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Naomi Osaka will star in Japanese manga comic series illustrated by her sister

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2 min read

It isn’t unusual for Naomi Osaka to appear in magazines. This time, though, the three-time Grand Slam champion will be in manga form.

Osaka will star in a Japanese manga comic book series to be released next month in a magazine for teenage girls. The project is being produced with help from her older sister, Mari, who also plays tennis.

The series is titled “Unrivaled Naomi Tenka-ichi,” which roughly means “World No. 1,” and will be released on Dec. 28 in Nakayoshi magazine, Reuters reported. Osaka, 23, tweeted about the graphic novel series on Saturday.

She wrote:

“Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister so immensely so this is really exciting for both of us.”

Osaka is depicted with purple hair that turns shades of pink out of her ponytail. She has an orange visor, green top, purple racket and deep pink wristbands. The depiction features Osaka’s signature large pearl earrings and the pearl necklace she often wears for matches.

Mari, 24, drew an illustration of Naomi for the June issue of Japan’s GQ and one for Esquire that was released in July. The sisters also worked on charity face masks together.

Osaka, who passed Serena Williams earlier this year as the top-earning female athlete, has previously been depicted in animated form. Her sponsor, Nissin Foods Holdings, released an ad campaign in January 2019 that depicted Osaka, who is half Japanese and half Haitian, with pale skin, light brown hair and Caucasian features.

The company apologized and removed the ad from YouTube at the request of Osaka’s management company, IMG.

Naomi Osaka and Mari Osaka in 2017.
Naomi Osaka will star in a manga comic series designed by her sister, Mari Osaka. (Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

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