Anime

Tatsuki Fujimoto One-Shot Manga Look Back Partially Changed After Controversy in Japan

Here's how Look Back was modified after being criticized in Japan

By Iyane Agossah

August 2, 2021

You’ve definitely already heard of Look Back, the one-shot manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, mangaka of Chainsaw Man – Now, two weeks after its publication, the manga was slightly modified, with a certain page and line of dialogue changed.

Official Manga Trailer | Chainsaw Man, Vol. 1 | VIZ

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Official Manga Trailer | Chainsaw Man, Vol. 1 | VIZ
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Why was Tatsuki Fujimoto one-shot Look Back modified after release, what was changed?

Look Back is critically acclaimed worldwide and in Japan, most notably by other mangaka in the manga industry, who unanimously praised Fujimoto. The manga quickly reached over 5 million views on the Shonen Jump + app. However, several Japanese fans on Twitter, while liking the one-shot, also explained it could participate in spreading mental disorder discrimination. Following these comments in Japan, the murderer depicted in the story of Look Back was modified.

Originally, the manga had a newspaper quoting the killer, who mentioned having hallucinations and symptoms similar to schizophrenia. Several Japanese readers commented on how it painted people with mental disorders as potential murders. Reinforcing stereotypes. In the new version of Look Back, the newspaper now explains the killer stated “they just wanted to kill someone, anyone”, looking for the thrill of murder.

Before the change
After the change (Japanese version)

Note that as I’m writing this, the official English version of Look Back was not modified yet. As such I’m using screenshots of the Japanese version to explain the differences.

The other change and controversy: Possible reference to the Kyoto Animation arson attack

Furthermore, one of the lines of the killer was modified. Originally, the killer screams about being plagiarized. This line was criticized by several Japanese readers, who said Fujimoto might have inspired himself from the Kyoto Animation arson attack. The culprit of the attack told the police he was “plagiarized” by the studio. In the modified version, the killer now shouts “stop looking down on me” instead.

Before the change, with the plagiarism line
After the change, no mention of plagiarism

Note that Shonen Jump + in its announcement only stated the changes were made to avoid the manga leading to discrimination. It did not mention what was changed specifically and did not mention whether this line was truly a reference to the Kyoto Animation arson attack or not.

Overall, the reaction after the change on Twitter seems to be rather positive. While Twitter is not an accurate reflection of reality, I’ve seen some pretty heartwarming comments in the replies and quote replies of the Shonen Jump + tweet announcing the changes.

Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is getting soon an anime adaptation by Studio Mappa. Fujimoto also plans to continue the Chainsaw Man manga at some point with a sequel.

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Iyane Agossah
@A_iyane07

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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