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Yen Press Launches Light Novel Imprint – Yen On

Yen Press Launches Light Novel Imprint - Yen On

Yen Press’s new manga titles weren’t the only treat they had in store for Sakura Con 2014. The publisher also announced a brand new imprint – Yen On – dedicated to the publication of Japanese light novels. As the name directly implies, light novels are novels only… light, meaning not as dense or lengthy as most novels we’re accustomed to. They also have accompanying artwork inside.

A publisher for light novels is something I’ve seen plenty of interest for, but of course seeing interest from inside the anime/manga fandom isn’t necessarily indicative of an actual support base. Though many light novels are original properties – with the most popular receiving manga and anime adaptations after the fact – they’re still mostly seen as simply counterparts to their other more popular connected mediums in North America. Cute anime girls on covers also aren’t a big selling point for the average reader like they are in Japan, as evident by Yen Press’s decisions to sell the original volumes of Spice & Wolf with new photo-realistic cover art. I can’t say if those had any positive or negative affect on sales but it was certainly a thing that happened.

So how about Yen On then? If any publisher was going to do this, I don’t think anyone’s surprised it’s Yen Press. The manga publisher has already released several light novels including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Sword Art Online, and the aforementioned Spice & Wolf. I’m curious to see if they’ll keep promotion focus on the existing anime & manga fan base, or if they’ll continue trying to push light novels to the wider young adult reading audience as well. Where will I see these books shelved in Chapters & Indigo stores in 2015?

Yen On is launching with three series to start:

Another – Yukito Ayatsuji
A Certain Magical Index – Kazuma Kamachi & Kiyotaka Haimura
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? – Fujino Omori & Fujino Omori

Another is a title I know from Yen Press’s omnibus release of the manga last year, a creepy horror story that had me almost leaving the lights on when I went to sleep. It’s about a class of students haunted by a vengeful spirit, one who appears among them as an extra classmate and brings about gruesome deaths.

Yen Press previously released the Another novel back in 2013 but in digital format only. This October they’ll be launching their new imprint with a hardcover print edition of Another that includes both volumes combined into one.

A Certain Magical Index is also a title I’m familiar with, but by reputation only. This light novel series has spawned multiple manga series and an anime. The  story is set in a world where people have supernatural abilities, but political and societal struggles erupt between different factions of these individuals depending on how they gained their powers, plus what they are. The main setting for the stories is a technologically advanced academy where students with these abilities reside.

Yen On’s first volume of A Certain Magical Index is scheduled to be released this winter.

Last but not the least bit short in name is Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. I’ve seen the joke about long light novel names plenty of times, so Yen On launching with a title like this seems a perfect fit. As for the story itself, the series is set in a fantasy world where a floundering adventurer teams up with a failed goddess.

The author of IIWTTTPUGIAD is new to North American publication but the artist, Suzuhito Yasuda, is known for their manga series, Yozakura Quartet, which was published by Del Rey. The first volume of IIWTTTPUGIAD is due sometime this winter as well.


PR: Yen Press Announces New Licenses and Light Novel Initiative at Sakura-Con

Yen Press Announces New Licenses and Light Novel Initiative at Sakura-Con

NEW YORK, NY (April 19, 2014) – At its panel at Seattle’s Sakura-Con today, Yen Press announced a dedicated program for the English-language publication of Japanese light novels, to be branded Yen On. The newly established Yen On brand will expand on the imprint’s previous light novel offerings, which include such properties as Spice and Wolf, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (co-published with sister company Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), and the forthcoming releases of Sword Art Online and Accel World. Yen On will formally launch in Fall 2014 with a goal of releasing approximately twenty-four books in 2015.

Yen Press also announced several new licenses of popular manga series. The following is a summary of the new acquisitions announced today:

King of Eden
Takashi Nagasaki, critically acclaimed co-author of Monster, 20th Century Boys, Master Keaton, Billy Bat, and Pluto, pens a sweeping new masterpiece of the grotesque with artist SangCheol Lee. Released in cooperation with Haksan Publishing, chapters will be serialized digitally with global availability beginning May 1, 2014.

PandoraHearts ~odds and ends~
The dark whimsy of Jun Mochizuki’s New York Times best-selling world comes to vivid life in this art book featuring over 120 color and black-and-white illustrations from the imagination of the author. This lavish edition will be available in November 2014.

Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara
Two-dimensional love bursts into reality when Sora Nagihara leaps off the manga page and into Shouta Yamakawa’s life in this hilarious fantasy romp from Suu Minazuki. The first volume will debut in November 2014.

Love at Fourteen
Fall in love with Kanata and Kazuki, two unusually mature teens, in this bittersweet manga from the creative talent of Fuka Mizutani. The first volume will be available in November 2014.

The Angel of Elhamburg
Aki returns to the Yen Press list with the tale of a precarious friendship between a king and his knight that begins to crumble under the weight of jealousy and contempt as a beautiful angel looks on. The Angel of Elhamburg will release in Spring 2015.

Another
Published digitally in two volumes by Yen Press in 2013, Yukito Ayatsuji’s spine-chilling horror novels make their way to bookstore shelves in a hardcover omnibus edition under the Yen On brand in October 2014.

A Certain Magical Index
One of Japan’s most beloved light novel series (and one of our most requested), A Certain Magical Index will help launch the Yen On venture. Kazuma Kamachi’s epic tale of clashing Magicians and Espers, accompanied by Kiyotaka Haimura’s lush illustrations, will debut in Winter 2014.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
One of the light novel category’s latest breakthrough successes, Fujino Omori’s hilarious fantasy about a hapless adventurer and a failed goddess, with illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda, will round out the Yen On initial launch list in Winter 2014.

Read more…


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