Today, Kodansha Comics announced their much-awaited lineup of manga. Since they replaced Del Rey Manga at the beginning of this month, fans have been eager to hear which ongoing series will be continuing and which new titles may be coming.
The front page of the Kodansha US website currently reads as follows:
The following new titles will make their English-language debut next summer:
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney returns in this new manga series written by Kenji Kuroda and illustrated by Kazuo Maekawa. Volume 1 releases in June followed by Volume 2 in August.
Monster Hunter Orage, by Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima, is adapted from the Capcom game and debuts in June, with a second volume in August.
And speaking of Hiro Mashima, his bestselling Rave Master series wraps up with an omnibus collecting the final three volumes of the series in May!
Deltora Quest, adapted by Makoto Niwano from Emily Rodda’s novels, debuts in July. The anime is currently running on TV on The Hub.
The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex adapts the story from the anime, which is inspired by the works of Masamune Shirow. TGITS:SAC is adapted by Yu Kinutani.
Sanami Matoh’s Until the Full Moon makes its triumphant return to the U.S. in July. [NB: Previously published in 2005 by now-departed Broccoli Books.] This story of a boy who becomes a girl under the full moon turns the werewolf legend on its head!
Mardock Scramble is adapted by Yoshitoki Oima from Tow Ubukata’s novel. This exciting sci-fi tale has also been adapted into a stunning anime. The first volume releases in August.
Animal Land, by manga legend and Zatch Bell creator Makoto Raiku, tells the hilarious and heartwarming story of a baby raised by animals. This is set for an August release.
Masashi Tanaka’s Gon returns, giving fans a chance to rediscover the adventures of this ferocious, tiny dinosaur! August release.
Bloody Monday, written by Ryou Ryumon and illustrated by Kouji Megumi, is an exciting thriller about a computer hacker’s attempt to foil a terrorist plot! August release.
Cage of Eden by Yoshinobu Yamada is best described as Battle Royale meets Lost by way of Negima! August release.
And finally, Negima! gets an omnibus release in June, collecting the first three volumes with a new translation!
In addition, several ongoing series will make their return:
- Air Gear 18 (June), Air Gear 19 (August)
- Arisa 2 (May), Arisa 3 (July)
- Fairy Tail 13 (May), Fairy Tail 14 (July)
- I Am Here! 2 (July)
- Negima! 29 (May), Negima! 30 (July)
- Negima?! Neo (June)
- Ninja Girls 5 (May), Ninja Girls 6 (July)
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei 9 (June), Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei 10 (August)
- Shugo Chara! 10 (May), Shugo Chara! 11 (July)
- The Wallflower 25 (June)
That’s quite an ambitious slate, I think, but I notice that most of the titles announced in the first section have anime or game tie-ins or are already known as brands in the US. The company may feel that they’re relatively safe properties as a result.
I count in May, one omnibus and five continuation volumes. For June, two new series, four continuing voumes, and a new release of Negima! as omnibus. That series was previously adapted at the beginning by superhero comic writer Peter David, which caused some consternation among fans.
July brings two more new series and six series books. August has four series books, four debuts, and the rerelease of Gon (which was previously published through both DC and their now-defunct CMX imprint). Looking at the list of Del Rey Manga I followed, it seems that many of those I enjoyed are complete, so the only active series I followed was Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, which I’m glad to see is continuing.
I’m surprised not to see Papillon or Moyasimon, which seemed to have visible fan followings, but maybe sales didn’t support the immediate announcement, or maybe news of those titles will come later. But the biggest surprise is xxxHOLiC, which is up to book 16 in the US as of October 27, but the 17th and 18th volumes came out in Japan earlier this year. If CLAMP fans can’t get their fix any more — wow! That was one of Del Rey’s best-known titles, so I have to assume that more information is coming, perhaps some kind of relaunch to draw more attention to the series.
Are there other titles previously published by Del Rey you’re looking for news on?
Update: Katherine Dacey points out that some fans are likely wondering about the status of Nodame Cantabile as well. Scott VonSchilling, who attended the live press conference, says, “Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC will continue under the Del Rey brand, not Kodansha USA.” He also stated that price would remain at $10.99 a book.
Update 2: Sean Gaffney has some follow-up thoughts on what the licenses — and absences — mean. Good analysis there.