Photo/Illutration“Rifle is Beautiful” comic books by Salmiakki on display at Niiza city hall (Satoshi Shiba)

NIIZA, Saitama Prefecture--New shooters are being targeted by the three city governments that co-host the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Asaka Shooting Range with a manga series to promote the sport ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Officials of Niiza, Asaka and Wako city governments are set to run the series in their newsletters from November. They intend to raise the profile of shooting through the manga, which will depict high school girls committed to the sport, as the range will serve as its Olympic venue.

The comic series is to be penned by manga artist Salmiakki, whose four-panel comic strip “Rifle is Beautiful” is currently running on the Tonari no Young Jump manga website and other media published by Shueisha Inc.

“Rifle is Beautiful” is about four high school girls into laser beam rifle shooting. They aspire to take part in a tournament, but first they need to re-establish their disbanded shooting club.

Despite the similar theme, the series for the newsletters is not directly associated with “Rifle is Beautiful”, but the author is providing new stories exclusively for the three cities.

The three cities’ officials came up with the idea of using Salmiakki’s manga while they discussed ways to promote the sport.

They asked the artist to create a comic series partly because of the fact that Salmiakki provided an illustration for a poster used for the Asian Airgun Championships held in Wako in December last year, which won praise from overseas athletes.

The new series will run bimonthly from the November 2018 issue to the November 2020 issue of the newsletters. The officials said they hope the manga covers various categories, the venue and other aspects of shooting to allow citizens to broaden their knowledge of the sport.

The manga will also be posted on the official websites of the respective city governments, they added.