We are so excited to reveal our new Manga released in October’s Crate. Read all about the new storyline, art style, and characters!
What is the New Manga All About?
The manga follows a third year high schooler, Anko Sato, who learns that she has to take over her family’s candy company. Balancing between the factory and high school, Anko works hard to learn the company ropes while graduating in time. As if that wasn’t enough for her busy life, she finds herself with a new surprise on her first day at the candy factory!
Anko’s daily life is beyond the average, playing on the fantasy that manga often invites us into.
Who are the New Characters?
Anko Sato’s name means “red bean paste”, which is perfectly suited with her red hair and sweet personality. Sato is a common last name, but when written a certain way it can mean sugar, appropriate for the heir of a candy company! Her design is based off of multiple strong female characters such as Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon), Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura), Chun-Li (Street Fighter), and Kagura (Gintama). Her red and white color palette is representative of the Japan Crate colors. Day-to-day, Anko wears her school uniform, inspired by traditional Japanese school uniforms called seifuku. She carries a red backpack, typical amongst school kids in Japan, called a randoseru. Her magical girl uniform combines typical magical girl elements with candy. The apron of Anko’s outfit is inspired by classic candy striper uniforms.
Anko may not be the best at school nor the brightest tool in the shed, but she is a great worker and has a very strong heart. She often dives head first into a problem no matter how intimidating the obstacle may be. While her initiative and perseverance is noble, at times this can get her into trouble.
Tako is a small floating octopus keychain that magically came to life! He seems to know much more than he let’s on…
Jun’s design is inspired by Masayoshi Hazama (Samurai Flamenco), Oikawa Tooru (Haikyuu), and Kaworu Nagisa (Evangelion).
He is considered the prince of Anko’s class, but to Anko he is her rival. She prides herself on not falling for his appearance, knowing that he’s not the cool guy he sets himself up to be. Jun is obsessed with being cool, striving hard to keep a perfect appearance – physically, academically, and mentally. He finds Anko’s poor grades embarrassing and never fails to poke fun at her. Jun, like Tako, also seems to know more than Anko… well, more than just book smarts.
The monsters are inspired by the villains of Power Rangers and are based off of different types of candy. The first monster, known as Mochian Monster, is inspired by the traditional Japanese sweet mochi, thus his sticky, blobby consistency.
Where Did the Art Style Come From?
To emulate the right-to-left reading format of Japanese manga, we felt we should create a comic that is more faithful to this Japanese manga style. We combined the bright colors of anime with the patterns and screentones of manga to showcase a fun experience of both worlds. Though the style is not exact to Japanese manga, we believe it represents Japan Crate in bringing both the East and West together!