It’s San Diego Comic Con this weekend, which means no shortage of pop culture news flooding the internet. It’s an overwhelming but beautiful thing! Manga publishers in attendance are having panels to share news of their own, and the first big event came from Kodansha Comics on Friday.
During their panel, Kodansha Comics announced the following licenses:
Monster Soul – Hiro Mashima
My Little Monster – Robico
Say “I Love You.” – Kanae Hazuki
XXXHOLiC: Rei – CLAMP
Monster Soul is a two volume series by Hiro Mashima, creator of the better known Fairy Tail. This story takes place in a land inhabited by demons and humans where we follow a cast of characters embroiled in a war between the races. Volume one is scheduled for May 2014.
My Little Monster is a quasi-romance story about a loner who inadvertently becomes the object of affection for a trouble-maker in her class. While this is Robico’s first time being published in English, readers may be familiar with their work already as My Little Monster has an anime which was streamed on Crunchyroll. We should see the first volume of My Little Monster in March 2014.
Meanwhile, Say “I Love You.”‘s creator, Kanae Hazuki, has had another series previously released in English – Voices of Love. I enjoyed that short story anthology as a collection of comics targeted at adult women, which aren’t exactly common place. Say “I Love You.” looks to be more the standard school-life love story, but I enjoyed Voices of Love enough to look forward to it. This series also had an anime adaptation which Crunchyroll streamed. Volume one of the manga is scheduled for April 2014.
XXXHolic: Rei is a title that I knew would be licensed eventually, but I was a bit surprised to see it announced so soon. This series is a continuation/spin-off/additional content set (because with CLAMP who knows which) of XXXHolic. It’s only been running in Japan since earlier this year, and doesn’t have a collected volume yet. It’s likely because of this that Kodansha Comics isn’t able to pinpoint an exact publication date but did say the plan was for 2013.
Kodansha Comics also revealed they’ll be releasing CLAMP’s original XXXHolic series, and the parallel-running, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, as three in one omnibus volumes. These are slated to begin early 2014. This is great news for those who missed the original single volume run by Del Rey, which are now out of print and predominantly unavailable to buy. I adored both these series, even if they occasionally strangled themselves in plot knots.
All in all, this is a great batch of licenses from Kodansha with titles that come from established artists and series. Not a bad result for SDCC, even if it may be all we get for new manga licenses at this years’ event. It’s unfortunate that Yen Press couldn’t follow up with some new titles of their own, as they cancelled their Friday panel.