ADV or AI?

Yotsuba&!A week or so ago, this forum comment from former Newtype USA editor Chris Johnston popped up at MangaCast.

I don’t think there’s been any announcement of the sort, but ADV Manga’s been shut down for months now even though they never removed the solicitations for 2008. Your best bet is to rally around someone else picking up the license [for Yotsuba&!].

I didn’t link to it at the time, but Johnston subsequently confirmed that the comment was his. Also, the ADV website seems to be perpetually down these days. Still, I wanted to write a real story, not rumors and speculation, so I e-mailed two ADV execs and asked them for comment. Neither one replied. (Actually, Chris Oarr did e-mail me to let me know he talked to someone else: Scott Green. I somehow missed it yesterday.)

So props to AICN’s Scott Green, who succeeded where I failed and got an interview with Chris Oarr.

It’s a rather peculiar interview, though. It reads like a transcript of a Turing test, in that Oarr picks up a few key words but his answers are almost content-free. Green asks if vol. 6 of Yotsuba&! has been printed, and here’s Oarr’s response in its entirety:

No, YOTSUBA&! v. 6 has not been printed, although it was scheduled and title information was presented to major retailers months in advance.

A lot of people would have thrown in some sort of explanation here, but apparently that’s not the ADV way. Then Green points out that Yotsuba&! was nominated for an Eisner award and wonders aloud if that might suggest to ADV that perhaps they should consider printing that sixth volume. Oarr:

YOTSUBA&! is the work of a world-class cartoonist at the height of its powers, and of course we’re pleased that YOTSUBA&! is being recognized in this way. CROMARTIE HIGH was the only manga nominated for “Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material” in 06. I hope that we can schedule new volumes of these series and GUNSLINGER GIRL soon.

The rest of the interview basically consists of Green approaching the question of “What’s going on with Yotsuba&!” from a variety of different angles and Oarr blandly saying nothing. So although Oarr states at the outset that “ADV Manga still exists,” he gives absolutely no evidence that that’s actually true. My own inference, after reading the entire interview, is that ADV is still having problems, presumably financial, and that in the end they care a lot more about anime than manga.

(Found via the always NSFW Icarus blog.)

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  1. Time to start an online pool on if and when Yotsuba&! Vol. 6 will come out.

  2. I’m sure it’ll come out eventually. Either ADV will get over their (Possibly financial) troubles, and return to producing manga. Or they’ll go bust, and some other company will pick up the licence.

    The question is wether it’ll be quicker to wait until it gets released here, or learn Japanese, walk to Japan, buy a Japanese copy, and walk back.

  3. Do you really think so, Strabo? Because I read through that entire interview twice and didn’t see any evidence of plans to release it, other than Chris Oarr’s repeated assurance that they would do it. No timetable, no evidence that anyone is working on it, no talk of any other manga coming out in the near future. You would think that if anything was actually happening, he would say so. Or is secretiveness some sort of corporate policy with these guys? That would explain their website (updated every three years, whether it needs it or not).

    You can read Yotsuba&! today online, in English, via scanlation. I was sorely tempted to link to it in the article, but held back because I’m trying to be professional here. But I think you know how to find it.

  4. danielle leigh says

    Oh wow. Can I never give ADV money every again?

    Because that is where I’m headed at this point….

  5. I’ll make a bet right now that we never see Yotsuba&! 6 (or the unpublished volumes of Gunslinger/Cromartie) from ADV. I’d be MORE than happy to lose that bet, but I’m 98% sure I won’t.

    Look at it this way. All the answers about the state of ADV Manga are right there in the first answer on AICN — ADV Manga is just as alive as ADV Toys and ADV Music, as stated in that interview. When was the last time either released anything? Do you consider that alive or dead?


  1. […] analyzes comment on whether ADV Manga still exists and whether Yotsuba&! Book 6, originally due in February, is ever coming […]

  2. […] ADV’s Chris Oarr does an interview with Ain’t It Cool Anime, who discusses the status of ADV Manga. In spite of comments from Chris Johnston, Oarr assures the world that ADV Manga still exists, and then completely refuses to actually provide anything concrete, as noted in more detail by Brigid over at MangaBlog. […]