Clock Striker’s Cast is Shonen manga’s first black female protagonist?

Key visual for the upcoming graphic novel Clock Striker, featuring Cast and Miss Clock.
Key visual for the upcoming graphic novel Clock Striker, featuring Cast and Miss Clock. Pic credit: @WhytManga/Twitter

Clock Striker is a steampunk manga series by African American writer Frederick Jones and French artist Issaka Galadima. The manga centers on Cast and her quest to become a member of the SMITHS – a group of legendary warrior engineers.

Some manga fans believe that Cast is shonen manga’s first black female lead heroine. As such, the female manga protagonist has been receiving a lot of attention lately

You can read the manga exclusively in the ongoing English-written international shonen manga anthology magazine Saturday AM. In 2013, Saturday AM was founded by Frederick L. Jones and published by MyFutprint Entertainment.

The magazine’s slogan is, “The world’s most diverse manga anthology” and its manga titles feature some of the most memorable African American characters to date.

You can also read their exclusive manga titles online via their new app. Another manga that is exclusive to Saturday AM and which features interesting African American characters is Apple Black by Nigerian artist Odunze Oguguo (aka Whyt Manga).

You can preview Chapter 1 of Clock Striker for free here.

Clock Striker will be available as a graphic novel on Feburary 7, 2023 and is now available for pre-order. The graphic novel will be sold via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million,, Waterstones, Book Depository and WHSmith.

Make sure to do price comparison because some of the booksellers might be offering a special price for the graphic novel, which will be 200 pages long!

Volume 1 graphic novel cover of Clock Striker.
Graphic novel cover of Clock Striker Volume 1. Pic credit: @WhytManga/Twitter

What is the plot of Clock Striker?

The story centers on a young black girl named Cast, who dreams of being a SMITH and is handy with tools. Unfortunately for this mechanic, she lives in a very small town where people rarely realize their dreams.

The SMITHS are a group of legendary warrior engineers that haven’t been seen in years. Luckily, Cast has a chance encounter with one surviving member named Miss Philomena Clock – a rare female member. After some convincing, Philomena agrees to take Cast on as her apprentice or striker.

But becoming a striker isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and Cast immediately finds herself in several dangerous situations where she’s forced to fight against cybernetic desperadoes and technology thieves. In order to survive such dangerous encounters Cast has to bet everything on her wits and the incredible offensive power her remodeled robotics-lab prosthetic hand offers her. One of Cast’s unique abilities is that she’s able to use her robotic arm to generate lightning.

Miss Philomena Clock has her own agenda, however, and is trying to uncover the ominous mystery that explains what happened to the other SMITHS. At the same time, the mystery becomes related to a hidden power that exists within Cast herself.

Issaka Galadim and Frederick L. Jones are a dynamic duo

Issaka Galadina, also known as Gladisk (Gladisk Studio on social media) is Clock Striker’s talented artist who is an IT engineer by day. She is originally from the Niger Rebpulic and is currently living in France.

Frederick L. Jones is an American entrepreneur who was born in Durham, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill with a BA in Communication Studies. From a young age he had a passion for promoting diversity and participated in the fight for a Black Student Union on UNC’s campus and attending the original Million Man March in 1995.

In 2013, inspired by his love of Japanese anime and manga he decided to create the diverse manga brand Saturday AM and found MyFutprint Entertainment to assist in developing and marketing new manga concepts from creators worldwide.

Drawing from his years of experience as an executive in the video game industry, including product marketing, product development, brand management he turned his dream into a reality. Frederick currently resides in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina with his family and dog, Allie.

MyFutprint published the magazine Saturday AM with series like Apple Black from Nigeria, Saigami from Hungary, and Bully Eater from the United States and offers manga fans another option besides the Jump magazines from Japan.

Cast resembles a black Anya Forger

Anya depicted as a young black girl and Cast from the manga Clock Striker.
Anya depicted as a young black girl and Cast from the manga Clock Striker. Pic credit: @SoulKingLives/Twitter and @WhytManga/Twitter

Due to the popularity of the anime Spy X Family, many anime fans became curious about what the Forger family would look like if they were black and many talented digital artists stepped up to the plate to take on the challenge. One artist in particular did an amazing job of creating digital artwork that showed what Anya Forger would look like if she were black, and she turned out to look incredibly adorable!

Ironically, black Anya Forger greatly resembles the newly popular character, Cast, from the manga Clock Striker! Coincidence?

You can ready more about black Anya Forger here: Black Anya, Yor, Loid Forger fan art ignites a racist Spy x Family controversy on Twitter

Although, Clock Striker isn’t an anime yet, it looks like it would be a perfect fit for Netflix to adapt into an anime series and offer some more diversity in their anime collection!

Are you looking forward to the release of the graphic novel Clock Striker? Let us know in the comment section below!

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