Gurihiru (the Eisner Prize-winning team of artists behind Superman crushes the Klan and the long awaited Ultraman: another gene) and Samuel Satin (the famous novelist and co-author of Crunchyroll’s essential anime) reimagine Osamu Tezuka’s beloved character, Unico, for a new generation of readers with an all-new 162-page manga, titled Unico: Alarm Clock (ユニコ:目覚めのおはなし).
Octas Inc.’s ambitious Kickstarter campaign for Unico: Alarm Clock launched on May 1, and fans can rest assured that the book will soon be available in both English and Japanese, having quickly surpassed the project’s $50,000 goal with over 500 backers. Rapidfire’s donations were fueled by beautiful reward items created by renowned artists.
At Osamu Tezuka’s Unique 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 evade the gods again and again, only to see his memory erased again. The only thing that saves Unico from oblivion is the mysterious Spirit of the West Wind, who takes pity on Unico and tries his best to protect him.
“Unico has the power to make a person happy when they are loved,” Gurihiru said. “I would like to share with others the kindness and strength of Unico, which will never change even if times change.”
Unico: Alarm Clock is inspired by Tezuka’s “The Cat on the Broom” storyline from the original 1974-76 manga. Gurihiru, who illustrated Avatar: The Last Airbender and It’s Jeffand Sattin are working closely with Tezuka Productions in Japan to advance their new vision:
In this reimagining, Unico befriends a stray cat named Chloe, and the two new friends help an old woman whom Chloe mistakes for a witch. When Chloe realizes Unico can do real magic, she begs him to turn her human for a few moments a day. Unico agrees – as 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.
“We hope that in modern times when the world can sometimes seem bleak, we can deliver a story of resilience as a tribute to the manga god’s original message of social well-being and ecological awareness,” Sattin said.
The Kickstarter campaign offers a variety of amazing rewards, including rare 16×24 collectible prints by Akira Himekawa (The Legend of Zelda), Junko Mizuno (Ravina the witch), Soo Lee (Ash and thorn), Katie Longua (Rock), Peach Momoko (Demon Days) — who contributed to three different draws, Kamome Shirahama (Witch Hat Workshop), tokitotokoro (For a good man) and Oscar-nominated animation director Tom Moore (Wolves Walkers).
Additionally, fans can collect Unico: Artifact Awakeninga series of limited-edition collectibles created by acclaimed American designers, including:
A felted postcard of Unico and Chloé by Amber Padilla (The Secret Garden on 81st Street);
A Temperance Tarot Card by Julia Reck
A mini comic 5” X 7” by Steenz (Heart in the city)
Octas Inc. also offers a range of exclusive rewards including a t-shirt with Junko Mizuno’s Unico design and original designs by shikishi Gurihiru.
For updates, follow the official Unico: Alarm Clock Twitter account. Support the project on Kickstarter.