Unsurprisingly, today’s panel was very much about Kodansha Comics’ huge hit, Attack on Titan, though that’s far from all. Editor Ben Applegate reported that they have over 500,000 copies in print to date. They are releasing a companion Guidebook: Inside & Outside, as well as a comedy spinoff, Titan Junior High. … that’s right, Titan Junior High.
Other new Titan-related announcements today include the license for two spin-off manga, the shoujo series Attack on Titan: No Regrets and Attack on Titan: Before the Fall—the manga version of the light novel series announced this morning by Vertical.
All the Titan talk led to some interesting conversation towards the end of the panel’s Q&A section, too, as Director of Publishing Services Dallas Middaugh told stories about the series’ initial slow sales, including some flak he took over printing 45,000 copies of the first volume, which he was told he’d be “sitting on for two years.” It obviously gave him great pleasure to report that they’ll be out in a couple of weeks.
But though Attack on Titan was clearly the main theme of this year’s panel, its various spinoffs were not the only announcements by far.
Kodansha also announced two new licenses for 2014—first, Nakaba Suzuki’s Seven Deadly Sins, an ongoing series from the pages of Weekly Shōnen Magazine (Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and Fairy Tail, among others), set in the middle ages, and described by Middaugh as “very much in the vein of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.”
Then, also from Weekly Shōnen Magazine, we’ll see Ken Akamatsu’s UQ Holder!, set in the world of Negima!
Digital news was a major topic for today’s panel as well, with a large number of titles ready to join Kodansha Comics’ new wealth of manga on the Kindle, Nook, and iBook stores. New digital titles include Shugo Chara!, Shugo Chara!-chan, Tokyo Mew Mew, Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode, Sherlock Bones, Negima!, and upcoming titles My Little Monster, and Say I Love You. The company’s digital releases have moved entirely to the ebook model and away from their app, which is no longer being updated. Though print manga is clearly still a huge priority for Kodansha, editor David Yoo revealed his personal preferences by, at one point, stating that “Digital is always better!” Those of us with small apartments can’t help but agree.
We’ll be covering New York Comic Con all weekend, so stay tuned!