Another week, another con. Two cons, in fact. Sakuracon was the place to be for manga folks, though, as both Dark Horse and Yen had panels with brand new announcements! (Viz had a panel as well, but they already did their big announcements last month, so did not have anything new on the print manga front.)
New print titles to start. Fans of Lone Wolf and Cub will be pleased to see that Dark Horse has licensed the sequel, New Lone Wolf and Cub. Old-school manga followers may note that they announced this back in 2006, but it got put on the back burner for reasons that have to do with the Japanese licensor, I’m guessing. It has the same writer but a different artist, and ran in the magazine Jin till that folded, whereupon it moved to the online magazine Katana. Expect much samurai action.
Vocaloid is a fandom that has taken off both here and in Japan to an unprecedented degree, so it’s no surprise that someone was going to pick up a cute comic manga featuring the leads, though Dark Horse being the one may be a bit of a surprise. They’ve tried to shed their grim ‘n’ gritty manga image quite a few times recently, so my guess is this is another opportunity. Maker Hikoushiki Hatsune Mix ran in Comic Rush magazine a few years back, and sounds like it’s cute slice-of-idol life stuff.
The big news from Dark Horse may be on the digital front, though. They’ve already added quite a few of their Kadokawa titles to their online store, including Evangelion spinoffs, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, and Ghost Talker’s Daydream. Trigun and Hellsing are also now on there, as is Appleseed, the classic Shirow title. That said, two of their biggest series were still missing. Well, that’s going to change. Starting next month we’ll be seeing Oh My Goddess! and Blade of the Immortal digitally. Given the length of both series, digital may definitely be the way to go in order to gain new readers.
Yen, meanwhile, had three new announcements, a couple of which will be quite exciting to fans who’ve seen the anime adaptations of these. Inu x Boku SS is a Gangan Joker series, still ongoing at 8+ volumes (I smell an omnibus release from Yen), and it’s got everything. Yokai schoolgirls, Fox-tailed secret service butler bodyguards, reincarnation, star-crossed love, and boarding houses. It also has quite a plot twist halfway through, which I won’t spoil here.
Do you love long drawn out manga titles that end in an exclamation point? Japan certainly does, and lately North America has started to as well. So on the heels of Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki ja Nain Dakara ne!! and Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai comes Gangan Online’s Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!, aka WataMote, aka It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!. This one stars a high schooler who is a master of otome game life, but fails at real life, possibly as she looks like a giant Gloomy Gus. The humor comes when she resolves to try and turn her life around and become sociable. This was a long-awaited title, and does not seem, at first glance, to be filled with incest, so I’m hoping Yen is on to a winner here.
And for those who enjoyed the Wolf Children movie, Yen has licensed the 3-volume manga adaptation of it, Oukami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, which ran in Kadokawa’s Young Ace. It’ll come out in a convenient one-volume omnibus, and is the touching story of a young mother trying to bring up her children… who are part-wolf. Judging by the cover art, I think ‘heartwarming’ is the word of the day for this series.
Lastly, they’ve rescued the Kingdom Hearts manga titles, and plan to start releasing those, with both stuff that already came out via Tokyopop and new material.
2013 solicits are almost over, as we’re seeing November release date news now! What’s your top license of the year?