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Somari and the Guardian of the Forest's Creator Still Struggling Financially, Has Regrets Over Anime Adaptation

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Manga ended in 2020 due to Yako Gureishi's worsening health

Manga creator Yako Gureishi tweeted last Tuesday about their Somari and the Guardian of the Forest manga status and their personal life. The most notable takeaway is that they are currently asking fans for financial support in order to help cover the cost of their rent and utility bills. Gureishi asked for contributions to their pixiv Fanbox account.

Gureishi stated that they still wish to continue the Somari and the Guardian of the Forest manga through self-publishing on Kindle and other platforms, although they added that there are no concrete plans for a continuation yet. They are currently working on their ongoing Isekai Kakuriyo: Ayakashi Ku Kitan (Another World Afterlife: Mysterious Tales of Spirit Food) manga at a pace to avoid burnout. They mentioned that while they are enjoying working on this manga, they are currently going through a slump due to financial difficulties.

Another issue Gureishi touched upon was their regrets about the Somari and the Guardian of the Forest anime adaptation. They stated that they were too busy at the time to supervise work on the anime and felt uncomfortable as a newcomer artist to intrude upon the production. Because of this, they discovered too late that the voice actors mispronounced the name "Somari." Gureishi left the supervision to an editor, who unfortunately failed to pick up on the mistake as well. This left Gureishi feeling regret about the anime, and they were unable to bring themselves to watch it as it was airing.

Gureishi also addressed their frustrations with the manga industry, mentioning that they were disappointed when Somari was canceled two years after Gureishi went on hiatus. Gureishi claimed this was because the manga's focus on fantasy was perceived as off-brand for Comic Zenon, which mainly deals with manga in a contemporary setting. They wrote that they don't intend to draw for Comic Zenon again because although they received a lot of support from the editorial department at the time, they also felt hurt in equal measure by other aspects.

More generally, they mentioned that much of the extra work involved in creating manga outside of the manuscripts, such as bonus illustrations for different storefronts to promote the compiled volume releases, is uncompensated. They commented that they wanted to do something about the environment for manga artists, who are often treated as disposable. Gureishi previously shared their opinions on the industry and their ongoing financial struggles last year. Gureishi explained in March 2022 that the Somari and the Guardian of the Forest manga required a lot of staff, but manga creators themselves are the ones who pay the salaries of their assistants, and at the time, Gureishi was unemployed and had "no money and no income."

Gureishi launched the Somari and the Guardian of the Forest (Somali to Mori no Kamisama) manga in 2015. Coamix published the manga's sixth compiled volume in April 2019. The Comic Zenon website had stated in December 2020 that the manga had ended due to the author's worsening health.

North Star Pictures and later Coamix published the manga digitally in English, and the anime database website MyAnimeList added the manga to its website for free in English starting in December 2019.

The manga inspired a television anime that debuted in Japan in January 2020. Crunchyroll co-produced the anime and also streamed the series with English subtitles under the title Somali and the Forest Spirit. Crunchyroll also streamed an English dub. The anime had 12 episodes.

Gureishi launched the Isekai Kakuriyo: Ayakashi Ku Kitan manga on Takeshobo's Web Comic Gamma+ website last June.

Source: Yako Gureishi's Twitter account via Animehunch

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