We could hardly believe our eyes when we heard about the raging success of this Kickstarter project, which opened for donations on the morning of September 13 and has now amassed over ¥12 million of funding.
And what was it that inspired such an outpouring of generosity? Well, a classic ’80s manga, it turns out. Started by a group of ingenious engineers, the project in question is an e-book containing every single volume of 'Fist of the North Star' (Hokuto no Ken), which ran in the Weekly Shonan Jump magazine between 1983 and 1988.
Never heard of Tetsuo Hara's masterpiece? The Kickstarter page in question offers this intro:
'Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a nuclear war, the story centres around a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a deadly martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken. Kenshiro dedicates his life to fighting against the various ravagers who threaten the lives of the weak and innocent, as well as rival martial artists.'
Set to include all 18 volumes plus a bonus episode in a bilingual format, this wonderful invention will, unlike most other e-books, let you see two pages at once – rather indispensable when it comes to comics. It'll also feature a one-button language switch function and a processor faster than that of your average Kindle or Kobo.
The 'Fist' electro-tome will be entirely battery-powered but encased in paper, so you won't have to give up on the feeling of reading a real book. Of course, for such a mammoth masterpiece of comic innovation, you should expect the price to be hefty: it's set to retail at ¥37,800 once they actually start selling them next year.
As a Kickstarter backer, though, you can get a rather sweet discount of 34 percent by pledging at least ¥25,000, which will get you the full set with a nice cover. Pledge more and you'll get even fancier covers and eternal love from the creators, basically.
As of yet, shipping is only available to Japan or the US, so if you don't live in either country and really want to get your hands on one, you might need to ask a local friend. Find out more and back the project through Kickstarter here.