U.S. military goes kawaii with a new manga - wait, what?


I think the people trying to reach today's youth have finally gone off the deep end. In an effort to be hip, the United States military is putting out a manga called Our Alliance - A Lasting Partnership. The manga will teach young Japanese citizens the importance of the security alliance between the U.S. and Japan that is currently in its 50th year.

There is political unease concerning the partnership, especially revolving around the presence of a U.S. military base on the island of Futenma in Okinawa. The tensions were partly responsible for former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's resignation. Current PM Naoto Kan is avoiding the issue, saying it will not be dealt with fully until after Futenma's gubernatorial elections on November 28.

The new manga doesn't really deal specifically with the military base, instead dealing with partnership with all of Japan, according to Lieutenant Colonel Gregg Bottemiller, director of public affairs for the U.S. forces. "We understand there's a controversy there but [the purpose of the comic] is to give a basic understanding of what it means to have U.S. military forces in their backyards." (So basically, they don't have a good enough spin to deal with it directly.)

The cover of the first volume depicts Usa-kun, an American boy visiting Japan (clever name there), leading Anzu Arai, a Japanese girl, by the hand. The comic focuses on conservations between Usa and Anzu as they learn more about why the military is there and what they do. There are four books, focusing on the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force.

In addition to an online version, the U.S. has printed up 20,000 copies of the first volume, which were distributed to the four branches on July 30. I assume they'll be distributing these to schools in the area, since I don't know what military forces will want to do with cute manga issues. I'm not sure this is going to turn the tide for support for the base, but at least it's funny to think of the U.S. spending their money making manga. Maybe we'll see a state-sanctioned Obama manga similar to The Legend of Koizumi? He'd have a jetpack and do skateboarding tricks off of jets, all while solving the economy and healthcare!

[via The Wall Street Journal]

You are logged out. Login | Sign up


Click to open photo gallery:


Bob Muir
Bob MuirContributor   gamer profile

Bob has been hanging around ModernMethod for years and and somehow writes almost everywhere, including Destructoid and Flixist. He was once lit on fire, but it's not as cool as you'd think. more + disclosures



Filed under... #Americanator #manga #weird news #ZOMGWTFBBQ



You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!