UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし) is Live On Kickstarter from Octas Inc.

An All-New Manga, Plus Prints by Akira Himekawa, Junko Mizuno, Peach Momoko, Tomm Moore, Kamome Shirahama, & More

(May 2, 2022) Gurihiru (the Eisner Award-winning artist team behind SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN and the highly anticipated ULTRAMAN: ANOTHER GENE) and Samuel Sattin (the acclaimed novelist and co-writer of CRUNCHYROLL’S ESSENTIAL ANIME) are reinventing Osamu Tezuka’s beloved character Unico for a new generation of readers with an all-new 162 page manga titled UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし). Octas Inc.’s ambitious Kickstarter campaign for UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし) is now live. If the project is funded, the book will be available in both English and Japanese.

Osamu Tezuka’s UNICO is the charming story of a young unicorn who enrages the Greek Gods when he inspires humans with his hope and positivity. The Gods punish Unico by banishing him across space and time, until he forgets all he once was. Unico remains constantly on the move, transported from era to era, where he must escape the Gods again and again, only to have his memory erased anew. The only thing saving Unico from oblivion is the mysterious Spirit of the West Wind, who feels sorry for Unico and tries her best to protect him.

UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし) is inspired by Tezuka’s “The Cat on the Broomstick” storyline from the original 1974-76 manga. Together Gurihiru, who illustrated AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER and IT’S JEFF, and Sattin are working in careful coordination with Tezuka Productions in Japan to bring their new vision forward. 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.

To celebrate Unico’s return, the UNICO: AWAKENING Kickstarter campaign will also have a variety of amazing additional rewards, including rare 16 x 24 collectible prints by Akira Himekawa (THE LEGEND OF ZELDA), Junko Mizuno (RAVINA THE WITCH), Soo Lee (ASH & THORN), Katie Longua (ROK), Peach Momoko (DEMON DAYS) who will be contributing a total of 3 different prints to this campaign, Kamome Shirahama (WITCH HAT ATELIER), tokitotokoro (FOR A GOOD MAN), and Academy Award Nominated Animator Tomm Moore (WOLFWALKERS).

In addition, fans can collect UNICO: AWAKENING ARTIFACTS, a series of limited edition collectibles created by acclaimed American cartoonists, including:

  • A UNICO Picture book by Madeline Copp;

  • A 4″ X 6″ fashion lookbook of Chloe the Cat by Rye Hickman (MOTH & WHISPER);

  • A Felted Unico and Chloe postcard by Amber Padilla (THE SECRET GARDEN ON 81ST STREET);

  • A Temperance Tarot card by Julia Reck;

  • A 5″ X 7″ mini-comic by Steenz (HEART IN THE CITY)

Octas Inc. is also offering an array of exclusive rewards including a t-shirt featuring Junko Mizuno’s Unico design and original Gurihiru shikishi drawings.

“Unico has the power to make a person happy when they are loved,” said Gurihiru. “I would like to share with others the kindness and strength of Unico, which will never change even as the times change.”

“It is our hope that, in modern times where the world can sometimes seem bleak, we can offer a tale of resilience in homage to the God of Manga’s original messaging of social welfare and eco-consciousness,” said Sattin.

For updates on the Kickstarter, follow the official UNICO: AWAKENING Twitter account. To support the UNICO: AWAKENING Kickstarter campaign, visit Kickstarter.

About the artist of UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし)”

Gurihiru: Also credited as Illustrator Unit and Gurihiru Studios, Gurihiru is an Eisner Award Winning illustration team based out of Saitama, Japan, consisting of Chifuyu Sasaki (pencils, inks) and Naoko Kawano (colors, web design). Though widely known for their work in American comics, they also work in games, manga, and anime in Japan. Major works include Superman Smashes the Klan, Gwenpool, The Unstoppable Wasp, and Spider-Man / Venom: Double Trouble, and more. They are currently working on a new highly anticipated Ultraman series Ultraman: Another Gene, and create spot-the-difference illustrations for the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s most respected business newspaper.

About the writer of UNICO: AWAKENING (ユニコ: 目覚めのおはなし)”

Samuel Sattin: Samuel Sattin is the co-writer of CRUNCHYROLL’S ESSENTIAL ANIME: Fan Favorites, Memorable Masterpieces, and Cult Classics with Patrick Macias (Running Press). He also adapted the Academy Award Nominated Cartoon Saloon film WOLFWALKERS (Little Brown for Young Readers) to graphic novel format, and has published books including BEZKAMP (Oni Press) and THE SILENT END. His non-fiction work has appeared in The Nib, NPR, and elsewhere. He graduated with an MFA in Comics from California College of the Arts and a Creative Writing MFA from Mills College. Forthcoming books include BUZZING (Little Brown for Young Readers,  2023) and SIDEQUEST (2024).  He lives in Oakland, California with his wife/assassin and two cats.

Tezuka Productions: Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd. (株式会社手塚プロダクション, Kabushiki-gaisha Tezuka Purodakushon) is a Japanese animation studio founded by Osamu Tezuka, known as God of Manga, in 1968. The studio is also the IP holder of Tezuka works, engaged in various IP related businesses proactively by exploiting his works, such as Astro Boy, Black Jack, Jungle Emperor (aka Kimba) and Dororo.

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