Fist of the North Star writer Buronson attended the opening ceremony of a newly minted manga academy in his hometown of Saku in Nagano prefecture on April 15. The program, dubbed “Buronson 100-Hour Manga Academy” is held at the Sakudaira Community Center and is ushering in new students. A total of 31 students, ranging in age from teens to young adults, enrolled in the courses in pursuit of their dreams to become manga pros.

Students attend a total of 100 hours of instruction, spread out among 20 lectures, throughout the year. Tuition is completely free and students get to enjoy instruction from some of the business’ best artists, writers, and editors. Over 100 applicants applied for the program. The inaugural class has 17 women and 14 men coming from as far as Kanagawa and Saitama. Each student varies in experience, with newbies mingling with previously published mangaka.

Buronson‘s said in his opening remarks that we surprised at the large turn-out for his academy. “Let’s do our best together,” he said. Even the town’s mayor sent a message of congratulations to the students with a quote from Fist of the North Star, “I want you to make your 100 hours count so that you can say, ‘I have no regrets in my life.'”

The opening ceremony also welcomed acclaimed baseball manga creator Mitsuru Adachi (Touch, Mix, Cross Game) among other manga artists for the first round of lectures.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Hiromu Tsuchiya).