Spring License Roundup: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (and others)

There were a pile of announcements made yesterday in regards to manga (no, no light novels. Admit it, they have enough on their plate now). But let’s not fool ourselves, there is one announcement that is head and shoulders above everything else. The excited fan in me is warring with the pedant who says I should cover Kodansha first as their licenses were announced earlier. Sadly, it says a lot about me that the pedant wins.

The Kodansha license that most interests me is Itou Junji no Neko Nikki: Yon & Mu, which is a cute slice-of-life cat manga from the author of famed horror manga. The mangaka also stars, and if you wonder what his style would be like when he’s not drawing terrifying things, this is what you need to read. It’s only one volume, and ran in Magazine Z.

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Devil Survivor runs in Shonen Sirius, and is based on the Shin Megami Tensei video game. Expect action, fantasy, and demons.

Speaking of based on the video game, we not only get Persona Q – Shadow of the Labyrinth – Side: P3 (which runs in Bessatsu Shonen), but also Persona Q – Shadow of the Labyrinth – Side: P4 (which runs in Shonen Sirius). Crunchyroll is doing both of these digitally, but Kodansha has been the publisher most likely to pick up the print license anyway, so that’s fine. As for the manga, haven’t played Persona 3 or 4, so no idea.

Lastly, we have Ninja Slayer Setsu, which is the second Ninja Slayer license in the last couple of months. It ran in the obscure Suiyoubi no Sirius, which I think may have just died, so I’m not sure how many volumes it will be. It looks like it takes its ninjas very seriously indeed.

On to Yen Press, which had a giant pile of licenses (Sakuracon is one of their biggies), the surprise being that several of them are digital only. Let’s run through those first.

Handa-Kun is a prequel to Barakamon, following our hero when he was in high school. It runs in Shonen Gangan.

Kyou no Cerberus is also in Shonen Gangan, and looks to be somewhat silly. One day a boy meets a dog-like girl with three different personalities, who resolves to keep him from harm.

I have no idea what Kominami Shoutarou, Ie o Deru o Hajimemashita is about, but with the NA title Shut-In Shoutarou Kominami Takes on the World, it sounds like it will be awesome. It runs in Big Gangan, a seinen magazine.

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Speaking of Big Gangan, Servant x Service runs there as well. It’s from the creator of Working!, one of those ‘why was this never licensed’ manga with 83 seasons of anime. It seems to be a 4-koma about office life, and also has an anime.

Unknown runs in Shonen Gangan, and yes, that is its title. It’s complete in four volumes, and I’m told reminded many folks of Fullmetal Alchemist.

Mahou Tsukai no Deshi ga Warau Toki is complete in 3 volumes, ran in Shonen Gangan, and looks depressing as hell, to be honest.

Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine runs in GFantasy, and I can’t really tell how fantastical it is, but there’s royalty and things in it, as you may have gathered. The mangaka is better known for the series Sougiya Riddle.

Koukoku no Hiiro is also GFantasy, and may be the most interesting of this whole bunch. Samurai, kendo, time travel… cool things indeed.

So, to reiterate, all those above seem to be Digital Only, with no print plans at this time. What did they license for print? Well…

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I can’t hold back anymore. They have finally licensed, as we’ve been begging them to, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun! This amazingly funny 4-koma from Gangan Online is by Izumi Tsubaki, author of Oresama Teacher and The Magic Touch. If you love the facial expressions in Oresama, these are even better. It also mocks every single cliche in the book. It’s basically fantastic, and the convention room exploded when it was announced.

The other major surprise has to be Yowamushi Pedal, an Akita Shoten title from Weekly Shonen Champion. A cycling manga (so technically sports… more myths busted!), it’s at 39+ volumes in Japan. Needless to say, expect this in omnibuses. Between this and Index, I wonder how much Kurt is enjoying seeing what we say is impossible to license, and then just doing it. (The creator, by the way, also adapted one of the many Train Man manga… the CMX one, I believe.)

Hakusensha is not forgotten either, as we get Sakura no Himegoto, a 2-volume LaLa series. I note warily that this involves a girl with debt being “owned” by a rich high school boy, but I’m told it’s not as skeezy as it sounds.

Dragon’s Rioting also makes me wary, mostly as it runs in Fujimi Shobo’s Dragon Age, and thus I expect the breasts to be more important than the plot. It seems to involve a boy who will die if he gets sexually aroused, and surrounding him with women who will no doubt do that very thing.

Lastly, Aldnoah Zero has an anime as well, and runs in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Forward. It’s a sci-fi mecha series, so I’m fairly sure will end with the entire cast dead. If not the entire Earth.

Aside from Nozaki-kun, which everyone will be buying of course, what license here most interests you?

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