Content Warning: This article mentions sexual assault against minors.
Tatsuya Matsuki, the writer behind Shonen Jump manga Act-Age, has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of minors according to NHK. After being confronted with the charges, including CCTV footage taken during the investigation, Matsuki said there’s “no question” the person in the footage is him.
The first of two alleged incidents—which took place in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward on June 18—involved Matsuki allegedly approaching a junior high school girl (ages range from 12 to 15 for junior high, typically) on his bicycle and sexually harassing her. The second occurred in the same area about an hour later, during which a man who looked similar to Matsuki allegedly assaulted another junior high girl.
This follows previous charges for two other Jump creators. In 2002, Toriko author Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro was arrested for soliciting an underage girl for sex. While this ended in his first series, Seikimatsu Leader Den Takeshi!, being canceled, he was allowed to return in 2008 with Toriko and still works on manga one-shots for Shueisha.
The other high profile charge came when Rurouni Kenshin author Nobuhiro Watsuki was charged with possession of child pornography in 2017-2018. He was charged ¥200,000 ($1,888) in fines and continues to create Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc in Jump Square. A survey from 2019 determined that Japan isn’t tough enough on sex crimes.
Shonen Jump released a statement on the Tatsuya Matsuki arrest, saying they take the matter “very seriously” and will “take appropriate action after confirming the facts.”