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Adorned by Chi, tells the tale of Adaeze, a painfully shy college student who discovers she has Goddess-like powers and must, reluctantly, lead a team of young warriors to defeat an apocalyptic monster that threatens to destroy humanity and save the world. The franchise is inspired by the Japanese “Magical Girl” genre which has produced classic properties like Revolutionary Girl Utena, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon, as well as elements of Igbo culture and lore, such as the goddesses Ala and Uhamiri. MWM Universe and Aye are developing the story across multiple platforms including animation, comic book/literary, merchandise and film/tv.
When black girl magic meets Sailor Moon, you get the best of both worlds. Adorned by Chi, a black-owned brand led by Jaque Aye, is creating a graphic novel inspired by the popular 1990s anime series "Sailor Moon." A Kickstarter for "Adorned by Chi: The Graphic Novel" asks donors to give what they can to help fund-raise $15,000 for production of the interactive novel which centers around five Nigerian students. The dainty outfits sported by the characters as well as their dope superpowers will strike a familiar chord with "Sailor Moon." The graphic novel will feature a story-line similar to that of the 1990s series. Five characters will enter a world of magic when an ancient apocalyptic beast named Nothing awakens and threatens humankind.
I started Adorned by Chi to honor God (Chi means God in Igbo) and also to showcase Black women looking soft, cutesy, and super feminine—something we’re not always “allowed” to be. When I started the brand we sold flower crowns and had dreamy shoots with Black models. Over time we’ve evolved into more, like cutesy nerdy t-shirts, but the core is still the same. I’ve always been inspired by Janelle Monae. When I saw a nerdy, android loving Black woman singing and dancing on my screen I lost my mind. Actually, I feel like I found something that opened up a world of possibilities for me. I grew up in Kansas too, and before her I tried to tuck away my weirdness and hide my interests because I didn’t want to be judged. After her I stopped caring and Adorned by Chi is the result of that representation. I hope one day that the brand can inspire a young woman in the same way.
Jacque is the head magical girl of Adorned By Chi, a lifestyle business based on anime-inspired fashion. Jacque is quick to admit she runs her business with emotion first, facts and figures second. An approach that wouldn’t scale. But after launching the Adorned By Chi manga, a comic about Nigerian university students with magical superpowers, Jacque’s ready for her next act: licensing deals inspired by the Adorned By Chi brand.
In the late 90’s, a generation of kids would grow up watching Sailor Moon, a Japanese animated series about five school girls transforming into magical superheroes to fight evil. Sailor Moon has gone on to inspire magical girl works by and for Black women, such as Mildred Louis’s webcomic Agents of The Realm and Briana Lawrence’s novel Magnifique Noir. Now, Jacque Aye’s new comic series called Adorned By Chi combines Igbo cultural influences with magical girls to create a Nigerian magical girl team. In the first two issues, things are set up for what promises to be a great series. Issue 1 mainly focuses on the character Adaeze Adichie, a smart student at Peace University prone to crying fits due to her emerging empath abilities. The first issue also introduces twins Chigozie “Go Go” Okafor and Kelechi Okafor, the former becoming the focus of issue two. Go go is a cheerful, fun-loving dark skinned girl, while Kelechi is a Black goth with albinism.