Tokyo Mew Mew
Love Hina (Omnibus Collection)
Shugo Chara! Chan
Tokyo Mew Mew and Love Hina were previously released by Tokyopop but will sport new translations for these editions. Shugo Chara! Chan is a sequel to the series Shugo Chara! which was published by Del Rey. Lastly @Full Moon is a sequel series to Kodansha’s previously announced Full Moon series (which in itself was a license rescue from the long-since defunct Brocolli Books). When so many manga readers are left wondering if they’ll even see the next volume of their favourite series, it’s promising seeing a company already license a series and its follow-up in one go.
While Love Hina seems like a no-brainer as a big otaku favourite that’s been long out of print, I’m a little surprised by Tokyo Mew Mew. It was cute but I didn’t think had enough following to warrant a completely new release. Then again it might be a good warm-up to their upcoming Sailor Moon release to bring in a whole new generation of readers to magical girls (plus the anime version played on television here as well). I like the addition of the Full Moon series though because, though not explicity boys’ love, it still teeters in that territory more than well enough to show Kodansha’s not afraid to test the waters of the genre.
With the slew of titles, including the much-requested Sailor Moon, Kodansha continues to go above and beyond what I think many expected after their lacklustre introduction to the North American market. My concern now though is how they’ll deliver. We’ve many reasons to believe it’ll be good – from their manga-ruler status in Japan, to the talented staff we know to be working for them already – but until we get a pure Kodansha-made book in our hands, it’s hard to jump for complete joy just yet. Some giddy jigs for sure though.
Their first new titles are coming out in May – Arisa (Vol. 02), Rave Master (Omnibus) and Ninja Girls (Vol. 05). All three of which are continuations of Del Rey or Tokyopop series so we may not see much different in the form or design of the books. While the titles themselves don’t excite me too much, I’m most eager for Phoenix Wright and Monster Hunter Orage to see the trim-size and design work.
Hopefully we’ll see the start of their new titles marked with a full website as well, or at least something with more images and information than the press releases posted there now. Kodansha Comics appeared with a lot of anticipation, and while it may’ve lost the luster after Akira and Ghost in the Shell, it’s done a great job gaining it all back in the past few months. Now that we’ve got the promises, it’s all about the delivery – only another month to go!