Kirby, look up at the sky

「カービィ、空を見上げる。」 "Kirby, look up at the sky", also know as “Kirby looking up the sky” is probably one of the most obscure things related to the Kirby franchise. At least on this side of the globe.

In 1994, CoroCoro Comics started the serialization of the manga Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede Who Lives in Pupupu (星のカービィ デデデでプププなものがたり ) . This manga written and illustrated by Hirokazu Hikawa is one of the many Kirby mangas published over the years by many authors in Japan and, just like the rest, is mainly aimed to small kids.
Since is a manga aimed to kids it has a lot of humor and light hearted plots. Nothing too serious or heavy.
That's why, when the Volume 23 was released it catched the attention of it readers. You see, this volume, along with some others, came with some Author Notes. Notes that were usually just a silly comment from the author or a small anecdote. But in this case it was one rather depressing.

「I can't go outside and look at the sky when I have to work all the time.
When I have the opportunity to look at it I ask myself "wow, was the sky that blue?".
When I was a kid I used to look at the sky quite a lot. It seems when you grow up you can only look down and you can't allow yourself to look at the sky.
When you all grow up, I would be happy if you remember that there was a manga called Kirby of the Stars.」

Then the manga ended after Volume 25.

Is not like the note is a sort of “final message”, but keep in mind, this was a children comic.
Before this happened a lot of readers notice the illustrations started to became “too simple and plain”. Drawings without a real artistic interest, like if they were made just to finish them quickly. The manga didn’t have the same charm anymore. And after Volume 23 the quality of the drawings continue to decline until the serialization was completely canceled with Volume 25.

So, what happened?

Hikawa, the author, was dealing not only with stress, but also with depression.
Sadly, most of the information about what happened to him came from interviews that are completely in Japanese, language I’m not fluent at all. But all can be summed up to depression by laboral stress, something that can be easily overlooked.

Kirby Manga Mania is officialy avaliable in English.

But don’t worry, the author is better nowadays. And even the manga is currently being published again. You may not be familiar with the (long) name of “Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede Who Lives In Pupupu”. But, you may be more familiar with the name “Kirby Manga Mania”.
Yes, Manga Mania is a re-edition and sort of spin-off of the original series, this time aimed at the nostalgic older readers of the original one.
Manga Mania includes Hikawa’s favorite stories plus some new ones, making this release a sort of “best of” the original manga.

As a side note, the term カービィ、空を見上げる is seen as something you “aren’t supposed to look up on Google” in the Japanese web due to its dark undertones. Again, it’s not like the author wrote a suicide note in the manga but it makes sense to feel sand and even a little bit disturbed to relate Kirby to an author dealing with depression. Specially since his work was aimed to young children.