Osamu Tezuka is a legend in the field of anime and manga, with some even referring to him as the “Godfather of Anime.” Some of his greatest works include Astro Boy, Black Jack, Kimba the White Lion, Adolf and Buddha. However, many of his works have yet to make it overseas.
Last month, the North American publisher Digital Manga tried to rectify the situation by starting a new Kickstarter campaign to help publish his lesser known works. They were originally only asking for $20,500 in order to publish Tezuka’s Unico in full color. Unico is a cute little manga about a baby unicorn that has the gift of making every creature around him lighthearted and happy.
The campaign ended up receiving over $49,000, so Digital Manga will be publishing two other mangas as well. First of is Atomcat, a spinoff of Astro Boy, which will be released as a single paperback. Followed by Triton of The Sea, the story of a young boy who finds out that he’s a survivor of Atlantis. Triton will be released in two separate volumes and will cost $19.95 each.
Unico is a getting a special release, it will be published in a single 412 page paperback and will be totally full color. Unico was originally published in a glossy full color magazine, which makes it one of the few Tezuka mangas to be created originally in color. The price for this release will be $34.95.
I gotta say that this is a very ingenious way to use Kickstarter after constantly hearing about it being used for games. It’s the perfect way for the fans who want this kind of work to pool together their funds and make it happen. Digital Manga has even used it previously to fund the release of Tezuka’s Barbara, as well as a re-print of his manga Swallowing the Earth. Hopefully they will bring even more of Tezuka’s work to the west.