“Taking place in a medieval fairy-tale setting, Princess Knight is the story of young Princess Sapphire who must pretend to be a male prince so she can inherit the throne (as women are not eligible to do so). This deception begins as soon as she is born, as her father the King announces his baby is a boy instead of a girl. The reason for this is that the next-in-line to the throne, Duke Duralumon, is an evil man who would repress the people if he were to become king, and because of this the King will go to any length to prevent him from taking over.” – Excerpt from Wikipedia: Princess Knight
Osamu Tezuka plus “medieval fairy-tale setting” and a snappily dressed cross-dressing Princess out to save her kingdom from an evil duke – yes, please! I had the fortune of reading a neat learn-Japanese-esque bilingual edition put out by Kodansha International some years ago (alas my college library would’ve give it up for sale…) and I really liked it. I think many readers will find Princess Knight more easily approached than some of Tezuka’s darker works too.
In many ways this license was a given – Vertical Inc. has long since become the go-to publisher for Osamu Tezuka titles and they were open with fans that they were looking at the license. No less exciting to finally hear it’s happened though and if there’s one thing I’ve never questioned with Vertical, it’s the quality of their English releases. The company does top-notch work and I’m eager to see what they have planned for such a beloved title.
A purchase page for part one of Princess Knight appeared on Amazon.ca where the book is listed at 382 pages and with a release date of October 4, 2011. Pre-order, fellow Canadians! Part two of the series will be released shortly after in December. Both books will be printed at the same trim size as Vertical’s releases of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack.
But wait – there’s more! Vertical announced the license of Drops of God by artistic team Tadashi Agi. The series is about a man who must find 13 wines outlined in his deceased Father’s will in order to earn his inheritance. Thus he begins his quest to drink for the first time and use his genetically gifted talents for taste and smell to discover the wines he needs in rivalry against his Father’s adopted son.
I’m not a wine-fan myself but I’ve seen this manga requested by a number of fans so it’s great to see something seemingly so ‘unlicensable’ get a chance at the North American market. Not to mention it offers something else to the growing market of adult-targeted series. What really shocked me though was that the series is 27 volumes in Japan and still running! Wow! Vertical will be releasing omnibus volumes as 2-in-1.
Two exciting licenses with books I’m eager to get my hands on!