Creator of Love Hina transitions from otaku arts to national politics.

There’s no shortage of manga creators who produced only a single noteworthy series before fading away into obscurity, but Ken Akamatsu isn’t one of them. The artist had back-to-back hits with Love Hina and Negima, both hugely popular series that went on to have lengthy anime adaptations and made Akamatsu the reigning king of cute girl/romantic comedy series during their runs.

On Thursday, Akamatsu let his Twitter followers know about his next project. It’s not a manga, anime, or artbook, though. Instead, Akamatsu is planning to become a politician.

“This has been reported by some media outlets, but I had a meeting at the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party. In order to protect freedom of expression, I have reached the decision to run in next summer’s House of Councilors election,” tweeted Akamatsu, referring to Japan’s largest political party and the upper house of Japan’s Diet, or parliament.

Japanese news service Kyodo, citing sources within the LDP, says that Akamatsu met with the party’s Election Strategy Committee chairman, Toshiaki Endo, on December 9, and that pending finalization of his candidacy, a formal declaration that Akamatsu is entering the race is coming next week.

▼ Opening theme for Love Hina

In recent years, the 53-year-old Akamatsu has been a vocal supporter of freedom artistic expression in the manga and anime fields, speaking up when he feels that freedom is being encroached on by unjust regulations or pressures. He’s also the chief advisor to the Hyogen no Jiyu wo Mamoru Kai, or “Association to Protect Freedom of Expression,” and organization started in 2016 by Liberal Democratic Party and House of Councilors member Taro Yamada, who’s also made protecting the artistic freedoms of manga/anime creators one of his causes.

Sources: Twitter/@KenAkamatsu. Kyodo via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/「KING AMUSEMENT CREATIVE」公式チャンネル
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