Yen honcho talks Yotsuba&!

For over a year now, Yotsuba&! fans have been agitating for the sixth volume of the adventures of the little green-haired girl, but the annoucement of its imminent release came from an unexpected quarter: Yen Press, which has taken over the license for volume 6 and subsequent volumes from ADV Manga. While the Yen Press booth was one of the busiest on the floor (possibly because they were giving away free copies of Yen+ magazine), publisher Kurt Hassler took a few minutes to talk to me about how Yen snagged the license and fill in a few more details about their plans for the books. (Incidentally, Kurt pronounces the title of the book as many of the cognoscenti do: Yot-su-BAH-to, with the last syllable coming from the Japanese word for “and.”)

MangaBlog: How did you know Yotsuba&! was available?

Kurt Hassler: We were contacted by ASCII Media Works, the Japanese publisher.

MB: Why were the rights available?

KH: I’m really not clear on what happened with the rights situation; all I knew was the rights were coming available. It was a book we were very familiar with, we had some huge fans in the office and I am a huge fan myself, so we jumped at the opportunity.

MB: When will volume 6 come out?

KH: September 2009

MB: Will it be different from the previous volumes?

KH: We’ll mimic the original design, the same way we do with Japanese books. I don’t remember if the original Japanese tankoubon had color pages, but if it does, we will have them too.

MB: Who will be the translator?

KH: Amy Forsythe. She did one of the earlier volumes, 1 or 2.

MB: Will you be publishing the subsequent volumes?

KH: Yes.

MB: And the previous volumes?

KH: I believe those rights are reverting, and I will talk to someone at ADV about possibly acquiring their materials. If we do not acquire it that way we will handle our own translation. Our primary concern initially was feeding the interest in getting the successive volumes out. Now that is done, we can discuss picking up the previous volumes.

MB: What’s special about Yotsuba&!?

KH: It’s very funny, the main character is unique, it’s a unique storyline, and the humor of it is sort of contagious, so I can’t say anything that reviewers or fans don’t already know.

MB: Will you run chapters from Yotsuba&! in Yen+ magazine?

KH: No.

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  1. Hmm, I kinda hope they do away with the “&” in the title, though I’m not sure they even can. I never liked the way they translated Yotsuba-to into “Yotsuba&!” I mean, how do you even say that? It’s an awkward particle to tranlate out of context, though, so I don’t know what they could do instead. “With Yotsuba”? I dunno, maybe they could just call it plain old Yotsuba for simplicity’s sake.

  2. Most people i know who have the series do just call it Yotsuba, i’ve never read the series though. Never started it since it was dead for so long. Think i may give it a try now

  3. I’ve always said Yot-su-BAH-to, but probably that’s ‘cos I’ve read about it online and knew what the original title was. Otherwise, I would’ve just assumed the &! was just weird extra punctuation.

  4. The title was written as “Yotsuba&!” in the interstitial pages of the Japanese volumes, so I guess that’s why.

    I’m glad that Yen Press has taken over this series and will be publishing the rest of it.

  5. I hope Yen picks up previous volumes but a lot of them are still in stores anyways.

  6. L.N. Hammer says

    Yotsuba&! is the official romanization, and was even before ADV licensed it.

  7. No, no emphasis on BAH! Yoh-tsoo-bah-toh, with a slight emphasis on YOH! I’m half Japanese and grew up hearing my mother speak Japanese. The Japanese don’t put emphasis on the last syllable. I’m running through a whole bunch of Japanese names in my head right now, and NONE of them emphasize the last syllable.

    And the “ts” is pronounced together, just as my mother’s maiden surname, Tsukui!

  8. now This is good news [how late am i in finding out about this? :D]

    personaly i always pronounced it yotsu-bah, or ‘yotsu-bah and’

    and yes, that’s ‘yotsu’ really fast almost as one sound. yay for the New Zealand accent. it gives one the right instinct for the vowels maybe, oh, half the time? the rest it Really screws ’em up :D

    actually, it’s more like yo-su when you listen to it, and only pronouncing half the o, but the t is formed in passing, so whatever. and now that i think about it the ‘ah’ kinda goes missing off the end. yohsoobh? *laughs*

    so, ADV finally gave up, huh? … now, if there was only some way to get subsequent volumes of Captain Nemo out of Seven Seas… and complete my collection of Emma without paying hundreds of dollars to ship things from the states. [seriously, what the hell? $140NZ for two paper back books to get put on a ship and take a month and a half to get here? books that cost maybe $25 each, tops? sad, man. sad]

    ok, i went totally tangential there. and most of it’s probably irrelevant, but whatever. fear my comment :D


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