Tag Archives: new licenses

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.

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.


One Peace Expands Manga Catalog

One Peace is a boutique publisher that has been bringing over an eclectic selection of books from Japan, from novels, to craft books to manga. Among their manga selections are Manga Classics (no relation to the Udon Entertainment series), Crayon Shin-Chan, and this year, Whispered Words and Raqiya. Last month they announced two more titles to expand their manga catalog.

aqe1Aquarion-Evol is an adaptation of the anime of the same name, which is itself a sequel to the anime Sousei no Aquarion. 12,000 years have passed since the events of Sousei no Aquarion, and a new enemy, the “Abductors” have to Vega to steal its people away. The organization known as Neo-DEAVA is there to stop them. Young men and women, know as elements, pilot massive robots in separate teams, stop the Abductors. Amata Sora and Mikono Suzushiro are both members of Neo-DEAVA. To save his friend and his planet, Amata must use a power he has kept secret all his life to being the men and women together to bring the legendary giant robot Aquarion back. I wasn’t too sure about this title when it was announced. I found the first anime rather…problematic in its transformation, and skipped the second series thinking it was more of the same. Maybe the manga is different and can prove itself better. It’s 5 volumes and the first volume is scheduled for release in April 2015.

flowers for Chronous1Flowers for Chronous is a relatively new series which is serialized in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Gene. It follows shy, lonely high school student Soju Sagara as she investigates incidents involving the weapon known as SOWN for a secret organization. She teams up with Leon, who looks like a young boy, but is anything but, and the Void Association to investigate cases of chaos. With each case, they learn a little more about the personal traumas that fuel our demons. I am intrigued by the title. I love titles with investigations (yes I am a procedural junkie), so this one sounds right up my alley. It is an ongoing series with just one volume out so far. This title is scheduled for a May 2015 release.


Kodansha at NYCC

At New York Comic Con earlier this month, publisher Kodansha Comics held a panel where they announced four new titles to join their already extensive catalog of titles. Two of the titles are related to existing titles they are currently publishing and two are brand new.

l-dkThe first new title is a shojo. L DK follow high school students Shusei and Aoi. Shusei is his school’s “Prince” with a reputation for coldly turning down girls who want to go out with him. Aoi’s best friend becomes one of these girls, earn Shusei her disdain. When disaster strikes Shusei, and his apartment burns to the ground, he ends up being Aoi’s roommate. I’m not sure how I feel about this title. I really don’t care for stories that throw the characters into improbably situations like this. The series is currently 14 volumes and has had a live action movie. There was no word on when Kodansha would release the first volume, but I would guess late 2015.

Inuyashiki_coverInuyashiki is a sci-fi series by Hiroya Oku, the creator of the violent and gory Gantz. It is about Inyushiki, a salaryman with a wife and two children who don’t care about him. He learns he only has three months left to live, and comes to realize the only one who will miss him is the dog. But death comes soon than expected when an alien ship crashes on him. The aliens rebuild Inuyashiki as a robot, and is no long human. How will this change his life? I’m really curious about this series, but I do feel some trepidation considering the source. I may give the first volume a shot. There are only two volumes out so far, as the series only started this last January in Kodansha’s Evening magazine. No release date given for this one either.

Fairy Tail Blue MistralThe first of the related titles is one I was really hoping Kodansha would license. Fairy Tail: Blue Mistral is a shojo spin-off of the popular shonen series Fairy Tail. The series follows Wendy Marvell, and tells the story of her adventures before joining the Fairy Tail Guild. I really like Fairy Tail, but I’m looking forward to seeing a more female-centric view of the Fairy Tail world, and even a little romance. The series just started in August, so it doesn’t even have a single volume out yet.  And neither does Kodansha have a release date announced.

tsubasa worldThe last of Kodansha’s new licenses is Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE. Because apparently, you can’t have a xxxHolic manga without a Tsubasa companion. This series will tie into the new xxxHolic: Rei manga which Kodansha started releasing this year. I can safely say I will pass on this series, since I still have no interest in xxxHolic: Rei. Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE just started in August, so it doesn’t have any volumes out yet, so no release date from Kodansaha.

Parasyte 1Several days after making these announcements, Kodansha made a passing comment on their Twitter feed that they would be reprinting the series Parasyte. This was later confirmed on their Tumblr. Parasyte follows Shinichi Izumi. Alien parasytes have invaded the Earth, and one has taken Shinichi as a host. But Shinichi fights back, and the alien, Migi, can only control his right hand. They now have to work together to survive. Parasyte has a long history in English. It was first published by Tokyopop. Then it was rescued by Del Rey, and was then published again after Kodansha took over Del Rey. It’s only been two years since Kodansha’s last printing of the series in 2012. The only explanation for this new printing is that an anime has started airing, and Kodansha wants to cash in on the tie-in.




Viz Media at NYCC

West Coast publisher Viz Media was the only publisher from this coast to attend NYCC and hold a panel. While their panels this late in the year usually consist of reiterating want was licensed at the beginning, this year they had two new licenses to announce. Tokyo Ghoul will be a Viz Signature title and So Cute It Hurts will be a Shojo Beat title.

Tokyo Ghoul Tokyo Ghoul comes from Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump magazine. There are currently 14 volumes out in Japan. The series follows Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college student. Tokyo is being haunted by “ghouls,” who devour humans and whose identities are shrouded in mystery, leaving people in the grip of panic. While at a coffee shop he likes to frequent, Kaneki meets Rize, an avid reader just like him. But his life is changed forever when he becomes the first half-human, half-ghoul hybrid. Straddling both worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn about Ghoul society and master his new powers. Tokyo Ghoul recently had an anime that was streamed by Funimation, and has been on fans radars for a while. For me to enjoy a good action/horror title, it really has to be something really good. I just not sure Tokyo Ghoul will have the appeal I’m looking for. But there are plenty of fans out there it no doubt will. The first volume will be out in June of 2015.

So Cute It HurtsSo Cute It Hurts comes out of the gate not being something I’m too interested in. This title runs in Shogakukan’s ShoComi magazine and there are currently 8 volumes available in Japan. This series revolves around twins Mitsuru and Megumu Kobayashi. Megumu is good at history, Mitsuru not so much. In order to keep from loosing his weekends to extra history classes, Mitsuru convinces his sister to switch places with him, and help him pass his tests. What Megumu doesn’t know, is that Mitsuru has been going to a school for delinquents, and when confronted by a gang of bullies, she meets a mysterious boy with an eye patch. I really don’t care for gender swapping in titles, and this one doubles the whammy by it being twins doing the swap as well. This series will have to get a big wait and see from me. It might have potential. The first volume will be out in June of 2015.

Also discussed at their panel was the two initiatives started for Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine. Jump Start and Jump Back. Cute names, huh? Jump Start is a way to bring over and preview new titles simultaneously with Japan. Several chapters of a new series will run as well as one-shots. Jump Back is a way to bring back older popular titles from their catalog. The first of these Jump Backs will be Death Note. Besides having cute names, I think these initiatives are great for readers of WSJ. They give new titles a wider reach, and could possibly lead to new licenses as well as introduce older titles to a new generation of fans who may have missed them the first time around.

PR: Viz Media Announces New Manga Licenses

Viz Media performs a balancing act with the two new licenses they announced at NYCC; one for the Signature line and one for the Shojo Beat line. Shojo Beat has been getting a lot of new titles lately. It’s good to see the Signature line get more. We need more of those titles.




 North America’s Leading Manga Publisher Thrills Fans At New York Comic Con 2014 With The Announcement Of A Harrowing New Action Horror Series And A Hilarious New Shojo Manga Title

 San Francisco, CA, October 9, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, announced the acquisition of a pair of exciting new manga (graphic novel) titles during panels held during the recent New York Comic Con 2014.

Fans attending the East Coast’s biggest pop culture and comics event enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of the Summer 2015 launch of creator Sui Ishida’s horror action series, TOKYO GHOUL, which will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, as well as Go Ikeyamada’s cross-dressing comedy, SO CUTE IT HURTS!!, set to be published under the Shojo Beat imprint. Both titles will be released in print as well as digitally.

TOKYO GHOUL · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·

Print MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available June 2015

This riveting horror/action series about a reluctant monster has been one of the year’s most fan-requested new titles. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

SO CUTE IT HURTS!! · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·

Print MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Available June 2015

The fun begins when the cross-dressing starts in this hilarious new high school shojo manga comedy. The Kobayashi twins, Mego and Mitsuru, were named after historical figures, but only Mego has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?

“New York Comic Con is a perfect setting to announce the acquisition of these exciting new manga titles and we are thrilled to expand our Shojo Beat and VIZ Signature rosters with these scheduled releases,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “The much buzzed-about horror series, TOKYO GHOUL, presents a frightening world where monsters called Ghouls live among us, seemingly the same as normal people in every way, except for their endless craving for human flesh. SO CUTE IT HURTS!! will delight readers with a smile-inducing mix of cheeky comedy, funny characters and energetic artwork. We look forward to readers discovering both of these new VIZ Media manga titles next summer.”

For more information on manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

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 www.VIZ.com.

Vertical At NYCC

At New York Comic Con which occurred recently, Vertical, Inc. announced some new licenses, as well as a new imprint. Continuing with the roots of the company they announced two light novels, based on the wildly popular Attack on Titan property; Attack on Titan Before the Fall: Kyklo Arc and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City.

AoT Before the Fall LN 2Attack on Titan Before the Fall: Kyklo Arc makes up the last two light novels of the Before the Fall series. Vertical has already published the first novel, which follows talented smith Angel Aaltonen as he develops the maneuvering gear for the Survey Corps. The new license is for story that follows Kyklo, the “son of a Titan.” This second part takes place at around the same time as the first volume and follows Kyklo, a boy who was in the womb when his mother eaten by a Titan and survived, and became dubbed “Son of a Titan.” Kodansha Comics is releasing the manga based on the novel. Vertical will release the Kyklo Arc as one 2-in-1 omnibus. It will be available next summer. I’m currently reading the first volume and have liked it so far. Even with Kodansha releasing the manga, I may still read the light novels of Kyklo.

AOT Harsh MistressAttack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City takes place just after the beginning of the Attack on Titan manga. After Wall Maria was breached, Titans began streaming in, reaching even far off Quinta District. The story follows Mathias and his allies and Rita, a soldier in the brigade of occupying troops. Rita wants to protect the town which has fallen into chaos with the appearance of the Titans, but due to forceful tactics used by the brigade, the town becomes afraid. Mathias must use whatever he can to meet up with Rita, including the “helping hands” of a band of thieves. This single volume will be available in the Fall of next year. This time period in Attack on Titan has not been explored much, so it will be interesting to see what happened to some of the areas affected by the fall of Wall Maria.

Vertical Comics logoWhile not announced at NYCC, Publisher’s Weekly made the exclusive announcement during the con that Vertical was creating a new imprint for the company. Vertical Comics will be the place for all Vertical manga and anime-related titles. With this new imprint, Vertical will be expanding its manga offerings to 20 volumes this year, including 7 new properties. Eventually, the line will expand to 30-40 titles a year. Vertical decided to start this imprint to keep the manga separate from their core business of publishing Japanese prose novels. I think this is a great move by  Vertical, especially the expansion. They always pick up unusual and gripping titles that many other publishers won’t touch. While I’m not always comfortable reading some of their titles, I’ve never regretted reading one.

Yen Press Busts Out the Manga Licenses


Yen Press has been pushing out the licenses hard and fast this year. Their last big license announcement a month ago featured mostly light novels for their Yen On line. This last weekend at New York Comic Con it was time to spotlight the manga. Nine titles were announced, most of them being new, with one surprise/not so surprising license rescue.

A Certain Magical Index MangaAs Yen has been want to do, two of the manga titles are adaptations of light novels they have already announced. A Certain Magical Index light novel series got a lot of cheers from fans for Yen with its license, and now its manga adaptation is joining the party. This adaptation started a while ago, back in 2007, and there are 13 volumes so far. It follows Touma Kamjou, a boy made remarkable by his complete lack of ability in a city filled with super powered students. Touma just wants to keep a low profile, but when a nun named Index stumbles into his life, things get more complicated and dangerous than ever! I’d give this first volume a shot.

dungeon MangaIs it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is another light novel series adaptation. It’s only 5 volumes so far and follows Bell Crane, an adventurer trying to make it in the world. His world however is an enormous dungeon filled with monsters below a city run by gods and goddess with too much time on their hands. A roll of the random encounter dice has him meeting the girl of his dreams, a brilliant swordswoman he hasn’t got a chance with,  and possibly even awakening the jealousy of the goddess who sponsors his solo missions. I wasn’t sure about this series based on the title alone, but this description makes it sound interesting enough that I might try the manga.

Trinity 7The first new manga license is Trinity Seven from Kadokawa. It has nine volumes so far, and is a title that fits into Yen’s wheel house well. It’s a harem title that follows Arata Kasuga, a boy who transfers to the Royal Biblia Academy. He wants to solve the mystery of the destruction that is ravaging the world and find his cousin who has been stolen from him by it. Helping him are seven beautiful (and big-breasted) girls who each have mastered a magical art. Just the cover is enough to turn me off from this series.

chaikaChaika – The Coffin Princess is based on a light novel series of the same name. It is 4 volumes so far and runs in Kadokawa Shoten’s Monthly Shonen Ace magazine. It is about Tooru Acura, a soldier having a hard time adjusting to the 5 year peace after 200 years of war. After he saves Chaika Trabant, a silver-haired sorceress with a coffin on her back, he and his sister are hired by her to accompany her on a death-defying journey. Yen seems to like titles that feature characters carrying coffins on their back. This is a series I’d be willing to give a try. The creator, Shinta Sakayama, also created Strait Jacket, an anime OVA I enjoyed.

Prison School 1Prison School is one of three new titles Yen Press has gotten from Kodansha. This ongoing series started in 2011, and currently has 14 volumes out. It won the Best General Manga Award in Kodansha’s 37th  Annual Manga Awards this year. It follows Kiyoshi Fujino, a boy who has enrolled in Hachimitsu Private Academy. Hachimitsu had been an elite all-girls school, and this is the first year boys are being admitted. To Kiyoshi’s dismay, he learns he is only one of five boys who have enrolled in the school, where they are wildly outnumbered. Will it be heaven or hell for the boys? I’m not sure about this title. The description has the a lot of potential for being so not for me. First and foremost it screams “harem”, but with a bunch of girls outnumbering the guys, things will no doubt get weird fast.

First Love MonsterFirst Love Monster is another Kodansha title, this time from Aria magazine, one magazine Kodansha doesn’t seem to mind other publishers pulling from. It’s only 3 volumes so far and follows Kaho Nikaido, a fifteen-year-old who leaves her sheltered home for the first time to live in Tokyo high school dormitory. Nearly hit by a truck, she is saved by Kanade a boy who she falls instantly in love with. As luck would have it, he is the son of her landlord, but–he is also only in the 5th grade! Yeah, this is another series with an iffy/icky premise as far as I’m concerned. I don’t mind wide age ranges for couples, but I’d at least like for both of them to be out of puberty. Unless this series does something amazing in the first volume, it’s probably gonna get a pass.

Alice in Murderland 1Alice in Murderland is a license that shouldn’t be of any surprise for two reasons; 1) it’s by Kaori Yuki and 2) it has Alice in the title and a character dressed like the Disney Alice from Alice in Wonderland on the cover. Members of the elite house Kuonji, a clan with influence all over the world, must meet monthly. At the most recent meeting, the nine siblings are given horrific news straight from their own mother. They must fight to the death to decide the next head of the family. As chaos erupts, the fourth daughter Stella, loses it and a whole new Stella is born, blonde hair and blue dress and all! I like a lot of Kaori Yuki’s work, but this one has me on the rails. A fight to the death for control? Really? This one better really wow me with the first volume, especially since there are only two out so far.

Emma 1The big surprise announcement of the Yen Press panel was a license rescue, something Mr. Hassler said he hates to do. But I’ll let that pass for this rescue. Emma is a 10 volume Victorian Romance by Kaoru Mori that was originally published by CMX and a series that fans have been clamoring to get back.  Set in Victorian England, it is about the romance of William Jones, a young aristocrat, and Emma, the maid of his former Governess. While the couple are drawn together slowly but surely, society means to keep them apart. Mori’s beautiful artwork and charming characters make this a series that well deserved to be back in print. Yen will release the series as 2-in-1 omnibuses. You can be sure this will be on my must have list.

The final series is an original story by Svetlana Chmakova. Awkward is about shy transfer student Penelope-Peppi-Torres who just wants to fit in and not stand out from her fellow students. But when she bumps -literally- into geeky-but-quiet Jamie Thompson, she is branded “The Nerder’s Girlfriend.” Peppi’s first reaction is to push away, but afterwards, she feels guilty and wants to apologize, but she always ends up chickening out. Peppi gets another chance when they bump again -figuratively- but will these two opposites ever attract? I like Svetlana’s original work. I liked Dramacon and loved Night School so I will definitely check this series out. No word on volume count though. It could be one, or it could be three. Who knows?

There were no release dates given for any of these titles, but sometime next year, maybe late in the year is a good bet. This was quite a list of licenses, and including all the titles announced all the back to Sakuracon, that’s a lot of books coming out next year.

PR: Yen Press Announces New Licenses

Yen Press continues its pattern of licensing manga of light novels and vice verse. Along with these crossovers are some surprises that will make almost every fan happy. Read on for the good news!

Yen Press Announces New Licenses at New York Comic Con

YenPress_logoNEW YORK, NY (October 10, 2014) – At its panel at New York Comic Con today, Yen Press announced a number of highly anticipated forthcoming manga publications.

The light novel series Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and A Certain Magical Index were already on the new Yen On list, specializing in translated light novels. Today, Yen Press announced the acquisition of the manga series as well. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is by Kunieda; the original story is by Fujino Omori and the character design by Suzuhito Yasuda. A Certain Magical Indexis by Chuya Kogino; the original story by Kazuma Kamachi and the character design by Kiyotaka Haimura.

Also announced were Emma by Kaoru Mori, author of the acclaimed A Bride’s Story and Kaoru Mori: Anything and Something, also published by Yen Press; and Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova, author of Nightschool and illustrator of James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard, both also published by Yen Press.

The other announced publications were:

Trinity Seven, by Kenji Saitou and Akinari Nao;
Chaika, The Coffin Princess (manga) by Shinta Sakayama, original story by Ichirou Sakaki, character design by Namaniku ATK;
First Love Monster by Akira Hiyoshimaru;
Prison School by Akira Hiramoto; and
Alice in Murderland by Kaori Yuki.

Yen Press is an imprint of Hachette Book Group’s Orbit division, dedicated to publishing graphic novels for adults and young readers.  Yen Press’ focus is primarily on licensed manga, but also publishes across the wide spectrum of the graphic novel market, including, but not limited to: original manga publications, original American comics/graphic novels, webcomics, licensed adaptations, and children’s graphic novels. For more information, visit www.yenpress.com

Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Books, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Audio.

Crunchyroll Corner: Stirring Up Trouble

KippoCrunchyroll has been really been working hard to become the legal streaming site for manga. Their “all you can read” plan puts a lot of titles at readers fingertips for one monthly price, and they are adding new titles all the time. Recently, they added two new titles, The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer and Kippo. Kippo is a new title to western readers. It is by Hiroshi Tanaka and runs in Shonengahosha’s Young King magazine. The story is about some boys whose family life is anything but happy, and the people they meet in their “spot”, who become more family than their own. When disaster strikes, it’s these people who come together to protect what is important to them. The first chapter is available for anyone to read, while the rest of the first and only volume published so far is behind the subscription wall. It’s violent and disturbing at times, but does appear to have potential for some real drama.

The Lucifer and Biscuit HammerThe Lucifier and Biscuit Hammer is not a new title to western readers. Jmanga started releasing it and got out 5 volumes before they closed up. Crunchyroll has been rescuing a lot of Jmanga’s titles, and hope they continue to do so, but not everyone is happy about this license. Print publisher Seven Seas Entertainment already announced this title for print. They will be releasing 2 volume omnibus editions starting in November. There was a bit of a brouhaha on Twitter after Crunchyroll made the announcement, as some say it as stepping on Seven Seas’s toes. There seems to be some resentment among fans, and possibly publishers (though they’d never say anything openly) over Crunchyroll licensing and releasing titles digitally, often well before the print licensers can get theirs out, and possibly undercutting sales. They did it to Vertical with Ajin, and are now doing it again with Seven Seas. Crunchyroll has the whole series around up for premium members to read a whole  month ahead of Seven Seas’s first omnibus. The possible good/bad thing about this is that there are different translators for each project, but that can be a whole different can of worms.



Yen Press Adds Another Two Titles

Yen Press has really been piling on the licences lately, both in manga and light novels. One of each was just announced and confirmed in the last couple of weeks.

KarnevalThe one manga was announced on Twitter. Karneval follows the mysterious young boy Nai, who knows nothing but his name and Karoku. With only Karoku’s bracelet from “Circus,” he goes in search of Karoku. He is helped by an older boy Gareki and after an incident, they are recruited by the National Defense Agency Circus. As they travel, searching for Karoku, they meet new people and find new opportunities along the way. A lot of people were excited for this license when it was announced. There was an anime that aired last year, which was streamed and licensed by Funimation. I’m not really seeing anything from the description that excites me, but that’s nothing new. This is a title I will have to wait and see. It is currently 13 volumes and is scheduled for release in March 2015.

So I can't HAdding to their YenOn imprint is So, I Can’t Play H!, a romantic comedy light novel series. This one follows Ryuosuke Kaga, a high school student who is both a hopeless romantic and hopelessly perverted. One day he meets a beautiful girl in the rain and invites her back to his house. He offers her anything she needs; dry clothes, help changing out them…but the girl, Lisara Restole has other plans. She stabs him in the chest. Lisara is a shinigami, and Ryuosuke has thoughtlessly offered his essence to allow her stay int he world, and the part of his she seems interested in taking is his lecherous side. Yeah, can’t say I’m surprised Yen Press got this series. It fits in perfectly with their other heavy male-gaze titles. Which makes it another title I will let pass by. There are currently 11 volumes of this series out, and Yen Press will release the first one in English in April 2015

Crunchyroll Manga Rolls Out New Titles

Over the last few weeks Crunchyroll manga has been busy adding new titles to their growing library. Three of the titles are traditional manga, and three are part of their “Manga 2.5” line, which I would recommend avoiding, but your mileage may vary.

Kawaii complex of ManorsThe Kawaii Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is published by Shonengahosha in their magazine Young King Ours. It follows Usa, a boy who starts living on his own when his parents move for work. His residence is filled with eccentrics and perverts, but so does his crush, Ritsu. This series is a rom-com that has 5 volumes and is ongoing. It also has an anime that just streamed on Crunchyroll in the spring. The current chapter is now up, and new chapters will be added monthly. No word yet on when/if previous chapters will be available. The inclusion of the description “perverts” is enough to turn me off from this series.

Legend of OnikirimaruThe Legend of Onikirimaru sounds much more like my kind of title. It is published by Leeds Publishing in the magazine Sengoku Bushou Retsuden. A demon boy with no horns or name wields the blade Onikirimaru, the Demon Slayer. He is fated to kill his kin and slay the demons that have been awakened during the brutal battles of the Sengoku Jidai, when samurai ruled and leaders such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hidetsugu fought to unify and control Japan. The first 5 chapters are now available, and new titles will be put up bi-monthly. The series is rather gory, but since it is a horror title sent in a brutal time, that is of little surprise. Still, I’d wouldn’t mind checking out the first several chapters.

What the Good of me being popularThe third manga is a Kodansha series that is published in Bessatsu Friend. They are doing something different with this series by letting readers vote on the title; What’s the Good of Me Being Popular vs Boys, Kiss Him Instead of Me. The series is about Kae Serinuma, a fujoshi, who likes to imagine boys in wild fantasies. When her favorite anime character dies, she looses a ton of weight, and gains the attentions of four hot boys at school. But she’d rather they were after each other instead of her! There are currently 4 volumes available in Japan, and Crunchyroll with release the first chapter along with its new title on September 18. This series sounds like it could be funny, if you’re a fujoshi anyway. The one good thing about this title is that it’s aimed at the girls, something that has been showing up much on Crunchyroll.

KashiwagiThere are three “Manga 2.5” titles. After School of the Earth, a post apocalyptic title where only four people are left on earth, one boy and three girls, and their sometimes sad, but mostly happy days enjoying life.  The manga is six volumes long and was published in Akita Shoten’s Champion RED magazine. Renai Senka -The Special Class of Love-. This series follows Nobuta Yabuta, a new teacher at the all girl’s school Sakura Gakuen and who is afraid of women. Five girls in his class are part of a special class that must get their homeroom teacher, Nobuta, to kiss them to graduate. This series is 5 volumes and was published in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Forward. The third title, Kashiwagi-san Next Door, is about otaku Yuta Sakuraba. He mostly only likes 2-D girls, but he becomes interested in a 3-D girl for the first time when he has to sit next to Kotone Kashiwagi. Kotone hates otaku, but she may have some secrets of her own. It is also published in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Forward. It has 8 volumes and is still ongoing. None of these titles really interest me since they are all male-gaze oriented, but even if I did, I would completely avoid the “Manga 2.5” format that Crunchyroll is putting them in. That is creepy enough.