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Comics for All Ages: Cowa

Other Shonen Jump Manga


Toriyama, Akira. Cowa. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2008. Print.

Cowa is series run from Shonen Jump Manga. This manga for younger readers talks about all of the shenanigans that Paifu, a vampire, and his friend José Rodriguez, a ghost, get into around town. Cowa is split into different chapters that each contained self-contained adventures the two went on. Paifu continuously thinks of schemes for he and José to go on. José reluctantly agrees to most, no matter whether they involve going to a scary unhaunted house where a human lives, stealing a watermelon, finding a monster in the woods, or visiting a witch’s house. How will José and Paifu get out of the scrapes they get in? Will José’s nervous farting five them away? Or will Paifu fail to think of an escape for the two?

Visual and textual style: panel structure, easy to read, black and white drawings, fantastical, minimal text

Potential readers/appeal factors: individual chapter stories and not one continuous long novel, directions on how to read manga in the back, humor, friends, life adventures, monsters


  • Won a prize at a local art studio in elementary school for a picture of One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Toriyama won the 1981 Shogaukan Manga Award for best shōnen or shōjo manga with Dr. Slump
  • listed Cowa! As the Best New All Ages Manga of 2008
  • Viz Media’s English release of Cowa! Was nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award for the Best Publication for Kids

Other pertinent information

  • The creator of Cowa also created Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball is considered to be the manga that boosted the popularity of Japanese animation in the Western world.
  • Cowa was serialized in 10997 and 1998 in Weekly Shōnen Jump.
  • Dragon Ball was serialized in 1984.

Subject Guide

Cowa books