New York Comic Con saw its largest number of manga publishers not only attending the show, but in having panels and making announcements! And manga publishers really made this last major con of the season count.
At the last big convention of the season, New York Comic Con, manga publishers appeared to make their last big announcements for the next year.
This last week was New York Comic Con, the last big con of the season. All of the major publishers were here, as well as some online newcomers. Everyone had something to announce, from new licenses to something a little more home-grown.
Viz Media had quite a few titles to announce at New York Comic Con. I’ll be looking at these titles in a separate post due out later this week. Until then, here are the official summaries. There are definitely some interesting titles in here as well as a little something for everyone. I have to admit, I’m finding the sport titles the most exciting.
To close out the con season, Viz is going all out with the show special and con exclusives. Naruto fans can get pre-street books, a variant cover of the final vol 72, exclusive figures and a special Ukiyo-e print that will set you back a pretty penny. Sailor Moon fans can stock up on DVD season sets, and manga fans can get pre-street copies of One-Punch Man, Tokyo Ghoul and Yokai Watch. If you can’t go, make a friend who is and get them to pick you up something!
Con season is winding down with NYCC being the last hurrah of the year, and Viz is making sure to make it a memorable one. Their superstar guest is Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto who will not only have his own panel and signing events, but will also give the opening remarks at the screening of the Boruto: The Naruto Movie. It’s a rare opportunity fans of Naruto will not want to miss.
Kadokawa has been trying to penetrate the US manga market on its own for a while now. Back in 2014, they released their Comic Walker app that was supposed to update with chapters of manga to read for free, but never went anywhere after a while. Now, it seems they are set to try again, with their new commerce site, Book Walker. They seem to be making interesting promises. The one that sticks out most to me is epub downloads. Most of the titles in English are already available, mostly from Viz Select. We’ll have to wait and see if they branch out into any new titles.
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.
The 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 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Several 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.
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 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 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.
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.
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF MANGA LICENSES FOR
TOKYO GHOUL AND SO CUTE IT HURTS!!
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.
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.
Attack 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.
Attack 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.
While 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 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.
As 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.
Is 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.
The 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.
Chaika – 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 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 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 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.
The 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.