Shogakukan has now announced the latest addition to their bibliographical Shogakukan-ban Gakushuu Manga line, and this time, it’s not a person. This time, they’re not doing a manga about visionaries like Steve Jobs or manga trailblazers like Osamu Tezuka. No, because this time, they’re doing one about Kumamon’s origins!

As we all know, Kumamon is the mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture, and is one of Japan’s most famous mascot characters. This new manga will not only talk about Kumamon’s origins but also the lovable bear mascot’s efforts to raise funds for earthquake relief. Back in 2016, Kumamoto Prefecture and other areas of southern Japan suffered much during a huge earthquake. However, Kumamon worked hard in order to help the prefecture get back on its feet. Without Kumamon appearing on Kitkat packages, doing crossovers with Kumamoto native Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga, and doing various events, many wouldn’t have donated as much to the prefecture’s disaster relief efforts.

KUMAMOTO, JAPAN – MARCH 12: Kumamon marches on during its birthday parade on March 12, 2014 in Kumamoto, Japan. The official mascot of Kumamoto prefecture, has been so popular since its birth three years ago and Bank of Japan Kumamoto branch estimated the economic effect of the mascot as 120 Billion Japanese yen in the past two years. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Artist and Kumamoto native Shinri Mori illustrated the manga. However, when Shogakukan announced they chose Kumamon’s story as their next Shogakukan-ban Gakushuu Manga, it drew plenty of raised eyebrows. But Shogakukan’s Shinpei Muto gave a very good reason why Kumamon deserves to be in a series alongside names like Steve Jobs and Osamu Tezuka. It’s because Kumamon brings life to many Japanese and has a ton of heart. He also added that Kumamon is next evolution of Japan’s proud mascot culture.”

The manga itself is now on sale in bookstores and manga shops all over Japan.

Source: Comic Natalie