Another weekend, another con with tons of new licenses. I’ll actually be at the next major con (NYCC in October), and hope they saved something for those panels, or else I’ll feel very foolish and East Coast-ey.
Yen Press had a panel on Friday, and had several intriguing announcements. Including two that took me very much by surprise. Not the titles themselves, no, I am aware that both Sword Art Online and Accel World were very popular animes, and can see why the two Sword Art Online manga stories were announced. (That’s Sword Art Online: Aincrad and Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance for those following along at home). No, what surprised me was the announcement of the Sword Art Online and Accel World novels. Yen says they will release all the SAO novels (13+ volumes to date), and at least the first four Accel World novels. This is quite a light novel investment. Admittedly, Yen has had success here before, what with Haruhi Suzumiya and Book Girl.
Sword Art Online and Accel World are both by the same author, Reki Kawahara, and both are published by Dengeki Bunko (which also put out the SAO manga titles), and both have similar plotlines, as our heroes get caught up in online roleplaying world that turns out to be far more serious than they may have imagined.
Also from Yen, we have Bloody Brat, a cute comedic spinoff of the Blood Lad manga. And another Puella Magi Madoka Magica spinoff, The Different Story, which focuses on Kyouko and Mami, but promises to be just as depressing as Madoka Magica fans want and crave. (Kidding, kidding…)
Dark Horse’s panel was mostly a retrospective on the manga they used to publish, but they did announce a new Masamune Shirow artbook, Battalion. Given we’re unlikely to get any new manga drawn by Shirow, this is probably the next best thing.
Lastly, Viz Media had their Shojo Beat panel today, which had a few new announcements! First of all, expect more old-school shoujo titles returning digitally from the world of out-of-print, including the much-desired Basara! Skip Beat! is coming soon as well. And High School Debut will get a 3-in-1 release, which is cool enough on its own, but may have the extra chapters that came out after the manga was finished but weren’t collected in the first edition. Which is awesome.
We also had two brand new announcements today, one a license rescue. Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne was initially published over here by CMX back in the day. Viz has rescued it and will be republishing it with new translation and everything – I think they’re even using the thicker “bunko” editions. Jeanne is a fascinating title that combines both the ‘phantom thief’ and ‘demon hunter’ genres, and is also the breakout hit of Arina Tanemura, who has had much success over here with every other titles she’s released (Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross, etc.). It’s an absolute get when it comes out this March.
Viz has had success recently with licensing Petit Comic titles and marketing them as mature Shojo Beat titles over here. Indeed, Midnight Secretary, out next week, has gotten really amazing buzz. So much buss, in fact, that Viz has now licensed Tomu Ohmi’s current work for Petit Comic, Majo no Biyaku (released here as Spell of Desire). As you’d expect given Midnight Secretary, this too is a combination of the supernatural and highly erotically charged romance. There’s apparently a LOT of supernatural to it as well – magic, witches, unicorns, etc. (No vampires, as far as I can tell, but that’s why we have Midnight Secretary, right?) It should debut a year from now, August 2014. I approve of Viz reaching out to older female readers with these works.
What title excites you the most from this list?