Japan gets a ton of Nintendo products that never see the light of day outside of its borders. And the Kirby manga has historically been one of those things.
Which is odd since even the Kirby anime made its way to the United States and other Western countries, and on the whole the Kirby: Right Back At Ya! anime performed decently in television ratings. So, given the popularity of the character, it’s a little odd the Kirby manga was never translated and released outside of Japan.
Until now, that is. After an agonizing 25 years of waiting, English-speaking fans of Kirby will finally get a chance to read at least one of the many official manga inspired by the video game series.
And it’s all thanks to VIZ, which is translating and localizing the first Kirby manga in the North American region. It’s the longest-running Kirby manga series in Japan, spanning 25 volumes from 1995 to 2006. The direct translation of this particular series is Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede Who Lives in Pupupu, but VIZ has opted to simply title it Kirby: Manga Mania at least for its first English volume.
Written and illustrated by Hirokazu Hikawa, Kirby of the Stars sports an even zanier-than-usual art style and often strikes a comedic tone as it chronicles Kirby’s adventures in Dream Land. The series was almost localized in English by VIZ all the way back in 2009, before being abruptly cancelled without explanation.
VIZ might have been encouraged by the sales figures for its other Nintendo release, Super Mario: Manga Mania by Yukio Sawada, which released last year.
Kirby: Manga Mania Volume 1 hits stores on June 8th, 2021.
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