Announcing Kodansha x TCAF!

TCAF is excited to announce that we will be featuring an EXCLUSIVE online art show in partnership with mangaka Akane Shimizu and her publisher Kodansha. Get a peek behind the scenes of the hit series Cells at Work! this May! 

Check out a sneak preview of the upcoming final volume (complete with a look at the virus that’s upended our lives), along with rough sketches from creator Akane Shimizu. Dive into the secret world of the human body manga-style!

We will also be hosting a panel to continue our highlight of Cells at Work!. Join us on Thursday, May 13th, at 3:00 PM EDT (link coming soon), as we examine the dynamic, entertaining, and educational world of the hit manga series. A science teacher, a doctor of medicine, and a manga writer band together to look at the series through their respective lenses, talk about the science behind the stories, and consider the intersection between science literacy and visual storytelling. 

Thanks to support from publisher Kodansha, you’ll also get a sneak peek of the upcoming English release of Cells At Work! volume 6! Don’t miss it!

More about Akane Shimizu:

Akane Shimizu was born in 1994, Tokyo. After receiving The 27th Shonen Sirius Rookie Award Grand Prize in 2014, she began the Cells at Work! serialization in the March 2015 issue of Monthly Shonen Sirius. This series saw the end of its Japanese run in March 2021. The English-language editions of Cells at Work! volumes 1 through 5 are available from Kodansha, with the final volume 6 set to debut in June 2021.

More about our panelists:

Deb Aoki writes about manga for Publishers Weekly, and is a co-host on Mangasplaining, a weekly podcast introducing comics from Japan to people who don’t normally read a lot of manga. She’s also an illustrator and comics creator. You can see more of her work at, and find her on Twitter @debaoki.

Dr. Yi Ariel Liu (she/they) is a medical doctor who looks at cells under the microscope and diagnoses diseases. They were the co-editor and illustrator for, a blog dedicated to discussing common dermatology myths. As a surviving cancer patient, they strive to tell stories through comics to raise awareness in chronic illnesses and improve health literacy. Their work has been exhibited at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, Vancouver Comic Arts Festival and other medical events. Find them on Twitter @YiArielLiuMD or at

After receiving a Bachelor of Science with a major in microbiology and immunology from McGill, Wen Zhao went on to complete his degree in education with a semester abroad in Japan. For the past four years, he has taught math and science in both Alberta and British Columbia. As a fan of anime and manga, Wen has found both invaluable in fostering connections with his students, and a great way to pique interest in the sciences with educational series like Cells at Work!. He is currently a science teacher in Calgary and an aspiring lawyer who will begin law school at the University of Calgary this fall. 

About Kodansha USA Publishing, LLC:

A subsidiary of Kodansha, Japan’s largest publisher, Kodansha USA Publishing is the English-language publisher of some of the world’s most recognizable manga properties, including Katsuhiro Otomo’s AKIRA and Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, along with a robust catalog of English-language Japanese novels, cookbooks, craft guides, historical and cultural literature, and more. Today, thanks to recent fan-favorite and critically acclaimed hits like Attack on Titan, Battle Angel Alita, Witch Hat Atelier, and the popular MONOGATARI novels, Kodansha USA Publishing is one of the best-selling manga publishers in the United States. Kodansha USA Publishing’s print offerings are distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services, and their digital manga and select digital books are available across a number of digital comics, manga, and book vendors. For more information, visit