It’s been a while since I created a post regarding the upcoming Unico: Awakening comic. Now that more info has been released to the public, I figured it would be a good time to create an overview of what we know about the comic series so far and what may be on the horizon. I’ll go over the latest news, information, and characters on this post.

Unico: Awakening Overview

If you were not already aware, there was a slight delay in the Kickstarter release, but for good reason. On September 20, 2023, the big announcement 1 was made that well-known children’s publisher Scholastic had picked up Unico: Awakening and would release the comic under their Graphix label. Not only was Unico: Awakening being picked up, it has now become a four-book deal. What does that mean? Well, the current story probably needed changes to create some type of continuation in Unico’s story. As we can see from Gurihiru’s tweet, that meant Gurihiru needed to add more pages and spend more time to complete the first volume of Unico: Awakening. 2

But those aren’t the only updates!

It was also announced that Unico: Awakening would be part of the upcoming Free Comic Book Day on May 4, 2024. 3 I’ve posted about it a while back, but this is a great way to read a bit of the comic before Scholastic’s version is released on August 6, 2024. If you missed the Kickstarter and are unsure if you want to preorder a copy, definitely head out to a participating comic store and pick up one of these issues. Not all stores may have the free Unico comic, so good luck! Writer Samuel Sattin even shared a little sneak peek of the FCBD issue on his Instagram account.

Check out that cover!

Unico: Awakening Volume 1, Tezuka Sattin, Gurihiru
Image: Unico: Awakening Cover Vol. 1, Samuel Sattin, Gurihiru

They also revealed the covers for the Kickstarter and Scholastic version of the comics. While only backers saw the Kickstarter version, Popverse’s post revealed the Scholastic/Graphix cover. 4 As you can see, Gurihiru has a wonderful eye for color theory and design, and the cover pulls you in. If you follow their other works, you already know their amazing artistic talent, but it’s still nice to appreciate the work Gurihiru puts into their illustrations.

The title design has also gotten an update from what we originally saw on Kickstarter, and it looks great. Incorporating the Japanese spelling of Unico (ユニコ) in the title is a really pleasant touch that pays homage to the original comic and the country and language it was published in. Venus’s position on the cover forces you to look straight at Unico, while the wind and clouds create a circular frame to keep our eye engaged with the center elements of the design.

At this point, no other covers have been revealed, but as the future volumes are close to releasing, I’m sure we’ll get amazing new artwork.

Do we know more about the comic?

Yes. While the plot was shared at the start of the project, we have discovered plenty of new information, characters, and more, giving us a better insight into what is going on in this volume. Various sites such as PREVIEWSworld, Popverse, and of course, the Kickstarter actually provide several great sneak peeks.

Unico: Awakening Panels / Copyright Osamu Tezuka, Samuel Sattin, and Gurihiru
Image Source: PREVIEWSworld

Since this is a retelling of a specific chapter, a lot of the original plot is still present, but with more in-depth twists and turns and updated for modern audiences. The setting for the comic has changed from the original and allows us to see Unico in a present-day world the readers can relate to. This may not seem important, but for young readers especially, this allows them to understand the story a lot easier when they’re able to identify everyday things they see like buildings, cars, road signs, and more. The original manga chapter “The Cat on the Broomstick” which the comic is based on had Unico and the others in what looked like an older European country where there weren’t automobiles and such advancements. When the First Grader version of Unico was published from 1980 to 1984, we got to see Unico live in Japan during the 80s, which was perfect for its six-year-old reader base.

I know the settings will change during the book and future volumes, but it’s fun to see Unico in our current world. The first volume will allow new and older readers to be acquainted with this new Unico before his adventure continues.

What other Unico: Awakening updates are there?

I’m sure there will be more updates in the future, but for now, I can only assume the bigger companies and writer Samuel Sattin are getting ready to launch the book publicity campaign before its release in August. Sattin stated on the 25th Kickstarter update that he’ll be doing more events leading up to Unico: Awakening’s release. He also mentioned they are estimating that backers of the Kickstarter will start receiving their rewards in June, so definitely keep an eye out if you are a backer!

Our friend, Mr. B, emailed us about Unico: Awakening’s page on Edelweiss (a site for the book industry’s platform to market, sell, discover, and order new titles), and the comic has a very busy marketing campaign coming up as you can see from the screenshot below.

Image: Screenshot from Edelweiss

This gives us a better idea of how Unico: Awakening is going to be promoted, so it should be no surprise to anyone when we’re suddenly seeing more of Unico. This is quite exciting to see, and I really hope everything goes well for those involved in this marketing process.

Now let’s talk about Unico: Awakening characters!

Unico – He’s the star of the series, so I obviously have to mention him. From previews, Unico still has the classic issue of forgetting everything as the West Wind travels with him. From previews, Unico still feels like traditional Unico, kind and caring, but maneuvering through our current time. While he often appears as a secondary character in his own series, Unico is very perceptive of things going on around him and helps at the right time. Since he’s a popular Tezuka character, it’ll be fun to see him on another adventure under Samuel Sattin’s storytelling.

Chloe – If you’ve watched the first film or read the original “The Cat on the Broomstick” chapter, you’re familiar with this character. Besides Unico, Chloe the cat is one of the main protagonists of this story. In the original comic, the kitty Chao helps Unico shortly after he arrives in a new place. Her owners grow frustrated with her and decide to get rid of her. From the sneak peeks online, we see something similar has happened to Chloe, and Unico is there to save her. But even before this sad predicament occurs, Chloe and Unico’s meeting in Unico: Awakening illustrates Chloe’s big heart and need to care and help others. In the original manga, our kitty protagonist wanted to become a witch to make her dreams come true. While this may still be the case in Unico: Awakening, it’s obvious that Chloe still wants to be human to help others, especially the elderly woman that appears in all versions.

Unico: Awakening - Chloe, Unico, West Wind
Image: West Wind, Unico, and Chloe / Tezuka Productions/Samuel Sattin/Gurihiru

Zephyrus, Spirit of the West Wind – Giving herself the tough job of taking Unico through time and space to hide him from Venus, West Wind is taking on a larger role for Unico: Awakening. While the original comics and animated films show her taking and shuffling Unico around after he’s used his powers, this version is trying to put a stop to Unico’s endless struggle. I love this version of West Wind because she’s much more expressive and goal driven. In Greek mythology, the West Wind was known for being the gentle wind, which could explain her caring nature and way of sneaking Unico around to help him. The big question: Will she be able to help Unico?

While the previous West Wind was simply white and streaked across the sky, Unico: Awakening’s version has given her more color, and a more Spring appearance. The gentle colors suit her nicely.

Venus from Unico: Awakening
Image Source: PREVIEWSworld

Venus – While we could only see glimpses of Venus before, the recent sneak peeks give us a little more information about her character and her feelings regarding Unico. The original Venus from the comics was quite jealous, but this version seems to fear Unico, and maybe other creatures like him. When West Wind tells the Sphinx that Unico’s powers are “similar to Venus’s, but of a different shape,” this gives us an interesting insight to why Venus wants to get rid of Unico. The fact Unico draws power from love, could pose a problem for Venus in more than one way. Whatever it may be, it’s obvious that Venus views Unico as a threat.

Venus’s design for Unico: Awakening is intriguing and alien-like. The original manga’s version of Venus looked human, as many gods and goddesses of mythology do across the world. Having Unico: Awakening’s Venus not look human makes her feel unique to her older counterpart.

Image: Baron Ghost (left) and Byron (right) / Tezuka Productions/Samuel Sattin/Gurihiru

Byron Bryon is another character that will be interesting to see when the comic becomes available. Playing the role of Venus’s minion, I can only imagine the type of terrible person he is. The original Baron Ghost (whom Byron is based on) from the original manga disliked animals and took pride in hunting them. He’s an all around bad guy, not just for forest animals, but also for the kitty Chao. From images online, it appears Byron will play a role in Chloe’s disappearance and the reason Unico must save her. This was a major plot in the original manga, so it’ll be interesting to see when the book is finally out.

As you can see from the image above, Byron has short blond hair and carries a smug grin upon his face. Certainly he looks up to no good!

Night Wind – While the Night Wind is working for Venus, I’m curious to see what she does in Unico: Awakening. In the original comics, Night Wind actually assists Unico by giving him more time to finish what he needed to do. In the film, the gods call upon Night Wind to do what the West Wind could not. I want to believe that she’s the type of character who does as she pleases, even though she serves Venus, but we shall see!

Her design for Unico: Awakening gives her a night sky with clouds appearance. As her goals are unknown, this makes her mysterious.

Unico: Awakening - Sphinx
Image: Sphinx / Tezuka Productions/Samuel Sattin/Gurihiru

Sphinx – If you’ve read the original comics, you’ll notice the Sphinx from one of the other chapters. I’ve written about the sphinxes appearing in several forms of the Unico franchise, so it’s nice to see them appearing in Unico: Awakening.

In the recent sneak peek, the Sphinx tells West Wind that her daughter Marusu was taken away by Venus. Marusu is the name of the young sphinx that appears in the second film, and I’m excited to see how these characters will be involved in Unico: Awakening.

Sphinx’s blue color is reminiscent of her original manga form, and I like the addition of the broad collar, a clothing item often worn in Ancient Egypt. Her headband also features a third eye, but we don’t know what it does yet. I also hope this Sphinx doesn’t end up like the original comic’s version. Stay away, Oedipus!

In conclusion…

Until the book is released or more information is shared, I can only make guesses and speculate on what may happen in the story. My knownledge is based on what I know about the original comics and films, so Unico: Awakening may give us entirely new characters, perspective, and story as things move along. Either way, I feel this new comic will be quite successful for this new generation and will inspire and create more opportunities in the future. I look forward to seeing how everything unfolds and the excitement Unico: Awakening will bring.

グリヒル (@Gurihiru) / X (
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UNICO: AWAKENING manga by Gurihiru & Samuel Sattin by Octas Inc. — Kickstarter
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  1. 1. Rob Salkowitz, “Scholastic Debuts Kid-Friendly Manga Line With A Reimagined Classic,” Forbes, September 20, 2023, ↩︎
  2. 2. Gurihiru (@Gurihiru) “ようやくユニコの作画が終了。最終的に50ページほどボリュームが増えたのと、キックスターター版とスコラスティック版とで同時進行していた為、予定よりもかなり時間がかかってしまった。カバーアートやリワードとして物語内に登場するバッカーさんたちの似顔絵も完成したしゴールも見えてきた!, Twitter, January 6, 2024, ↩︎
  3. 3. Samuel Sattin (@SamuelSattin) “So exciting! A preview of Unico: Awakening from @GraphixBooks
    is going to be a Silver Sponsor book for Free Comic Book Day!,” Twitter, November 16, 2023, ↩︎
  4. 4. Chris Arrant, “Osamu Tezuka’s precious anime unicorn hero Unico is being reborn with new Awakening comic – and we have a first look!” The Popverse, February 8, 2024, ↩︎


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