Fans of 4*Town – the fictional NSYNC-like boy band (that ironically has 5 members) from the popular Pixar and Disney animated film Turning Red will be excited to discover that the movie will be getting a manga companion to be released by Viz Media in Spring 2023!
Turning Red was directed by Oscar-winning “Bao” filmmaker Domee Shi and became an instant hit due to its accurate depiction of boy-crazy teen girls and surprisingly Chinese heritage. The movie is currently streaming on Disney+ in North America for those who may have missed this adorable family-friendly film.
On June 17, 2022, Viz Media’s Twitter account announced, “The manga spin-off of the hit Disney and Pixar film Turning Red is here! Get behind the music of Canada’s top fictional nineties boy band 4*Town in Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red: 4*Town 4*Real. Story by Dirchansky, art by KAIfee. Releases Spring 2023.”
The tweet also featured a sneak peek of what the 4*Town boys will look like drawn as manga-style characters! Dirchanky is known for being a Canada-based comic book writer and creator.
What is the plot of Turning Red?
The story centers on a 13-year old girl named Mei (Rosalie Chiang), who wants to gain independence from her overprotective mother (Sandra Oh). Mei unintentionally triggers a hereditary family curse that causes her to transform into a giant red panda any time her emotions get the better of her (and her emotions tend to run very high while she is fangirling over the cute boys in 4*Town).
A large part of the story revolves around the fact that Mei and her friends are “4*Townies” or rather diehard fans of the boy band called 4*Town. Mei has her heart set on seeing the boys in concert, but discovers that her family is planning to hold a traditional ceremony that will cage her inner panda and prevent her from ever being able to turn into it. Mei decides that going to the concert is more important than some ancient ceremony and decides to defy her mother by going to the concert even though she was expressly forbidden from doing so.
The band 4*Town broke the fourth wall gaining fans not only within the movie’s universe but in real life as well. The hit song “Nobody Like U” is the first song from a Pixar film to hit the charts! Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas wrote the song. Finneas O’Connell, Jordan Fisher, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, and Grayson Villanueva teamed up to sing the song together and it debuted on the Billboard’s Hot 100.
What is the plot of 4*Town 4*Real?
The story is set within the timeline of the movie Turning Red, and takes place on the day leading up to the band’s Toronto concert. 4*Town’s fans “4*Townies” are hyped that they will soon be getting to see 4*Town performing their favorite hits live. Meanwhile, the boys trying to unwind before their concert so that they will perform at their best.
When Robaire, Jesse, Tae Young, Aaron T, and Aaron Z are given a rare day off by their manager, all of them want to spend it a little differently. Jesse and Tae Young decide to visit a ceramic museum to explore their artistic sides. Jet-setter Aaron T decides to go on a shopping spree that will calm his nerves. Aaron Z and Robaire decide to master their moves before the sold-out show at their private dance studio. Little do they know that a panda-crashing event will end up taking place at their concert.
The manga will mimic a reality TV show and give fans a glimpse at how “Tween Beat Magazine’s Hottest Band of the Year” spends their rare days off.