Act-Age (partially lost production material of cancelled Weekly Shonen Jump manga and other projects; 2018-2020)

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This article has been tagged as NSFW and NSFL due to its references to sexual assault and pedophilia.
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The first volume of Act-Age published in May 2018.

Status: Partially Lost

Act-Age was a series published by Weekly Shonen Jump from January 2018 to August 2020 and was written by Tatsuya Matsuki and Illustrated by Shiro Usazaki. The series is set in modern-day Tokyo and follows Kei Yonagi, a girl who is so talented at method acting, she starts to lose the ability to tell reality from the characters she becomes.

This psychological thriller became hugely successful selling over 3 million copies over the course of 12 volumes. The series was published by Viz Media in America starting in December 2018. It was also critically acclaimed being nominated for best manga at the 43rd annual Kadansha Manga awards.

Cancellation and Controversy[edit | edit source]

In August of 2020, author Tatsuya Matsuki was arrested for inappropriately touching two female middle school students. Due to this crime, the series was immediately cancelled by Shueisha in the middle of a story arc, leaving all work on the future of the series on the cutting room floor.[1] In a later interview, It was confirmed that Shiro Usazaki was given the opportunity to continue Act-Age and find a new writing partner, but she ultimately decided to cancel the series as she felt it would hurt the victims of the crime to see a work created by their assailant still being published.[2] Any chapters already finished or in the drafting stages are probably in Shuisha headquarters in their archives, with Usazaki or Matsuki, or thrown out completely leaving all unreleased material lost.

Cancelled Volumes and Viz Media Release[edit | edit source]

After the arrest was made, Viz Media deleted all chapters from their website, although they were reuploaded and still can be found on various sites. Any plans to release the chapters in volume format were cancelled both in English and in Japanese. The English release of this series ended at volume 3, leaving 102 chapters to go unreleased in that format. In Japan, 16 chapters were never released in this format.[3] Because this series is not officially in print anymore, this series both in English and Japanese are at risk of being completely lost.

Live Stage Play and Light Novels[edit | edit source]

A Light novel version and a live stage play version of Act-Age were also planned and in development, though how far they both were in development is unconfirmed. The stage play was to be produced by Hori Pro and remote auditions were to be held for the part of Kei Yonagi, as they wanted a new breakout star for the title roll. This doubled as a direct reference to the source material and a contest for the fans of the series. These two projects were announced in June 2020, just months before the series' cancellation and were scheduled to release/premiere in 2022 due to COVID delays.[4]

References[edit | edit source]