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Dark Horse Licenses Legal Drop and Oreimo Spin-Offs at SakuraCon 2014

Dark Horse Licenses Legal Drop and Oreimo Sequels at SakuraCon 2014

Even when you’re pretty sure something is going to happen, that doesn’t make it any less sweet when it occurs. At the recent-ish Sakura Con, Dark Horse announced five new manga licenses, including a new CLAMP license rescue:

Drug & Drop – CLAMP
Legal Drug – CLAMP
OPUS – Satoshi Kon
Oreimo: Kuroneko – Sakura Ikeda
Seraphim: 266613336 Wings – Satoshi Kon & Mamoru Oshii

Legal Drug is a three volume series by CLAMP that was originally released by Tokyopop. The series went on hiatus in Japan, leaving fans of its boys’ love heavy subtext and mysterious unresolved plot left wanting. Rejoice however as CLAMP did eventually continue the series, titling the continuation Drug & Drop, which until now has never been released in English.

Dark Horse will be releasing an omnibus book collecting the three volumes of Legal Drug, the same treatment they’ve given to several other re-released CLAMP series including Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Bablyon, and Angelic Layer. The omnibus will have a new translation and shiny new print, and likely with some bonus colour illustrations as well if Dark Horse’s past omnibus are any indication. Legal Drug is scheduled for September 2014 at $19.99/US, $21.99/CAN. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.

The first volume of the sequel Drug & Drop will be released in January 2015 for $11.99/CAN, $10.99/CAN. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.ca | Amazon.com as well. Currently there are two volumes in Japan for the series with new chapters on-going. Both series follow two young men who work as errand boys for a strange shop that sends on supernatural jobs. More mysterious than even their work is the pair’s back story, and the true purpose behind their employer’s store.

I will sum up the CLAMP news by saying THANK YOU, DARK HORSE! Signed, a huge fan of everything CLAMP.

Oreimo: KuronekoDark Horses pleases another fervent fan base with their license of Oreimo: Kuroneko. The series is a spin-off to Oreimo which Dark Horse has released four volumes of to date. This three volume spin-off stars the original’s secondary female lead, Kuroneko, as the main heroine. Volume one will be released in April 2015.

OPUS is a manga title by acclaimed film director, Satoshi Kon. Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, or Paprika anyone? This two volume series is being released by Dark Horse as one omnibus book. OPUS predates Satoshi Kon’s film career, and follows a manga artist who is pulled into his own creation.

Dark Horse’s second license drawn by Satoshi Kon is Seraphim: 266613336 Wings, which is one heck of a name to remember. The one volume title is written by Mamoru Oshii, famous for quite a few titles in his own right. Seraphim is about a group of individuals on a journey to discover the truth behind a deadly ailment called “the angel disease”. Dark Horse’s edition will ship February 2015.


Yen Press Kicks Off Con Season with New Manga at Sakura Con 2014

Yen Press Kicks Off Con Season with New Manga at Sakura Con 2014

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 NagiharaGou-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.

Pandora HeartsThe 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!


One Peace Brings Story of Grief and Demonic Pacts to English with Raqiya

Raqiya

It’s One Peace‘s first new license of 2014! The publisher confirmed with AnimeNewsNetwork that they’d licensed a new manga title:

Raqiya – Masao Yajima & Boichi

“A truck driver loses control in the Nevada desert and leaves one family dead in an explosive crash. But there is a sole survivor, Luna Hazuki, who makes a pact with a mysterious demon to regain the happiness that was robbed from her. Seven years later she is still living with the family that was supposed to be dead. But little does Luna know that the pact she made will lead to the Apocalypse and the end of the human race.” – One Peace Books

The series is five volumes total, with volumes one and two scheduled for English release in October 2014. You can currently pre-order both volumes on Amazon: Raqiya (Vol. 01) Amazon.ca | Amazon.com, Raqiya (Vol. 02) Amazon.ca | Amazon.com

Raqiya certainly sounds interesting to me! I hope it’s a scary one, as good horror/suspense manga has been severely lacking on my bookshelves as of late.

For those curious about the artist’s work, Boichi’s series Sun-Ken Rock is currently available to read on Crunchyroll. He also had a story published in Dark Horse’s Trigun: Multiple Bullets anthology.


Seven Seas Licenses Manga Adaptation of ‘No Game, No Life’

No Name, No Life

Seven Seas is playing no games with its license announcements this year, dropping another treat with a new manga title:

No Game, No Life – Yuu Kamiya & Mashiro Hiiragi

No Game, No Life is a manga adaptation of the light novel of the same name. The story is about a brother and a sister who have garnered an internet-wide reputation for being brilliant gamers, but are also chronic shut-ins. One day they’re suddenly transported to another world where everything from politics  to finances are determined by the outcome of games. The brother and sister who couldn’t contribute to their society at home may have found the chance to offer this new world their particular brand of expertise.

The timing of this license is well chosen as the anime adaptation of No Game, No Life is scheduled to air next week.

The wait for the manga is a bit longer than that, but for those who watch and enjoy the anime, the timing should work out nicely. The first volume of No Game, No Life is scheduled for October 2014.


Kodansha Comics Makes Fantastical History with Heroic Legend of Arslan

Kodansha Comics Makes Fantastical History with Heroic Legend of Arslan

Enjoy Full Metal Alchemist? Read and adored what we have of Vinland Saga? Or enjoyed the Heroic Legend of Arslan OVA released a million years ago? Combining that art, tone and story, you’ll love this new license from Kodansha Comics:

The Heroic Legend of Arslan – Yoshiki Tanaka/Hiromu Arakawa

The Heroic Legend of Arslan series was originally a light novel, and has since been adapted as multiple manga series and an animated mini-series that Central Park Media released in English. Ah, my high school anime club days.

The series follows a young prince named Arslan, who is the only remaining son of a deceased King and now the heir of a country at war. Arslan and an unlikely, and vastly unnumbered, group of warriors work together to try and take down an army of thousands to save his country.

The artist for this manga adaptation if Hiromu Arakawa, best known for Full Metal Alchemist (one of my all-time comic favourites), and is currently releasing Silver Spoon.

While I’m over the moon happy that Kodansha Comics has licensed The Heroic Legend of Arslan, my excitement was a bit smaller than it would’ve been had Crunchyroll not announced acquiring the series for simulpub just a couple weeks ago. Arslan and more Arslan! I’ve since read all the chapters Crunchyroll has, and am very eagerly awaiting the next installment. And the first printed volume when Kodansha Comics releases it in print this August, of course. I want this beauty in print!

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Vol. 01) is available for pre-order now from Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.

Kodansha Comics did announce they’d be releasing the book digitally as well, so I suppose we can assume simulpub now from Crunchyroll, digital compilation from Kodansha Comics and a print edition following that. With so many hopes riding on digital delivery giving certain higher-risk series a chance at English release, it almost seems a little silly watching titles licensed by multiple companies in multiple formats. Although, it’s not that surprising seeing a company as big as Kodansha – parent company of the English arm, Kodansha Comics – splitting the piece of manga pie for some of its titles. Arslan isn’t the only title announced this month that is having a publisher time share after all.

(Post cliffhanger!)


Seven Seas Goes Back to Wonderland’s Beginnings with Special Release of Alice in Wonderland in Novel

Seven Sea's Alice in Wonderland

Seven Seas is bringing together a number of their skills for this newest project, combining their work with novels, original manga-styled artwork and Alice in Wonderland to release their own edition of the original classic:

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll & Kriss Sison

This book will be a release of Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland novel, coupled with new adorable artwork by returning Seven Seas’ artist, Kriss Sison. The book will include full-colour illustrations and over a hundred black & white illustrations.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is a collection of stories featuring the titular character, Alice, and her misadventures through the curious and fantastical lands of Wonderland. As little Alice goes deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, she meets an assortment of oddball characters, like the eccentric March Hare, the whimsical Mad Hatter, and the enigmatic Cheshire Cat, who will all become familiar faces within this strange world.

If Alice is to navigate the dangerous yet fascinating landscape of Wonderland, she must learn who is friend and who is foe, and use her good breeding and wits to find a way home.”

Alice in Wonderland is scheduled for August 2014 and will cost $16.99/CAN, $14.99/US.

The Alice in the Country of… series that Seven Seas and Yen Press have been releasing shows there’s a hungry audience for the material. While the original won’t have the romance that its numerous based-of works focus around, Kriss Sison’s artwork is gorgeous and will have plenty of eye-catching character designs to draw people’s eye. I’m actually really looking forward to reread the original story but with this pretty artwork colouring my mental imagery as I go.


Viz Media Plans a Dash of Shoujo for Autumn with new Shojo Beat Licenses

Viz Media Plans a Dash of Shoujo for Autumn with new Shojo Beat Licenses

After their recent new titles for Viz Signature and Shonen Jump, Viz Media added some new content for their Shojo Beat imprint last week including a new license:

Yukarism – Chika Shiomi

Yukarism is the  story of a young man with an uncanny ability to write about historical Japan. His secret is that he can actually travel back in time, allowing him to live through the eyes of his past life as a courtesan. While switching between his two lives, he also learns more about the strong connection he feels with a classmate.

It’s not often I use the word ‘he’ so often when writing about a shojo series. Still, it sounds neat. I hope a lot of the story takes place in his life as a courtesan, though I am also curious about what that past life means for his relationship with his classmate. How could I not with that picture above?

Chika Shiomi has been published several times in English previously, including Night of the Beasts, Rasetsu, Queen of Ragtonia, and Yurara. Andre previously reviewed Queen of Ragtonia, while I enjoyed what I read of Rasetsu.

Viz Media also announced they’d be releasing a special edition of Vampire Knight‘s final volume this October. It will include a variant cover and a mini art book. This limited edition copy will be available for $16.99 CAN, $14.99 US.

In added celebration for the series finale, there will also be a collection of Vampire Knight short prose stories released in December. Titled Vampire Knight: Fleeting Dreams, the collection will feature special full-colour artwork from Matsuri Hino. More information is available via Viz Media’s press release.


Yen Press Collects Haruhi Anthologies for October Omnibus

Yen Press Collects Haruhi Anthologies for October Omnibus

Yen Press isn’t letting their Haruhi Suzumiya library gather any dust as they catch up with the release of its main series by year’s end. The publisher will be releasing a hefty collection of Haruhi stories later this year:

The Celebration of Haruhi Suzumiya – Various Creators

This omnibus collects three different anthologies of stories starring the characters of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Yen Press previously released an anthology like these ones on its own, The Misfortune of Kyon & Koizumi, which I read, enjoyed and reviewed last year.

These three Haruhi anthologies have stories from a bunch of different artists and writers, making them a fun read for the diversity of content. This omnibus collection clocks in at 528 pages and will be released in October. The book will cost $29.00/CAN, $26.00/US, and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com.

News credit goes to AnimeNewsNetwork


Viz Media Flies Shonen Jump’s Jaco To Print and Assassins to the Classroom

Viz Media Flies Shonen Jump's Jaco To Print and Assassins to the Classroom

Expanding on Viz Media’s recent press release, the company announced a couple new additions to its Shonen Jump imprint, starting with a new license:

Assassination Classroom – Matsui Yuusei

Assassination Classroom sounds like a strange one indeed, but I’ve seen quite a bit of excitement over its announcement. The story is about a classroom of students who are trying to kill their new teacher. Catch number one though – he’s actually an alien with super strength, strange tendril arms and plans to destroy the world. Catch two – they all think he’s a great teacher! Viz Media describes it as “a humorous and action-packed story”.

The first volume of Assassination Classroom will be available in December 2014 for $12.99/CAN, $9.99/US, and will be rated for Older Teens. Pre-orders are currently available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

Viz Media also announced the print edition of Akira Toriyama’s Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. This series originally ran in their digital Shonen Jump anthology. Not only was it a really fun series, and a reminder of just how artistically skilled Akira Toriyama is, but also had a chapter that served as a prequel read to Dragonball. Very neat!

The one-shot print edition is scheduled for January 2014 for $12.99/CAN, $9.99/US. Jaco the Galactic Patrolman can be pre-ordered now via Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.


Viz Media Adds Master Keaton and Resident Evil to Signature Line

Viz Media Adds Master Keaton and Resident Evil to Signature Line

Viz Media is on a roll with exciting PR. The publisher released another set of press releases yesterday with new licenses  to announce, including these two titles for their Viz Signature imprint:

Master KeatonHokusei Katsushika/Takashi Nagasaki & Naoki Urasawa
Resident Evil – Naoki Serizawa

Master Keaton follows an archaeology professor with a keen skill at finding the truth, which he utilizes as a part-time insurance investigator. Keaton uses his years of education, military training and upbringing to solve the many mysteries that present themselves before him.

Suffice to say, many of us are thrilled to see a new Naoki Urasawa series coming out in English. Viz Media previously released several of his series –  Monster, 20th Century Boys and Pluto – and they’re easily some of the best quality comics on my shelves. While Naoki Urasawa didn’t exclusively write Master Keaton, I’m eager for more of his great comic paneling and sense of story pacing.

Viz Media is releasing Master Keaton in “deluxe” editions that will be on sale for $22.99 CAN/ $19.99 US starting in December of this year. Each book will have 18 pages of full-colour content.

Resident Evil is a series from which its artist I’m not familiar with, but the franchise is certainly a stranger to few ears. This manga series is a prequel to Resident Evil 6, who’s lead character is the muscular, zombie-punching Chris Redfield. This five volume manga series explores where the global outbreak that left the world infected with the C-virus originated. Chris Redfield and his team are called to a high school in Singapore when things begin spiraling out of control for a Professor investigating a student’s sudden transformation.

The first volume of Resident Evil will be released in November for $14.99 CAN / $12.99 US.


Take me back to the top!