A manga (comic book) companion to the Disney/Pixar animated film “Turning Red” is in preparation and will be launched in the second quarter of 2023 by Viz Media. The teen-focused “Turning Red” franchise has already stretched far beyond the film and related content has clocked up more than two billion views on TikTok.
The Domee Shi-directed original film premiered on Disney+ in North America and in limited international theatrical markets earlier this year. It was based around the character of Mei, a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl who, due to a hereditary curse, transforms into a giant red panda any time she experiences strong emotion. And her emotions ran particularly strong in connection with her feelings towards the (fictional) 1990s boy band 4*Town.
The comic, authored by Dirchansky and drawn by KAlfee, tweaks the focus towards the band and has the title “Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red: 4*Town 4*Real: The Manga.” Viz says it: “takes you behind the music of Canada’s greatest nineties boy band, 4*Town.”
An official synopsis reads: “4*Townies are hyped to see 4*Town performing their favorite hits live, but how will Canada’s greatest boy band spend the day leading up to their epic Toronto concert? Hang with Robaire, Jesse, Tae Young, Aaron T, and Aaron Z as they enjoy a rare break in their busy schedules! Jesse and Tae Young embrace their artistic side and visit a ceramics museum, Aaron T gets his fashion on at the mall, and Aaron Z and Robaire stay in the dance studio to master their moves before the sold-out show. Only the realest fans deserve to get this up close and personal with Tween Beat Magazine’s Hottest Band of the Year!”
Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O’Connell wrote three songs for 4*Town that appeared in the movie. Since then, 4*Town music video “Nobody Like You” has had over 100 million views on YouTube.
Viz Media is the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America. It is currently preparing the re-release later this year of volume 1 of “Bleach,” an iconic Japanese comic strip and is also planning the release of the first twenty volumes of the “My Hero Academia,” one of the fastest-growing manga series later this year.