Aurora Manga on Discount Sale; Thoughts on the Company

Deb Aoki has the news:

If you order now, directly from Aurora, you can get any current title published prior to January 2009 for only $4.00. Newer releases from the last two months … are available for only $8.00. … Send an email to Elisa Tung at e-tung@aurora-publishing.com to place your order. There’s no expiration date on this deal — it’ll be going on as long as supplies last, or until Aurora says otherwise. Aurora accepts PayPal, credit card payments, or money orders.

(I hope they have a secure site for those credit cards and aren’t just asking you to email the numbers.) That’s a great deal if you’re interested in their books, but I can’t really recommend any of them. Here’s what I’ve covered from the mature readers “ladies’ comics” LuvLuv line:

Aurora logo

Right now, no further LuvLuv titles are planned. They also have a Yaoi imprint, Deux, which I haven’t read, but here’s what I’ve reviewed from their standard manga line:

That last series had the most promise for me, but what I liked about the first two books changed in book 3, becoming more standard and less interesting. Also, although the Aurora website says book 4 came out two months ago, Amazon has no record of it, so there’s some question as to whether readers will see the series concluded.

Between that uncommunicated change in plans, this deep-discount clearance sale, and the fact that they stopped sending review copies due to cutbacks… well, obviously, there’s some financial concern there. Update: As confirmed secondhand from an Aurora employee.

I had big hopes for them when I first heard about them, especially when it came to comics for women, but instead of thoughtful josei, I got the trashy equivalent of illustrated romance novels, where sex took precedence over story.

Have you read their books? Which did you like? And what do you think is likely to come in their future?

19 Comments

  1. I didn’t much like the LuvLuv book I read (and fully agree about the sex taking precedence over the story complaint) but actually liked the few Deux titles I read, especially Seduce Me After the Show. They tend to be more unique than the offerings of their competitors.

    I am pretty worried about their prospects, though, after reading this. I also worry about Beyond Twilight, the 17-volume josei supernatural series that they announced but currently don’t have listed on their schedule.

  2. Danielle Leigh

    I think Beyond Twilight is probably delayed if not outright canceled with is a shame. I’ve heard good things about “Object of Desire” but no good things about their other LuvLuv titles.

    Like Michelle, I’ve read a number of titles from Deux that I’ve really enjoyed (Est Em’s titles, Future Lovers, Spring Fever, Kiss All the Boys).

  3. More and more it seems to me that yaoi has its own audience and rules. Perhaps Aurora and the other two imprints may die out, with Deux continuing on its own, if the market is there.

    “Beyond Twilight” would have been a great project to release around now, just on title alone — built-in audience!

  4. I can see that happening — Deux alone continuing on. I mean, if you look at the titles published under the main imprint, they’re really, well, lame with the exception of Walkin’ Butterfly and possibly Hitohira.

  5. They recently solicited and announced Welcome to Peach, a seinen series from hentai-artist U-Jin [which I’m guessing means it’s pretty much adult manga either way], and look to be marketing it at hentai readers with a similar price tag [19.99]. Apparently this was due to male reader interest in the LuvLuv line.

    They also announced the fantasy Josei series Queen of Ragtonia [whose artist has had several series translated by VIZ, Go Comi and CMX, Chika Shiomi] will be a Borders Exclusive, so it seems they’re still rolling, but trying to adapt to the market rather then trying to build up their less popular lines.

  6. […] from the publisher. Deb Aoki has the details and Johanna Draper Carlson has some thoughts on the implications. Snow Wildsmith has some recommendations as well as shipping info. And Kris at Manic About Manga […]

  7. I have read only one title that Aurora carries – Hitohira, and I’m hoping that the company continues with it.

    It is my favorite shojo title (even trumping High School Debut for me, which took quite an effort) just because it’s so unconcerned with being lovey-dovey and it’s just… sweet, I guess.

    I mean, it’s concerned with a drama club and the people in it rather than being a romance story. Anyway, it’s definitely worth a look, I think.

  8. I’ve read some of the Aurora/Luv Luv titles, and thought they were okay. Hitohira was interesting, and Make Love and Peace was good for distraction, but there wasn’t anything that I would regularly buy.

    I’m sorry they’re having troubles. I had high hopes, and would have liked to have seen some titles that an adult woman like me would have really wanted to buy.

  9. I flipped through Hirohita and didn’t see anything that drew me into reading it. Lori, I think you sum it up best.

  10. I’ve only read from the Deux line, of which I’ve purchased most of their releases. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the books that the Deux imprint selected for their catalog.

  11. I have only read books from the Deux line and the majority of the titles that I have purchased from that line where by artist that I was already familar with, or titles that I have been waiting to see translated to English.

    I have enjoyed the titles that Deux has released so far and hope that if nothing else the Deux line can continue on since there are not that many publishers of good yaoi titles in America.

  12. I liked cm0 the best of all the Luv-Luv titles I’d read at Netcomics. It was a cut above the rest, a lovely story.

    I really love the Deux line though, and I hope they last. I’ve been buying them faithfully.

  13. It seems Deux definitely has a devoted audience who’s enjoying their output.

  14. @Mark E: Hitohira isn’t a shoujo comic, it’s seinen. (from Comic High! magazine)

  15. If I had a little more gall I would email them and recommend that they change their book spines. They’re really hard to sell spine out. Customers at conventions just glaze over their books. Especially if I put all the Aurora manga together in one box. The same pink font on the white spines just don’t get customers to pick them up.

  16. OK, so I recently tried the first chapters of a few Luv Luv titles at Netcomics, and then remembered that they’d been covered here…

    Johanna Says:

    “Have you read their books? Which did you like? And what do you think is likely to come in their future?”

    Walkin’ Butterfly vol. 1-3 were OK but not great. Meanwhile, the website now says vol. 4 will be out in December 2009! What the heck, I’ll read this one too after my local library network gets it. It also seems to be the last forthcoming Aurora book that the company calls josei instead of shojo. Hmm.

    Object of Desire and Voices of Love turned me off as soon as I realized they had high schoolers in the sex scenes. C’mon, I read josei and seinen for the adult content. You’d think people picking titles to market to us would remember that there’s life after graduation. As for Real Love, I stuck with it until that isn’t-rape-sexy? scene turned me off. Make Love and Peace didn’t have those problems, but one of the impressions I got (probably because this was minutes after I previewed the others) was “Why does Ayame still live with her grandparents? Is this like how some of my college classmates IRL couldn’t afford to move out, or did the author think having Ayame live in an apartment or dorm would make her not forbidden-fruity enough?”

    Anyway, now that I’ve harshed on some josei, I’d like to recommend some other josei (and manhwa and manhua counterparts – anyone here know what Korean and Mandarin are for “josei” the way “soonjung” is Korean for “shôjo”? It turned out I was wrong about what “seongin” means in Korean…). :)

    Happy Mania, all 11 volumes, by Moyoco Anno
    Solanin by Inio Asanio
    The Other Side of the Mirror by Jo Chen
    Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kouno
    Real Lies “vol. 1″ by Lee Si Young (is this the start of a series or a one-shot?)
    the Embalmer, vol. 1-4, by Mitsukazu Mihara (will vol. 5 ever be released in English?)
    Emma, vol. 1-8, by Kaoru Mori (yes there’s more :) )
    Tramps Like Us by Yayoi Ogawa
    Suppli, vol. 1-3, by Mari Okazaki (will vol. 4-8 ever be released in English?)
    all of Erica Sakurazawa’s English releases (will Angel Town and The Aromatic Bitters vol. 2 ever be released in English now that TokyoPop’s released those in German?)
    Chicago, both volumes, by Yumi Tamura
    Forest of Gray City, both volumes, by Uhm JungHyum
    9 Faces of Love by Wann (OK, some of these short stories are about adults)
    Talking About…, all 3 volumes, by Wann
    Nana, vol. 1-16, by Ai Yazawa

  17. […] (Perhaps I should say “still on sale”, since the last time I talked about Aurora, back in March, they were pricing similarly.) Most everything is four dollars a book, or if you buy sets, the […]

  18. […] last released a new title in October 2009 (a book originally promised for March). Throughout most of last year, and still ongoing, their books have been available at fire-sale prices. Their website is otherwise […]

  19. […] of short stories with plenty of sex included. Future volumes follow a similar pattern. They release eight LuvLuv books before the publisher goes out of business in […]

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