Last time I did this, back in July, I lucked out – 20 of the 32 bestsellers were already licensed, so I didn’t have as much to talk about. No such luck here, as only 8 of the Top 30 I looked at this week are licensed in North America in some way, shape or form. Plus it’s the week where all the shoujo came out and hit the charts. Needless to say, there are a LOT of potential Shojo Beat series here. Shall we take a look?
Firt, let’s set aside what’s licensed. Kimi ni Todoke, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Skip Beat!, Watamote, and Haganai all come out here physically. Space Brothers is up on Crunchyroll’s site, and Kadokawa’s new Comic Walker is putting out Kagerou Days, so I am counting those as licensed, if only digitally.
JoJo Lion (Shueisha, Ultra Jump) is the latest in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure epic tale, and its popularity has been resurgent lately, what with the new anime. That said, JoJo’s manga did not sell well here, and this is technically Vol. 110 if you think of it as one big series. It’s possible Viz might take a flyer on this, but I’d be surprised.
Yokai Watch is a franchise based off of a 3DS game that seems to be a cross between Natsume’s Book of Friends, Doraemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. This particular volume is the shonen manga version from Corocoro, there’s also a shoujo manga that just started in Ciao. Oh, and there’s an anime as well. If Viz does license this, it might be via Perfect Square.
Kobayashi ga Kawai Sugite Tsurai!! is a shoujo manga running in ShoComi, which just got an OVA series. It is not based on a light novel, despite the title translating as Kobayashi Has It Tough Being So Cute!!. It features a twin brother and sister who go to single-sex schools. One day, they decide to dress as each other and switch. The plot spins out from there. Sounds a bit odd for a Shojo Beat title, but you never know.
Moyashimon has just wrapped up in Japan, and Volume 13 is the final one. It was once licensed by Del Rey, but never got past Vol. 2. You could try asking Kodansha for a license rescue, but make sure you’re surrounded by witnesses so you don’t get demoned away.
ReRe Hello, a Betsuma manga from Shueisha, has what sounds like a very cliched premise. Hardworking earnest girl who’s lost her family, aloof boy who falls for her, etc. That said, it’s not like titles are licensed for originality here anyways. This has gotten some very positive buzz, and it’s only about 3 volumes to date, so it’s definitely a possibility.
Hachimitsu no Hatsukoi translates as ‘First Love is Like Honey’, basically. It’s a childhood friend romance, and another ShoComi title. The artist used to be Tanemura’s assistant. This has gotten to Vol. 7, so it’s doing pretty well in Japan.
Hirunaka no Ryuusei is a Margaret title that is a teacher/student romance, so moving on.
Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi has a very good chance of being licensed, mostly as it’s a title by Arina Tanemura, running in Margaret. Its male lead is quite young, and it also has a cousin romance, which would normally I suspect prevent it from coming out over here, but given its creator and her huge popularity I expect we’ll see it before long. Girl has a crush on guy but is too shy to say anything, her young cousin loves her. More on Tanemura later this post.
Ace of Diamond is a baseball manga that is now at 40 volumes, so moving on.
Ayakashi Hisen is another ChoComi title, this one with a touch of the supernatural to it, something Shojo Beat always likes. The premise seems quite similar to Kamisama Kiss and Demon Love Spell, so I would not be too surprised to see it, even though at 12+ volumes to date it’s hitting the top end for shoujo manga length.
I’m skipping the Kagerou Days anthology, which will only get licensed if the Kagerou Days manga is a big success here. Which means it would have to get into print somehow, I suspect.
31 Ai Dream is another title that would have no chance to come out over here except it’s by Arina Tanemura, who is doing multiple series in Japan at the moment. It runs in Melody, home to Gatcha Gacha and Ooku, so you know it’s going to be odd. The premise is dark: a former class president and idol of the school never confessed to her love. Now, at a reunion where she’s 31 years old, she sees he’s with another girl and decides to kill herself. Instead, she gets a medicine that sends her back to when she was 15. Readers of fanfics will recognize this premise as a standard ‘Peggy Sue’, but I’d be very interested to see where Tanemura goes with it. Want to see Shojo Beat get this, even if it’s an odd fit there.
Kaze Hikaru is actually licensed by Viz, something I keep forgetting. This is Vol. 35, which should see release here in 2027. But it is still coming out, I note, and I’m sure if more folks bought it it would come out more often.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou just had an anime start, so there’s potential there. The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is a seinen ‘apartment life’ manga from Young King Ours, and I’m honestly unsure which company it would fit best with. Shonen Gahosha does business with everyone, so…
Clover Trefle is the sequel to a very popular josei manga called Clover (no, not that one) (no, not that one either), which is 24 volumes and would need Viz to put those out first before its sequel comes out.
Sora no Otoshimono is relatively popular, and has an anime, but it’s 20 volumes, so I’d have to assume if it was going to be licensed it would be. It’d be the perfect Tokyopop title were they still around.
17-sai, Kiss to Dilemma is classic ShoComi smut. It has a lot of creeptasticness to it, apparently, so I’d suspect Shojo Beat would look at other titles first, as the smut they’re doing now is more of a josei bent than high schooler smut.
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo. See my entry for Sora no Otoshimono, then cut and paste it here, only ’11 volumes’.
Silver Spoon is an incredibly heartwarming, funny and awesome manga that sadly continues to be about farming. Still, I am hoping Viz’s defenses are weakening against this series.
Mujaki no Rakuen is a Young Animal title, and I think far too lolita complex/pedophilic overtones for the North American market. It’s also a Peggy Sue, like 31 Ai Dream. A loser NEET is mocked at a reunion by his female classmates. Then he goes back in time to where they were all 5th graders, but with his adult memories/experiences. A lot of naked 5th grade girl art follows. Of all the titles I discuss here, this is the one I expect is least likely. And thank God for that.
Angel Heart’s ‘2nd Season’ is up to Vol. 8, but the 33 volumes of its first season were never licensed, and anyway, why would you license something with a dead Kaori? Finish the series with living Kaoris, City Hunter!
Lastly, Kuroko’s Basketball has all the drawbacks of sports manga in North America. That said, now that Slam Dunk is finished, it’s possible. It certainly has a large female fanbase over here.
And there you have it. Of all these titles, which do you want to see the most? Which do you think is the most likely to be announced? Which makes you weep bitter tears you’ll never see it?