Animenation reported today on its news site that author Ken Akamatsu was shocked by changes made to the English edition of his Negima manga, the first manga title announced by the Del Rey imprint of Random House, the first major U.S. book house to enter the manga market. According to Animenation, underwear was drawn in to cover some exposed posteriors and strategically placed towels obscure breasts bared in the Japanese version. Akamatsu, best known in the U.S. for his tremendously popular Love Hina manga series, made his comments about the American edition on his personal website.
When contacted by ICv2, Dallas Middaugh, Director of Manga at Del Rey, confirmed that some changes were made, but insisted that they were very minor (slight alterations of the art in just 10 panels in a 208-page book) and noted that Del Rey has no intention of making any changes in its other manga releases, xxxHOLiC, Tsubasa, or Gundam Seed. Middaugh told ICv2, 'In response to the questions about the artwork in Negima Volume 1, we did alter the art slightly in about ten panels, with the full knowledge of the artist. Please be assured that the panel changes do not affect the storyline in any way. These changes were an editorial decision based on our goal as a publishing house to get Ken Akamatsu's brilliant work into as many U.S. bookstores as possible, and in no way reflects on the quality of the original art. Also, there were no changes made in xxxHOLiC, Tsubasa, or Gundam Seed. We here at Del Rey remain dedicated to producing the best manga possible.'