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Manga Publishers Expand Catalogs with New License Announcements from Anime Expo 2016

AX Logo 2016Over the Fourth of July weekend, Anime and Manga fans converged on the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 24th annual Anime Expo. While anime has been the focus of the convention, in recent years manga publishers have been coming to the more specialized event to announce their new licenses. This year, five manga publishers held panels to announce a bevy of new teen titles.

Water BrideViz Media had a few announcements, including Dragon Ball Super, the manga adaptation of the currently-airing anime. It takes place after the decisive battle with Boo and will be published under their Shonen Jump teen imprint. If you have readers that have been waiting for Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc V to come out in print, then your wait is over, as volumes will also be released under the Shonen Jump imprint. The Water Dragon’s Bride is by the creator of Dawn of the Arcana, a series Viz just finished publishing in 2014. Modern day girl Asahi is swept away to a strange world where she is sacrificed to the Dragon Water God. This time, it will be published under their teen-to-older teen Shojo Beat imprint. Returning after a long time out of print is Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is getting the deluxe hardcover treatment and will be released as two omnibuses. All of these titles will be available in the spring of 2017. Need new Rurouni Kenshin volumes and are on a budget? The series will be joining the 3-in-1 omnibus series, but it won’t be out until Winter 2017, so you have time to save up.

RokkaYen Press picked titles for both their manga and light novel lines. Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers is a fantasy mixed with mystery, as six warriors are sent to stop the resurrection of the Demon King, but seven answer the summons. Could one of them be there to thwart the true warriors? The manga will start in January 2017. The Isolator is the manga adaption of the light novel series of the same name that Yen Press publishes. It follows a teenager who is granted his greatest wish by extraterrestrials, but is also plunged into a battle he never wanted. Big Order is the new action series from the creator of Future Diary. There are fairies that grant the wishes of certain people known as Orders. Eiji wished for the destruction of the world, and ten years after the Great Destruction he must come to terms with his immense power. It will be released in early 2017. Smokin’ Parade is from Deadman Wonderland’s creators. It follows a young man who is shouldering the responsibility for his family but gets dragged into an unimaginable conspiracy where he experiences the horrific underbelly of science. March 2017 is its scheduled release date.

bungoDuring their joint panel with Japanese Publisher Kadokawa, Yen Press surprised the attendees with two more licenses. Erased is a mystery series that inspired a recently streamed anime series. A manga artist with the strange ability to go back in time and prevent deaths, is sent back after his own mother’s death, but he ends up in elementary school just before the disappearance of a schoolmate. The anime was popular here, so the manga no doubt will be as well. It’s slated for spring 2017. Bungo Stray Dogs is a “battle action” series that features famous Japanese literary figures with supernatural powers solving mysteries. Think League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets The X-Men. While it’s not a manga license, Yen Press also announced a new original title, Reindeer Boy, by the artist of Beautiful Creatures, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Hollow City, Cassandra Jean. It’s a romance about a high school girl and the unusual transfer student her class gets after winter break. It will be available in December 2016.

Dark Horse Comics dropped two teen friendly titles. Hatsune Miku: Rin-chan Now! is a series of short stories based on the vocaloid Rin-chan, and her song and video by the same name. They also picked up Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legend of the Piko-Piko Middle School Students, a gag manga spin-off of NGE in which gamers from around the world are trained to fight mysterious life forms.

plumSeven Seas made an appearance this year instead of inundating social media with their licenses. Adding to their Monster Girl genre is Species Domain, a series about people who are born with features from different mythical creatures such as dragons, elves, or harpies, but with none of their powers; the story explores how they deal with others’ expectations. Dreamin’ Sun is by the creator of Orange, which Seven Seas also publishes. It’s about a high school student who doesn’t know where she belongs at home, so she runs away. A kimono-clad man gives her a home—as long as she lives by his three conditions. Filling the super-cute category this year is their license of Plum Crazy! Tales of a Tiger-Striped Cat. It’s about a cat named Plum whose happy life is disrupted by the arrival of an obnoxious white kitten to the household. Crazy cat people young and old will love this one.

ichi-fKodansha Comics had an interesting variety of titles. Furthering their Attack on Titan agenda, they announced Attack on Titan Adventure, an interactive fiction and puzzle book in the vein of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Fire Force is the new series from the creator of Soul Eater. It’s about a special team that fights the spontaneous combustion of people being possessed by demons; their newest recruit can run at the speed of a rocket. They also announced a rare treat for U.S. readers: A non-fiction title. Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was created by one of the workers who helped clean up the stricken Fukushima power plant, designated 1F, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Tohoku. The three-volume series promises a frank and unique firsthand look at the consequences of nuclear disaster.

With such a wide variety of titles set for release, 2017 is turning out to be another great year for manga readers!

Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

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