Udon, which publishes an interesting mixed bag of manga, manhwa, and manhua, is going after the under-12 crowd with its new line of Kids Manga. This looks like a good move. There isn’t a lot of manga for the younger set, but kids love it, so they end up reading age-inapropriate titles. This gives them manga of their own. The first four are a mixed bag, featuring ninja baseball players, a magical fantasy, a girl whose fairy friend transforms her into a pop idol, and a space patrol staffed by, apparently, a bear and two swans. So, something for everyone! Udon promises to avoid toy and cartoon tie-ins, which should please the adults if not the kids. We’ll be watching with interest to see how these turn out.
‘UDON KIDS MANGA’ GIVES YOUNGER KIDS THEIR FIRST TASTE OF MANGA!
UDON Announces Manga Line for Kids 12 and Under
Toronto, ON – December 17, 2008 – Manga’s popularity in North America has exploded in recent years, with diverse titles covering almost every genre imaginable. But for kids 12 and under, there are still almost no age appropriate manga series available on bookstore shelves other than occasional spin off or promotional tie-ins from Anime shows or products. To fill the void, UDON Entertainment has teamed with Japanese publisher Poplar to bring a new line of original Kids Manga to North America.
This new line, branded UDON KIDS will give younger readers their first chance to join in on the exciting world of manga they’ve seen their older brothers and sisters enjoying so much. Each series under the UDON Kids Manga banner will be guaranteed safe for kids 12 and under, giving parents and librarians a variety of books they can be confident are suitable for their young ones.
“We have spent the last two years researching the Japanese manga market to look for titles suitable for kids in America.” says UDON’s Chief of Ops Erik Ko. “The titles we`ve chosen to launch this line are meant to be enjoyed for their captivating stories, and are not trying to sell kids on the latest animated series or card game like too many manga series are these days.”
The first four series in the UDON Kids Manga line cover popular genres that kids love – Fantasy, Sports, Music, and Space. They all follow the idea of ordinary kids teaming up with a fantastic new friend for wondrous and exciting adventures:
THE BIG ADVENTURES OF MAJOKO – Follow the adventures of a human girl and her new wizard friend Majoko, as they explore the Land of Magic and its many wonders.
NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA – After a little ninja named Kyuma mistakes the team captain for his master, he becomes the local baseball team’s first ever ninja player!
FAIRY IDOL KANON – Kanon was just an ordinary girl who loved to sing… but now with the help of a magical fairy, she’s on her way to becoming a pop idol!
SWANS IN SPACE – Two young girls are recruited by a cute, bear-like alien into the Space Patrol, a secret organization dedicated to helping others across the galaxy.
The all-new UDON Kids Manga launches in April 2009 with the first volumes of THE BIG ADVENTURES OF MAJOKO and NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA. FAIRY IDOL KANON and SWANS IN SPACE will follow in May and June, respectively.