If you're at all familiar with the Japanese comics known as manga, you're probably familiar with the colorful and magical science fiction/fantasy types with cute girls and sparkly magic in such famous titles as Sailor Moon or Madoka Magica. Or maybe you're more into more action based titles like Demon Slayer or Naruto. But have you ever come across a series that was not only set in the real world, but which also delved into a behind-the-scenes look at the video game industry in Japan?

The new manga series Chaser Game by Hiroshi Matsuyama and illustrated by Yukitaro Matsushima provides a rare, detailed, and modern-day look into what it's like to work as a video game developer in Japan! If you're a fan of video games or manga, or ever dreamt of working in the gaming industry, this would be a really great way to introduce you into the field. It might even provide you with a huge eye-opener for understanding the multitude of trials and tribulations that developers have to overcome to create a single game! Hopefully it will at least give you a greater appreciation for those who work on your favorite games.

Now let’s take a closer look at the author and manga artist of the series...

Hiroshi Matsuyama - President and CEO of CyberConnect2, the video game development company behind the the .hack and Little Tail Bronx series, as well as a string of fighting games based on the Naruto and Dragon Ball anime series.

Yukitaro Matsushima - Japanese manga artist. Debuted with the drawing of the manga Shopan (Original: Yuji Moritaka) serialized in Weekly Shonen Champion. In 2004, he suffered a serious head injury in an accident, and Shopan was suspended during his medical treatment, but it was later revived.

Current Status

New chapters of Chaser Game are published bi-weekly on Famitsu.com before they're released in physical form. Unfortunately, there hasn't been an announcement whether there will be an official English release at this time. This is certainly a series that would interest anyone who is a fan of Japanese subculture, including video games, anime, and manga, so definitely keep it on your radar! The newest physical release, Vol.5, will be available from Monday, November 30!

The following image shows the main character setting sheet with characters that appear in the first two chapters with their names and ages. This is also important to show how tall each character is in order to keep the designs consistent throughout. Pretty much every series, whether it be anime or manga, will have a similar design setting page like this! A translation for the text shown in this image can be found below!

Full cooperation with CyberConnect2!!
We tried to make a live-action version of Chaser Game!!

(Top Left) - Aside from the main character Tatsuya Shindo, his childhood friend Yuki Takashiro, and the heroine Misono Kirizawa, the remaining characters are the actual staff at CyberConnect2, so we asked them to make a pose for the manga. Actually, the model used to design the character Michiru Kuita left the company not long ago... Too bad!!

Hiroshi Matsuyama -- His presence feels like a last boss!?

(Bottom Left) - Such black eyes were a request from Matsuyama. It's eerily reminiscent of a character from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.

(Bottom Center) - An impressive scene where he grabs somebody by the chin. "I don't actually do that, though," he says. There's actually a secret in the frame immediately after this scene...

(Bottom Right) - This is a scene created by Matsushima when Matsuyama said, "It wouldn't be interesting if I appeared normally for the first time..."

The following images represent the first 4 pages of the manga!

"Debug Room" - Each chapter also comes with a so-called "Debug Room" segment that discusses various points within the chapter that might need further explanation, pointing out real-world locations, identifying specific areas that were dramatized for the manga, and other fun and interesting facts. Here's a brief look at the "Debug Room" from Chapter 37 via the official Famitsu Twitter account:

This series is on-going, and new chapters are first published bi-weekly on Famitsu.com! Unfortunately, there hasn't been an announcement whether there will be an official English release at this time, but who knows!! This is certainly a series that would interest anyone who is a fan of Japanese subculture, including video games, anime, and manga! Definitely keep it on your radar!

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The Chaser Game promotional video is even on display at the Kadokawa Musashino Museum!

Vol. 5 is due to be released on November 30! You can preorder this on Amazon now! (See the links at the bottom of this article!)

Throughout the series, there are interesting moments that explain the inner workings of the video game industry. Here it's talking about the relationship between the developer and publisher.

Progress illustrations for the Vol. 3 cover!

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By - Terra Dragos.