Act-Age artist Shiro Usazaki has released her first statement regarding the recent arrest of the manga’s author, Tatsuya Matsuki. That arrest as many know resulted in the cancellation of Act-Age.
Matsuki was recently arrested and charged with the sexual assault of two middle school-aged girls, from a June 18th incident in Tokyo’s Nakano ward. This involved Matuski touching a teenager in an inappropriate manner before fleeing the scene.
This episode resulted in the immediate cancellation of Act-Age by its publisher, Weekly Shonen Jump.
On August 23rd, Usazaki published a statement on the recent events to her personal Twitter account.
With a translation was provided by Twitter account @otakucalendarjp, Usazaki began her statement with an expression of her “heartfelt sympathy to the victim and her family.”
She also praised the young victim who “spoke up in the great shock and fear and didn’t let go of her anger at the injury to her dignity.”
Usazaki would then state that she “fully accepts the JUMP editorial department’s response to the cancellation of the “Act-Age” series and its projects, books, and merchandise following this case.”
The artist went on to say, “the wounds inflicted by sex crimes don’t heal naturally.”
Usazaki then detailed that “ending the work was appropriate” because she didn’t want “the potential for [the victims] to be induced or caused distress by the viewing of “Act-Age” itself.”
Usazaki then wrote, “And to all the fans who love my work, I have a request. Thank you for supporting ‘Act-Age’. I am very disappointed as are you, that I have to end this manga in the middle of the way.”
The same week Matsuki was arrested, the final chapter of Act-Age was set to be released in Weekly Shonen Jump.
She continued, “However, we should never allow the voice of regret for the work to become a burden on the victims. Of course, it’s not the victim’s fault that the work ended. It is never wrong for the victim to have spoken out, to have endured the pain and not to ignore the molestation and sexual assault.”
“It was the result of the right thing done right. That courage and action should not be disregarded, humiliated, or further harmed with humiliating words.”
She would go on to ask fans to “think carefully, have a variety of perspectives, don’t be misled by unsubstantiated information, and choose what to say and what not to say.”
Usazaki concluded her statement with her hopes “that the victim is well cared for and that she will never have to go through the same thing again in her future life, and that she will have peace of mind.”
You can view the full translation of her statement below.
What do you think of Shiro Usazaki’s statement? Is this really the final chapter of Act-Age?