We know that readers of Tofugu are big fans of manga. We at Tofugu are big fans of manga – in fact, One Piece from SHONEN JUMP is one of our favorites of all time. There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t discuss and argue about the intricacies of each of Eiichiro Oda’s chapters (seriously, how did Usopp pull that off?). So all that being said, I really gotta say… this announcement is super exciting for me and for all of us here at Tofugu.
That’s right, FOR THE NEXT 12 WEEKS WE’LL BE WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING A NEW MANGA SERIES FOR SHONEN JUMP, and it will be all about the back story of our beloved character: Kumaman.
Although it’s only a 12 week contract we’re hoping it will turn into a longer term thing, though I guess that just depends on numbers. Ever since I was a kid it was my dream to write my own manga. It’s pretty much all I thought about. With Aya as the illustrator, and with SHONEN JUMP’s publishing power, that dream is finally going to become a reality, so we’ll be focusing most of our time on the manga side of the business, because, frankly, we were given a lot of money to do this.
The manga will be in all Japanese, but I know how you internet pirates work! Guess what? We’ve scanned and translated our own manga into English, and will be making it available to everyone for download (see bottom of the post). So don’t even bother, MangaStream! We just beat you at your own game.
Download “Kumaman: The Bear Bang Theory” Early
The first chapter, “Kumaman: The Bear Bang Theory” is a history of Kumaman and how he got to where he is in the present timeline of the manga. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say Kumaman has had a rough life! Even though the chapter isn’t out in Japan until May 2014, we’re releasing the first chapter early, because we can, and because we love you. The contracts are signed and nothing says we can’t do this (I think! That contract was super long and in these weird Chinese characters), so hopefully it doesn’t get us in trouble. Plus, we’ve already cashed the check. I’m writing this post from Vegas, after all! Hit! Hit! Hit!
If you’d like to download it and read it in it’s full glory, it’s all yours. Note: you will need some kind of PDF viewer like Preview (OSX), Adobe Reader, or even most modern web browsers. Also note that since this is a manga made for Japanese customers first, the panels should be read from right to left. It will be very confusing otherwise. We did translate everything to English though, so at least that part won’t be confusing.
Okay! Get to downloading! Chapter 1 is here! I can “bearly” wait! ha ha.
I’m super excited for this Tofugu business pivot and I hope you are too. Let’s all forget about Japanese language education and all think about manga and the hot tubs full of money that come with manga publishing. Thank you, and please enjoy!
P.S. This was an April Fools joke (sorry!), but maybe someday it will become real. You never know. Thanks everyone for enjoying the comic!