Yen Press announces new licenses

Yen On logo

Yen Press charged into con season today with a slew of new announcements at their SakuraCon panel. First up is a new light novel imprint, Yen On. Yen already publishes quite a few light novels, including Spice & Wolf and the previously announced Sword Art Online (also a manga) and Accel World. They announced three new titles for the imprint: Another, which they previously published digitally, and which is also a manga; A Certain Magical Index; and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

They followed that up with some new manga announcements. I’m just gonna pull these from the press release.

KING OF EDEN</em> by Takashi Nagasaki, art by SangCheol Lee – Maybe you’re not familiar with the name Takashi Nagasaki, but you sure should be! Nagasaki, the critically acclaimed co-author of Monster, 20th Century Boys, Master Keaton, Billy Bat, and Pluto, pens a grotesque thriller that will leave you begging for more! Starting May 1, chapters will be simultaneously published worldwide!
PandoraHearts ~odds and ends~ by Jun Mochizuki – If you love the cracking mind-warp that is PandoraHearts, you won’t want to miss this art book! Lavishly presented in hardback with a slipcase, Mochizuki’s darkly whimsical world comes to vivid life in this collection of over 120 color and black-and-white illustrations from PandoraHearts, Crimson-Shell, and more! Look for it in November 2014!
GOU-DERE SORA NAGIHARA by Suu Minazuki – No Yen list would be complete without a little raunch, am I right? In this hilarious fantasy romp out in November 2014, Shouta Yamakawa, a boy in love with his favorite demure manga heroine, Sora Nagihara, casually wishes she could be real…only to find himself staring into her eyes?! But Shouta soon realizes he got more than he bargained for ’cos this Sora turns out to be one bold, brazen babe!
LOVE AT FOURTEEN by Fuka Mizutani – Serialized in Hakusensha’s wonderful Rakuen Le Paradis anthology, LOVE AT FOURTEEN is a charming, bittersweet slice-of-life story about two very mature students in junior high falling in love like the teenagers they are. If you have a soft spot for subtle (not to mention adorable) romance, you’re going to have to read this in November 2014!
THE ANGEL OF ELHAMBURG by Aki – In this beautiful standalone volume, a close friendship between a king blessed by a strange angel and his knight begins to crumble under the weight of jealousy and contempt when a woman, and soon her child, comes between them. We love Aki with a burning passion here at Yen, so we’re beyond excited to be adding the gorgeousness of THE ANGEL OF ELHAMBURG to our Spring 2015 list!

A couple of other things…

Tokyopop, RightStuf, and Gentosha have announced that vol. 6 of Hetalia: Axis Powers will be released on May 31. Also, I don’t have a link for this but their latest newsletter announces that a motion comic of Sokora Refugees will launch on Saturday—but if you’re the impatient type, check out this Hulu link, as it seems it has been out since 2010.

Jason Thompson takes a look at The Legend of Koizumi in his latest House of 1000 Manga column for ANN.

Eisner nominations and new Manga Competition!

The Mysterious Underground Men

The Mysterious Underground Men

The big news this week is the Eisner nominations. Here’s the list in the manga category (officially known as Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia):

The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

If the choices seem pretty far from the mainstream, keep in mind that the Eisner judges have a difficult task (I was a judge in 2012 so I know this): You have to read a LOT of comics, and reading a series is a big investment of time; you’re looking for excellence, which implies literary quality; and you have to judge based on what came out in the nomination year, so even if you read a lot of series, you can’t consider the series as a whole, just a one-year slice. This biases the selection process heavily in favor of one-shots. All that said, I’d love to hear from you what you think the judges missed. I have my own opinions, which I’ll post eventually…

Attention creators! Entries are now being accepted for the Eighth International Manga Award.


Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 60 of Bleach (The Comic Book Bin)
Mark Thomas on vol. 5 of Demon Love Spell (The Fandom Post)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 5 of Happy Marriage?! (Comics Worth Reading)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Happy Marriage?! (I Reads You)
Johanna Draper Carlson on Insufficient Direction (Comics Worth Reading)
Kimi on vol. 6 of Itazura na Kiss (The Kimi-Chan Experience)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 11 of Library Wars (The Comic Book Bin)
Mark Thomas on vol. 2 of No Matter How You Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 20 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (The Comic Book Bin)
Jocelyne Allen on Sakuran (Brain Vs. Book)
Kristin on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Comic Attack)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of Wolfsmund (The Fandom Post)

Google Cultural Collection features Osamu Tezuka!

The Google Cultural Collection has put up an exhibit on Osamu Tezuka—the first one to feature manga or anime.

Ken H files his con report on Anime Boston.

News from Japan: Mike Masick of TechDirt writes about concerns among doujinshi creators that the Trans Pacific Partnership will lead copyright holders to shut them down; he seems to be quoting from another article, but I can’t find a source. The print run for the 13th volume of Attack on Titan was a record-shattering 2.75 million. Along those lines, ANN translates a list published by the magazine The Tsukuru of the top print runs of manga from Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan.


Ken H on vol. 1 of My Little Monster (Comics Should Be Good)
Alice Vernon on No Matter How You Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (Girls Like Comics)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (ANN)
Lori Henderson on Pokemon Black and White Pocket Comics (Good Comics for Kids)
Maggie on vol. 1 of Rensou (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kristin on vols. 29-31 of Slam Dunk (Comic Attack)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 5 of Triage X (The Fandom Post)

New licenses, plus some shop talk

No Game, No Life

No Game, No Life

Seven Seas has licensed No Game, No Life, a story about a brother and sister who are legendary gamers and are called to save humanity in an alternate world where games substitute for war. The first volume will be out in October.

More new licenses: Digital has announced it will add three digital titles to its lineup: The classic Kimagure Orange Road; Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) by Wandering Son manga-ka Takako Shimura; and the ecchi sci-fi series Let’s Go Play! (Asobi ni Ikuyo!/Cat Planet Cuties). That was their second announcement of the week; they announced earlier that they have licensed Kotoura-san and Aria the Scarlet Ammo.

And here’s one more: One Peace Books has licensed Raqiya, by Masao Yajima and Boichi. The series, which first ran in Kodansha’s Morning magazine, is about a girl whose family is killed in an accident; she makes a deal with the devil to bring them back, but her actions have grave consequences.

The Manga Bookshelf team discuss this week’s new releases.

Erica Friedman chronicles new releases, new licenses, and more in the latest edition of Yuri Network News at Okazu.

Over at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Justin Stroman is on a roll; he has posted a ton of interesting articles lately. Check these out: A list of legal manga reading apps, with basic information about each one; a discussion of why publishers will license some manga and not others; and a roundtable discussion with a number of experienced manga editors. Also, Justin is curious about manga that U.S. publishers seem to have given up on mid-series, so he’ll be looking into that. Stay tuned!

Tokyopop founder and CEO Stu Levy took part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit the other day. He talks about the early days of Tokyopop, why the company stopped publishing, and what they are doing now, and he tosses in a story about getting stuck in Mexico with GTO creator Tohru Fujisawa.

ABC News profiles Kazuto Tatsuta, the creator of the manga 1F, which recounts his days as a worker in the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Ironically, Tatsuta (not his real name) took the job because being a manga creator wasn’t paying enough; the story has been his biggest success to date.

At long last, Doraemon is available in English, in digital form. Translator Matt Alt gives the details and explains why Doraemon is so important.

Sarah Horrocks posts the second part of her thoughtful analysis of Nijigahara Holograph.

In her latest Manga Dome podcast, Lori Henderson looks to the past and the future with a discussion of the latest new license announcements and a look back at what was going on in the manga world ten years ago.

Ken H files a detailed con report on Anime Boston.

In case you’re curious, here’s a look at the manga scene in the United Arab Emirates.

March Comes In Like a Lion

March Comes In Like a Lion

News from Japan: The winners of the 18th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prizes have been announced; the grand prize went to Chica Umino’s March Comes In Like a Lion. Space Brothers, which is available on Crunchyroll, won the Readers Prize. Meanwhile, Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story is the winner of the Manga Taisho Award. Fairy Tail is getting its own magazine, which will feature a new Fairy Tail Zero series by Hiro Mashima and other spin-offs; the main Fairy Tail manga will continue to run in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. The magazine will cost 2,980 yen per issue, which is a lot, but each issue will come with four DVDs of the television anime. Children of the Sea manga-ka Daisuke Igarashi will publish a one-shot story in the April 24 issue of Afternoon magazine. Shogakukan has published a special commemorative magazine celebrating the 80th birthday of the late Fujiko F. Fujio, the co-creator of Doraemon. The Rozen Maiden spin-off Rozen Maiden dolls talk is coming to an end.


Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (The Fandom Post)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Junior High (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Lori Henderson on vol. 15 of Bakuman (Manga Xanadu)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-4 of The Earl and the Fairy (Manga Xanadu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Food Wars! (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on Insufficient Direction (Experiments in Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of March Story (The Comic Book Bin)
Justin Stroman on vols. 1 and 2 of No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 70 of One Piece (The Comic Book Bin)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (Comic Attack)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 21 of Pokemon Adventures (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 15 of Psyren (The Comic Book Bin)
Ash Brown on vol. 5 of Real (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on the March 24 issue of Shonen Jump (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 19 of Soul Eater (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
G.B. Smith on vol. 7 of Sunshine Sketch (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on Sword Art Online: Aincrad (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sarah on vol. 2 of Time Stranger Kyoko (nagareboshi reviews)
Darius Washington on Unico (The Fandom Post)
Kimi on Until the Full Moon (The Kimi-Chan Experience)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 35 of Vagabond (The Comic Book Bin)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Comics Worth Reading)
Anna N on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Manga Report)

Kodansha announces The Heroic Legend of Arslan, digital Mushishi

Ben Applegate of Kodansha Comics had some announcements to make at Anime Boston this week: They will publish The Heroic Legend of Arslan, by Fullmetal Alchemist manga-ka Hiromu Arakawa, and they also announced a digital re-release of Mushishi. And that Attack on Titan: Colossal Edition will include 15 color pages that have never been collected in book form before; they only appeared in the magazine serialization.

License rescues! Well, sort of: Viz will be republishing Chibi Vampire and DN Angel in digital-only editions, available via their own digital service and e-book platforms. These two series were originally published by Tokyopop and Viz is using the Tokyopop translations. At the moment there are no plans to complete either series; there are two volumes of Chibi Vampire that were published in Japan but not in the U.S., and Viz has no plans to translate those. As for DN Angel, the creator left that series unfinished.

The Manga Bookshelf team discusses this week’s new releases.

Sean Gaffney takes a look at the new digital manga service Comic Walker.

Erica Friedman keeps us up to date with the latest edition of Yuri Network News.

A school board in Osaka Prefecture has removed Barefoot Gen from school libraries, at the behest of the mayor and over the protest of the school principals.

Jason Thompson devotes his latest House of 1000 Manga column to the works of Usamaru Furuya.

David Brothers writes about Shotaro Ishinomori and Cyborg 009 in the afterword to Archaia’s adaptation; this is a nice essay and a good introduction to the original.

Matt Emery at Sequential has a great interview with manga translator Kumar Sivasubramanian (Knights of Sidonia, Message to Adolf, Blade of the Immortal), who talks about how he got his first gig, how he approaches his work, and how page rates and demand have changed over the years. It’s an interesting insider’s take on the industry, sprinkled with fun anecdotes.

The first volume of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall tops the New York Times manga best-seller list.

It’s Manga Month at Diamond Previews, so Drawn and Quarterly pulls together a checklist of all their manga series.

News from Japan: Lots of farewells here: The long-running series Oh My Goddess is coming to an end. The 26th volume of The World God Only Knows will be the last. Btooom! is going into its final story arc. Feel Young has a new series by Yamaji Ebine. ANN has the latest Japanese comic rankings.


Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 9 of 07-Ghost (The Comic Book Bin)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Junior High (Experiments in Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 11 of Blue Exorcist (The Comic Book Bin)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 23 of Hayate the Combat Butler (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 23 of Hayate the Combat Butler (I Reads You)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 2 of Judge (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Midnight Secretary (The Comic Book Bin)
David Brothers on My Grandpa’s Stories Can’t Be This Weird (4thletter!)
Anna N on vol. 1 of One-Punch Man (Manga Report)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 16 of Oresama Teacher (The Comic Book Bin)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Erica Friedman on vols. 3 and 4 of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Perfect Edition) (Okazu)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 edition) (ANN)
Ash Brown on vol. 4 of Real (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on the March 17 issue of Shonen Jump (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 8 of Strobe Edge (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Ken H on vol. 1 of Takasugi-San’s Obento (Comics Should Be Good)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Umineko When They Cry, Episode 3: Banquet of the Golden Witch (ANN)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of UQ Holder (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
David Brothers on World Trigger (4thletter!)

Kuroko’s Basketball suspect speaks

Hirofumi Watanabe, the suspect in the Kuroko’s Basketball case, admitted in court yesterday that he was the one who sent hundreds of threat letters to stores and convention centers and says the motive was jealousy of manga-ka Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s success. Watanabe said he was suicidal before he sent the letters and would attempt to kill himself once he was out of prison; “That way, society can rest assured that I won’t do anything stupid again.”

Crunchyroll has been adding a lot of new series to their digital manga service lately, including, most recently, Ajin Koe no Katachi, and Hiromu Arakawa’s adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan.

Sean Gaffney rounds up the latest license announcements, with commentary.

Justin Stroman asks seven manga translators to talk about the joys and challenges of their jobs.

The Manga Bookshelf team chat about this week’s new releases and discuss their Pick of the Week.

Erica Friedman updates us on the world of yuri in her latest Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

At Gagging on Sexism, Erin discusses some shonen manga written by women.

Lori Henderson looks at manga that feature fairies in her latest Manga Dome podcast at Manga Xanadu.

Moyoco Anno is coming to TCAF!

Reviews: Ash Brown chronicles another week of manga reading at Experiments in Manga. The Manga Bookshelf team posts their short takes on new releases in the latest Bookshelf Briefs column.

Ken H on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (Comics Should Be Good)
Ash Brown on vol. 28 of Blade of the Immortal (Experiments in Manga)
Erica Friedman on Dare mo Korinai (Okazu)
Maggie on vol. 1 of Hitohira (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Joan Li on Honey and Clover (The Harvard Independent)
Matt Cycyk on Insufficient Direction (Matt Talks About Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 7 of Is This a Zombie? (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 10 of Itsuwaribito (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry Blossom Pink (Experiments in Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 70 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lori Henderson on Phantom Thief Jeanne (Good Comics for Kids)
Anna N on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (Manga Report)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Ranma 1/2 (Comic Attack)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1 and 2 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Ash Brown on vol. 3 of Real (Experiments in Manga)
Derek Bown on the March 10 issue of Shonen Jump (Manga Bookshelf)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1 and 2 of Sickness Unto Death (Manga Xanadu)
Matt Cycyk on vol. 3 of Thermae Romae (Matt Talks About Manga)
Lori Henderson on vol. 2 of Until Death Do Us Part (Manga Xanadu)