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Japan

What A Big Katana You Have!

Sticking with Source Point Press, here’s how you put a new spin on an old fairy tale: Little Red Ronin, written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Kit Wallis. “A terrible beast has haunted the citizens of Poletown for decades. Although the monster hasn’t been seen in years, disappearances and gruesome killings still plague the townsfolk. Determined to clear her family name, Red hunts The Great Wolf in hopes of exonerating her grandmother, who lives in exile for spreading terrifying propaganda.” Once again the issues have been gathered together into a single trade paperback, available now from Simon & Schuster.

Image c. 2023 Source Point Press

Two Brothers, On Their Way

Forgotten Seconds is another interesting project we came across at Midwest FurFest. It’s an online manga that includes animation and original music, all put together by the international team of Kylie Dracani and Koiyaroid.Forgotten Seconds is a story about two husky brothers, Teru and Kai, who haven’t seen each other for years, and now will have to learn to embrace their differences in order to overcome their personal conflicts… A story about personal growth, introspection, and the exploration of one’s identity.” The story is being created simultaneously in English, Spanish, and Japanese. The web site has all the information about the manga, their music, and their fundraising efforts.

image c. 2023 forgottenseconds.com

They Do Anything. Really.

We stumbled across an ad for Lee’s Detective Agency, a new anime mini-series that’s a spinoff of the popular Arknights smart-phone game and anime series. Set in the same multi-species dystopian world, if follows the exploits of “…an odd jobs business in guise of a private investigation firm based in [the city of] Lungmen that is run by the namesake Mr. Lee and his personal, close-knit ‘family’.” We’re not sure how it works either, but it’s coming soon (December 23rd) on Crunchyroll, and they’ve got the trailer up for you to see.

image c. 2022 Yostar Pictures

Cat-Maaaaaan…

This came around a little while ago, but it’s probably worth looking up: “Antarctic Press, in conjunction with P-Productions and Phase 6, is proud to announce Spectreman Heroes, a nostalgia-blast of retro Japanese live-action superbeings! Each issue of Spectreman Heroes will showcase a different character in their own full-length story, with art by luminaries such as Matt Frank (Godzilla Legends), Hiroshi Kanatani (Coaraptor), and Ben Dunn (Ninja High School). This issue [#3], private detective Kotaro Akizuki,, brought back from the brink of death by a miracle drug, perseveres against the subterranean Mantles with his skill, raw courage, and unique ability to become the half-leopard Hyoman!”

image c. 2022 Antarctic Press

Bushido Baboons

And then there’s Orange Blossom Monkey Clan, a new full-color comic written and illustrated by Erik Klaus (Ninjas & Robots). “These Samurai Monkeys were trained to guard the southern islands of Mount Kumo, but after generations of peace, many have abandoned the Way of the Warrior. Now that danger looms on the horizon, a small crew of counter-culture monkeys are ready to prove that they have kept their battle skills sharp!” Available now from Keenspot.

image c. 2022 Keenspot

Paw the Left Button Twice

Apparently this is a thing we missed — but now it’s available over here. Cat + Gamer is a black & white manga written and illustrated by Wataru Nadatani, now translated and distributed by Dark Horse. “Riko’s coworkers can’t quite figure her out — she never talks about her personal life, she never works overtime, and she never joins them for happy hour. Is she antisocial? Nope, she’s rushing home to play video games! One day, a stray cat is found in the office parking lot, and before Riko knows it, the cat has moved in with her! Having no experience with pets, Riko uses lessons drawn from video games to guide her in cat care, while her cute companion tries to understand her behavior through a cat’s worldview.”

image c. 2022 Dark Horse Press

Working Your Meow-scles.

It seems like cats are getting into all sorts of business these days — in mangas at least. Check out Cat Massage Therapy by Haru Hisakawa. “Nekoyama, worn out after another long day at the office, stops at a therapeutic massage parlor — only to discover that it’s run by a cat! Not only that, but the cat actually does the massaging?! As the professional ‘meowsseur’ digs soft toe beans into Nekoyama’s aching muscles, his heart warms and his worries melt away. This is only the beginning, as he and other world-weary workers are about to meet the other feline professionals who have mastered pawfully cute techniques to reduce human stress.” Available now in full color from Seven Seas.

image c. 2022 Seven Seas Entertainment

Blazing A New Trail…?

If you’ve been following In-Fur-Nation for a while, you must have heard of Blazing Samurai… We’ve been following the animated film in development for nearly a decade now! At one point production ceased because the animation house that was making it actually went out of business! In fact, the convoluted history of this film’s creation would make for an interesting movie all its own. But now, it seems like things have changed: We have a trailer, we have a release date… and we have a complete change of title. Say hello to Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. Still directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King), but now being released this July through Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Animation.

image c. 2022 Nickelodeon Animation

Do We Finally Get The Bunny?

For a long time, we’ve been talking about an animated TV series based on the award-winning comic series Usagi Yojimbo. For years. Nay, for decades! Well now, according to Netflix, it’s about to become a reality — and soon! “First announced in July 2020, the adaptation of Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo is coming to Netflix in April 2022 — specifically on April 28th, 2022… Candie Langdale and Doug Langdale are serving as the showrunners for the series. They’re best known for their work on Netflix’s Maya and the Three, [as well as] working on DreamWorks projects Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.” Now as to the plot: “Usagi is a young rabbit who doesn’t want much from life – just to be history’s greatest Samurai. When he comes to the futuristic city of Neo Edo to seek his destiny, he accidentally unleashes dozens of the bizarre, ancient monsters known as Yokai. Now, along with his new friends Chizu, Gen, and Kitsune, he must clean up the mess he’s made.” Stan Sakai himself is proudly involved with every step of the production.

image c. 2022 Gaumont Televison