Unico: Awakening Reinvents a Beloved Manga and Anime Icon – IGN

Acclaimed manga artist Osamu Tezuka will probably always be best remembered for creating Astro Boy, but Tezuka was responsible for many iconic characters over the course of his long career. One of those characters, the cutesy, joyous Unico, is being rebooted and reimagined in a new graphic novel called Unico: Awakening.

Unico: Awakening is drawn by the artistic duo Guruhiru, whose work you may recognize from books like Superman Smashes the Klan and The Unbelievable Gwenpool. The book is written by novelist and anime expert Samuel Sattin.

With the crowdfunding campaign for Unico: Awakening now live on Kickstarter, IGN can debut an exclusive preview alongside a glimpse of previously revealed art prints being included with certain pledge tiers. See all of this gorgeous art in the slideshow gallery below:

Unico: Awakening – Exclusive Graphic Novel Preview

For those not familiar with Unico, the series follows the titular unicorn hero as he uses his innate power to fill humans with a sense of hope and positivity. Unfortunately, the Greek goddess Venus is jealous of Unico and his human owner Psyche, so Venus robs Unico of his memory and sends him on a whirlwind journey across time and space.

The original Unico manga was serialized in Sanrio Lyrica between 1976 and 1979. Unico: Awakening is specifically a reimaging of the story arc “The Cat on the Broomstick.” Here’s the official plot summary for the graphic novel:

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.

“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 in a press release.

In other comic book news, IGN got the full scoop on the upcoming Marvel/Fortnite crossover comic, Blake Lively has signed on to direct an adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds and legendary Batman artist Neal Adams has died at 80.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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