Earlier in the month Yen Press released their first big wave of news for 2014, starting with a number of new manga licenses at Sakura Con:
King of Eden – Takashi Nagasaki & SangCheol Lee
Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara – Suu Minazuki
Love at Fourteen – Fuka Mizutani
The Angel of Elhamburg – Aki
King of Eden immediately grabs attention with its author, Takashi Nagasaki. He co-authored the majority of Naoki Urasawa’s most popular series, including Pluto, 20th Century Boys, and Monster. I didn’t actually know this until reading Yen Press’s introduction to King of Eden, and this new knowledge ensures I’ll be keeping an eye out for Takashi Nagasaki’s name in the future. This is the artist, SangCheol Lee’s, debut professional work.
Yen Press describes King of Eden as “a sweeping new masterpiece of the grotesque”, beginning with a village massacre and the capture of the killer responsible. They’ll be doing a simultaneous publication of King of Eden starting May 1, 2014 – only two days from the time this post goes up!
Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara – which I’m going to have one heck of a time trying to pronounce to my local comic store if I choose to order it – is an amusingly perverse sounding story that reminds us to be careful what we wish for. A young man wishes that his beautiful beloved manga heroine was real, only to suddenly find himself face to face with her. However to his surprise she’s not the docile woman he’d always read about and now he has to learn how to deal with her very forward and overprotective nature.
Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara is scheduled for November 2014. This will be the second Suu Minazuki title released in English, the first being Tokyopop’s completed Judas.
In contrast to that pervy romantic comedy comes Love at Fourteen, a romance Yen Press describes as “a charming, bittersweet slice-of-life story” for those who “have a soft spot for subtle (not to mention adorable) romance”. The story is about two mature-for-their-age teenagers falling in love in junior high.
Admittedly nothing about that description is much of a grab. Teenagers falling in love… okay, we’ve read that a million times. The artwork though – pictured above on the right – does look really charming. I believe this is Fuka Mizutani’s first title to be released in English as well. I’ll likely give the first volume a try when it’s released this November.
The title that did get me giddy right away was The Angel of Elhamburg. I own both Aki titles that have been released in English previously – Olympos by Yen Press and Utahime by Digital Manga. I was immediately smitten with Aki’s gorgeous artwork (pictured above to the left) and thoughtful writing. The stories are more emotional than plot-driven and have given me food for thought on more than one occasion. I’m really excited to own another Aki book, plus see how Yen Press handles the publication after their beautiful work on the single volume, Olympos.
The Angel of Elhamburg is about a knight and his king when their friendship is strained by jealously, all as an angel overlooks their lives. This one-shot book is scheduled for Spring 2015. In the meantime you can see sample pages for The Angel of Elhamburg on Amazon.jp.
Along with all those lovely looking manga titles, Yen Press also announced an art book for Jun Mochizuki’s Pandora Hearts, titled Pandora Hearts ~odds and ends~. Yen Press’s past art book releases – which have included Kingdom Hearts and Soul Eater – are fantastic quality and definitely collectible items worth every penny. I’m confident Pandora Hearts‘ fans are in for a treat!