Peepo Choo Volume 1

Written and illustrated by Felipe Smith (published by Kodansha, Vertical Inc., 2010)


 They say you cannot choose where and when you are born; we are gifted into the worlds our parents are living at the time. Whether a blessing or a curse, as individuals we must make the most of our environments to advance as best possible given the circumstances present. For the cast of Peepo Choo, their places of birth, whether they be the suburbs of Tokyo or the South Side of Chicago, appear to be a curse they cannot escape – until they realize the world is a much smaller place than they thought. Chicago high school student Milton and Tokyo teenage model Reiko are brought together by chance. But in this case fate comes in the form of the underworld!  (via


Peepo Choo Volume 1 is the first manga published and distributed in Japan by a Western creator.  It is written and illustrated by Felipe Smith; an African American creator of Jamaican and Argentine descent.

Felipe Smith is also the writer/creator of the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider for Marvel Comics (2014).

As a key historic book, Peepo Choo is barely discussed.  I find this odd considering how often Black manga and anime fans are forced to legitimize their presence in the genre. 


Peepo Choo actually unpacks this dilemma through its main protagonist Milton.  Milton is a Black teen who feels forced to “identify” as a thug but secretly embraces “otaku” culture. (Otaku is loosely translated as meaning someone who is obsessed with manga and anime. ) 

I enjoy how Felipe humorously depicts Black, Otaku and Comic Book culture while simultaneously presenting a fast paced, action packed story.

Warning: This is an adult book. The average American reader may look at this as porn.  

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