Rui Takato thanks fans, says retirement has been in the works for months.

Back in 2014, manga artist Rui Takato began drawing Hagure Idol Jigokuhen, which loosely translates to “Stray Idol Hell.” In English, it’s published under the title Booty Royale: Never Go Down Without a Fight, but now it appears the series is down for the count.

Last week, Takato sent out a tweet with the abrupt announcement “I will be retiring in the very near future!”

Eight years is a pretty good run for a manga series, but Takato isn’t retiring because sales for Hagure Idol Jigokuhen are in decline. On the contrary, he asserts that it continues to be a consistently strong seller. He’s walking away from the manga industry because he’s unable to go on drawing the series’ artwork, but unlike Hunter x Hunter creator Yoshihiro Togashi, Takato’s drawing difficulties don’t stem from physical ailments, and it’s not that he’s lost his creative spark either. Instead, the reason for his retirement is:

“Due to family household circumstances, for the foreseeable future I will not be in an environment where I can continue drawing manga full of boobs and sex on a monthly basis.”

▼ Manga Goraku Special, the digital home of Hagure Idol Jigokuhen, celebrated the series’ 100th chapter on its cover last month.

As you can probably guess from its English title, Takato’s series is an unabashedly explicit series, in which protagonist Misora is pulled into an underground fighting/adult entertainment competition. Ostensibly Takato, like many serialized manga artists, does a lot of his drawing at home, but it seems that some recent, long-term change in his living situation is incompatible with the type of artwork that’s Hagure Idol Jigokuhen’s primary selling point.

Takato goes on to thank readers for their support over the near-decade the series has been running, and says that he’s “reasonably satisfied” with how well its erotic and action elements have turned out. He also says that he started planning for his manga artist retirement last year, and that he already has prospects for a new job.

Hagure Idol Jigokuhen was also turned into a live-action movie in 2020 starring gravure idol Rina Hashimoto, which appears to be less explicit than its source material.

Takato acknowledges that he could possibly keep the series running in an irregular, short-chapter format, but that even this would require efforts to mesh with his new home environment, and that overall he doesn’t feel strongly motivated to do so. He also says that should, at some point in the future, his work environment or feelings on the matter change, he may return to drawing the series, but that once the next three chapters are published, readers should consider Hagure Idol Jigokuhen to be in a state of indefinite stasis as of Chapter 104.

Source: Twitter/@r_tkt via Anime News Network/Rafael Antonio Pineda
Top image: Pakutaso
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