Professional tennis player set to be the newest heroine in Japan’s biggest girls’ comic magazine.

Publisher Kodansha’s Nakayoshi is Japan’s most popular girls’ comics anthology, and has served as the home for some of shojo manga’s most beloved heroines, including Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. Later this month, Nakayoshi will welcome its newest star, none other than professional tennis player Naomi Osaka!

This isn’t a quick one-off chapter just to lure Osaka’s preexisting fanbase into picking up a copy of Nakayoshi either. Osaka will be the main character of a brand-new series titled Unrivaled-Naomi Tenkaichi. Though tankaichi usually means “the best in the world,” the literal translation is “the best under heaven,” and a more celestial interpretation makes sense here, since rather than a straightforward autobiography of Osaka’s real-life sporting accomplishments, Unrivaled-Naomi Tenkaichi is a science fiction sports action series.

Kodansha describes the manga with:

“’I will fight to protect everyone’s dreams and hopes from darkness!!’ The energetic and cute Naomi, while being supported by her father mother, and older sister Mari, aims to become the strongest space tennis player in this action story of hot battles unfolding in space!!!”

Kodansha isn’t skimping on the artwork either, as the manga will be drawn by Futago Kamikita, the twin-sister artist team who’s handled more than a dozen adaptations of the phenomenally successful PreCure magical girl franchise. Unrivaled-Naomi Tenkaichi’s key art depicts Osaka in a stylized aesthetic with vivid pink and purple hair that’s likely to draw far less controversy than the last time she was depicted in anime/manga form.

Series composition is credited to Tama Mizuno, and Naomi’s older sister, Mari Osaka, is listed in a supervisory role for the series. Following its announcement, the tennis star herself took to Twitter to voice her excitement and mention her love of manga in general.

Unrivaled-Naomi Tenkaichi is set to debut in the February issue of Nakayoshi, which actually goes on sale on December 28. Kodansha has also asked readers to “Look forward to this worldwide super-big project,” which sounds like it’s hoping for an overseas release for the series as well.

Source: Nakayoshi, Twitter/@nakayosi_manga via Anime News Network/Choo Sum Lee
Top image: Nakayoshi
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