Nisekoi: False Love started as a digital only title for Weekly Shonen Jump and became a surprise hit for Viz Media. The digital volumes are consistent best sellers on the Vizmanga.com site, hanging on for several weeks, a feat usually reserved for big titles like Naruto, Bleach, Black Bird and Demon Love Spell. Now, the gang of Nisekoi are breaking through the digital barrier and coming to a bookshop near you. The print version of volume 1 will be available January 7, 2014, bringing with it the promise of making the New York Times Best Seller List. Find more details after the break.
Manga at Japan Expo
This weeks I check out the Vizmanga top 10 for the last two weeks, and various news stories about titles ending and new titles beginning in the US and Japan, as well as more new licenses from Seven Seas Entertainment.
This week I look at all the manga announcements (or lack there of) from San Diego Comic Con 2013.
This week I check out all the news from manga publishers Viz Media, Vertical Inc., Digital Manga Publishing, Right Stuf, Kodansha and Dark Horse Comics at Anime Expo and their announcements.
This week I take a look some news items; Square Enix shutting down their manga service site, New licenses from Yen Press and Seven Seas Entertainment, some new digital manga coming to the Vizmanga site, and the top-selling manga in March and April according to Nielson’s Bookscan service.
Square Enix E-manga Service Shutdown
Yen Press License: Bloody Cross
Thermae Romae on Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle
New Manga on Vizmanga.com
Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses: Mad Hatter’s Late Night Tea Party & Alice Love Fables
Nielson Bookscan Top Selling manga for March and April
Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech
Vertical just doesn’t seem to know when to quit! At their panel at Genericon in Troy, NY they announced two more titles to come out at the end of this year. Pink is a one-volume title that follows Vertical’s determination to be different. It is about Yumi, a girl who balances her time between work, love, her pet crocodile and her night life as a prostitute to feed said crocodile. Like so many of Vertical titles, this one sounds quirky, but I don’t know if it’s for me. I’ll have to give it a “wait and see” for now. Also announced was From the New World, an adaptation of a novel by the same name. It is 100 years in the future and 5 kids have been raised in a town described as a utopia. But when they learn the truth of the world outside, they throw themselves into danger to save their friends and the world itself. Readers have been asking Vertical to license the novel, but maybe this will tide them over. I’m kind of interested in this, especially since there’s been a lot of talk about the anime which is streaming on Crunchyroll currently. I’ll give it a “can’t wait.”
For readers with kids and/or fans of Pokemon, Viz has announced they will release the tie-in manga for the new Pokemon movie, Kyurem vs the Sword of Justice. Not a big surprise I know, but don’t write off these tie-ins. They can be pretty good. This title continues the anime’s adventures in Black and White’s world of Unova. It will be out next week on March 5. They also announced they would be continuing Pokemon Adventures with the first volume of HeartGold SoulSilver, due out in August. The Pokemon Adventures series is moving fast to catch up with Japan. And for those who could wait to read the manga adventures in Black and White, Viz has announced that it will be re-releasing the series in full volume sizes. So if you like your bookshelf balanced, now is the time to pick them up. The first volume will be out in July.
Over in Japan, another new Saint Seiya manga series will be starting. Based on the new anime Saint Seiya Omega, the manga adaptation will cover the new arc set to start in the anime starting in April. The series takes places several years after the original Saint Seiya and features a whole new cast of characters as the Bronze Knights protecting Athena/Saya. This arc will feature a new villain, Pallas, a goddess with a deep hatred for Athena, and her own army of warriors, the Parasites with their own armor, “chonotector” which allows them to manipulate time. It will also introduce a new cloth bearer, Subaru, who will fight alongside Koga, the new Pegasus. This will be the fourth new manga series based on the original Saint Seiya. I loved the original Saint Seiya and would love to read all the new ones they’ve been releasing! Do Want!
Ending in Japan this month is the sequel series to Hell Girl, Hell Girl R. It is about Enma Ai, a girl who, if you catch her website, you can request to send someone to hell, but the price is that your soul will go to hell as well. Del Rey manga released all 9 volumes of the first series. It’s a great tween title filled with lots of melodrama and terrible people getting their comeuppance. This second series went 10 volumes. The first series didn’t sell so well, but I liked it, and would love to see this series as well. Do Want!
New York Comic Con, or NYCC, was this weekend, with all the manga publishers making appearances and announcements. Vertical, Viz, Yen Press, even Kodansha and Jmanga had panels to announce their new titles and new alliances.
Here’s some really good news. Millennium Snow, a manga series by Bisco Hatori of Ouran High School Host Club fame, is returning to the pages of Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine. Hatori last worked on this series back in 2002, and the 9 existing chapters were collected into two volumes. Viz Media was smart enough to bring it over back in 2007. I really enjoyed those two volumes with the only problem being that it was too short! I had hoped that there would be more chapters. I felt there was so much more to learn about these characters. And now it looks like my wish might be coming true! I sure hope Viz Media still has the license to this so we can get these new volumes when they come out collected. Of course, getting them digitally would be just as good.
I’ve been a fan of Shonen Jump ever since it came out in 2002 (technically), and still have every single issue. I admit I have mixed feelings about this move to digital. The good: don’t have to store all those magazines anymore. The bad: can’t just pick it up and read it anywhere. But, I’ll stick with this first year of digital and see if I can keep up.
One hundred issues that is. Man, that’s a lot of issues. I should know. I have EVERY SINGLE ONE! I even have some duplicates. They take up 3 long boxes so far. But there are some great bonuses in this issue, so even if you aren’t a regular reader of SJ, pick up this issue. You won’t regret it!
Vertical is a publisher that never fails to surprise, or deliver. Whenever licensing time comes up, Marketing Director Ed Chavez would get on Twitter and ask for license requests. In variably, there would be several people who would pipe up with Princess Knight, Osamu Tezuka’s first shojo, and invaribly, Ed would shoot the request down. Now we know why. On Anime News Network’s AnnCast, Ed was a guest where he announced not one, but two licenses, one of which was the oft-requested Princess Knight. The other was Drops of God, a wine manga that has been getting some press in the media for the affect it can have on a wine’s price that is featured in the title. It was hinted at last April by the creators that the manga had been licensed in the US, but no publisher had stepped up. Now we know why.
I have to give Ed a lot of credit. He has quite the poker face/text. From his tweets in the last wrong, I got the distinct impression that Princess Knight was off the table as a request. He had said they were working on a Tezuka license, but with his catalog, that could mean just about anything! From the reaction to the news when it broke on twitter, I don’t think anyone suspected Vertical would get either of these titles! That is being a good marketing manager. Vertical really scored when they got Ed for that position.
I myself am looking forward to Princess Knight. I read the preview that was run in Shojo Beat for it’s 5(?) anniversary, and I really liked it. It definitely has a lot of merit beyond its historical significance. Drops of God….I’m not so sure about. I don’t drink wine. I have no interest in wine, so a manga devoted to going out and finding the 13 best wines doesn’t sound all that interesting. But, I’ve been wrong before. Most of the praise that it has gotten is for its detail about the wines, but according to one twitter-er, the title is written by the same time as writes Bloody Monday, another title that I’m really looking forward to, so this is a wait and see.