Perpetual anticipation

If there’s a single story in all of manga journalism that qualifies most as unproductive drudgery, it’s trying to dig up something about Kodansha USA. So kudos to Gia (Anime Vice) Manry for actually speaking to a human being, the initiative’s general manager. It’s been ages since we’ve had a scrap of anything new to use as fodder for speculation.

As you may recall, right before the official announcement of the effort (or “effort”), Kodansha withdrew all of its properties from Tokyopop. Before that, they ended their first-look agreement with Del Rey. The Random House imprint has still been licensing new Kodansha titles, but, as Lori (Manga Xanadu) Henderson notes, their hearts don’t really seem to be in it lately.

Vertical has two Kodansha properties coming up. The first volume of Kanata Komani’s Chi’s Sweet Home is due June 29, and the first volume of Felipe Smith’s Peepo Choo is due July 13. (Chi’s is serialized in Kodansha’s Morning, and Peepo runs in Morning 2.) Dark Horse is in the process of releasing handsome new collections of some of Kodansha’s CLAMP properties. And the creators of that much-covered wine manga seem to think an announcement of English-language publication is imminent. But aside from these, all’s relatively quiet on the Kodansha front.

So I thought I’d take the opportunity to look back at some of my most-desired Kodansha properties.

The Manga Moveable Feast on Sexy Voice and Robo has made me even hungrier for more comics by Iou Kuroda, so Japan Tengu Party Illustrated certainly makes the cut.

On the classic front, an English version of Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitaro would be more than welcome.

I may not have a burning desire to know more about the history and practices of Vikings, but I do desperately want to read more manga by Makoto (Planetes) Yukimura, and that means I want Vinland Saga.

I love it when awesome women creators create comics for seinen magazines, and it’s unlikely to get more awesome than Moyocco Anno’s Hataraki Man.

Unless of course we bring Fumi Yoshinaga into the conversation, specifically referencing her What Did You Eat Yesterday? Given Yoshinaga’s demonstrable fondness for food-obsessed gay men, I am certain we would totally be best friends. Or she’d file a restraining order against me.

It should be evident by now that I’m a huge fan of quirky, slice-of-life titles, so Hitoshi Ashinano’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikô is high on my wish list.

What’s on your Kodansha wish list? Would it be a new edition of Naoki Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon? Do you hunger for something more contemporary, like Hitoshi (Parasyte) Iwaaki’s Histoire, Fuyumi (E.S.) Soryo’s Cesare, or Natsume (House of Five Leaves) Ono’s Coppers? Don’t let the apparent futility deter you. Share your hopes.

16 Responses to Perpetual anticipation

  1. Sean says:

    My top 6 Kodansha wants, assuming I don’t care about sales or marketability:

    1) Sailor Moon
    2) You’re Under Arrest!
    3) Zipang
    4) Kosaku Shima (series)
    5) Godhand Teru

    and this is cheating, but…

    6) EVERYTHING by Makoto Kobayashi, either for the first time or reissued.

  2. judi(togainunochi) says:

    At the risk of repeating to the point, I bore everyone, anything by Ono, I WANT. Same for Yoshinaga. If they only knew, I’d be classified a stalker. 😀

  3. Definitely reissued “Sailor Moon”. I’m not one to usually double-dip, but my old copies are falling apart, and I would love a more faithful translation with everybody keeping their Japanese names. Getting “Codename: Sailor V” would be great as well.

    But the Takeuchi title I want most of all — even more than a “Sailor Moon” reprint — is her figure skating manga, “The Cherry Project”. I would sell my soul for an English edition. Seriously. (Well, I might not go *that* far, but I’d certainly be tempted…) I have two of the three Japanese volumes that a friend gave me, and I’ve read online translations, but it’s not the same. Definitely number one on my “most wanted” list, regardless of publisher.

    I’m not really familiar with any other Kodansha titles, but “Hataraki Man” sounds like something I would really enjoy.

  4. Brack says:

    Agreed on Shigeru Mizuki. We totally need something of his in English.

    Likewise something from Fujio Akatsuka would be nice, Tensai Bakabon being the most obvious. I think both have been represented in Kodansha’s dual language releases in the past, but a proper Western release would be great for these key creators.

    Talking of key creators, if they still have the publishing rights, I’d take the original Devilman series and anything else of Go Nagai’s they might think they can get away with.

    Other than that I’d go with Billy Bat, Naoki Urasawa’s current project, and Giant Killing, the football management series.

  5. Mark says:

    I’ve been championing (and by that I mean screaming on IRC rooms and making cryptic comments to others) for years about the excellence of both Vinland Saga and Historie and how Del Rey should bring them over with their Kodansha Special Relationship.

    Of course, whether said titles would actually sell in the States is another story. From what I’ve heard, Planetes and Parasyte were stupendous flops in America (though supposedly the Del Rey reissue of the latter did well). My fear is that Yukimura and Iwaaki are both on a blacklist tacked to the wall in the publisher’s office. Vinland could be marketed from a “HEY, KIDS, DID YOU LIKE BERSERK?” angle, but Historie has about as much of a chance as seeing Dark Horse pick up Hiroki Endo’s (excellent) new MMA manga after grudgingly churning out the last few volumes of Eden at snail’s pace.

    But what do I know? I also thought Viz would never, ever bring over Dorohedoro.

  6. davidpwelsh says:

    Judy: We’ll be in adjoining cells in the Ono/Yoshinaga stalker wing of the clink.

    dreamkaleidoscope: Maybe if someone repackages Sailor Moon and it does well (and I have no reason to think it wouldn’t), that would drum up demand for The Cherry Project.

    Mark: My standards for license requests are pretty low, in that they’re basically things I would buy. Whether anyone else would is a question entirely beyond my ken. 😉

  7. hniu says:


  8. judi(togainunochi) says:

    That would be spiffy, then we could jabber about manga all day to the point of insanity. 😀

    My philosophy, I don’t care what gets licensed as long as I like it.

  9. Julia L says:

    On the futility scale, I think there’s my perpetual plea for Shion no Ou, an Afternoon mystery title about shogi. If Go can have Hikaru, then I can have Shion right? It’s only eight volumes, Kodansha. You could even include extra stuff on gameplay or something.

  10. […] ICv2 reports that manga sales continued to decline in 2009… David Welsh shares his Kodansha licensing wish-list, and encourages readers to do the same… and the folks at Pink Tentacle share a novel use for […]

  11. thirstygirl says:

    I want anything by Yoshinaga and Soryo that exists but one that I don’t think has any chance of making it but which I would *love* is Kiss and Never Cry by Yayoi Ogawa – romance, childhood trauma, ice-skating.

    • The moment I saw the words “ice-skating”, I had to look Kiss and Never Cry up, and now I want it. Bad. Like “give up my (non-existant) first-born child” bad. Josei ice dancing manga? I need this in my life.

      And speaking of Yayoi Ogawa, a reissue of “Tramps Like Us” would be great, too. By the time I decided I wanted to read it, it was already out-of-print.

  12. Jim says:

    Off the top of my head, I would love to see Enomoto: New Elements That Shake The World published in English. I would also kill for some GeGeGe No Kitaro and, like Brack says, anything by Go Nagai would be excellent too.

  13. […] David Welsh helps the Kodansha USA folks by focusing on some Kodansha manga he’d like to see. […]

  14. Rivkah says:

    Sailor Moon, please.

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