The official Twitter for Kodansha announced that they launched a one-shot titled “inspiRED” by Tsuyoshi Yasuda on Saturday, Jan 28, 2022. The one-shot is the first work in collaboration with Liverpool FC.
The 24-page Liverpool FC-focused one-shot revolves around the friendship of a Japanese manga artist & English Liverpool football player. The manga will feature the motto of the football club “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
The English and Japanese versions of the manga were published simultaneously on the official Weekly Shounen Magazine app, Manga Pocket.
On June 2021, English soccer giants Liverpool signed a multi-year deal with Kodansha, making the Japanese company their official publication partner. As part of this deal, Kodansha teamed up with the club’s official charity, LFC Foundation, to launch an employability program called ‘Creative Works’.
The program, that commenced on September 2021, aims to inspire young people from challenging backgrounds to achieve careers in the creative industry. It was delivered to a total of four cohorts of students from Liverpool John Moores University and local sixth form colleges.
The participants will receive support and mentoring with creative skill-building, CV and interview techniques, public speaking and confidence building, and workplace expectations to prepare them to achieve their career goals.
Participants will collaborate with seven different creative organizations in Liverpool, including theatre, media, and gaming. They will also have the opportunity to gain job experience as a part of this program.
Kodansha has also committed to donating creative and art materials, to support children’s literacy in the city.
Billy Hogan, CEO of Liverpool FC said, “As a football club, there are so many incredible stories throughout our history, stories that are retold and kept alive through the power of creativity and storytelling. They spark excitement, memories, and imagination in our fans around the world.”
“Through our partnership with Kodansha, one of the world’s largest publishers, we look forward to creating programs which will help inspire future generations through creativity and storytelling,” he added.
According to Hogan, over the past 18 months, LFC Foundation has been building its ‘Works’ initiative, to provide a range of employability schemes for those aged 16 and over to help get their foot on the career ladder.
Yoshinobu Noma, president of Kodansha, said that “he had a very special feeling about this partnership with LFC.”
“Every single match that the team plays in front of their fans all over the world, incredible stories are created and shared, sparking joy and excitement. We want to harness that extraordinary power to inspire impossible stories and build a strong, successful partnership. Let us create stories that bring passion and ignite inspiration around the world, together,” Noma added.