So you’ve decided you really like that hot new 2012 anime property – so much so that you want to support it by actually buying the manga instead of just reading it on a scan site! First of all, congratulations, you are a very rare individual. But it’s not as easy as walking up to a publisher at New York Comic Con and saying “Hey, you guys should get _____!” After all, what if they don’t deal with that publisher? What if it doesn’t have a manga? What if it’s already licensed and you didn’t realize it?
So, for the anime fan who wants to try a bit of manga, a quick guide to how to beg for Fall 2012 titles. (Note: if I don’t mention a title here, it doesn’t have a manga as far as I can tell.)
First off, let’s eliminate series that are already licensed and actively coming out here. That takes care of Bakuman (Viz), Hayate the Combat Butler (Viz), Hidamari Sketch (Yen), Jormungand (Viz), Kamisama Hajimemashita (Viz) and Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal (Viz). (It’s a Viz world, kids, we just live in it.) I’m also including BTOOOM! (Yen), which is licensed but doesn’t debut till next year.
Secondly, there’s a couple of series which were licensed, but are now, putting it politely, “On hiatus”. Asking about them will likely get you a pained look and a ‘We have no plans at this time’ response. So that takes out Code: Breaker (Del Rey), JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Viz), and Gintama (Viz). The one exception to this is Code: Breaker – JManga has picked up the two volumes Del Rey released, and there is a definite possibility for more in that online-only direction. And technically, JoJo’s finished the arc that it was putting out, so I suppose it’s more ‘didn’t pick up further arcs’ than ‘on hiatus’.
Lastly, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is based off a light novel that has no manga yet, as far as I can tell. Asking about light novel licenses is a great way to get publishers to cry.
So, which publisher can you nag for which books?
SEVEN SEAS: Well, they aren’t at NYCC (they don’t do the East Coast), so a politely worded tweet might do the trick. The anime Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne, aka ‘As Long As There’s Love, I Don’t Care If He’s My Brother!’ is the latest in a theme of faux-incest titles. And runs in Comic Alive. Both of which are very similar to things Seven Seas has recently picked up.
TOKYOPOP: OK, so technically they don’t put out much these days. But honestly, there’s really no better fit for Seitokai no Ichizon, a Kadokawa title that runs in Dragon Age. See if you can sweet-talk Stu.
KODANSHA COMICS: There are two really obvious titles here and one less so. The non-obvious one is Shin Sekai Yori, based on an award-winning SF novel. Its manga adaptation does indeed run in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. It began… about 2 weeks ago. So ask them to keep it in mind for NYCC 2013. So that leaves the two big contenders: Sukitte Ii na yo and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, both of which run in Kodansha’s shoujo magazine Dessert. They’re both terrific, but they are in a magazine that is generally ignored when it comes to shoujo NA licenses (honestly, Kodansha Comics tends to avoid anything but Nakayoshi these days), and they’re both still running (series that haven’t already ended in Japan worry publishers).
VERTICAL, INC.: See the two previous titles. If Kodansha says no, maybe Vertical wants to try it out? They are putting out Limit this fall, after all…
JMANGA: Aside from Code: Breaker, which I mentioned above, the one that jumps out at me is Teekyū, a school tennis comedy from Earth Star Entertainment’s Comic Earth Star. JManga recently put out four of their titles, so there’s always a possibility of more.
YEN PRESS: The only one that really leaps out at me is Zetsuen no Tempest, a fantasy manga that runs in Square Exin’s Shonen Gangan. Being a Gangan title, Yen seems the most likely player there. It’s also possible they might look at Little Busters, the latest from the Air/Kanon/Clannad folks, which runs in Kadokawa’s Comp Ace, but that seems less likely.
VIZ MEDIA: There’s a whole host of properties Viz *could* license here, but I’m not sure how many are genuinely *possible* licenses. Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic has a lot of potential, and is probably the most likely title on this list, but it’s 14 volumes and still running, and it also runs in Shonen Sunday, whose success in North America has been poor in the post-Inu Yasha age. Dangerous Jii-san Ja is a comedy 4-koma manga for kids about a goofy grandpa that runs in Corocoro. I can’t see it coming out here. At all. Medaka Box I have discussed many times before, and the same points still apply. And as for To-Love-Ru Darkness, even if the prequel had come out via Viz, this new sequel is simply too M-rated for their usual Jump line.
I HAVE NO IDEA: Two titles simply don’t leap out as going to any publisher. Aoi Sekai no Chūshin de is a fantasy manga that seems to anthropomorphize the console wars, and is written by a Russian woman. It is put out by Micro Magazine. I don’t know who they are either. Judging by the name, I’m guessing they focus on gaming. Lastly, there’s Chiisai Oyaji Nikki, from Ohzora Shuppan, which is about a very small old man.
Anything in that list take your fancy? You know I’ll be uselessly beating the Medaka Box drum…