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The October issue of Enterbrain's Comic Beam magazine announced on Thursday that the start of Mari Yamazaki's Thermae Romae spin-off manga has been postponed. Although the spin-off was scheduled to begin in the October issue, Yamazaki's health has declined due to her moving and work. The magazine added that she had surgery in August, but did not give further details, citing privacy issues. The magazine did emphasize that Yamazaki's condition after the surgery is not serious.
The author herself apologized, and informed readers that new chapters will come out as soon as the proper preparations of her body and her environment have been completed.
The original comedy manga follows Lucius, an architect of public bath houses (thermae) in ancient Rome who time-travels to various modern-day baths in Japan. Through manga and essay passages, Yamazaki explores the two cultures in the world "that have loved baths the most: the Japanese and the Romans!"
Yamazaki launched the manga in Monthly Comic Beam in 2008, and she ended it this past March. With the sixth and final compiled book volume that Enterbrain is shipping on Tuesday, the series will have 9 million copies in print. Yen Press published the second omnibus volume in North America in May.
The work won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2010, followed by the Short Work Prize in the 14th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes. Although Yamazaki was born in Tokyo, she now lives in Chicago. In addition to the Thermae Romae spinoff, she began a manga adaptation of Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography in Kodansha's Kiss magazine in March.