The popular manga “Pich” is back! Why the reboot manga is so hot! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The popular manga “Pich” is back! Why the reboot manga is so hot!

Adult girls are rallying around the passion behind the popular manga "Pichi Pichi Pitch.

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In the current serialization of “Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua”, the nostalgic mermaid princesses gather together! / ©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha

I still keep all of the fan letters I received for the “Pichi Pichi Pitch” series, even after 16 years.

Hanamori Pinku, the manga artist of “Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch” (*Scenario is written by Michiko Yokote). Ms. Hanamori is currently serializing “Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua” in the magazine “Nakayoshi”.

aqua” is a direct sequel to “Pichi Pichi Pitch,” a popular manga series that ran in the magazine from 2002 to 2005 and was made into an anime. In this “reboot”, Ruchi Nanami, the main character of “Pichi Pichi”, and Kaito, the love of her life, get married (!). In this “reboot” work, Ruchi Nanami, the protagonist of “Pich”, and Kaito, the love of her life, are married (!), and a new story is spun with Rukia, the daughter born between them, as the main character.

I always read each and every fan letter carefully. In the reboot, there were comments from adults such as “I’m glad to see everyone from ‘Pich’ I loved in elementary school again now that I’m an adult,” “I can still sing the songs from the anime,” and “I’m reading this with my children. I am filled with a deep sense of emotion, thinking, ‘The readers who were so small have grown so big.

In Nakayoshi, the “reboot” project, in which popular works that were once serialized in the magazine are relaunched with new settings and characters, is currently gaining momentum. Yoshiko Suda, editor-in-chief of “Nakayoshi”, talks about this initiative.

Manga series and anime will come to an end one day. However, we feel that it would be a shame to let it end there.

When I meet actual readers of “Nakayoshi” at events, they talk very passionately about the characters of the works they used to love. These readers, now adults, have not forgotten, or have deepened their feelings and love for the works.

I wanted to please the readers who have always loved and cherished my works in that way, and I thought, ‘It’s okay to have works that never end,’ and that’s when I started focusing on reboots.

Suda says that the most important factor in realizing such a dreamlike project was that “the writers themselves were happy with the idea of a reboot. Pinku Hanamori of “Pichi Pichi Pitch” is one of them.

When the editorial department asked me about the reboot, I was just so happy to see ……. I was really, really happy to be able to draw the characters and world of “Pichi Pichi Pitch” once again.

For the reboot, I also thought about the possibility of creating a parallel world where characters completely different from the original “Pichichi” would be active. I also thought about that. But I thought it would be sad if Rucia and the others didn’t appear anymore. …… So I decided to make Rucia, Rucia’s daughter, the main character, and have the characters from the first “Pich” such as Hanon, Rina, and Kaito appear as well. (Hanamori).

Ruchia, Hanon, and Rina – the Mermaid Princesses who have grown up are cute, beautiful, and cool! ©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha

The first generation of “Pichi Pichi Pitch” depicted the exciting and sometimes sad love story between a mermaid girl and a human boy, two races that were never meant to be together. However, the charm of “Pichi Pichi” is not limited to that. The fact that Ruchia and the other mermaid princesses were not only cute but also “strong” and “fighting girls” was also very refreshing.

Ruchia and her friends fought not with violence, but with the power of song. At the time, it was a novel idea to depict girls fighting with songs in a work for girls.

I love shonen manga, too, and I’ve always been fascinated by hot battles. I love shonen manga, and I’m fascinated by hot battles, but when I decided to do it with mermaid girls, I thought it would be a little different if they fought directly with their arms and fists.

Singing was also a key word in the story, so I decided to make it a story about fighting with singing, using the power of singing to fight against enemies together with friends and heal people’s hearts. They are cute, strong, and tough, and their appearance is beautiful. I wanted them to be the kind of sisters I admire! That’s what I wanted.

In the sequel, “aqua,” Ruchia becomes a mother and faces the crisis of the sea with her daughter Rukia, which is related to something I realized after becoming a parent.

Ms. Hanamori, who is also raising a child, works in the living room of her house. She says she draws at her desk next to her children as they do their homework, something she has noticed since she became a manga artist and a mother 16 years ago.

When I was watching my son’s favorite anime with him – it was based on a shonen manga, and I realized that while there are a lot of fathers and sons fighting together, I hadn’t seen many mothers and daughters fighting together.

I thought it would be really cool to have a girl who has been fighting with her friends for a long time become a mother and now fight with her daughter, and I thought that readers who have grown up would be happy about it. I’m very happy to see that the response from former readers was much greater than I had expected, and that current readers of Nakayoshi, who first learned about Pich from Aqua, are also enjoying the story.

On her seventeenth birthday, she is told by her mother not to go to the sea, but on her seventeenth birthday, she is told of her mission. The seven Mermaid Princes look back on the battles they once fought, and the cuts are hot…! / ©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha

The story of “fighting girls” has been handed down in the traditional magazine “Nakayoshi”. Editor-in-Chief Suda is also proud of the fact that “Nakayoshi” has many stories about strong and independent girls.

Nakayoshi” has a long history of 67 years and has been repeatedly updated to meet the needs of the times, but I think the fact that there are many stories about strong girls and girls who make their own way in life has remained unchanged.

Perhaps it’s because we in the editorial department used to be “Nakayoshi Kids” too. We want to bring the strong and cool girls to the children of today, just like the characters we loved when we were children.

And I hope that someday, mothers and children will be able to enjoy “Nakayoshi” together. I hope that the reboot will be a chance for people to enjoy the magazine for generations to come.

Ms. Hanamori, who draws manga for girls in shoujo manga magazines and is herself a “woman who has been fighting for her life,” says, “I want to respect people in any position,” carefully choosing her words and thinking about them.

The readers who used to read “Pich” are now working, raising children, and so on, but no matter what their lifestyles are, I’m sure they’re working hard enough every day. There are so many situations where women have to fight.

On the other hand, when you’re reading manga, it’s okay to feel like a girl! It’s good to be healed! That’s what I think. I don’t want you to forget that feeling of longing, and I don’t want you to give up on what you want to do.

I hope that through this work, I can convey the beauty of dreams, the thrill of love, and the feeling of never giving up to readers who have been reading Pich since the first generation of Pich, as well as to readers who first became acquainted with Pich through “aqua.

No matter how much time passes, the feelings of love never fade away. This is what the creators are aiming for in this “reboot” that gives form to such feelings. In this world where we have to fight to survive, “Nakayoshi” pushes and encourages the “girls”.

Rukia, the protagonist of “aqua,” has a fateful encounter with her mom and dad in the ocean where they met. Rukia, the protagonist of “aqua,” is a little more cautious than her mom, Ruchia, who asks, “Is there really such a thing as destined love? The story is about a young girl who meets her mom and dad at the beach and meets her fate as well. / ©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha
Rukia and Kurosuna’s relationship starts off frustratingly at odds with each other. You can’t miss what’s going to happen next! / ©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha

Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua” and “Pichi Pichi Pitch New Edition” will be released on January 13, 2022.
will be released simultaneously on January 13, 2022!

©️Pinku Hanamori / Kodansha

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua(1)” is available for pre-order here!

©️Pinku Hanamori, Michiko Yokote/Kodansha

Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua(1)” is available for pre-order here.

Try out the first episode of "Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch aqua"! ↓↓

  • Interview and text by Mao Daimon

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