Kodansha Comics had it’s official launch event today, officially marking their entry into the North American manga publishing market. The event was held in New York at the Kinokuniya’s bookstore, and while I then couldn’t be there myself, my thanks to Anime Almanac’s Scott for tweeting the news as it was announced.
Since news of this event was announced a few days ago, social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and forums have been a buzz with a mixture speculation and ultimatums. Will they actually have any new licenses to announce? Will they finally reveal their plans for the library of mid-series licenses from DelRey that they hold? Will they actually put live an actual website? Patience has already run very thin for many manga readers as a company directly backed by one of the biggest names in the industry has sat silent for so long, with it the potential promise of many beloved titles held just beyond reach.
So what was said today? Quite a bit actually! From word on the majority of DelRey’s titles and a few new titles as well, Kodansha Comics plans the first big bulk of its manga out in Summer 2011.
Of DelRey’s existing library of titles, Kodansha was able to confirm the following volumes due out next year:
- Arisa (Vol. 02) – May 2011
- Fairy Tail (Vol. 13) – May 2011
- Negima! (Vol. 29) – May 2011
- Ninja Girls (Vol. 05) – May 2011
- Shugo Chara! (Vol. 10) – May 2011
- Air Gear (Vol. 18) – June 2011
- Negima?! Neo – June 2011
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Vol. 09) – June 2011
- The Wallflower (Vol. 25) – June 2011
- Arisa (Vol. 03) – July 2011
- Fairy Tail (Vol. 14) – July 2011
- I am Here! (Vol. 02) – July 2011
- Negima! (Vol. 30) – July 2011
- Ninja Girls (Vol. 06) – July 2011
- Shugo Chara! (Vol. 11) – July 2011
- Air Gear (Vol. 19) – August 2011
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Vol. 10) – August 2011
Though there will be a six month from now until these books hit store shelves, they are going to a bi-monthly release schedule which is great to see. Also series that DelRey had released as omnibus are returning to single volume editions, notably Air Gear and Wallflower.
New titles announced were:
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 01) – June 2011
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 02) – August 2011
- Monster Hunter Orage (Vol. 01) – June 2011
- Monster Hunter Orage (Vol. 02) – August 2011
- Deltora Quest – July 2011
- The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Mardock Scramble (Vol. 01) – August 2011
- Animal Land (Vol. 01) – August 2011
- Bloody Monday – August 2011
- Cage of Eden – August 2011
Edit: AnimeNewsNetwork has the original Japanese cover images and artist information available.
Kodansha also announced some license rescues: GON from CMX and Until the Full Moon from Brocolli Books. I was really surprised to read about Until the Full Moon, as such an older title though one I’m looking forward to having felt resigned to never reading the rest.
Along with continuing the series in single volume format, Kodansha will also be re-releasing the Negmia! manga in omnibus format, as well as the final volumes of Rave Master, which DelRey had originally license-rescued from Tokyopop.
Prices of their manga volumes will be $10.99/US per single volume and $19.99/US for omnibus editions. No word on the designs of these books yet but it remains fairly safe to assume they’ll be carrying on with DelRey’s designs and trim-sizes, if Akira and Ghost in the Shell were any indication.
Kodansha also noted that Sailor Moon was a title they couldn’t talk about at this time, that any titles from DelRey not mentioned aren’t necessarily cancelled (simply not scheduled yet) and that CLAMP’s XXXHolic will resume under the DelRey brand.
And that was that! Note: Kodansha Comics website has also updated with all the info shortly after the event ended. Still no actual website but at least they wiped the layer of dust off for now…
Personally I was surprised (and thankful) at the bulk of info, especially on the DelRey titles which was far less a wait than the year+ we had to wait for anything past Kodansha Comics’ original reveal. It’s great to see so many series continuing on, even if we do need to wait six months. A small price to pay if they’ll kick start again at that nice, consistent looking bi-monthly schedule. It’s also promising to see two of their new titles – Bloody Monday and Eden no Ori – are lengthy series, showing a presumed confidence in their future in the manga market.
What do you all think?