it's only served to flesh out this huge living breathing world, and he's always had a clear established endgame from the beginning. Now at long last we're approaching what is almost certainly the beginning of that endgame, and it's fascinating watching all of these story elements and themes starting to converge on each other. The main thing for me is that it's never felt as though Oda is just phoning it in for the sake of doing so, as with other long-running series I've watched: even after all these years he's still doing incredibly fun and creative things with the story. Hell, the Wano flashback that ended a couple of months ago in the anime was one of my favorite parts of the entire series, which is pretty remarkable.

There are other long series where it feels like there isn't a particularly good reason for them to last nearly as long as they have. For instance, Detective Conan seems like a genuinely fun series, but I cannot even fathom sinking any amount of time into a thousand-episode show where a good 90% of the runtime consists of stand-alone individual cases.
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_Irenekit_



Joined: 11 Sep 2021
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:47 am Reply with quote
CORRECTION: It's Katsura Hoshino, the author of D. Gray-man, not Katsura Hoshina.

Top Gun wrote:

There are other long series where it feels like there isn't a particularly good reason for them to last nearly as long as they have. For instance, Detective Conan seems like a genuinely fun series, but I cannot even fathom sinking any amount of time into a thousand-episode show where a good 90% of the runtime consists of stand-alone individual cases.


As. a active Detective Conan fan, manga reader and watcher, I can assure you it's possible. I watch a few episodes every evening, for years now, and the glory with Detective Conan is following: The characters seem like friends, they are familiar and you root for the core cast, that's always kept safe even if murders happen (and if something happens, like someone getting seriously hurt or Ran and Shinichi finally talking about their feelings to each other in episode 930-ish or something, then it's very thrilling and time for a HUGE party.) When talking about the relationship aspect the Detective Conan series goes with the idea of destined partners and how a long wait is worth it, simulating real life where everything well built takes a lot of time: that's what I would say a romantic enjoys in Detective Conan, it's safe to know that Shinichi and Ran WILL get married and all destined to be together since small, because they are a perfect match, but there is just enough of the "will she finally dump that workaholic detective, or forgive him, like a Queen of Patience?" thrill, so the wait for huge plottwists is irrelevant, it simply strengthens the belief of a series always being there like a second fictional home or a journey in life, which feels oddly realistic or reassuring. Did I mention the brainpower behind the mangaka Gosho Aoyama and writer of the crime cases is huge? It has so many layers, of these "a good guy is a bad guy but yet a good guy" plots that it's well worth the wait, it's rewarding to see how the mini Sherlock Homes/James Bond that's Conan Edogawa playes mental chess agains a big. bad and lifethreathening organization.
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DisneyXAnimefan95



Joined: 20 Mar 2016
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:23 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised that Case Closed/Detective Conan wasn't even mentioned considering the anime & the Manga are still ongoing with no ending in sight.
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juaifan



Joined: 20 Mar 2021
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:19 pm Reply with quote
Manga should end when it wants to end. I don't have an issue with long running series as long as it stays entertaining. The only time it's really an issue is in cases like Berserk and Hunter x Hunter where it's not the length that's the problem but the numerous and extended hiatuses they both received. I fell out of both series because it's hard to stay invested when years go by without any new material. I resolved myself long ago that those two series would most likely never be concluded.
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Melicans



Joined: 01 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:26 pm Reply with quote
I can't say I've read anything that felt excessively long (either in output or years running). I think the longest I've read is Domestic Girlfriend (28 volumes). If you include sequels then To Love-Ru (36 volumes combined) would be the longest. Most other "lengthy" series I've read usually end in the high teens or low twenties. I'm thinking of Rosario + Vampire (24 volumes combined), Heaven's Lost Property (20 volumes), Trinity Seven (18 volumes read), Good Ending (16 volumes), and I''s (15 volumes).

If you add in light novels then Date A Live (22 volumes), In Another World With My Smartphone (22 volumes read), Accel World (20 volumes read), Seirei Gensouki and DanMachi (15 volumes read each) are in there too.

Edit: Actually, you can throw Attack on Titan, Ichigo 100%, and Seton Academy to that list.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:37 am Reply with quote
DisneyXAnimefan95 wrote:
I'm surprised that Case Closed/Detective Conan wasn't even mentioned considering the anime & the Manga are still ongoing with no ending in sight.
As you continue to read what these article's authors write, you realize that the titles or introductory paragraphs promise a generalized analysis or coverage of a topic but you see they just want to talk about one or two things they like that are related. And they only say a few things they just want to say. "Best" examples are typically ignored, but with this particular topic, one could go on for days if you wanted to be comprehensive so in this isolated incidence one could say they are justified. However, for all the words one notices they never really answer their own question but attempt justification for why they can't. For some good answers, read the comments above.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:21 pm Reply with quote
The answer is fairly easy. Manga series end when the creator(s) tell the complete story they want to or when it ceases to be financially profitable to the publisher. The first reason pertains mostly to the shorter run series (though those may be cut short if not popular enough) and the second to the long running series.

For the people creating manga, it is partially passion and partially monetary (money being necessary to live). For the publisher it is all monetary. If it isn't making money they will not continue to publish it.

As to when a long running series should stop, that is purely subjective depending on the individual reader. One person's stale boring filler is someone else's comfort food. The person who says "why is this still being published?" is no different than the person who asked "why is this being published?" when it started. The answer is the same in both cases, because enough people enjoy it and support it to make it profitable to the publisher and a source of income to those who created it. It is a natural process, be popular or die.
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