Earlier today, the anime fandom was shocked to learn that Rurouni Kenshin’s creator has been placed under arrest. Nobuhiro Watsuki was taken into custody in Tokyo and charged with possession of child pornography. Now, Shueisha has commented about the fate of Rurouni Kenshin’s serialization, and it seems the manga is going on hiatus.
The company confirmed Rurouni Kenshin is taking a break in light of Watsuki’s arrest (via ANN). The manga will not run in Jump SQ effective immediately. Any issue from January 2018 onward will forgo Rurouni Kenshin’s ‘Hokkaido’ arc which began this fall.
Shueisha’s statement was short, but the published said it was taking all of Watsuki’s accusations seriously. The company went on to say that Watsuki has expressed deep regret over his actions and that it isn’t sure what will happen to volumes of Rurouni Kenshin that are already in print.
If you are not aware of the charges laid against Watsuki, the manga artist was arrested for possessing DVDs of child pornography. According to the authorities, the creator was taken into custody after police found pornographic content in Watsuki’s home. Tokyo Metropolitan Police were tipped off about Watsuki as they investigated another unrelated case, and authorities were able to place the artist under arrest. If found guilty, Watsuki faces up to a year in prison and a million yen in fines.
Watsuki is best known for creating the series Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story. Shueisha serialized the story more than twenty years ago, and Jump SQ announced the series would resume after a lengthy break with its ‘Hokkaido’ arc. Watsuki was tasked with overseeing the series’ comeback.
If you are not familiar with Rurouni Kenshin, then you always have time to get to know the franchise. The story was born back in 1994 when Watsuki contracted its publication with Weekly Shonen Jump. Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of a former assassin named Kenshin Himura who has dedicated his life to atoning his past sins. Determined to leave senseless violence behind, Himura and his comrades travel Japan and stand up for oppressed underdogs everywhere. Over the years, Rurouni Kenshin has become one of Japan's most popular shonen titles. With plenty of spin-off stories and films, fans continue to circle back to the franchise, but that is sure to change in light of Watsuki's shocking arrest.