Tokyo Revengers' Ken Wakui Originally Tried to Publish Under Shonen Jump

The creator of Tokyo Revengers published their first manga, Shinjuku Swan, under Kodansha.

When it comes to manga, the gig is competitive for creators. Each years, there are hundreds upon hundreds of artist looking to get their series into publication. Even veteran creators like Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) have struggled to get new stories off the ground. It seems the stars must align for a series to succeed, and Ken Wakui says a major rejection put him on the right path.

Recently, the creator of Tokyo Revengers and Astro Negai sat down to chat about their career with Natalie. The rock star wanted to know everything about the mangaka, and it was there Wakui revealed he pitched his first manga to Shonen Jump. But after some consideration, the publication turned him down.

"I also brought [my work] to Shonen Jump at first. But my style didn't match and it wasn't selected. At that time, I was told to draw something more familiar to my interests elsewhere. So when I drew my manga Shinjuku Swan, I was told it was interesting there," he shared.

Continuing, Wakui shared how he even got into the publication game. The artist was working a normal gig as a young adult and decided to risk it all on manga. Wakui quit his job and stayed in for a whole year to level up his art. It was then Wakui began pitching Shinjuku Swan in earnest to Kodansha.

"I was originally good at painting, so after I quit my job, I stayed home for a year or so and practiced drawing. I fully intended on becoming a manga artist, so I brought a complete work I finished myself to the Bessatsu Young Magazine editorial department every week."

Clearly, Wakui was the definition of persistent with his goal. The artist did not rest until he got somewhere as a manga artist, and his time with Kodansha did him good. After all, Shinjuku Swan ran for eight years and paved the way for Tokyo Revengers' debut in 2017. Now, Wakui is busy with Astro Negai as his new series is being published by Shonen Jump in a funny twist of fate.

If you are not familiar with Tokyo Revengers, you can always check out Wakui's hit manga now that it is done. The series can be found on the K Manga app. And as for Astro Negai, the new series is releasing chapters weekly over on the Shonen Jump app. 

What do you think about Wakui's confession? Let us know what you think over on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me up @MeganPetersCB to share your take!