Fukumoto Nobuyuki, best known for gambling manga such as Akagi and Kaiji, has started a new mahjong series one year after the end of Akagi, which ran for nearly 27 years in Kindai Mahjong magazine. There’s a twist at the end of the first chapter, however, so read on if you want to know.
Unfortunately, Kindai Mahjong does not have a digital version, which makes it difficult for me to obtain a copy. But what I can glean from various articles about it is that the new series, Yami-Mahjong Fighter: Mamiya, supposed to take place in the new Reiwa era 20 years after Akagi’s death, and stars a woman named Mamiya.
Mahjong heroines aren’t a new thing, between the success of the yuri-laden Saki and even real-life female mahjong leagues, but it’s a major departure for Fukumoto as an artist. In Fukumoto’s manga, girls are basically a non-factor. They exist, but mostly in the background, and his stories are mostly portrayed as a world of men who are both winners and losers. His art style also isn’t exactly known for producing physically attractive characters either male or female, so it won’t have that “cute” or “sexy” appeal like Saki and so many others. Unless the fanartists try really, really hard, that is. Or maybe the general androgyny of Mamiya will work in the manga’s favor.
I never followed Akagi from the beginning (how could I, really?), so I’m looking forward to this coming out in collected volumes so I can see that the world of 2019 mahjong manga looks like.