Given the nature of his series, there’s really no way he could be expected to be working at a time like this.

Generally, manga artists don’t get breaks. In contrast to the American comics industry, where franchises often go dormant between arcs and sometimes even get passed off to a new creative team, most manga tend to keep going and going until they reach their end. Far too often, when a manga does go on hiatus, it’s because the artist has reached some sort of physical or mental breaking point and absolutely needs to take time off as quickly as possible.

So it may have caused some readers concern when manga artist Nikiichi Tobita announced on Wednesday through his Twitter account that his series, which he’s been drawing since September of 2022, won’t be releasing a new chapter on July 19, despite its regular publishing schedule being new chapters on the 2nd and 19th of every month.

Don’t worry about Tobita, though, as there’s a very happy reason for the hiatus. See, Tobita is the artist for Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree, a manga adaptation of smash hit video game Elden Ring, and Tobita wants to take time off to play the game’s long-awaited DLC expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, which comes out this Friday.

The statement, accompanied by a self-portrait of Tobita happily dreaming about one of the new monsters teased in Shadow of the Erdtree’s preview video, reads:

This is Nikiichi Tobita. Thank you all for continuing to read The Road to the Erdtree.

It’s two days until Elden Ring’s download content, Shadow of the Erdtree, goes on sale! I’m looking forward to it just as much as you are. So, and I apologize for this, so that I can play the DLC I’d like to put the manga series on temporary hiatus. The effect on the schedule will be that we won’t be releasing a new chapter on July 19. Thank you for your understanding, and let’s all meet up in the Lands of Shadow!!

Despite the ravenous-for-content image often associated with manga fans, online responses to Tobita’s announcement have been overwhelmingly positive.

“Totally understandable The DLC is finally almost here!”
“I mean, yeah, you gotta take time off for that.”
“Please enjoy the DLC! I’m looking forward to it becoming part of the manga too.”
“In a sense, you could say you’re going on a business research trip to the Lands of Shadow.”
“I’m taking the release day off from work too!”

Come to think of it, we probably shouldn’t expect Mr. Sato to get much work done this Friday either.

Source: Twitter/@nikiichi_tobita via Jin
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