New manga sparks buzz with teenage pregnancy storyline

When it comes to manga, no genre is too wild for the industry to take care of. While Western comics have certainly grown over the past decade, manga still reigns supreme when it comes to variety. The medium has tackled all kinds of Hanime stories ranging from action to horror and slice of life. Now, it looks like a new manga has hit shelves overseas, and her take on teenage pregnancy has sparked significant discussion within the fandom.

So far overseas fans know the new manga as Ano ko no Kodomo, and it was created by Aoi Mamoru. The manga was released in May of this year by Kodansha, and its dark love story addresses all of the hardships that come with teenage pregnancy.

At this point, no English release date has been set for overseas fans, but readers are crossing their fingers. Mamoru has a loyal fan base thanks to their previous romances, and this story is expected to join the ranks. And in Japan, Ano ko no Kodomo is already starting a much needed discussion about how teenage pregnancy is viewed in Japan.

After all, the country has one of the lowest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. While the COVID-19 quarantine abroad has fueled fears of a statistical boom, teenage pregnancies are relatively rare. Between 2015 and 2016, less than 2,100 teenage pregnancies were recorded in Japan. The relative rarity of teenage pregnancies has less to do with the country’s emphasis on sex education and societal shame. Thus, when a family is impacted by such a pregnancy, the teenage couple is closely scrutinized.

In this new manga, Mamoru explores the social implications and expectations of waiting adolescents. From lack of resources to family shame and first love, Ano ko no Kodomo tackles everything. This careful handling is even more important considering the scarcity of manga that tackles this subject, but the medium himself is used to dealing with heavy topics.

In fact, there are tons of manga that mostly tackle difficult topics. Mars comes like a lion, Anohana, Orange, Monogatari, my brother’s husband, and even Fullmetal Alchemist are on this list. And now we can add Mamoru manga to the list. What do you think of this next manga? Are you happy to see that topics like this are addressed by the medium? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or contact me on Twitter @Megan PetersCB.

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About Glenn Gosselin

Glenn Gosselin

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