There is no doubt that the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way that we live our lives in a massive way. Even Japan, which is lifting its state of emergency at this very moment, has had such big events such as Comiket and the Tokyo Games Show cancelled, the Olympics postponed, and the streets of Shibuya are oddly quiet. ‘MANGA Day to Day’ seeks to immortalize these changes and preserve them for future generations through the medium of manga, and the legendary Tetsuya Chiba is helping them do so.
The new initiative, launched by Kodansha’s Comic DAYS, is described as a ‘relay serialization project’ as over fifty different mangaka are taking part in the project. From June 15, every day will see a new comic or essay posted on the Comic DAYS website and Twitter account that discusses the ways in which the Coronavirus has impacted our everyday lives. Leading the charge is none other than Tetsuya Chiba, who is best known for his artwork alongside author Asao Takamori on Ashita no Joe. His comic was shared ahead of the July start date proper, which you can read below:
「MANGA Day to Day」
トップバッター #ちばてつや 先生の作品を特別先行公開！
— MANGA Day to Day (@mangadaytoday) May 22, 2020
For those of you who do not speak Japanese, Tetsuya’s contribution to the ‘MANGA Day to Day’ project deals with his efforts to try and personify the Coronavirus into some sort of funny character. In the end, he can’t think of the right face and ends up drawing an ‘Amabie,’ a type of Japanese mermaid that is said to prophesize either a bountiful harvest or an epidemic. This mermaid is, funnily enough, the logo for the project.
While Tetsuya’s contribution to the project is rather short and largely comedic, the aims of the MANGA Day to Day project are noble. It is true that our lives have changed dramatically because of the Coronavirus, and it may be worth having an avenue in which we can reflect on and deal with these changes. Furthermore, with over fifty mangaka set to participate, we can’t wait to see what other legends are waiting in the wings.