NYCC 2018: New Printing of Akira, Plus Slate of New 2019 Titles For Kodansha Comics
Kodansha Comics announced today the return of the top-selling manga release of 2017, the Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set, along with an exciting slate of new series for release in the coming fall and 2019.
Since becoming one of the top-ticket comics releases during last year’s holiday shopping and winning two Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, the new box set release of Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal Akira had become widely unavailable. But the publisher announced that, as of this week, the set is back in stock and available for purchase again, just in time for this year’s gift-buying season. December 2017 marked the 35th anniversary of the debut of the manga, while this year is the 30th anniversary of the influential anime film.
One of the largest English-language graphic novel publishers in the world, Kodansha also presented some of its new releases for 2019, starting with O Maidens in Your Savage Season, the manga debut of the award-winning screenwriter and director Mari Okada (anohana, Maquia, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans). In collaboration with acclaimed manga artist and illustrator Nao Emoto (Forget Me Not), Okada crafts a funny, dramatic, and deeply resonant coming-of-age story about a girls’ high school literature club confronting the terrifying specter of puberty.
“There are so many wonderful coming-of-age graphic novels for girls in English today, such as the works of Jillian and Mariko Tamaki and Noelle Stevenson, but there haven’t been as many manga in this category of true-to-life fiction for teenagers,” said Naho Yamada, general manager of Kodansha USA Publishing, which publishes the Kodansha Comics imprint. “We think English-speaking readers will fall in love with Okada-sensei’s diverse and immediately-relatable characters.”
The imprint also announced the print release of I’m Standing on a Million Lives, which had been a digital-first release. Ninth-grader Yusuke Yotsuya is a loner and he likes it that way. But one day, he and two female classmates are suddenly sent to another world, where they must work together to battle for their lives. But he’s been reincarnated as a farmer! How is someone who’s only ever wanted to be left alone supposed to be a hero? This original fantasy manga features a story by Naoki Yamakawa and art by Akinari Nao.
The publisher then presented several manga that tie into current or upcoming anime series. Boarding School Juliet by Yousuke Kaneda, an action romance about star-crossed lovers from two boarding schools that are bitter rivals, will see its first volume released in print this month, the same month its anime adaptation will premiere. It was previously released in digital formats. The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days, a two-volume prequel to the manga that became a Netflix Original Series, saw its first volume released this month and will conclude with Vol. 2 in November.
Joining these anime tie-ins is a broad variety of strong standalone titles. From Yoko Nogiri, the author of the bestselling shojo That Wolf-Boy Is Mine!, comes Love in Focus, about a teenage girl who moves away to a high school where she can nurture her talent for photography, learn to grow past personal loss, and build new relationships in her dorm. Like Wolf-Boy, the series is four volumes long, with the first debuting in March 2019.
The harem comedy Quintessential Quintuplets, about a super-smart student called upon to tutor five rambunctious, identical quintuplets, will debut in print in January 2019 after an initial digital release.
Finally, Kodansha Comics also previewed Gleipnir, the debut series by artist Sun Takeda, a compelling, sexy, and brutal action sci-fi series about a teenage girl searching for a sister who became a monster, and a boy with the strange power to turn into a ragged beast with a zipper down his back and a compartment on the inside just big enough for her body. With devilishly incongruous cute and violent art, Gleipnir will appeal to fans of the cute horror aesthetic of Five Nights at Freddy’s and the work of Jhonen Vasquez. Vol. 1 is coming March 2019.
Expecting more than 180,000 attendees this year over its four-day run from Oct. 4-7, New York Comic Con is the largest gathering of pop culture fans in North America. It is the hometown show for New York City-based Kodansha Comics, and the publisher is operating a 30-foot booth (#2109) on the Jacob Javits Convention Center exhibit floor featuring exclusive merchandise, giveaways, and events for series including The Ghost in the Shell, Attack on Titan, BECK, and Sailor Moon.