It’s been over a year since Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s legendary mahjong manga Akagi came to an end. After nearly 30 years of constant serialization in Kindai Mahjong, there’s been a massive mahjong-shaped hole in the manga landscape ever since then. But now, Fukumoto-sensei is set to make a glorious return to the world of mahjong manga with a new serialization, set 20 years after the finale of Akagi.
The announcement came in this month’s Kindai Mahjong, where the magazine published ‘chapter zero’ of this new manga with the promise of more on the way. Titled Yamiasa no Mamiya with the English subtitle of Yami-Mahjong Fighter: Mamiya, this new manga will follow the titular Mamiya as he fights intense mahjong battles in the dark world of Akagi, 20 years after his disappearance.
One of the first questions that this premise poses is whether or not this will be more a sequel to Akagi than a ‘new’ manga per se. Fukumoto’s decision to set this new story in the ‘world of Akagi’ certainly gives him the opportunity to do either or. For me, I’m honestly equally interested to see a sequel that ties into the Akagi story, perhaps dealing with the fallout of Akagi’s death at the end of the series, as I am interested in seeing an entirely new story that is simply set in Akagi’s world of dark, criminal, high stakes mahjong.
That being said, Fukumoto has been working on a lot of spin-offs and sequels recently, so perhaps he’ll be more inclined to simply continue on with this trend, which I would be totally okay with. I suppose we’ll just have to wait until we get our hands on the serialization proper before we can discern anything more concrete. Chapter zero of Mamiya is available now, but information on its serialization will be coming at a ‘later date.’
Fukumoto’s return to Kindai Mahjong is also without a doubt a reassuring move for the magazine as a whole. Akagi was by far it’s most popular serialization, and most likely drove a large part of their magazine and volume sales. It’s worth noting that the magazine has been carrying an Akagi sequel in HERO: A Man who Succeeds the Dying Wishes of Akagi since 2009, but this isn’t directly written by Fukumoto himself. Having a true Fukumoto sequel to Akagi in the magazine will no doubt prove to be a much more attractive proposition for loyal fans and newcomers alike.