New License Roundup

It’s the start of 2015, and some publishers are just itching to give us some new titles, even though cons in January are thin on the ground. The solution is, of course, social media. This week Seven Seas and Yen Press/Yen On announced titles. Let’s take a closer look.

Seven Seas is gracing us with four new titles. Akuma no Riddle is a newish title from Kadokawa’s Newtype magazine, and it also had an anime series last spring. The most important points about this series, in no particular order, are 1) it’s written by Yun Kouga, the author of Loveless, and drawn by Sunao Minakata, the artist of Pixy Junket. (Oh come now, surely SOMEONE remembers it…). 2) It has a yuri vibe to it, taking place at an all-girls school. And 3) It’s about girls being trained to be assassins. The last may be the most important.

Golden Time is a more comedic title, running in ASCII Mediaworks’ Dengeki Daioh. It’s based off of a light novel, and has everything you’d expect if you hear the words ‘comedy/romance’; childhood friends, one of whom has now forgotten everything; a female lead who is somewhat difficult for fans to like but will clearly be the main romantic option; and lots of angst. It’s by the author of Toradora!, which Seven Seas also releases.


Orenchi no Furo Jijō (Merman In My Tub) is for female readers what Golden Time might be for male readers. It runs in Media Factory’s Comic Gene, which specializes in oddball shoujo, much like Kodansha’s Aria. The premise sounds a lot like Monster Musume or Ane-Imo, only with a BL subtext couple.

And there’s Mushoku Tensei – Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu. This runs in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper, which already gives it a leg up in my opinion. A middle-aged NEET who’s wasted most of his life get killed trying to stop a truck from hitting three high school students, and is reincarnated in a fantasy world, determined to make better choices and live a life with no regrets. The series has a lot of fans, though I have heard the lead character has a lot of perverted talk. But hey, based on a light novel, what did I expect? In any case, should be fun for fans of SAO or Log Horizon.

Next, let’s take a look at Yen Press, which announced four titles yesterday: one purely manga, and 3 where they announced the light novels on the Yen On line, and the manga (already out in one case) on the Yen Press side.

Oh, yes, there’s some Madoka Magica as well. Let’s start with that. Puella Magi Homura Tamura is a cute slice-of-life spinoff series, for those who like the characters but wished they stopped dying tragically all the time. There’s also Homura’s Revenge, where Madoka joins Homura in going back in time to change things, and I expect it will end badly.

Rust Blaster is the debut work from Yana Toboso, and I believe complete in one volume. It has vampires! And is by the author of Black Butler! Can’t imagine why this was licensed, who would buy such a combination? :)


On the LN/manga combo side, we first have Strike The Blood, which also has vampires, one of which is our hero. He’s being watched closely by a teenage sword expert who has been sent to follow (indeed, stalk might be more accurate) the vampire and take him out if he becomes a threat. If you guessed their love story is part of the story, you’re right. The manga runs in Dengeki Daioh, and the author is also known for the g-dropping series Asura Cryin’.

Black Bullet looks far more future apocalypse, detailing the world 10 years after being ravaged by a virus, which is being combatted by Cursed Children and their minders. Basically, he’s a high school student who can do Tendo Style Martial Arts (I’m sure it’s a coincidence), she’s a childhood friend with superhuman powers. Together, they fight crime! The manga ended at 4 volumes, and ran in Dengeki Maoh, a Daioh spinoff devoted to games and light novels.

Lastly, and to the horror of Baccano! fans, who keep waiting for their big day, Yen On announced they have licensed the Durarara!! light novels by Ryogho Narita. Yen Press has been putting out the manga for a couple of years, and I suspect this, along with Index, was their most requested license. The story of Ikebukuro and the truly insane weirdos who inhabit it, the 2nd series of the anime is also set to begin soon. By the way, perhaps the biggest news for me: All three of these light novels will have digital versions. After seeing SAO, Accel World, and Index all print-only, I was worried that Dengeki Bunko was a no-go area for digital reads. It’s great so see this.

So which one of these new titles excites you the most?

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  1. Fantastic news that Durarara!! has finally been licensed. It’s about time. (Although you could also say the timing is perfect with the new season starting today.)

    Akuma Riddle didn’t interest me at all when I heard about it before, but I didn’t realize it was by Yun Kouga. I’ll wait to see what you lovely reviewers have to say about it, but it’s a promising start!

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