Naomi Osaka to star in Japanese manga comic book series

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will be starring in a new Japanese manga comic book series as a character in a magazine for teenage girls.

Osaka’s sister, Mari, helped produce “Unrivaled Naomi Tenka-ichi” (which means “World No. 1”), which will be running in Nakayoshi magazine starting in late December.

Osaka, 23, tweeted Saturday, “Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister immensely so this is really exciting for both of us.”

The character depicts Osaka with pink and purple hair and wearing a yellow visor.

Last year, one of her sponsors, Japanese noodle-maker Nissin Foods Holdings, took down an online ad campaign that depicted Osaka with pale skin. The animation clips showed a light-skinned, doe-eyed woman in the manga style. Critics said the depiction didn’t reflect Osaka’s biracial background. She has a Haitian father and Japanese mother.

The former top-ranked player passed Serena Williams earlier this year as the top-earning female athlete. According to a story posted on Forbes.com, Osaka earned $37.4 million from June 1, 2019, to June 1, 2020, from endorsements and prize money, eclipsing Williams ($36 million) in that span.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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