National hero of the Philippines Jose Rizal will get his own manga comic series starting June 19.
The Philippine hero will take on the starring role in a new manga comic series that will be released on June 19, Rizal’s birthday, according to a statement by Japanese company Torico.
The story will be penned by Takahiro Matsui, while the art will be drawn by manga artist Ryo Konno. The new manga will be available in English online, for free through manga distribution website MANGA.CLUB.
An Aichi prefecture native, Matsui previously worked in the Philippines between 2003 and 2014 where he taught Japanese to learners. He also taught in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, saying he had a deep interest in the region’s history. Matsui currently works and resides in the suburbs of Tokyo where he teaches Japanese to Filipino learners.
As to why create a manga comic of Rizal, Takuro Ando of TORICO Co. Ltd. answered this in a statement. Ando said he found the presence of Rizal’s bust in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park intriguing so he contacted Creative Connections & Commons Inc., a Davao-based company affiliated with TORICO, to get more details about the Filipino hero. After learning of Rizal’s accomplishments, he thought it would make a great story for manga readers. He also thought that Rizal’s drive to change his country through knowledge and hard work rather than fighting might be appealing to the Japanese. /ra