Well, I’m off on a few days vacation, so naturally everyone decides to pile on licenses the moment I leave. Taunting me with their interestingness. But this will not stop me from breaking everything down, and keeping you, the reader, informed.
I’ve spent quite a few posts discussing Shonen Sunday, and Viz’s lack of enthusiasm about the titles as opposed to Shonen Jump. Of course, this is a vicious circle, as SS series tend not to be among the best-sellers or ‘fan-obsessive’ series. That may change with this new license, however. If ever there was a series running in Sunday that cried out to be licensed, Magi was it. The author has been seen on these shores before with Yen Press’s Sumomomo Momomo, but Magi is a better, more mature work with a manga take on Aladdin and the Arabian Nights. This has the potential to be the first really big Sunday title over here since Inu Yasha, and comes highly recommended.
Viz’s Shojo Beat line also announced four new titles, two of which are actually Josei Beat. Yoroshiku Master is a Hakusensha series from the author of Penguin Revolution, one of the old CMX shoujo favorites. This ran in LaLa’s sister magazine DX, and at 3 volumes is a decent investment (and the third volume apparently has a Penguin Revolution short chapter to boot.) As for the plot, if you like bishie demons, bishie vampires, and bishie catboys, you’ll love bishie reindeer boys! Viz is releasing the series as Sweet Rein.
I was always a big fan of S.A. and its dense as lead heroine, so I’m quite happy to hear that they’ve licensed Maki Minami’s next series that ran in Hana to Yume, Seiyuu Kaa!, which will come out here as Voice Over! – Seiyuu Academy. The title describes the series – our heroine is enrolled in a voice actor’s high school, and not only has to deal with her less than stellar voice qualities, but also the usual high school shenanigans. This being a Hakusensha shoujo series, I’m certain that there will be a few pretty guys to help her out. The series should be 11 or 12 volumes.
Then there’s the two josei series. Viz must have been at least somewhat pleased with the performance of Butterflies, Flowers, as we have not one but two new titles from the pages of Petit Comic, Shogakukan’s josei romance manga for women who have outgrown the already saucy Shoujo Comic. Maki Enjouji’s Happy Marriage?! is 10 volumes, and has ‘Shogakukan’ written all over it: an office lady, trying desperately to pay off her parent’s debt, finds herself engaged to her company president – who she’s never met before! I have a feeling that this title will be just as compelling *and* frustrating as Butterflies, Flowers proved to be, but at least can be assured that it will be quite spicy.
The last, and possibly biggest license from Shojo Beat is Midnight Secretary, Tomu Ohmi’s 7-volume story of a secretary who becomes the personal assistant – and so much more – of her company’s president. Unlike Happy Marriage?!, however, this president is a vampire as well! Despite not having the word Vampire actually in the title, I predict this is going to sell like hotcakes, if hotcakes that have to be shrinkwrapped due to content – this, like Happy Marriage?!, will definitely be an M for Mature title. That said, there’s more here than just put-upon heroine and abusive-yet-oh-so-hot boss, and I am very pleased we’ll get to see this.
Of course, Viz was not the only one to drop new licenses on us, as we have three new titles from Seven Seas. Centaur no Nayami (out over here as A Centaur’s Life), is sort of like Seiyuu Kaa!, only instead of voice actresses it’s monsters and other mythological creatures. The juxtaposition of ordinary high-school comedy with girls with centaur bodies and angel wings is what drives this title.
Jigokuren – Love in Hell is from Futabasha’s Web Comic High, and features a guy who dies one day and finds himself in hell. But he has the chance to repent. Judging by the art and descriptions I’ve seen, however, this title seems to aim at the reader who enjoys seeing young-looking girls torturing guys in various ways. I’d put it in the I Don’t Like You At All Big Brother/Mayo Chiki category.
Lastly, we have another title from Tokuma Shoten’s Comic Ryu (where A Centaur’s Life also appears). Monster Musume is another harem title, regarding the integrations of mythological monsters (in the form of cute girls) into society. They all glom onto our hero, who I suspect is a nice yet unlucky guy, as these types usually are. Of course, the law prevents interspecies nookie, so the entire reason for this title’s existence would appear to be teasing but not delivering. Luckily, there’s a nice harem audience that this would appeal to. I also note that between Love in Hell‘s heroine and this series, we’re covering ‘breast fetishes’ at both ends – small and large.
As we get further into the year, more of the Fall 2013 licenses will become apparent, but this is already a great number of titles for all sorts of fans. Which of these excites you most?