Anime NYC 2022, Day Two

The second day of Anime NYC is traditionally the busiest, and this year was no exception. The publishers were announcing PILES of titles, and pretty much when I was not at a panel I was eating or trying to avoid collapsing in fatigue.

We start off with Yen Press, who had so many announcements that they only did half of them at the panel – the other half were livetweeted afterwards. I’ll start with the panel announcements. But before that, they brought out the author TurtleMe, creator of The Beginning After the End, a webseries that was picked up by Yen about a King who dies realizing that power isn’t everything, so in his reincarnated life he tries to experience different things. The author was extremely happy to be published and available in bookstores, though he admits the name “TurtleMe” is a username that followed him around.

We then went to manga announcements. Appare-Ranman! is based on the light novel, and will be coming out as a 3-in-1 omnibus. Described by Yen as similar to the old show Wacky Races, it has an inventor and a samurai trying to win a cash prize with a steam powered car. It was in Young Ace. Manner of Death is based on a Thai novel, and is apparently a BL murder mystery. It looked pretty cool from the cover. It runs in Enterbrain’s B’s-LOVEY. Magical Girl Incident features a salaryman who finds one day he can transform into… a magical girl! Of course, only one person knows the secret. It’s also from Young Ace.

Elden Ring: The Road to the Erdtree is already being published by Bookwalker, and is based on the popular game. It can best be described as “What if Elden Ring were a comedy? The announcement is that it will be getting a physical release. It’s in Kadokawa’s Comic HU. Then very exciting news for me personally: Higurashi When They Cry Gou! I may have mixed feelings about the anime, but the manga is usually more solid in the Higurashi series. It’s 4 volumes, and ran in Young Ace Up. In addition, the original manga is coming back into print!

After a prize break, we moved to light novels. My Summoned Beast Is Dead looks quite amusing. A guy at a magical school where the most powerful students summon great magical beasts summons… a giant corpse. And now has to figure out how to succeed in school… with a corpse. Associate Professor Akira Takatsuki’s Conjecture is a series about a college kid who can tell when people are lying, which as you can imagine makes him unpopular. He meets up with the title character, a professor who has a love of anything weird, which includes our hero.

Yami-Hara is a creepy sounding novel about people who have darkness (yami) in their hearts, and how that darkness can influence other people. How to Win Her Heart on the Nth Try is a slow-burn romance about an office lady unlucky at love who runs into her childhood friend. He’s been in love with her forever, but she sees him only as a friend. How can he make his feelings known? Lastly, in the same vein as Spice and Wolf, we get A Certain Magical Index Old Testament. This will have all 24 books in the Index series in one massive, massive TOME, similar to the Spice & Wolf one.

(No, they did NOT announce New Testament, but the fact that they’re using “Old Testament” as a prefix tells me it’s probably only a matter of time.)

More manga! Scribbles, by Kaoru Mori. A sketchbook with annotations or her drawings and ideas, from the creator of Emma and A Bride’s Story. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun will be getting a box set (that looks like a bathroom stall) of the first ten books. And they have a Korean webtoon, Bloody Sweet, about a weird daughter of a shaman who happens to come across a weird vampire in a haunted house, and they are weird together.

Lastly, we have Ize Press, who announed a new title from the creator of The Boxer. The Horizon is about a boy who loses his mother and decides to simply start running. They also have A Business Proposal, a Korean tapas series that also has a live-action version. A girl who agrees to go on a blind date by pretending to be her friend finds… her date is the CEO of her company! And now he wants to marry her! How can she convince him to forget her… because otherwise she’ll be fired!

While the panel was going on, Yen also announced MORE titles on Twitter, which still amazingly exists. Sword Art Online: Progressive – Scherzo of Deep Night is the new continuation manga for the Progressive series, and runs in Comic Walker. Yokohama Station SF came out from Yen as a novel, and now they have the manga, which is three volumes total and runs in (again) Young Ace Up. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Memoria Freese is a manga based on the DanMachi spinoff game, and runs in Manga UP! (no relation to Young Ace Up).

Handyman Saitō in Another World is a 7+-volume manga from Comic Walker, about a guy who discovers “handyman” is a lot more useful and valued in a fantasy world than it is in Japan. A Reincarnated Witch Spells Doom is from Flos Comic, and is 5+ volumes. A shut-in decides to try to go out in the real world and immediately meets Truck-kun. Now reborn, everyone thinks she’s a witch! I Want to Be a Receptionist in This Magical World is a manga version of the light novel The Sorcerer’s Receptionist, which came out here a couple of years ago. It’s also from Flos Comic.

What This World Is Made Of is a 3-volume manga from Dengeki Maoh. Two brothers desperate for money try a shady app and now end up monster hunters. Me and My Beast Boss is a josei title from B’s-LOG Cheek, about an OL who endures harassment just because she’s a human… till one day she’s made the private secretary of the beastman CEO! My Dear Curse-Casting Vampiress is a Shonen Gangan title from the creator of When a Magician’s Pupil Smiles, about a powerful vampire hired by humans to battle other vampires. The Essence of Being a Muse is a Comic Beam title, already good news. It’s about a woman rejected from Art School who decides to give in and do what her mother wants. It sounds soul-crushing, but I’m sure that’s merely at first.

Additional light novels announced: Even If These Tears Disappear Tonight is a sequel to Even If This Love Disappears Tonight, and is for those who like to read books and cry a lot. Maiden of the Needle seems to combine about four different popular genres, as we see a girl reincarnated in a fantasy world, who can speak to fairies, but who can’t do the RIGHT seamstress magic, so she’s disowned and taken in by another nobleman. And The Ephemeral Scenes of Setsuna’s Journey is a story of a man summoned as a hero… but he’s weak and sickly, so they give up on him. That said, guess what? He actually has the inheritance of the original hero!

Lastly, there’s a new omnibus of Puella Magi Suzune Magica, because how better to wrap up nearly 30 titles than with another Madoka Magica spinoff?

The second panel I went to was Dark Horse, which only had one new manga announcement, but it’s a doozy. Before that, Carl Horn discussed the history of the company, going back to the Godzilla manga they did in 1988, as well as Outlanders. (Remember Outlanders?) They also announced a new artbook, The Art of Octopath Traveler, which is a Square Enix video game series. The big news, though, was Innocent, the 9-volume series from Weekly Young Jump, which is the English debut of acclaimed author Shin’ichi Sakamoto. The story of a family of executioners in 18th Century France, it has won PILES of awards. It’s going to be coming out in 3-in-1 omnibuses.

They had other things to discuss, of course. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Serviced is back, with Vol. 15 out as part of the 5th omnibus. They’re also finishing up Psycho-Pass after a long hiatus. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! 4 is the first one that has stuff not in the anime. (The series is also apparently an absolute bear to translate.) The Art of Star Wars Visions is self-explanatory, but it was interesting to hear about how the creators were able to play with the original Star Wars characters but chose not to, as well as how they were NOT influenced by Ghibli. The creator of Vampire Hunter D, meanwhile, is living the good life – he was at an Italian convention 3 weeks ago that was held in a cathedral!

The last panel I attended was J-Novel Club, and they had almost as much to announce as Yen, with several new partnerships. Karate Master Isekai is a new manga from Comic HU, and is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. They’ve licensed rescued Let This Grieving Soul Retire! from the Sol Press dungeon, and will be re-translating Vol. 1 and releasing past Vol. 1, just to spite the late unlamented original publisher. Grand Sumo Villainess: This Reincarnated Rikishi’s No Pushover! is a new Villainess light novel, asking “what if the villainess could solve everything through Sumo mastery?”.

Peddler in Another World, which J-NC already does the light novel for, is getting a manga license as well. The manga runs in Comic Fire. Enough with This Slow Life! I Was Reincarnated as a High Elf and Now I’m Bored is another one of those “the title is the plot” light novels, but is apparently more of a “I travel the road” wanderer series. I’m Capped at Level 1?! Thus Begins My Journey to Become the World’s Strongest Badass! is a new manga title that runs in Comic Walker, which sounds like a standard “weak to strong” series, but the ability to gain powers from the corpses who had those powers might be interesting.

The Disowned Queen’s Consulting Detective Agency is from the creator of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss, and is in a similar vein, as the disowned noble lady decides to follow in her late grandmother’s footsteps and be a detective. I Parry Everything: What Do You Mean I’m the Strongest? I’m Not Even an Adventurer Yet! is a light novel series from Earth Star Entertainment (as indeed most of these license announcements were) about a guy who’s trained to be #1 at parrying. He just can’t do anything else. But who cares? PARRY! Their last “regular” announcement was a “gaiden” sequel to Outbreak Company, taking place after the end of the series. This will be one volume.

They then announced a pile of new audiobooks, thanks to two new partnerships with both RB Media and Podium. We’ll see audiobooks for By the Grace of the Gods, Reborn to Master the Blade, Black Summoner, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Faraway Paladin, Hell Mode, My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned As an S-Ranked Adventurer, Min-Maxing my TRPG Build In Another World, and, inevitably, In Another World with My Smartphone. And, of course, the Slayers audiobook is finally out, with narration by the original Lina Inverse, Lisa Ortiz!

J-Novel Club is also partnering with Yen Press to do some physical releases of popular digital light novel titles. Yen will release, in print, The Misfit of Demon King Academy, Hell Mode, and My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered, No One in This Other World Stands a Chance Against Me! (both the LN and the manga). J-Novel Club actually asked me at their booth if I would give Hell Mode, which I skipped when it first came out, another try, and so I might pick it up and see how it is.

The biggest partnership announcement was with Drecom, a company that just started a light novel line last month. They’re debuting – in Japanese and English the same day – a new series by the creators of Goblin Slayer (author) and Overlord (illustrator). Called Blade & Bastard – Warm Ash, Dusky Dungeon, it’s a novel based on the RPG game Wizardry. I’ll be honest, absolutely nothing about this series interested me until Sam casually said “Oh, yes, the nun also has a sword”, and that made me sit up and pay attention. That said, it’s definitely more for Goblin Slayer fans than for me.

They have a number of titles already out in Japan the last two months, and we will also be getting these sometime in 2023. Official titles are not available yet, so I won’t go over all of them, but there’s a time loop villainess story, a noble dumped by her fiancé gets a better deal story… actually, there are TWO titles for each of these genres… and, perhaps best of all, “I’m a Pharmacist Witch and a part-Time Divorce Attorney”, a title that sounds like it was written specifically for me personally. They’ve also got a new series from the author of Unnamed Memory, which I know will make some people sit up and take notice.

Drecom had some of their executives there at the panel, and they also talked about the various multimedia strategies they would be doing (which include NFTs, but this was not mentioned at the panel itself, probably with good reason – I think it would have been booed). Sam noted that the fact that they’re so closely partnered does mean we may see some series cancelled, but it was mentioned that English-language sales may help stave that off even if it’s doing badly in Japan.

This was a lot of stuff. If this sounds more like a list of things than previous years, it’s probably due to the fact that there were less panels that are more “fan-oriented” this year. However, there are a few of those on Sunday, along with Kodansha Manga. We’ll see you there.

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