Momoko Sakura's Coji-Coji Manga Celebrates Straightener Band's 20th Anniversary

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Momoko Sakura's Coji-Coji manga is collaborating with the Japanese rock band Straightener (Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion theme song) to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary. Collaboration merchandise will go on sale at nine pop-up shops on October 13.

The project came about because the band members are fans of Coji-Coji. The collaboration illustration features the band members as Coji-Coji characters. Sakura supervised the design before her death in August.

The Village Vanguard stores that will have pop-up shops for the merchandise are Loft Sendai, Billboard Place Niigata, Freak's Store Lumine EST Shinjuku, Aeon Lake Town kaze, Lumine Yokohama, Parco Shizuoka, Kintetsu Passe, Opa Shinsaibashi, and Freaks Fukuoka Parco. The items will also go on sale online on October 29.

The world of Coji-Coji represents a sense of idealism where a carefree child interacts with a bunch of odd, not human but not inhuman, characters. These characters have their own unique personalities that can cause conflict with one another but Coji-Coji can solve their problems with the wisdom and open heart of a child.

Straightener vocalist Atsushi Horie shared his deepest condolences at the passing of Momoko Sakura. He wrote that he grew to love the Coji-Coji series in his late teens and it still affects him as an adult.

"The characters and stories in Coji-Coji are surreal, there's laughter and healing, sometimes there's emotions and lessons to learn, but it's never forced. It looks like a silly story at first glance but it focuses on what is important," Horie said. He went on to add that collaborating with the series and Sakura was a special pleasure he had not experienced in the 20 years since the band got together.

Sakura, the manga creator best known for the long-running Chibi Maruko-chan manga and anime, passed away on August 15 at 8:29 p.m. due to breast cancer. She was 53. Sakura serialized the Coji-Coji manga from 1994 to 1997. She also contributed to the script of the anime adaptation, which aired from 1997 to 1999.

Sources: Village Vanguard's website, Comic Natalie

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