Ken Akamatsu, the artist behind the Love Hina and Negima! Magister Negi Magi manga, has become the first mangaka to also be a politician. He won a seat in the national proportional representation block during the House of Councillors election in Japan, held on July 10, 2022. He is now a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. [Thanks, ANN!]
Akamatsu ran on a platform promoting freedom of expression and artistic freedom. It included protecting creators’ rights from censorship, regulations, and “external pressure.” He began delving into politics as early as 2011 when he spoke against proposed changes to copyright law that threatened self-published derivative works. He also spoke against proposed amendments to pornography regulations.
In order to focus on his political career, he ended his manga series UQ Holder! in early 2022. Throughout 2022, he has commented on issues like censorship, such as in April 2022 in regards to criticism of the manga Tawawa on Monday.
In Akamatsu’s Tweet announcing the official start of his political career, he said that with this election, he thinks Japan will change. He voiced his determination to fulfill his promises so that he does not betray the trust of those who elected him and to live up to his role as a representative of the citizens.
— 赤松 健 ⋈ 参議院議員(全国比例)候補者 (@KenAkamatsu) July 10, 2022
Ken Akamatsu began his manga career in 1994 with A.I. Love You and gained fame with Love Hina and Negima! Magister Negi Magi. In particular, Love Hina is seen as a major influence on trends such as harem anime and ‘moe.’