Creator Rei Hiroe says a constant battle with depression is the reason for the sparse amount of new Black Lagoon content over the past few years.
According to Crunchyroll, Hiroe revealed his struggle with the illness on Twitter after a fan asked him about Black Lagoon's sporadic publication schedule. "It's just that my depression hasn't gone away, so I can't work as much as I'd like," Hiroe admitted on Twitter. The original tweet asking about Black Lagoon has since been deleted. Black Lagoon began serialization is Shogakuan's Monthly Sunday Gene-X magazine in 2002, but only two volumes have been published in the last decade. Hiroe went on to mention that he's been living with depression for over ten years, and wants to continue the manga series without having to rush himself.
いや、単に鬱病が寛解してないんで作業量稼げないだけですよ https://t.co/Bs2oGzx2ll— 広江礼威＠2021/8/19ﾌﾞﾗｸﾗ12巻発売 (@hiroerei) July 25, 2021
Hiroe's tweets have been met with an outpouring of support from the Japanese audience, who applauded the author's honesty and supported him prioritizing his health. The issue of manga creators' health has been a hot topic ever since the untimely passing of Berserk creator Kentaro Miura in May. In June, it was announced that the extremely popular Jujutsu Kaisen manga was going on a hiatus in order to ensure the health of its creator, Gege Akutami. That hiatus is scheduled to end on Aug. 2 with the publication of the first new chapter in two months. Earlier in July, it was announced that Misfit of Demon King Academy artist Kayaharuka had passed away. Prior to the artist's passing, it was announced that the manga series was being cancelled so that Kayaharuka could seek treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Black Lagoon was adapted into a two season anime series in 2006 by Death Note and One-Punch Man studio Madhouse. The series tells the story of Rokuro "Rock" Okajima, a 25-year old salaryman who is abandoned by his company after a smuggling operation goes wrong. Okajima eventually becomes involved with the Lagoon Company, a band of mercenary pirates, and grows close to one of the pirates, Revy, a sadistic and cynical woman who serves as the group's muscle. In addition to Black Lagoon, Hiroe also worked on the 2017 anime series Re:Creators.
The Black Lagoon anime series is currently available for streaming on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Funimation. The manga is localized and distributed in English by VIZ Media.
Source: Twitter, via Crunchyroll