Some people have been asking me questions on the Internet about The Witches of Africa.
Is it some fan parody doujin that has some famous people involved, or it something more?
Well, for one thing, the concept of the North African Front actually was first proposed by Suzuki, to be included in the DVD release in Japan. Unfortunate for the DVD release, but fortunate for us, the idea was rejected. Marseille and Kato ended up being concepts that Shimada and Suzuki entertained among their friends.
One of their friends was Nogami. The more he learned about the North African concept, the more he wanted to read it. Suzuki already had a broad story line constructed and Shimada already had several characters prepared for the project. Nogami wanted to do a manga of it.
The three huddled together, and what resulted was The Witches of Africa series.
Mind you, this is a Nogami adaptation of Shimada/Suzuki concept of the North African Front concept, but at the same time, both Shimada and Suzuki are actively involved in its production and advises Nogami. Suzuki contributes new stories and Shimada provides covers from time to time.
And everyone involved in The Witches of Africa doujinshi series gets rewarded via its sales, including yours truly.
Nogami’s model allows for ambitious risk taking in expanding Shimada and Suzuki’s brainchild. Since no major corporations are involved, even if something flops, only the people directly involved will be impacted. Suzuki and Shimada can stretch their world in directions that might meet resistance if it were conducted in a corporate setting where numerous parties are involved and risk taking is shunned.
Generally speaking, as the scale of production grows larger and more people are involved, pressure increases to avoid new and risky material.
With Nogami’s model, concepts only floated about by the original creators can be put on paper to see how it would work without endangering the core franchise. If the idea seems to work out, then parts of it will get reflected into the official story line.
This is why I find the North African Front to be so exciting.
It doesn’t compete with the original franchise. It only makes it better by adding breadth and context, while at the same time, remaining faithful to the original creators behind its inception.
This is no ordinary doujinshi. Its more like self-publishing, in my opinion. And who knows where this will go? Other Neuroi battles and concepts are in the works, so don’t blink. You might miss something.
I just hope overseas interest will remain strong enough to warrant my participation!