MMF: Do Manga Editors Dream of Tezuka Sheep?

It’s very common on manga blogs to talk about the series you dream of seeing printed in English. Nearly every manga blogger does it. It’s an easy feature to write up and readers seem to love getting exposed to unfamiliar titles.

It’s part of a manga editor’s job to keep up with and suggest new titles to publish too. Unfortunately, as a freelancer, I don’t get to do this much. So instead of having dream titles that I’d love to see published, I have dream titles that I’d love to publish myself.

One of those titles is Osamu Tezuka’s Nanairo Inko or Rainbow Parakeet.

This dream came about one day when I was doing research on the extent of Tezuka’s manga oeuvre and consulted my senpai (for lack of a better word), Annaliese Christman.

Annaliese, if you haven’t heard of her, is a freelance letterer and touch-up artist for Viz Media. She’s worked on the new editions of X, Solanin and more shounen titles than I can remember. We also went to university together and served as officers in the school’s anime club at the same time. We were the biggest manga fangirls in the club and she’s the one who let me borrow the first Tezuka manga I ever read.

So, when I asked her what Tezuka manga she’d most like to see published, she started fangirling over Rainbow Parakeet. I’d never heard about it before, so I looked the series up.

Just from looking at the covers alone, it was easy to get hooked on Rainbow Parakeet.  Annaliese and I both have a thing for manga about phantom thieves, so it was love at first sight.

So then we decided that one day we were going to team up and publish it.

Really, it’s a great little Tezuka manga. It’s seven volumes long, which means it won’t be too much of a risk to publish. In fact, France’s Asuka has already jumped on it. It seems like Tezuka Pro has begun to license Tezuka’s manga to US companies other than Vertical now, so there’s a chance that we could buy the license some day.

Most of all, it’s a FUN Tezuka manga. We don’t get too many of those in the U.S. since readers here are mainly interested in his dramatic stories. But we all know that Tezuka’s lighter manga can be a real joy, especially after reading Princess Knight.

And let’s face it, Tezuka does his best work when his manga revolves around strong, somewhat eccentric characters like this titular thief. Just look at Black Jack, Buddha, MW, Ode to Kirihito, Princess Knight

Some day… Some day! We will publish Rainbow Parakeet!

Right after we tackle Rose of Versailles and make a lot of money, allowing us to publish more great, older manga. (It may seem like a pipe dream, but hey! If you asked me two years ago whether I expected to work on certain big-name manga, I would have laughed at the idea! Anything is possible!)

For more about Osamu Tezuka’s manga, you can check out the Manga Moveable Feast on Kate Dacey’s blog, the Manga Critic. For more posts from other manga bloggers, you can also take a look at the Tezuka MMF archive.

About Daniella Orihuela-Gruber

Daniella is a freelance manga editor and blogger. She likes collecting out of print manga and playing with her puppy. Yes, someone got her a puppy already.
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11 Responses to MMF: Do Manga Editors Dream of Tezuka Sheep?

  1. Annaliese says:

    Oh, the things I would do for a licenses of this!

    Some day indeed, we will publish it! We will bring it to the English-speaking masses! And they will enjoy it as much as we do. =D

    (This post makes me so nostalgic for club… and fangirling together.)

  2. I couldn’t agree more. On the Manga Out Loud podcast earlier this month a bunch of us were raving about Rainbow Parakeet. It would be so good to see a publisher take this up.

  3. banania says:

    I read the french edition of rainbow parakeet.
    The first volume is tezuka at its best but the quality can be just average on some next volumes.
    If I were an editor, I would pick and choose the best chapters to publish it in a bigger size. The french edition is too small and quality is average.

    • While I can certainly see publishing select chapters of insanely long series like Oishinbo, I can’t see the point of it for short manga like Rainbow Parakeet. It’s only seven volumes long. Besides that, I don’t really like the idea of publishing only select chapters to begin with. The only reason I accept it with Oishinbo is because I know how much of a risk it would be to print so many volumes.

  4. Pingback: MangaBlog — New licenses from Vertical, Tezuka-fest continues

  5. Aaron says:

    Here’s hoping this actually comes to fruition might never happen but than again if you had told me that I’d have pre orderd the entirety of Heart of Thomas I would have said you’re crazy but here we are good luck and if you could do something translate Bitter Virgin or work that in some where.

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