The Mobile Suit Gundam franchise is going strong through various media such as movies, new anime series, and now one of its biggest manga releases has come back from a recent hiatus for its artist's health.
The latest issue of Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior saw the return of the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt manga with artist Yasuo Ohtagaki back at the helm, but with necessary art style changes due to his condition.
According to a report from Anime News Network, Ohtagaki resumed work on Gundam Thunderbolt in the first 2019 issue of Big Comic Superior magazine but noted in a message to fans that there will have to be necessary changes to the art style of his manga. Ohtagaki originally put the series on hiatus this past September due to his tenosynovitis (inflammed tendons), and with his return notes that his symptoms have gotten worse. He has been unable to draw in small details with his dominant left hand, so it may be difficult for him to continue the manga with its current level of quality.
Apologizing to fans, Ohtagaki states that he will change his art style for the manga so that he can continue his work on it without further worsening his dominant hand. He knows that some fans will not be on board with the changes, but says it's the only way for him to continue drawing the manga.
While there may be fans who truly do not like the necessary changes, there will be many more who appreciate Ohtagaki's efforts and work. They do not want him to push himself into poor health just for the sake of the series, and will most likely be along for the ride for as long as Ohtagaki chooses to continue his work on it regardless of art style.
For those unfamiliar with Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, it is a popular one amongst fans. It is set during the One Year War which the original Mobile Suit Gundam franchise explored decades ago. The series follows two top pilots fighting for the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation in kind. Their battleground is the so-called Thunderbolt Sector, and the series sees the factions wage violent battles in the deserted stretch of space.
Viz Media has licensed the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt for an English language release and they describe the series as such, "Into this maelstrom of destruction go two veteran Mobile Suit pilots: the deadly Zeon sniper Daryl Lorenz, and Federation ace Io Fleming. It’s the beginning of a rivalry that can end only when one of them is destroyed. The lightning-streaked debris fields are about to become the stage for an epic duel where death is the only true winner."