Yesterday, Japanese publishing giant Kodansha held an event to announce their 2011 manga plans. This was fortuitous because since they have launched their American imprint, observers have noted their output has been minimal given the depth of their catalog. In October, it was announced that Del Rey Manga would end and its Kodansha licensed titles would go over to Kodansha proper, while Random House would act as distributor. With that in mind, the list is quite ambitious, and includes a mix of pick-ups from Del Rey, new titles and some titles formerly licensed by other US publishers:New series:
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. 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!
* 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)
A cryptic tweet from Scott Von Schilling, who attended the live event stated that CLAMPS popular Tsubasa and xxxHolic will continue under the Del Rey brand, not Kodansha USA.
Until the Full Moon was previously published by Broccoli. GON is one of the first manga to ever come to the us, courtesy of Paradox Press in 1996, with a recent reprint by DC’s scuttled CMX line. RaveMaster was published and licensed in the US by TokyoPop.
NOT on the list: Sailor Moon, one of the most famous manga of all time, long out of print in the US.
The list of missing and unaccounted for Del Rey manga includes Nodame Cantabile, a romance about classical music students that got good marks from critics but apparently doesn’t sell very well, and Moyashimon, which mixes microorganisms with college life and won a Kodansha Award in Japan. Attendees at yesterday’s event were told that Del Rey titles that weren’t mentioned were not necessarily cancelled, just not on the schedule yet, but of course, some may never make it onto the schedule.
Dallas Middaugh, who is acting as the liaison for Random House and Kodansha, was at the event according to Von Schilling.
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.