Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket was one of the greatest hits of the First Manga Era, with the English editions from TokyoPop one of the best selling manga of the time. The original was published from 1998 to 2006 in Japan and was turned into a successful anime as well. While ToykoPop’s manga have been OP for five years, Yen Press knows a good thing when they see it and they’re bringing back Fruits Basket in fully updated collector’s editions AND publishing more from Takaya’s list including her classic Twinkle Stars and her new Liselotte & Witch’s Forest.
The set up for Fruits Basket is a manga classic: orphan Tohru Honda is taken in by the Sohma family, who seem nice except for one little thing—they turn into animals of the zodiac when they embrace a member of the opposite sex.
The new edition of Fruits Basket will has new translation and be published next spring in twelve updated collector’s editions which match the anniversary aizoban editions Japanese publisher Hakusensha has been putting out in Japan. Yen Press has been an active player in the current manga resurgence, with such hits as Black Butler coming out from the line, the return of Takaya should fit in very well with this plan.
VP and Publishing Director of Yen Press, Kurt Hassler, had this to say about the agreement, which was brokered through the Tuttle-Mori Agency: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the original publication of Fruits Basket had a transformative effect on comics culture in this market.Fruits Basket, along with a handful of other properties, welcomed female readers to a medium and an industry that had too long ignored them, introducing a generation of readers and future creators and professionals to comics, and the reverberations of that impact continue to reshape comics today. We are delighted that Takaya-sensei and Hakusensha have seen fit to entrust us to reintroduce Fruits Basket into North America and the UK and to introduce Liselotte & Witch’s Forest and Twinkle Stars to these markets for the first time.”
In Liselotte & Witch’s Forest, titular character Liselotte holds out hope of finding an important person from her past, but her quest leads her to a forest rumored to be inhabited by witches.
Sakuya, the lead character of Twinkle Stars, has always been mesmerized by the night sky, but when she meets a boy at her eighteenth birthday party, she discovers that the stars may actually have more to do with her fate than she ever imagined.
Volumes one and two of Fruits Basket will be released in June of 2016 with a single volume releasing each month thereafter. The first volume of Liselotte & Witch’s Forest will release in July 2016 with successive volumes following every three months. Additional details regarding Twinkle Stars, which will be published as five omnibus editions, will be released at a later date.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.