Category Archives: News

Keep up with the weekly happenings in the world of manga.

Vinland Saga Courts H-Word

Vinland Saga 11It was recently noticed by readers that online retailers were either pulling or dates were set back for the sixth volume of Kodansha’s deluxe hardback title Vinland Saga. On Monday, Kodansha confirmed the title was on “temporary suspension.” No reason was given for the suspension, but many people jumped straight to poor sales. Vinland Saga is a seinen title, with a higher price point due to it being a premium edition. This isn’t necessarily the reason, but it isn’t too far-fetched to believe either. It is more expensive than most manga, and a genre that has been typically a hard sell, even though there have been nothing by rave reviews about it.

While the H-Word (hiatus) hasn’t been uttered yet, it seems readers are ready to assume the worse. On at least one forum, one poster was ready to dive by into scanlations, assuming the series was already gone for good. Of course, if poor sales is the issue, this kind of thinking just exasperates the problem and creates a vicious circle of people reading scans, not buying a series, and justifying their reading of scans because no one is buying the series. I don’t know that I can completely take fault with people jumping to this conclusion. Too many times, Western readers have been told a series has been “put on hiatus”, or “suspended,” and it turns out the series has been cancelled or relegated to hiatus-hell. But I do think it’s a little early to be crying that the sky is falling. Vinland Saga was close to catching up to the Japanese releases. There are two more volumes, counting this one before we are caught up, and with the series being monthly, it’s going to be a while before there is a volume 8 anyway.

For now, I want to believe that Kodansha is considering more than just sales in dealing with this series. Perhaps they are weighing the idea of spreading the releases out further, and have to discuss it with Kodansha Japan and/or the mangaka first. I find this thought much more appealing that seeing this powerful and well-written title go down the hiatus black hole.

Kodansha Announces One Last License for 2014

Your Lie in AprilJust in time for year-end, Kodansha announced one last title on its Tumblr account. Your Lie In April is by Naoshi Arakawa, a relative unknown to Western readers, and currently has an anime airing in Japan that is also streaming on Aniplex Channel, Hulu, and Crunchyroll.

Your Lie in April is about Kosei Arima, a piano prodigy until his cruel taskmaster of a mother dies suddenly. His life forever changed, he abandons piano, and resigns to live in a colorless, monotonous world. His bland world is shaken when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a violinist with an unorthodox style, and possibly the only one who can teach him not only to play, but to live again.

This series is currently at 10 volumes, with the 11th due out in May 2015. Kodansha plans to publish the first volume here in Spring 2015. This series looks really cute, and it features music, so it’s got my attention. It also won the Best Shonen Category at Kodansha’s 37th Annual Manga Awards last year. With the anime preceding it, it will at least have some name recognition when it comes out to draw people in and good writing to keep them. I’m looking forward to it.

Viz Select Strikes Again

Viz Media has been bringing back a lot of older titles that have gone out of print. Most of the titles have been from former English publisher Tokyopop through Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten. Last week Viz announced another three titles from the Toykopop/Kadokawa Shoten licenses.

Mikansi_GN1Mikansei No. 1 is a two-volume series by creator Majiko, whose other titles include St. Lunatic High, which was also published under Viz Select, and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion originally published here by Bandai. I really wouldn’t surprise me to see that one show up at some point. Mikansei No. 1 is about a girl named Neo who was born into the wrong century. She loves to sing and wear short skirts despite the more modest fashion of the 23rd century. Accidentally transported back in time to the 21st century, she teams up with the handsome Saya, and becomes half of singing duo. But to make it big, they need to put on a concert. It’s up to Neo to keep time on their side. At two volumes it might be interested in checking it out. I didn’t care for St. Lunatic High, her only other original title I’ve read, but this one sounds like it has potential.

Hands OffHands Off! is an eight volume shojo series by Kasana Katsumoto, whose other works lean toward the smutty side of josei, so needless to say, we won’t be seeing anything else from her any time soon. Hands Off! follows Kotarou Oohira, a boy with a clueless touch-he can transmit a kind of ESP through physical contact. He accidentally give it to his cousin Tatsuki, and comes to realize there more to his gift than he imagined. I’m not quite sure what to think of this series. I’ve seen volumes of it go by on trading site such as Paperback Swap, so it definitely got around. The action and intrigue does sound interesting, the gentle boy touching, not so much. This series also had a prequel, Hands Off: Don’t Call Us Angels.

SgtFrog-01The title I’m most excited to hear about it Sgt Frog by Mine Yoshizaki. Tokyopop released 21 volumes, with the 21st being among the last titles released by the company. Sgt. Frog follows the misadventures of Sgt. Keroro, a frog-like alien and his platoon of misfits from the planet Keron. Sent to Earth to conquer it, instead, Keroro blows his cover and loses his top-secret weapon, cutting him off from his home world. On top of that, he’s lost his platoon!  He makes a deal with the Hinata family, and in exchange for doing chores around the house, he gets his own room from which to plot his next secret plan to take over the world. And build Gundam models. Sgt. Frog is a great gag manga with a crazy cast of characters. I will definitely pick up the volumes I’m missing of this series. Maybe I’ll go back and read all the previous volumes in order to be ready!

PR: Vizmanga End of the Year Update

Viz Media ends 2014 for their expected end of the year sale of their digital titles and some unexpected new Viz Select titles. The sale is their typical $2-off-to-bring-pricing-back-down-where-it-should-be promotion and lasts through January. You know what to do with that Christmas money, and even Amazon gift cards as they seem to have extended the promotion to their site. Read on for all the details.

Continue reading PR: Vizmanga End of the Year Update

PR: Master Keaton is Finally Here!!

Master Keaton is a series I have been wanting to read ever since I first heard about it. It is a reality based series that features an anthropologist as the protagonist! It’s a detective suspense series that just pushes it up higher in my esteem. Despite my hit and miss record with Urasawa, I loved Pluto, but didn’t care for 20th Century Boys and Monster, I have pre-ordered not jut the first volume, but the second as well. I really hope it lives up the hype I’ve been giving it.

Continue reading PR: Master Keaton is Finally Here!!

PR: Viz Media Digital Update for December

Viz has some strong debuts and sales hitting the month of December. Assassination Classroom, and bundled sales of digital manga that makes catching up on some of the longer shonen titles not to hard to swallow hit this month. A new Jump Start title  hits this month as well that Takeshi Obata fans as well as Phoenix Wright/court room dramas will want to get out; Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement. Gift certificates would make a great present.

Continue reading PR: Viz Media Digital Update for December

PR: Viz Media Acquires Junji Ito’s New Horror Collection

I know everyone raves about Junji Ito, but I’ve found a lot of his work too far on the disturbing side. I don’t think I’ve been able to finish one of his titles, and I’m still haunted by Gyo‘s fish with metallic spider legs. **shudder**. It’s great that we’re getting this new collection of his so soon, but when are we gonna get his Cat Diary? I’ll bet that’s a series I can complete!

Continue reading PR: Viz Media Acquires Junji Ito’s New Horror Collection

Seven Manga in Seven Days

At the beginning of October, Seven Seas Entertainment touted that they would announce seven new licences over the next seven days. Starting on October 1st, Seven Seas posted the announcements to Twitter first, stirring up fans with some surprising and not so surprising titles.

Non non biyori     The first title announced was Non Non Biyori. This rural slice of life comedy follows Hotaru Ichijo, who has just moved from Tokyo to the countryside, where the nearest bookstore is 20 minutes away by bike, a certain popular manga magazine comes out Wednesdays instead of Mondays, and the video store is 10 stations away. Helping Hotaru adjust to the slower life in the country are her new classmates Natsumi, Komari, Renge, and Komari’s older brother Suguru. There are currently seven volumes available in Japan. It had an anime which was shown last October and a second season is in the works. Crunchyroll streamed the first season, and Sentai Filmworks will be releasing it on DVD. The first volume will be available here at the end of June 2015. I might be interested in checking out this series, though I haven’t had much luck with slow titles that feature cute girls. I’ll wait and see.

Ancient magus Bride The second title was The Ancient Magus’ Bride. This supernatural series is about Hartoi Chise, a 15-year-old orphan who has no relatives, no means and no hope. A chance meeting with a Magus, who appears more demon than human, buys her, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse. This series has only just started in Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Blade last year when it stopped publication. It moved to Monthly Comic Garden, and now has 2 volumes available. Seven Seas doesn’t have a publishing date yet. This title looks like one I would enjoy. It’s got a lot of elements I enjoy in a supernatural manga, and even though it is shonen, it looks to have some romantic elements, so I will be looking out for this one when it’s released. Can’t wait.

Pandora of the Crimson ShellThe third title was Pandora of the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn by Masamue Shirow and Koushi Rikudou. This sci-fi title is about Nene Nanakorobi, who is a zenshin, a person who has replaced her entire body with machines. She heads to a man-made island resort where a new life of terrorists running rampant and weapons of mass destruction await her. There are four volume available, and the work is divided up as Shirow doing the writing and Rikudou doing the art. Shirow is best know in the west for such titles as Ghost in the Shell, and Appleseed. Rikudou is the creator of Excel Saga. This title is announced for release in July of 2015. This is another title I’m gonna sit on the fence about. I like both creators, but the story doesn’t sound like something I’d be interested in. It’s another wait and see.

SakamotoThe fourth title was Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto. This high school series follows Sakamoto, a boy who transfers into a new high school and immediately attracts the attention of not just his classmates, but the entire student body. Every thing he does just makes him look cool. Boys jealous of him try to play tricks on him and bully him, but they all back fire, making him look even cooler! I first of heard of this title when it was nominated for the 7th Manga Taisho awards, but it was also nominated, and won the best “male-oriented” award from Da Vinci, and the Comic Natalie Grand Prize. I’m really curious about this title now, and can’t wait for it to be released in August of 2015.

bodacious space piratesThe fifth title was Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace. This two-volume series is based on an anime and adapts the film of the same name. The series follows Marika Kato, a third year student at Hakuho Girls’ Academy. Marika’s days are busy between her studies, club activities, a part-time job, and being the captain of a space pirate ship. She gets a job to rob a high-class passenger ship, and learns one of the passengers, a boy named Kanata Mugen has a “galaxy pass.” It becomes a race hyperspace between the boy and the pirates. Seven Seas will release the first volume in August 2015. If I was interested in the anime this series came from, I might be interested. But since I’m not, I’m giving this series a pass.

Magika SwordmanThe sixth title was just what you’d expect from Seven Seas. Magika Swordsman and the Summoner is the manga adaptation of a light novel series of the same name. The story follows Kazuki Hayashizaki, a master swordsman who receives a mysterious sign from a god-demon that uses summon magic. He enters the magic department of the national knight academy where he takes a magic class with all girls as well as learns the Hayashizaki sword technique as its successor. The first volume will be out in July 2015. Just looking at the cover, I can tell this is a series I won’t want to pick up. The description doesn’t help. This is another pass.

FreezinglThe seventh and final title was Freezing, by Korean creators Dall-Young Lim and Kwang-Hyun Kim. This action series is about Kazuya, a boy who lost his sister in humankind’s fight against being from another dimension. He enrolls in a military academy to learn to fight the dimensional beings and learns of the all girl group Pandora, preparing to fight an unknown enemy. This series has been running for a while now. It has 25 volumes and has inspired two anime. Seven Seas will publish the series as 2-in-1 omnibus starting in June 2015. Dall-Young Lim is already know in the US for his title Black God that he wrote and was published by Yen Press. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ve found with manga that features women with impossibly big and round breasts, that I usually can. I’m passing on this one too.

Well, Seven Seas was doing okay for a while there with two Can’t Waits and two Wait and Sees. But then at the end they hit with three passes, two of which are purely based on the heavy male-gaze elements in the art and story. But that isn’t too bad for me. I can’t afford to follow everything that comes out, so I’m glad to only have a few to look forward to, especially since they look like very strong titles.

PR: Viz Media Manga Gift Ideas

Not sure what to get the manga lover in your life? Viz Media has some suggestions from their extensive library of titles!


 2014 Holiday Releases Include New Manga Box Sets, Shojo And Action/Sci-fi Manga Series And Other Exciting Gift Ideas For Any Special Fan!

 San Francisco, CA, November 11, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced a compelling array of manga, special box sets, novels and other titles that will make ideal gifts to suit a wide range of budgets and interests to delight readers and fans of all ages this holiday season.

VampireKnight_BoxSet02-3DNotable selections, which will be available in plenty of time for the start of the 2014 holiday shopping season, include lavish new box set editions for manga series BLACK BIRD, ONE PIECE, and VAMPIRE KNIGHT as well as the hardcover  storybook – PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY – an oversized, full-color edition of the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film.

New and exemplary shojo manga series from VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint that also will make thoughtful gifts include KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS and YUKARISM, a new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU that launches December 2nd. Fans and readers of the gothic drama VAMPIRE KNIGHT will not want to miss a special limited edition of the series’ final volume, along with the release of VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS, a special collection of short stories based on Matsuri Hino’s critically acclaimed series.

Action fans can dive into the debut of the new RESIDENT EVIL series from the VIZ Signature imprint, as well as two exciting new Shonen Jump series, teen-friendly WORLD TRIGGER and Takeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka that also inspired the blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow film that starred Tom Cruise.

Sci-fi readers also are invited to take note of ASURA GIRL and PHANTASM JAPAN, a pair of riveting new literary releases from the company’s Haikasoru imprint.


ONE PIECE MANGA Box Set Vol. 2 · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $185.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The latest ONE PIECE manga box set features Volumes 24-46, which comprise the series’ third and fourth story arcs – Skypiea and Water Seven. The Box Set also features a full-color poster and special ONE PIECE mini-comic. As a child, ONE PIECE main character Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

BLACK BIRD MANGA Box Set · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $149.99 U.S. / CAN · Available Now! 

The BLACK BIRD Complete Box Set features the entire series run of 18 volumes. In the acclaimed series crated by Kanoko Sakurakouji, there is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand…or her life!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Manga Box Set 2 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $99.99 CAN · Available November 4th!

This comprehensive manga box set features the second-half of the VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga series, Volumes 11-19, along with the hardcover 42-page art book. Set is contained in a gorgeously illustrated slipcase.

NOTABLE holiday shojo manga:

 YUKARISM · Rated “T” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN ·
Available December 2nd  

In this new manga series by the creator of YURARA AND RASETSU, Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. As it turns out, he has the ability to slip into his past life in the Edo period – as a beautiful, renowned courtesan named Yumurasaki!

 KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vol. 19 (Series finale) Limited edition ·
Rated “T+” for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Savor the tense finale to Matsuri Hino’s acclaimed paranormal series in a limited edition featuring an exclusive alternate cover and a hardcover 42-page art book.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT: FLEETING DREAMS · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN / $10.99 Digital · Available December 2nd!

Fans will not want to miss this special collection of short stories by Ayuna Fujisaki based on VAMPIRE KNIGHT, with illustrations by Matsuri Hino! Stories include “Deranged Love,” in which a dying Rido reflects on his obsessive love for Juri. Kaname seeks to reward Yuki for doing well on her studies with tutor Aido in “Gifts for Yuki.” The story of Sara’s first love is revealed in “Hidden Love.” In “Queen of the Abyss,” after Zero parts ways with Yuki and returns to being a vampire hunter, he encounters a vampire named Shien.


ALL YOU NEED IS KILL · Rated “T+” for Older Teens ·
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

AllYouNeedIsKill_Omni01_CatalogTakeshi Obata’s ALL YOU NEED IS KILL originally premiered in VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga anthology earlier this year and is the stunning manga realization of the popular Japanese sci-fi novel, written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. In this rousing action story, when the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

world trigger · Rated “T” for Teens ·
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available Now! 

“Destroy thy Neighbor” in Daisuke Ashihara’s thrilling sci-fi action manga series, WORLD TRIGGER! Earth is under constant threat from Neighbors, invincible monsters from another dimension that destroy humanity’s way of life. At least there are the elite agents of Border, warriors who co-opt alien technology to fight back. Our hero Osamu Mikumo may not be the best agent, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.


 RESIDENT EVIL · Rated “M” for Mature Readers ·
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available Now! 

Discover the sinister beginnings of the Resident Evil story in the first-ever manga series based on the smash hit game property. The highly virulent C-virus became a global disaster, but where did the outbreak start? In the series’ opening volume, at the prestigious and elite Marhawa Academy in Singapore, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called in to investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene, while behind it all a mysterious figure looms.


PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Available Now! 

This is the original Princess Mononoke story, created by Hayao Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and significantly different perspective from the final version presented in the film. After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a mononoke. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage…


ASURA GIRL · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now!  

This tense urban drama about the violent and sexually charged life of a Japanese teenage girl in Tokyo is offered in English for the very first time. Seventeen-year-old Aiko lives a life of casual sex and casual violence, though at heart she remains a schoolgirl with an unrequited crush on her old classmate Yoji Kaneda. Life is about to get harder for Aiko, as a recent fling, Sano, has been kidnapped, and the serial killer Round-and-Round Devil has begun slaughtering children. The youth are rioting in the streets, egged on by the underground Internet bulletin board known as the Voice from Heaven. Expecting that Yoji will come and save her from the madness, Aiko posts a demand for her own murder on Voice of Heaven but will she be left waiting…or worse?

 PHANTASM JAPAN · MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN · Available Now! 

The secret history of the most famous secret agent in the world. A bunny costume that reveals the truth in our souls. The unsettling notion that Japan itself may be a dream. The tastiest meal you’ll never have, a fedora-wearing neckbeard’s deadly date with a yokai, and the worst work shift anyone—human or not—has ever lived through. Welcome to Phantasm Japan, Haikasoru’s latest anthology of fantasy stories from around the world, including new tales by New York Times best-seller Zachary Mason, horror master Gary A. Braunbeck, popular Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe, and much more.

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

Alive and Kicking

Ludwig B kickstarterIt’s been less than a week since Digital Manga Publishing’s Tezuka’s World Release kickstarter ended, failing to meet its $380K minimum funding goal. But, like the proverbial good man, DMP is not staying down. Six days later they are back with a smaller, more modest kickstarter, and a completely different series.

Ludwig B is a two-volume series, and one of the last three series’ Tezuka worked on before his death. It is about the famous composer, Ludwig Beethoven. It looks at his younger years, as he struggles with being used and abused by aristocrats and his pushy alcoholic father. Charged with watching his younger brothers during a French war, Ludwig deals with his conflicted thoughts the only way he knows how; through his music.

The goal for this kickstarter is back in line with previous DMP Tezuka kickstarters, at $21,600. The reward tiers are also more like previous kickstarters, with digital only copies of the books starting at $15, and print copies at $32. They are also offering tiers what allow backers to get two copies of the first volume to share. There are only 20 tiers, so multiple spreadsheet are not needed to track them this time. Also included is some hard to get merchandise like trading cards and bookmarks that were only published in Japan.

After only one day, they are at 93 backers and over $5200 in pledges. That’s ~20% of the goal after only one day. A much better statistic than the 7% they got at the end of the last one. With Black Friday this week and Christmas coming up, these may not skyrocket up, but as people finish shopping, extra money may end up here. It will be interesting to see how it does on the last day, December 26. Will Christmas money end up here?

It was good to see DMP admit to being too ambitious, and that they listened to the comment and suggestions from their backers on the last campaign. It was a lofty goal to want to publish the remaining Tezuka catalog in 5-6 years, but just not one backers could or would bear. And at least they are warning that these campaigns will come out more often with only a few weeks break in between, so keep that in mind as they start rolling out, especially if you are on a budget. Looking at the tiers people are pledging at, it’s obvious that backers do still want to support getting Tezuka manga published. Several of the higher end tiers, $89 and up, have backers, so it was never about people not wanting to support the initiative. It just needed to be done in a more reasonable and sustainable manner. Hopefully, DMP has struck that balance now.

New Licenses from Yen Press Outed

SAO girl opsAmazon once again takes the wind out publisher’s sails with some solicitations outing unannounced licenses. This time, Yen Press, who has just recently resolved its issued with the online retailer, had some pre-orders go up for two new manga titles and one light novel. All three new titles are related to existing licenses and just expand on their libraries.

Rebellion_Manga_Vol_1_CoverSword Art Online: Girl Ops just started last year in Dengeki Bunko Magazine and only has one volume out so far. It follows the girls of Sword Art Online: Aincrad in their real life adventures at the SAO Survivor School and their online adventures in ALFheim. This series looks cute, if the cover art is any indication. I liked the manga adaptation of the novel, though I wasn’t enthralled with it. I haven’t checked out the other spin-off, Fairy Dance, but it’s in my to-be-read pile. Sword Art Online has been doing well for Yen Press, so this is a good, if obvious pick up for them. Amazon has it scheduled to be released in May 2015.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion Story is an adaptation of the movie by the same name and is three volumes. After the end of the TV series/movie recaps, Madoka, Homura, and the rest of the magical girls appear in Mitakihara, fighting creatures called Nightmares. Homura realizes something it wrong, but the truth turns out to be worse than she can imagine. I’ve liked all of the Madoka spin-offs so far. The series is just ripe for alternate universes and spin-offs. This one is based on a scenario by series creator Gen Urobuchi, and isn’t a spin-off but continuation. I hope it connects to the original three-volume series, like the movie does with the TV series. Amazon has the first volume scheduled to be released in June 2015.

khn2.pngKingdom Hearts is a license rescue that Yen Press has truly embraced. They have licensed all of the manga, releasing many in omnibus editions. Now it adds the 2 volume light novel series, which will also be an omnibus and will be released through their Yen On line. The light novel is an adaptation of the original game, following Sora, Donald and Goofy as they battle the Heartless and Disney Villains as they search for their friends Kairi, Riku, and King Mickey. With this license, all Yen Press has left to complete the Kingdom Hearts print collection is to get the Kingdom Hearts II light novel. I’m sure that won’t be too far off. This volume will be released in March, 2015.