Love Hina and UQ HOLDER! manga creator, Ken Akamatsu, announced on Twitter on Thursday, Dec 16, 2021, that he intends to run for the House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan’s House of Representatives, as part of the Liberal Democratic Party next summer, in order to protect “freedom of expression”.
Akamatsu’s tweet translates to:
As reported in some media outlets, I did have an interview at LDP headquarters.
I am committed to running for the House of Councillors next summer in order to protect freedom of expression.
The party is currently in the midst of the selection process. Once an official announcement is made, I will convey my intentions to you all once again.
Election chairman, Toshiaki Endo, confirmed Akamatsu’s intention to run on Dec 9,2021. The announcement for Akamatsu’s official approval is expected for next week, Kyodo News reported.
In an interview with Abema Times in June 2020, Akamatsu commented on the concerns he has about freedom of expression, “I am very curious about the current movement overseas to erase or remove past works. Osamu Tezuka’s manga had quite a few discriminatory expressions, but it’s standard in Japan to leave an explanatory note about that while preserving the work as it was in the past. As works that feature discriminatory expressions undergo more and more regulation, it may become impossible to see those old works. However, when it comes to the works that will be created in the present and future, I see absolutely no problem in creators such as myself individually applying our own discretion and consideration while having our freedom of expression protected. I hope that both sides can maintain a good balance.”
The manga creator had previously advised the government on a multitude of issues, including being invited to speak about the future of manga to the government.
Akamatsu is also the president of the Japan Cartoonists Association, and he was instrumental in establishing the “Doujin” logo on the front of manga volumes with UQ HOLDER! to indicate that those series are acceptable as a source for fan-made works.
Akamatsu created J-Comi digital manga library service in 2008 and launched a beta test of the site in 2010. The site gained notoriety in 2011 when it posted Seiji Matsuyama‘s Oku-sama wa Shōgakusei (My Wife Is an Elementary Student) manga, which Naoki Inose, Tokyo Vice Governor at the time, cited as an example of which manga should be restricted under Tokyo’s then-recently revised Youth Healthy Development Ordinance.
Akamatsu and Yahoo! Japan subsidiary GyaO! jointly founded a subsidiary company called J Comic Terrace in 2015.
Akamatsu launched the UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 manga with the title of UQ Holder! in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine in Japan in August 2013. The manga transferred to Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine in October 2016, with the new title UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2, fully revealing the manga as a sequel to Akamatsu’s earlier Negima! manga.