Fans were a little surprised earlier this week when it appeared that Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia would be taking an unexpected break in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Usually, such breaks are telegraphed beforehand, which naturally meant that fans assumed the worst. Nevertheless, an upcoming announcement in next week’s issue no. 32 explains that the Aichi-born author is simply struggling with the shift from traditional to digital art methods in light of the Coronavirus – a sign of the times to come.
The announcement, shared ahead of time by @WSJ_manga, explains that the move from “analogue” drawing methods to “digital” ones in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is causing Kohei Horikoshi and his team to take longer than normal to finish the manuscript. As a result, My Hero Academia will be on break next week and will resume the week after, in the combined issue no. 33 and 34.
Speaking directly to fans, the Weekly Shonen Jump editorial team apologises to those who had been eagerly awaiting the next chapter of the shonen series. Indeed, this My Hero Academia break couldn’t have come at a worse time – Deku is in the middle of fighting for his life against the forces of evil in what is shaping up to be the most explosive and intense arc of the series yet.
Even so, Kohei Horikoshi is not alone in this problem. All of the authors currently serialized in Jump are no doubt under the same pressures – that was the reason why the magazine had to take an unprecedented publishing break back in April. Eiichiro Oda also recently lamented in his author comment “How long am I supposed to continue the working-from-home corona-manga-creation process? It’s tricky.”
For as long as a vaccine for the Coronavirus does not exist, this problem is also unlikely to go away. Furthermore, with cases spiking in Tokyo, it seems as if the manga industry will be unable to ease up any time soon.
My Hero Academia will be on break next week. You can read the series for free via VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump.