Mangaka receive a lot of fan mail every time, and most of the time, they reply in kind. One of them is New Game’s Shoutarou Tokunou, who usually replies to them with special paper board illustrations which he drew himself. However, he announced on twitter that he is stopping this practice after a few fans took advantage of his kindness.
While he didn’t specify which reply illustration this was, many online commenters put in a few theories. Many guessed that he might be referring to a signed paper board which fans found in a Mandarake auction. The illustration featured main character Aoba Suzukaze with the message “Thank you for the letter”. The auction sold it for around 6,500 yen.
In his tweets, Tokunou admitted that he’s very happy whenever he receives fan letters. However, he told his followers that he decided to stop replying because he’s not sure if those senders will be auctioning off or selling his gifts. The mangaka did put an effort in replying to those letter senders with an illustration he made himself.
He may have felt betrayed as many fans squandered his kindness for their own personal gain. Remember, he made this personally for one specific person who he thinks was touched with his work. But things might be different if that person just sent him a letter in the hopes of selling the illustration he sent as a reply.
The same goes for many other mangaka, as well as singers, seiyuu, and other artistes. The fact that many fans resell heartfelt replies and gifts from these people make many of them reluctant to do autograph sessions.