When it comes to manga, no genre is too wild for the industry to take on. While Western comics have certainly expanded in the last decade, manga still reigns supreme where variety is concerned. The medium has tackled all sorts of stories ranging from action to horror and slice-of-life. Now, it seems a new manga has hit the shelves overseas, and its take on teen pregnancy has stirred up important chat within the fandom.
So far, fans overseas know the new manga as Ano ko no Kodomo, and it was created by Aoi Mamoru. The manga was published back in May of this year by Kodansha, and its somber love story tackles all the difficulties that come with teen pregnancy.
Interesting new manga series focusing on an aspect of teenage life that is rarely explored in shoujo manga: teenage pregnancy— Manga Mogura RE (@MangaMoguraRE) September 13, 2021
"Ano ko no kodomo" by Aoi Mamoru about the relationship of a teenage couple and how they deal with a positive pregnancy test pic.twitter.com/Ap7qN8uRpx
At this point, no English release date has been decided for overseas fans, but readers are crossing their fingers. Mamoru has a loyal fanbase thanks to their previous romances, and this story should join the ranks. And over in Japan, Ano ko no Kodomo is already drumming up much-needed discussion about how teen pregnancies are viewed in Japan.
After all, the country has one of the lowest rates of teen pregnancies in the world. While the COVID-19 quarantine overseas has stoked fear of a stats boom, teen pregnancy is relatively rare. Between 2015 and 2016, there were less than 2,100 recorded teen pregnancies in Japan overall. The relative rarity of teen pregnancy has less to do with the country's focus on sex education and more societal shame. So when a family is impacted by such a pregnancy, the teenage couple is heavily scrutinized.
In this new manga, Mamoru explores the social implications and expectations pushed upon expecting teens. From lacking resources to familial shame and first loves, Ano ko no Kodomo tackles it all. This careful handling is even more important when you consider how rarely manga tackles this topic, but the medium itself is used to handling heavy subjects.
In fact, there are tons of manga out there that address tough topics more often than not. March Comes In Like a Lion, Anohana, Orange, Monogatari, My Brother's Husband, and even Fullmetal Alchemist are on that list. And now, we can add Mamoru's manga to the list.What do you think of this upcoming manga? Are you glad to see topics like this being broached by the medium? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.