Octas, Inc. announced on Monday that the Gurihiru illustrator duo (Marvel Comics‘ The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Power Pack comic series, Avatar: The Last Airbender comic series, Spacebug anime) and Samuel Sattin (co-writer of Crunchyroll Essential Anime: Fan Favorites, Memorable Masterpieces) have launched their Kickstarter campaign for a new 162-page manga titled Unico: Awakening (Unico: Mezame no Ohanashi), based on Osamu Tezuka‘s Unico manga. As of press time, the campaign has raised US$27,340 of its US$50,000 goal.
If the project is funded, the book will be available in English and Japanese. The campaign will run until June 2.
The new manga is inspired by Tezuka’s original “The Cat on the Broomstick'” storyline. The campaign describes the story:
In this re-imagining, Unico befriends a stray cat named Chloe, and the two new friends aid an old woman who Chloe mistakes for a witch. When Chloe realizes Unico can do actual magic, she begs him to turn her into a human for a few moments of each day. Unico agrees – so long as Chloe doesn’t lose touch with her feline identity. When a dangerous man and the Goddess Venus set out to destroy Unico, the Spirit of the West Wind must search the ends of the universe for a way to end Unico‘s eternal cycle of suffering.
Kickstarter backer rewards include 16 x 24 collectible prints by Akira Himekawa (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess), Kamome Shirahama (Witch Hat Atelier), Junko Mizuno, Soo Lee, Katie Longua, Peach Momoko, tokitotokoro, and Tomm Moore.
The story of Unico centers on a unicorn who has a power to help those who love him. The titular character travels through time and to different countries to make new friends.
Tezuka first launched the manga in Sanrio‘s Ririka magazine in 1976.
Digital Manga funded the English-language release via Kickstarter in 2012 and then crowdfunded a reprint in 2015.
The manga inspired the The Fantastic Adventures of Unico and Unico in the Island of Magic anime films. Toshio Hirata directed The Fantastic Adventures of Unico (1981), while Moribi Murano directed Unico in the Island of Magic (1983).
Crunchyroll is streaming both films.
Both films appeared with an English dub on home video and on cable television in the United States in the 1980s, but the video tape versions are long out of print. New Galaxy Anime licensed the two features as its first two titles in 2007, but the company never released an actual product. Discotek Media then licensed both films and released both films on DVD in 2012, and again on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2014. Discotek‘s release featured the English dub as well as the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.
Source: Press release