I usually don’t cover one-shots in this series on account of their short length, but Star Children is a work that spoke to me the moment I saw it. Releasing in 2019, it’s the only other original manga created by Chihiro Ishizuka; the mangaka behind Flying Witch.
Star Children is a short story about an elementary schooler called Mikan. She is tomboy who doesn’t do particularly well in school, but is upfront, honest, and has a strong sense of justice. She also has a secret identity: local superhero Bunny Man! Together with her alien friend Rabi, she fights crime and keeps the peace around her city.
This one-shot served as a pilot to gauge interest for a new, serialized manga, but no follow-up has manifested since its release in 2019. Its story sees Mikan take on two burglars, leading to city-wide chases and many comedic incidents. The feel of the story is more cartoon-like than anything I’d relate to typical shounen or shoujo stuff. That makes it feel unique, though might also betray why it didn’t catch on enough to get a full manga.
Even as a one-shot, I did like the story a lot. The artstyle stands out and Mikan is fun heroine, owing to her good balance between competence and youthful goofiness. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that something might yet come out of Star Children. If not, then I look forward to whatever other project Chihiro Ishizuka takes on instead.