Osamu Tezuka may be considered the “god of manga,” but not all of his titles have been translated into English. Unico, his children’s manga about a baby unicorn, is one of the titles that has never been in English . . . until now.
Digital Manga Publishing wanted to publish Unico, but because of the cost of printing (which would be especially high since Unico is a rare manga that’s in all-color) it turned to Kickstarter to see if it could raise $20,500. It succeeded in days, and now Unico is slated to be released — in single volume form — early next year.
"With Unico losing his memory every time he is transported to a new world, the book is not only a fun adventure for kids, it's also a moral story, with considered spiritual themes," said editor Ben Applegate. "Unico already has a small fanbase in the United States thanks to the animated films, which were first released here in the '80s and were recently re-released on DVD . . . We're doing the book specifically so that parents can read it with their kids. And teachers, too: We think this would make a great addition to primary school libraries and literature curricula."
The Kickstarter campaign for Unico went over so well that Digital Manga has gotten another title up for crowdfunding: Tezuka’s Atom Cat. DMP has attached this to the Unico campaign already going, saying if they can reach $26,000 by July 21, they can publish Atom Cat in addition to the baby unicorn manga. Not all of Tezuka’s works have been in English, but the way Digital Manga is going, that might not be true for much longer.