More News on Aria’s Return

In an interview with Stu Levy at ICv2, the Tokyopop CEO gave some more information about the company’s plans to reprint Aria.

Kozue Amano’s Aria (and its two-volume predecessor series Aqua) was a beautifully illustrated light science fiction series about girl gondoliers on a future Mars that looked a lot like historical Europe. The appeal to me was the mood it created, about appreciating nature, seasonal change, and the small moments of daily life.

The first three volumes were first released in English in 2004 by ADV Manga. After they ceased publishing, Tokyopop rescued the license and reprinted those three, along with Aqua. They then continued releasing volume 4 at the end of 2008, volume 5 in November 2009, and volume 6 in January 2011.

Aria: The Masterpiece

This year, Aria: The Masterpiece will begin reprinting the series. Exactly when, I’m not sure. For the first volume, reprinting the two Aqua books, Amazon shows a release date of last week, but I don’t believe it, since they’re also showing a shipping time of 1-2 months. Previews shows a comic shop date of “TBD”. In the interview, Levy says it’s “just launching now”. One site for book reviewers lists a release date of today; another shows January 7, 2020 (!).

Volume 2, volume 3, and volume 4 have catalog listings with dates of April 23, June 18, and August 6, respectively. That will take us through all the reprints, so the not-yet-mentioned volume 5 is where things get interesting, with previously unreleased in English stories. The entire reason I’m posting about this now, actually, is because Levy’s interview comments say:

We do have commitments to complete series, which is one key reason we think carefully when we pick up a series where we don’t have control over the number of volumes. For instance, the Aria collectors’ edition is just launching now, and it’s a 7-volume series, a beautiful edition of 2-in-1’s which covers all 14 volumes of the Aqua and Aria series we had partially published back in the day. This is a serious commitment and hopefully fans support it, but we’re committed to publishing the entire series no matter what happens.

I hope that’s the case, because I’d love to have more of this series to read! That requires the first volume to come out, though.

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