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Tohoku Post-Quake Support Vocaloid Gets KickStarter Campaign for Manga, Illustration Book

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Company will pursue animation crowdfunding if campaign succeeds

The Japanese company SSS launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an illustration and manga compilation book of its Tohoku post-quake support character Zunko Tohoku. The creators hope that by creating more reference materials, the character could star in an animation project.

The illustration book will include works by Akemi Takada (Creamy Mami), Midori (Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3), Ayumi Konomichi (Princess Maker), Kizuna Aozora, and the character's original illustrator Ninico Edomura.

The project's team includes SSS CEO Yasuo Oda, Gainax and anime producer Shouji Murahama, producer Masamune Sakaki (Kantai Collection), and Ninico Edomura. Rewards include digital and physical copies of the book, Vocaloid software, prints, and cloth posters. Top tiers include the Hako-ani 3D projection display.

Zunko is copyright free, so anyone can use the character for free without needing permission from SSS to do so. She was created specifically for companies in the Tohoku region to use to promote the area after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The character was part of a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013 to create Vocaloid software starring Zunko Tohoku. Satomi Satou provided her voice and the software was released on June 5, 2014.

Zunko, who was drawn by illustrator Ninico Edomura, is described as a 17-year-old second-year high school student who loves archery. Her headband and bow are made of edamame, and she coats her arrows in zunda paste. When she shoots mochi with her zunda-tipped arrows, the mochi then turn into zunda mochi. Zunko's dream is to open a zunda café in Tokyo.

She has two "sister" characters, "Itako Tohoku" and "Kiritan Tohoku." Both sister characters got their own successful crowdfunding campaign to get Vocaloid voices. Ibuki Kido will provide Kiritan Tohoku's voice and Himika Akaneya will provide Itako Tohoku's voice.

Hiroshi Koujina (Hunter × Hunter 2011 director) created a short test animation of Zunko for the project. SSS stated if the manga and illustration book crowdfund project is successful, it will open another campaign for an animation project.

The project is looking to raise US$30,000 by April 4. So far, US$10,936 was raised as of press time.

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