The team in Japan are running a Kickstarter campaign to create an illustration and manga compilation book of the Tohoku relief character, “Tohoku Zunko.”
Created in the wake of the Tohoku/Fukushima earthquake and tsunami of 2011, the Tohoku Zunko concept is for her to be like Rakuichi-Rakuza (free markets and open guilds) of old. Companies in the stricken region are given a royalty free license of the character at no charge for commercial use in the hope that she will become a mascot of sorts for the region. Sales of Tohoku Zunko souvenirs and products will generate welcome revenue while the region focuses on rebuilding.
The goal of this project is to compile a book featuring Tohoku images from a wide range of well known illustrators including:
- Akemi Takada, known for such characters as: “Urusei Yatsura;” ”Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel;” ”Kimagure Orange Road;” “Mobile Police Patlabor;” and “Fancy Lala, the Magic Stage.” In addition to character design, she is a sought after illustrator and package designer.
- Midori, Manga Artist and Illustrator who’s works include character a concept, illustration, and design direction, of titles such as: ”Stella Women’s Academy,” ” High School Division Class C3,” and “Spark Gunner,” along with a smart phone app to be released in summer 2015.
- Ayumi Konomichi, creator of manga “Sorcer Phei,” “Princess Maker,” “The Isolater Gonfalon,” children’s book “Wedding Peach ” as well as the “Horus Master” series. The “Tohoku Zunko” project marks her return to illustrating manga again.
- Kizuna Aozora, illustrator who works on Pixiv (Japanese illustration & manga community SNS), and trading card game illustration.
- Niniko Edomura, the official illustrator of Tohoku Zunko.
Visit the Kickstarter campaign for an updated list of participating artists.
The Tohoku Zunko character has evolved gradually, first a character in a novel, then a Manga character, and now a Vocaloid voice model, crowd funding efforts have made each step along the way possible, develop Tohoku Zunko – apps, Vocaloid, and 3D modeling modules now this Kickstarter campaign will help to fund a creative retrospective of all the various versions and uses of the character since her creation in 2011.