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Zatch Bell's Makoto Raiku Abruptly Ends Vector Ball Manga

posted on by Karen Ressler
School fantasy series began last year

This year's 16th issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine published the final chapter of Makoto Raiku's Vector Ball on Wednesday.

Raiku explained on his blog that it has ended due to his own "weakness." The manga was not polling well, and his editor proposed a new story development, but Raiku found it too unpleasant to write. In the month between the story meeting and his deadline, Raiku began to feel it was hopeless, so he sent an e-mail asking to end the series. He stressed that the problem was with him and not the editor, who he said contributed many good ideas in the past.

The magazine stated on one page that "part one" of Vector Ball was ending, but Raiku clarified that that was probably in the magazine before he sent an e-mail saying he could no longer write the series.

Raiku expressed worry about what he will do next, though for now he will work on the color illustrations for the final volume, which will ship on May 17.

The fantasy manga takes place at a school where mysterious creatures invade. The story begins when two students with the will to resist meet. Raiku launched the series on April 27, and the fourth compiled volume shipped on Friday.

Raiku is best known for his Zatch Bell (Konjiki no Gash Bell!!) manga series, which he launched in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in 2001, and ended in 2007. Shogakukan published 33 compiled book volumes for the series. Viz Media released the first 25 volumes of the manga in North America before discontinuing the title. The anime received a 150-episode television anime adaptation that ran from 2003 to 2006, as well as the Konjiki no Gash Bell: 101 Banme no Mamono, and the Konjiki no Gash Bell!! anime films in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Toonami aired 77 episodes of the anime from 2005 to 2007. Viz Media released the first 100 episodes of the series through DVD compilations from 2005 to 2007, and the same episodes are currently available in Crunchyroll.

Raiku stopped working with Shogakukan after settling a lawsuit with the publisher regarding five color art pieces by Raiku that the publisher had lost.

He launched his Animal Land (Dōbutsu no Kuni) manga in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine in 2009, and ended it in 2013. Kodansha published 14 compiled book volumes for the series. Kodansha Comics is publishing the manga in North America, and released the manga's 12th volume last October.


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