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Kodansha Comics, Vertical Comics, and Vertical, Inc. Announce New Upcoming Titles

Kodansha Comics

Kodansha Comics, Vertical Comics, and Vertical, Inc., three leading imprints for Japanese novels and comics in translation, have announced their upcoming slate of new titles today, running the gamut from new manga series to re-releases of classics.

Vertical Comics announced the highly anticipated manga adaptation of NISIOISIN’s blockbuster Bakemonogatari series by acclaimed creator Oh! Great (Air Gear). The series will begin October 2019. Another major announcement was a new novel by the acclaimedMonogatari franchise creator, Hanging High School, the third book in the Zaregoto series, in September. Fans have clamored for the next episode in the series since the release of the second book in 2018, preceded by the hit first volume in 2017. During the announcement, Vertical revealed new cover art by VOFAN, the star illustrator of the Monogatari Series, for Makoto Shinkai‘s Voices of a Distant Star (novel), to release in July, and for VOFAN’s own full-color artbook previously only published in Taiwan, Colorful Dreams, to release in OctoberVertical also added Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose Resurrection at Nineteen, the prequel novels of the hit manga series for their light novel lineup in December 2019. 

The publishers unveiled three new highly anticipated box sets. The Monogatari series will see a “Season 2” box set later this year from Vertical, Inc. To coincide with the work’s 25thanniversary, Kodansha Comics will re-release CLAMP’s Magic Knight Rayearth in two beautiful three-volume hardcover box sets. The first is due Fall 2019, and on top of the three volumes of manga, each will include one full-color art book of rare pieces by the creators and an additional bonus item to be revealed.

Also coming to the box set format is the bestselling fantasy epic Fairy Tail, which will see its first 11-volume box set released this fall, with two per year to follow. Kodansha also announced Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, the sequel to Fairy Tail, which this summer will continue the adventures of Natsu, Lucy, Erza, and the entire magical guild, with layouts and story by creator Hiro Mashima.

In another addition to a beloved Kodansha Comics series, Cells at Work! CODE BLACK will be released this summer. Where the original series followed a Red Blood Cell and a White Blood Cell through a (relatively) healthy body, this spinoff is set in one that’s falling apart, with smoking, drinking, fatty liver, gout, and more intimate ailments to deal with. The book will carry a “surgeon-general’s warning” that it’s only for ages 18 and up!

Joining Yuri Is My Job!, Kodansha’s premier yuri (girl-girl romance) manga title that debuted this January, Kodansha will publish If I Could Reach You, a serious yuri title about a teenage girl coming to terms with her own sexuality through her crush on her brother’s wife. Vol. 1 is coming this fall.

Kodansha will publish the manga adaptation of the online game Granblue Fantasy, which featured design work and music by key creative figures from the Final Fantasy series and has proven a global hit. The manga, by cocho and Makoto Fuugetsu, will begin this fall. Finally, Kodansha will bring to print the digital-first title Drifting Dragons, about a “whaling ship” that floats through the air and hunts dragons! Vol. 1 is coming this holiday season. 

Kodansha Comics February Digital Debuts! The Tale of Genji and More!

Kodansha Comics announced today that its “digital-first” debuts, after a brief holiday hiatus, are back. This year will kick off with a trio of highly anticipated digital manga debuts by some of the most talented women creators working in the medium. The lineup includes two recent hit shojo romantic comedies in Rumi Ichinohe’s My Sweet Girl and Rila Kirishima’s World’s End and Apricot Jam, to be followed by the English-language debut of one of the most beautiful examples of the medium in Waki Yamato’s renowned adaptation of the literary classic, The Tale of Genji.

Kodansha Comics is proud to announce the English-language digital debut of The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn, which will coincide with the opening of the exhibition “The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on March 5. The exhibition, on view through June 16, will feature original genga artwork from Waki Yamato’s manga.

Since 2017, readers of Kodansha Comics’s “digital-firsts” have gotten the jump on everything from the updated translation of Battle Angel Alita to new volumes of never-finished classics like BECK to the first appearance of current hits like Tokyo Tarareba Girlsand Grand Blue Dreaming.

Starting with Rumi Ichinohe’s My Sweet Girl on February 12, 2019’s opening round of digital debuts will be available on all of Kodansha Comics’s partner digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook. The schedule is as follows:

My Sweet Girl (debuting February 12) Rumi Ichinohe’s sweet, pure love story is about a girl who never imagined falling in love, until one day she she meets a boy from the next class. This one’s dedicated to all the girls who find things a little bit awkward when it comes to romance. Published in Japan in 8 volumes (still ongoing) under the Japanese title Kimi wa kawaii onnanoko. English volumes will be released monthly until caught up to Japan.

My Sweet Girl

World’s End and Apricot Jam (debuting February 19) Music and romance collide in Rila Kirishima‘s off-kilter comedy about a building manager who has a run-in with a bumbling tenant—who turns out to be the lead singer of a supercool band. Published in Japan in 6 volumes (complete) under the Japanese title: Sekai no hajikko to anzu jam. English volumes will be released monthly.

World's End and Apricot Jam

The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn (debuting February 26).  First published in the 1980s and 90s, Waki Yamato’s rendition of Murasaki Shikibu’s 11th-century literary masterpiece is still gorgeous to behold and is considered one of the greatest novel-to-manga adaptations of all time. Published in Japan in 10 oversized volumes (complete) under the Japanese title Asaki yumemishi, Volumes 1-3 of this new digital English edition will be released on February 26, with subsequent volumes released monthly.

The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn Vol. 1
The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn Vol. 2
The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn Vol. 3

Anime NYC 2018: Hit Manga Cardcaptor Sakura and Princess Jellyfish Return in Deluxe Edition, Box Set and more from Kodansha

The groundbreaking fantasy manga Cardcaptor Sakura will return in a new, nine-volume hardcover deluxe edition starting in Spring 2019. Major manga publisher Kodansha Comics revealed the new release of the classic graphic novel series from revered creators CLAMP, which will be titled Cardcaptor Sakura: Collector’s Edition, at their panel at the Anime NYC convention.

Like previous premium manga re-releases from Kodansha Comics, which have included Sailor Moon Eternal Edition and the Eisner Award-winning Akira 35th Anniversary Edition, Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition will feature a newly-revised translation, high-quality art and lettering, and all the color pages from the original Japanese run. Each hardcover will also include new cover art by CLAMP and a  “clow card,” and Kodansha teased that readers who collect all nine volumes are in for a special treat!

Kodansha Comics will release the fifth volume of CLAMP’s new sequel series Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, which has become a hit in its own right since it began late last year, on Nov. 20.

The publisher also announced a collector’s box set of their hit story about geek girls in Tokyo, Princess Jellyfish. The complete series box set will feature all nine paperback volumes of Akiko Higashimura‘s acclaimed series, which was adapted into an anime in 2010 before becoming an English-language bestseller in 2016. More details will be released soon about the set, which readers will be able to enjoy in time for the holiday season in 2019. Kodansha is also publishing Higashimura’s new series Tokyo Tarareba Girls in print, with the fourth volume due out on Dec. 18 and already available digitally.

Also coming in 2019, Kodansha said, are two new manga based upon popular video game franchises: a four-volume adaptation of popular RPG Tales of Berseria, by artist Nobu Aonagi, and a two-volume series based on Type-Moon‘s popular mobile game Fate/Grand Order, titled Fate/Grand Order -mortalis:stella, by creator Shiramine.

Kodansha’s November Digital Debuts

Kodansha Comics continues to launch a new “digital-first” manga series every week and will kick off 4 new manga series in November. In keeping with its mission of increasing the diversity of manga genres available to English-reading audiences, the “digital-first” debuts this month include a steamy shojo romance, a wacky RPG videogame parody, and the kickoff to a string of all-ages manga releases that will carry over into the holidays!

Kodansha Comics’s digital-first manga releases are part of an exciting new initiative begun last year to put a greater diversity of manga series into the market. Starting with Hatsuharu’s Can I Kiss You Every Day? on November 6, this month’s series debuts will be available at all of Kodansha Comics’s partner digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook:

Can I Kiss You Every Day? (debuting November 6), Hatsuharu’s shojo romance about a now grown-up girl who reunites with a childhood friend promises lots of sweet and passionate kisses (original Japanese title: Mainichi kiss shite ii desuka);

Alicia’s Diet Quest (debuting November 13), Aoi Fujiwara’s wacky calorie-counting parody of videogame RPGs focuses on one high priestess fixated on losing some weight as prep for her showdown with the Demon King;

And starting November 20, Kodansha Comics gets into the holiday spirit by debuting a new digital manga for all ages every week—in addition to Good Dog, Cerberus! and Blissful Land, look for more announcements to come for December!

Good Dog, Cerberus! (debuting November 20), Moha Arimura’s full-color kids’ manga about the nicest 3-headed pet you’ll ever see  (original Japanese title: Meiken Keru-chan);

Blissful Land (debuting November 27), Ichimon Izumi’s heartwarming and finely detailed saga about a family living in 18th-century Tibet. (original Japanese title: Tenju no kuni) .

NYCC 2018: Kodansha Announces New Yaoi and Yuri Manga

In its tenth year of releasing manga in English, Kodansha Comics announced at New York Comic Con 2018 that it would join the publishers serving readers of yaoi (also known as “boys love”) and yuri manga in print in 2019. Kodansha said it would begin with three titles, all releasing Jan. 1: the yaoi series 10 Dance and Hitorijime My Hero, and the yuri comedy Yuri Is My Job!

Kodansha kicked off its entry into yaoi, a genre of male-male romance comics also known in Japan as “boys love,” with the announcement of the elegant romance 10 Dance by Satoh Inoue. The manga introduces two bitter rivals – dance champions known as the “kings of the ballroom” – who are forced to train together. The sweat and skill they display engenders a grudging respect that gradually develops into something more. Packed with muscular dancing and a classic yaoi plotline, 10 Dance is sure to appeal to fans of the genre.

A little more on the comedic side is the boys love series Memeko Arii’s Hitorijime My Hero, which was adapted into an anime last year that is now streaming on Amazon Prime and Hidive. A yaoi romance between a good boy who didn’t know he was waiting for a hero and a bad boy who comes to his rescue, the series is a natural next step for fans of 10 Countand Finder.

No genre of manga has grown more rapidly in recent years than yuri, romance comics that depict love between two girls, and Kodansha is getting into the game with Yuri Is My Job!, an uproarious comedy by Miman starring Hime, a high school girl who deeply cares about her image as a sweet, helpful princess but on the inside only cares about herself. Against her will, Hime gets manipulated into working as a waitress at a place that’s part café, part theater, where all the waitresses pretend to be students at a fictional German all-girls boarding school. Hime finds herself falling for another waitress at the café, who in front of the customers gives Hime love and devotion like she’s never known. There’s just one problem: Behind the scenes, Hime’s crush hates her guts.

The publisher said that these three titles are just the beginning. Kodansha Comics plans to release more yaoi and yuri manga in the future.

Fairy Tail’s Hiro Mashima Returns with Edens Zero this November

For more than a decade, Fairy Tail has been one of the best-loved manga series in the world. When the curtain finally lowered on the series with its 63rd manga volume, released in English in early 2018, its popularity was at its peak. But fans won’t have to wait long for more from its dynamic and prolific creator Hiro Mashima, whose brand new manga, Edens Zero, will see its first volume released in print in November 2018.

The Kodansha Comics industry panel at New York Comic Con 2018 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center included details of the release plan. The series, which brings Mashima’s epic storytelling to bear on a galaxy-spanning sci-fi adventure, has already seen a digital release, but the print volumes are highly anticipated.

Mashima’s readers were also excited to hear about new releases from the acclaimed artist’s past, coming to English for the first time. Hiro Mashima’s Playground, clocking in at nearly 400 pages, will contain a variety of fantastical short stories. What makes it a “must have” is the inclusion of the original short story that would become the juggernaut Fairy Tail. A rare look at the artistic process of one of the world’s top comics artists as well as a fun and funny collection in its own right, Hiro Mashima’s Playground will be released Oct. 30 in print and digital formats.

Also coming to print Oct. 23 is Fairy Tail: Lightning Gods, a single-volume spinoff about fan-favorite dragon slayer Laxus. This standalone volume concludes a series of character-focused spinoffs that has included Fairy Tail: Twin Dragons of Saber Tooth and Fairy Tail: Rhodonite.

NYCC 2018: Kodansha Announces New All-Ages and Teen Manga for 2019

At their industry panel at New York Comic Con, top-ranking graphic novel publisher Kodansha Comics announced two exciting upcoming all-ages manga, perfect for teen and adult readers as well as parents introducing kids to manga for the first time.

Beginning in April 2019, Kodansha will release Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier. The lushly-illustrated story of a girl who longs to be a witch in a magical society that keep telling her she doesn’t have what it takes placed No. 6 in a prestigious manga industry poll in Japan last year, and it is likely to be one of the most-anticipated new series in the English-speaking market, appealing to fans of Studio Ghibli and Disney films. Shirahama is known in the United States for her exquisitely-detailed variant covers featuring on comics from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and other publishers.

July will bring Vol. 1 of Magus of the Library, a story about a poor boy swept away by a kind library mage and the (literal) magic of reading. In a lushly-detailed fantasy world reminiscent of Arabian Nights, the Great Library is the center of learning in the world, and its librarians are capable of magnificent feats of magic. In a small village far from the main Library, a poor little elf boy struggles against bullies who call him “Knife-Ears.” His only solace: the books that he sneaks out of the village’s tiny branch library. When a librarian from the Great Library arrives, he’s dazzled by her knowledge and glamor. Their meeting will change his life and begin the adventure he’s always dreamed of.

NYCC 2018: Kodansha Announces new Printing of Akira Plus New Titles for 2019

At New York Comic Con 2018, Kodansha Comics announced the return of the top-selling manga release of 2017, the Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set, along with an exciting slate of new series for release in the coming fall and 2019.

Since becoming one of the top-ticket comics releases during last year’s holiday shopping and winning two Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, the new box set release of Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal Akira had become widely unavailable. But the publisher announced that, as of this week, the set is back in stock and available for purchase again, just in time for this year’s gift-buying season. December 2017 marked the 35th anniversary of the debut of the manga, while this year is the 30th anniversary of the influential anime film.

One of the largest English-language graphic novel publishers in the world, Kodansha also presented some of its new releases for 2019, starting with O Maidens in Your Savage Season, the manga debut of the award-winning screenwriter and director Mari Okada (anohanaMaquiaMobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans). In collaboration with acclaimed manga artist and illustrator Nao Emoto (Forget Me Not), Okada crafts a funny, dramatic, and deeply resonant coming-of-age story about a girls’ high school literature club confronting the terrifying specter of puberty.

The imprint also announced the print release of I’m Standing on a Million Lives, which had been a digital-first release. Ninth-grader Yusuke Yotsuya is a loner and he likes it that way. But one day, he and two female classmates are suddenly sent to another world, where they must work together to battle for their lives. But he’s been reincarnated as a farmer! How is someone who’s only ever wanted to be left alone supposed to be a hero? This original fantasy manga features a story by Naoki Yamakawa and art by Akinari Nao.

The publisher then presented several manga that tie into current or upcoming anime series.Boarding School Juliet by Yousuke Kaneda, an action romance about star-crossed lovers from two boarding schools that are bitter rivals, will see its first volume released in print this month, the same month its anime adaptation will premiere. It was previously released in digital formats. The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days, a two-volume prequel to the manga that became a Netflix Original Series, saw its first volume released this month and will conclude with Vol. 2 in November.

Joining these anime tie-ins is a broad variety of strong standalone titles. From Yoko Nogiri, the author of the bestselling shojo That Wolf-Boy Is Mine!, comes Love in Focus, about a teenage girl who moves away to a high school where she can nurture her talent for photography, learn to grow past personal loss, and build new relationships in her dorm. Like Wolf-Boy, the series is four volumes long, with the first debuting in March 2019.

The harem comedy Quintessential Quintuplets, about a super-smart student called upon to tutor five rambunctious, identical quintuplets, will debut in print in January 2019 after an initial digital release.

Finally, Kodansha Comics also previewed Gleipnir, the debut series by artist Sun Takeda, a compelling, sexy, and brutal action sci-fi series about a teenage girl searching for a sister who became a monster, and a boy with the strange power to turn into a ragged beast with a zipper down his back and a compartment on the inside just big enough for her body. With devilishly incongruous cute and violent art, Gleipnir will appeal to fans of the cute horror aesthetic of Five Nights at Freddy’s and the work of Jhonen Vasquez. Vol. 1 is coming March 2019.

Peach Girl Next Debuts Digitally from Kodansha this Tuesday

Kodansha Comics continues its campaign launching new “digital-first” manga series on a weekly basis and will kick off 3 new manga series in September. Following up the long-awaited “rescue” of formerly out-of-print high-drama high-school shojo classic Peach Girl from last month, Kodansha Comics will complete the original run of Peach Girl in September. But that’s not all—Miwa Ueda’s where-are-they-now sequel Peach Girl NEXT makes its debut for the first time in English on September 4!

Kodansha Comics’s digital-first manga releases are part of an exciting new initiative begun last year to put a greater diversity of manga series into the market. Starting with Miwa Ueda’s Peach Girl NEXT on September 4, this month’s series debuts will be available at all of Kodansha Comics’s partner digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook:

Peach Girl NEXT (debuting September 4), Miwa’s Ueda’s where-are-they-now sequel to her one of the all-time drama-laden high-school shojo manga, Peach Girl—with all the gang (Momo! Kairi! Toji! Sae!) now adulting ten years laterread Chapter 1 for free here;

Peach Girl volumes 9-18 (releasing September 11), the Peach Girl revival continues with the remaining volumes readily available once again, completing the original run of Miwa Ueda’s sasstastic shojo manga megahit from the 90s—read Chapter 1 for free here;

The Walls Between Us (debuting September 18), Haru Tsukishima’s romantic comedy about a girl who finds herself involved with her old childhood friend, who’s now grown up into an egotistical, self-absorbed playboy (original Japanese title: Watashitachi ni wa kabe ga aru);

Ao-chan Can’t Study! (debuting September 25), Ren Kawahara’s irreverent jokefest about the conflict between academic and more corporeal pressures, captured in one girl’s struggle to just get some studying done (original Japanese title: Midarana Ao-chan wa benkyou ga dekinai);

Two New Kodansha Manga Series Debut on ComiXology Originals

comiXology and Kodansha Comics have debuted two new manga series BECK and Seven Shakespeares from master mangaka Harold Sakuishi as part of the growing line of comiXology Originals titles. Sakuishi’s best-selling manga series BECK returns to readers with new, never-before-translated volumes and debuts today with the first 14 volumes available to read now. This release of BECK will see the series completed for the first time in English. In addition, Sakuishi’s new ongoing series Seven Shakespeares launches for the first time ever in English with 4 volumes available today.

Readers can enjoy the first 14 volumes of BECK and the first four volumes of Seven Shakespeares free to read for Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited customers. Volumes of BECK and Seven Shakespeares can also be purchased on Kindle and comiXology.

BECK
BECK is the story of fourteen-year-old Yukio Tanaka. He has no hobbies, bad taste in music, and his shy and neurotic personality make him his own worst enemy. Little does he know that his life will be forever changed when he meets rocker Ryusuke Minami, an unpredictable sixteen-year-old with a cool dog named Beck. Ryusuke inspires Yukio to get into music, and the two begin a journey through the world of rock ‘n’ roll dreams! Harold Sakuishi’s highly addictive manga series, that spawned the hit anime BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, will be completed for the first time in English with comiXology Originals bringing the additional volumes 15-34 in the next year.

Seven Shakespeares
Shakespeare wrote such famous works as Romeo and JulietHamlet, and Macbeth. But who was Shakespeare, the man? Seven Shakespeares unlocks the mysteries surrounding the international literary master. Seven Shakespeares is translated and available for the first time in English exclusively through comiXology Originals.

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