InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Japan

There Are Worse Ways To Go…

Let’s face it: Furry fans are going to notice a manga with a title like Reborn As A Polar Bear (aka The Legend of How I Became a Forest Guardian). Check out this description: “After devoted mountain climber Kumakichi Kumada falls into a ravine, he wakes up in the middle of a forest in another world… as a polar bear! Now this tough Ursus maritimus is looking after six werewolf sisters on the run from the humans tyrannizing their clan. Keeping his wits about him and using his knowledge from his past life, the next ‘mountain’ for him to climb will be making a comfortable life in the forest for everyone!” It’s written in by Chihiro Mishima, and illustrated in black & white (with some color pages) by Houki Kusano and Kururi. Take a look over at Yen Press.

image c. 2020 Yen Press

Keep Your Spirits Up!

Oh dear… Is this much cuteness legal? Well, here it is: The Fox & The Little Tanuki, a new black & white manga by Mi Tagawa. “After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can’t have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!” It’s out there now in paperback from Tokyo Pop.

image c. 2020 Tokyo Pop

The Ronin Rabbit Returns

Newly released this year,  we have a new — or at least “improved” — Usagi Yojimbo series from IDW Publishing called Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics. “This series collects the original early issues of the acclaimed long-running series, now in full color! Every issue will also feature new behind-the-scenes material and art. Whether you’re a long-term Usagi fan or brand new to the adventures of the ronin rabbit, this series will be the perfect addition to your comic library!” Written and illustrated by Stan Sakai, of course, with new colors by Ronda Pattison.

image c. 2020 IDW Publishing

A Fat Cat You Can Get Behind

Younger fur fans might not remember What’s Michael? the manga or the successful anime series that followed it — but over the years we’ve talked a LOT about Makoto Kobayashi’s creation: A somewhat lazy pet cat with a very active imagination. Well now the original manga return in a new black & white collection from Dark Horse Press. “True-to-life daily cat scenarios and off-the-wall crazy feline fantasies combine in this epic manga collection! Makoto Kobayashi’s hilarious series returns in a set of oversized collections, starting with our first Fatcat Collection!” Volume 1 is available now — and at more than 500 pages, even the book is fat!

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press

Chibi and Tasty

Interesting things we found at this year’s Anime L.A. convention. The artist Ryan Zanfei has gathered together a small crew to sell her creations through a collective known as Tasty Peach Studios. And what are her creations? Cute! “Tasty Peach Studios… is a sweet, unique boutique that sells cute merchandise inspired by Japan! We started out selling small hand made clay charms and commissioned artwork through our little Etsy shop in 2007. Since then we have grown exponentially! We now attend upwards of 70+ anime conventions a year & ship high quality acrylic items, professionally made products and more world wide every day!” Those high quality items now include t-shirts, plushies, enamel pins, and even wigs — and more. Visit the Tasty Peach web site to see what we mean.

image c. 2020 Tasty Peach Studios

Temper, Temper!

And now thanks to Animation Scoop we find out about Dino Girl Gauko, a new collection of anime shorts by director Akira Shigino (Osomatsu-kun). “In this Netflix original comedy series set in Japan, Naoko Watanabe is a typical 14 year old, except that she possesses a strange gift and curse. When her anger exceeds a maximum level she turns into Gauko the fire breathing dinosaur girl!” Look for it to premier on Netflix this November the 22nd.

image c. 2019 Netflix

Karma Chameleon

This is an interesting new comic series from Action Lab with an attention-grabbing title: Cold Blood Samurai. Here’s what we found in Previews: “A feudal Japan with anthropomorphic and samurai animals inspired by Homer’s poem on ‘War of Mice and Frogs’… As in the classic poem, one tells of the futility of war and the desire for peace by Gaijin, a foreign salamander in a Japan of frogs invaded by lizards. ” Got that? It’s written by Massimo Rosi, illustrated by Ludovica Ceregatti, and on the shelves now.

image c. 2019 Action Lab

Delivered On Time — Or Else!

Just got back from Biggest Little Fur Con, and of course we’ve got lots to talk about. But first… Udon Entertainment have released the Samurai Pizza Cats Official Fan Book in North America. What’s that you ask? Well according to Wikipedia, “Kyatto Ninden Teyandee is an anime series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency. The series originally aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from February 1, 1990 to February 12, 1991… Saban picked up the North American rights to the series in 1991, and produced an English version called Samurai Pizza Cats.” Honestly, that explanation barely cat-scratches the surface of just how weird and wonderful this series was. Fan interest has not waned over the years, and now there’s a book all about it! “The Samurai Pizza Cats: Official Fan Book is packed with the best toppings: Pinup artwork, character designs and profiles, episode summaries, rough concepts, and exclusive in-depth interviews with the show’s creators and original cast.” Check out the preview over at Comicon.com.

image c. 2019 Udon Entertainment

The World in Black and White?

A very… unusual anime feature is heading to our shores this spring. “Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts Anime Studio has set April 12 as the theatrical release date for the sci-fi coming-of-age animated feature, Penguin Highway, which it will be distributing in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the film won the Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature and has also been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The film will screen with the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles as well as the English dub. In the film, budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!” Got that? Read the article at Animation World Network for more, including the trailer.

image c. 2019 Eleven Arts