Gardena, CA (June 3, 2014) Digital Manga, Inc. has launched a new project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Osamu Tezuka’s shonen title Captain Ken volumes 1 and 2 for ages 16+ in English for the first time. From June 3 until July 3, fans will be able to pledge for publication of the books and receive Kickstarter exclusive rewards including early release copies of both volumes, the digital companion with featured translation notes, decals, bandanas, messenger bags, and a handmade plush of Captain Ken’s horse, Arrow.
If fans pledge a total of $13,000 or more by the deadline, both volumes of Captain Ken will be released simultaneously for Kickstarter backers to receive in February of 2015, before hitting bookstore shelves in March of 2014, through DMI’s Platinum Manga classics imprint. Swallowing the Earth, Barbara, Unico, Triton Vol. 1 & 2, and Atom Cat were all successfully funded in previous Kickstarter campaigns, but Captain Ken will be first young adult fiction to add to Digital Manga’s Tezuka collection.
Captain Ken takes place after Earth’s colonization of Mars, causing the uprising and civil conflict between the space cowboy colonizers and the native Martians. The story opens up with a diary entry from a Martian, recalling the history of how Earthlings came to be the supreme rulers of Mars.
“It started in the year 1983, when these ‘Earthlings’ landed on our home. Our ancestors approached the strange creatures, but that was when their terror started…we didn’t know for how long this dark period would last.
Then one day, he came…”
This savior who comes to their aid is Captain Ken. He is a mysterious vigilante from Earth who travels to Mars on a secret mission with Arrow, his noble steed who also happens to be a fully stocked armory on four legs. The arrival of this young gunslinger is the start of a chain of events which includes the unveiling of Governor Devon’s corrupted government and the retaliation against Martian slavery by rebel Martians. Ken’s first appearance on Mars also coincidentally coincides with the arrival of an Earthling girl named Kenn Minakami, who bears striking resemblance to him and thus raises further questions and speculations about Ken’s true identity and his role in this fight for Mars.
In this young adult manga, Tezuka pays homage to some of the most prominent historical moments such as the Gold Rush in the West, colonization, genocide, and nuclear warfare.