‘The Black Mage’ artist D.J. Kirkland has achieved a longtime dream, being hired to work for Viz Media, a hiring decision which has some anime and manga fans concerned due to Kirkland’s history of supporting video game and anime localizations which heavily censor or edit the original content.

On March 3rd, Kirkland announced via his Twitter account that he “finally landed a job at Viz Media”, exclaiming that “a dream came true today”:

He did not discuss details regarding his position, stating only that it was “close and personal to manga.”

This announcement worried some fans, who speculated that Kirkland’s new position could allow him to influence future translations of manga titles.

These worries are based on Kirkland’s history of supporting and advocating various localizations of Japanese anime and video games which featured heavily edited or censored content:

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In a now infamous Twitter rant, Kirkland accused anti-censorship advocates who spoke out against such changes of “ignoring actual Japanese LGBTQ+ people fighting for equal rights and taking homophobia and transphobia to task in their content.”

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However, back in 2016, Kirkland has also stated that if he were ever able to “work in localization for anime, I’d do my damndest to be extremely faithful.”

According to his now updated Twitter bio, Kirkland has been hired as the Digital Publishing Production Assistant. As of writing, the specifics of his position and the extent of his influence remain unknown.