PR: Yen Press licenses Haruhi

I reported it below, but here’s the official press release on the licensing of Haruhi Suzumiya, which the Yen folks describe as “Hannah Montana meets Heroes.

Yen Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA, today announced that it will publish the first official English-language manga edition of Japan’s hottest property – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Acquired from well-known Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten, the manga series will be adapted into English from the original Japanese manga volumes illustrated by Gaku Tsugano. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Volume 1 will launch in October 2008 with both full-color and black-and-white illustrations. Subsequent volumes in the series will be published every four months. Available at major bookstores and comic book retailers, each volume is rated OT (Older Teen) and will cost $10.99 at retail.

“Haruhi will be landing in the United States…finally!” said Yoshinori Mino, Chief Editor of Shonen A Editorial. “We believe that Haruhi’s spirit will resonate with teens all around the world.”

“Ecstatic does not fully encompass just how truly honored and thrilled we are to be adding Haruhi to our list,” said Kurt Hassler, Co-Publisher of Yen Press. “For manga fans in the U.S., no international license is as eagerly anticipated as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Already a worldwide phenomenon, the Haruhi animé blew American fans away last year, and we’re sure that our manga edition will do the same.”

English language translations of the internationally popular novels will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Also acquired from Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten, the first title in the program, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa will be published in April 2009 as an original trade paperback with 8 volumes to follow. The program will be overseen by Director of Paperbacks Joe Monti and is the first joint publishing venture between Yen Press and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, both imprints of Hachette Book Group USA.

These “Hannah Montana meets Heroes” adventures chronicle the life of a high school girl, Haruhi Suzumiya, in her quest for all things extraordinary. Haruhi and her friends, who turn out to be pretty extraordinary themselves, form a club called the SOS Brigade which is dedicated to bringing excitement to the world by befriending aliens and time-traveling beings. Each volume will feature spot art, and the first novel will include a back-of-book excerpt of Yen Press’s English language manga edition.

Originally launched in Japan in 2003 as a series of novels, the Haruhi Suzumiya character has exploded into an international phenomenon. Over 4.5 million copies of the novels have been sold in Japan alone, and sales of the bestselling manga editions are over 1.5 million copies. With the launch of this joint program from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Yen Press, readers in the US can now join fans all over the world who have embraced Haruhi with a frenzy that has yielded bestselling books, a wildly successful television anime series, now available on DVD in the US, and extensive merchandise programs, and costumes.

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