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Naomi Osaka Is Making Her Mark In The Manga World With A Character Of Herself
By Izza Sofia, 02 Dec 2020
Image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com
Tennis player Naomi Osaka is set to make her mark in the world of manga, as she has inspired a new character in a comic book series to be published this month.
The manga, titled Unrivaled Naomi Tenka-ichi, will be released on 28 December, according to Japan’s most influential manga magazine Nakayosi. “Tenka-ichi” means world number one in Japanese.
The character depicts Osaka with pink and purple hair while wearing a yellow visor and holding a tennis racket.
The three-time Grand Slam winner took to Twitter to welcome the new character design. “Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister immensely, so this is really exciting for both of us,” Osaka shared.
Osaka, who moved to New York at the age of three, was born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father.
“To feature a female character who is half-Haitian and half-Japanese, especially one so accomplished and universally admired, is a major leap forward in manga cultural awareness and representation,” Roland Kelts, professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, told the BBC.
Biracial characters are rarely featured in manga, and if they are, they are normally half-white and half-Japanese, Kelts explained. This is influenced by Japan’s position as a “racially homogenous country.” As such, only a few manga artists have reportedly explored beyond their ethnic identity.
Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister immensely so this is really exciting for both of us 🥰 https://t.co/mmzJ5k17x8— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) November 28, 2020
[via BBC, cover image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com]
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