Wanted: YA or Children’s Fiction from Australia and New Zealand

At some point in the unspecified future, we three bloggers who comprise the Triple Take project would like to do a series on YA and Children’s Fiction by authors from Australia and New Zealand. The problem is, we don’t know too much about it yet. I mean, I’ve heard of Maurice Gee (NZ) and I positively adore John Marsden (AU), but there’s got to be more out there.

So! If you know of any good or even just potentially interesting books that would qualify, please let me know! It’s a bonus if they’ve been published in the US, but not a requirement.

Soliloquy in Blue Joins Manga Bookshelf!

Some might wonder “What took so long?” but personally, I’m sort of pinching myself. To be in the company of such esteemed bloggers as MJ, Kate Dacey, and David Welsh is a big honor, and I’m very flattered they wanted to make me officially part of the family.

You might notice regular Soliloquy in Blue features like Let’s Get Visual are now appearing on Manga Bookshelf’s front page, and there’s also a little corner there now for my reviews of prose works! MJ is responsible for the gorgeous site redesign—seriously, I find it hard to stop looking at it—which I actually find pretty inspiring. So, if there’s to be any change, it will probably be an increased frequency of posts!

Thanks for following me to my new home and if, for some inexplicable reason you’ve not visited the blogs of MJ, David, and Kate, I suggest you click the little ‘Manga Bookshelf’ icon in the top right and remedy that immediately!

TOKYOPOP Is Shutting Down

It’s with a heavy heart that I direct you to this piece at The Beat, which reports that TOKYOPOP is shutting down at the end of May. I have a feeling the worst of the sadness is yet to come, as I start to fully process which beloved series will be left in limbo.

Rather than dwell on that depressing thought, I figured I’d outline what is left on TOKYOPOP’s production calendar through the end of May, according to Amazon. Hopefully we will still get all these books. Maybe we won’t.

(already in stock)
V.B. Rose 12
Silver Diamond 9
Gakuen Alice 16
Ratman 4
The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko 2
Future Diary 10
Karakuri Odette 6 (at least this one got an ending!)
NG Life 9
Shinobi Life 7
Neko Ramen 4
Priest Purgatory (Volume one? There’s another one in May…)

Saving Life 1
Foxy Lady 4 (still says pre-order though its release date has passed)

Hetalia: Axis Powers 3
Maid Sama! 9
.hack//G.U. 4 (novel)
Priest: Purgatory
Happy Cafe 8
Fate/Stay Night 11
Sgt. Frog 21
Maid Shokun 1
Sakura’s Finest 1
Samurai Harem 8
Deadman Wonderland 5
AiON 3
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory 4 (an ending!)
Butterfly 2
Ghostface 1
The Stellar Six of Gingacho 3
Clean Freak, Fully Equipped 2 (another ending!)
The Qwaser of Stigmata 2 (see comments)

Series finales that had been scheduled but will now not materialize include V. B. Rose, Portrait of M & N, Alice in the Country of Hearts, and The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko.

UPDATE: Sean Gaffney of A Case Suitable for Treatment has compiled a similar list, but also rounded up releases that will now never come to pass. You can find his post here.

UPDATE 2: A look at the (extremely depressing) list of removed items at RightStuf suggests that those May titles are not going to be released after all. This means that Karakuri Odette and NG Life were the last series TOKYOPOP actually managed to complete.

UPDATE 3: Several of the releases originally scheduled for early May have begun to appear in comic shops. No Hetalia or Maid Sama!, unfortunately, but we’ll at least get the final volume to Hanako and the Terror of Allegory.

I Am All Asquee

I don’t ordinarily post publicity announcements, but when it’s something this awesome, I simply must. Thank you a million times, Kodansha Comics. You may look forward to a lot of my money.

Update: Kodansha USA Publicity confirms that there will be a new translation, although they can’t comment on specifics just yet.

NEW YORK, New York – March 18, 2011 – Kodansha USA Publishing, a subsidiary of Kodansha, announced today the exciting return of Naoko Takeuchi’s SAILOR MOON, one of the most significant names in comics and manga, to US publishing. Brand new deluxe editions of the acclaimed series will be released by Kodansha USA’s Kodansha Comics imprint in September 2011. Out of print for six years, SAILOR MOON re-launches along with Takeuchi’s two-volume prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, in print in the US for the first time—making this one of the most highly anticipated manga releases in years.

The SAILOR MOON manga, which originated in Japan in 1992 and debuted in the US in 1997, follows Usagi Tsukino, a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. The first successful shôjo (girls’) manga release in the US, SAILOR MOON changed the book landscape and helped establish the foundation for the manga craze; in particular drawing attention to the popularity of comics among female readers.

Prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, the first of Takeuchi’s “magical girl” manga, will make its highly anticipated debut in the US alongside the SAILOR MOON re-launch. In CODENAME: SAILOR V, teenager Minako Aino fights as Sailor V against the villains of the Dark Agency before she discovers Sailor Moon.

The Kodansha USA editions of SAILOR MOON will be published on a bi-monthly schedule and follow the 2003 Japanese re-release format of the classic series. The original 18 volumes have been condensed into 12 volumes covering the main storyline, and two volumes dedicated to short stories. Each volume has gorgeous new cover art, retouched interior art and dialogue along with extensive bonus material from Takeuchi, and detailed translation notes.

One of the most recognized manga and anime properties in the world, SAILOR MOON took American pop culture by storm, with mentions in music (“One Week” by Barenaked Ladies), bestselling books (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot) and more. In Japan, over 15 million copies have been sold and the series has generated everything from animated features to live action musicals, a live action television series and countless merchandise.

“I’m very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi’s work to her American fans,” said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. “As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like SAILOR MOON is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I’m especially thrilled to finally release the prequel, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last.”

About Kodansha USA Publishing
Kodansha USA Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Kodansha Ltd. aims to bring the best names in manga to the North American market, and partners with Random House Publisher Services for distribution. www.kodanshacomics.com

About Kodansha Ltd.
Kodansha Ltd. is Japan’s largest publisher, with its headquarters in Tokyo. Originally established in 1909 by Seiji Noma, the company is still a family-run business. Under the leadership of Sawako Noma, company president since 1987, Kodansha continues to play a dominant role in the media world, producing books and magazines in a wide variety of genres including literature, fiction, nonfiction, children’s, business, lifestyle, art, manga, fashion, and journalism. Recently, the company has ventured into digital distribution of content as well. www.kodansha.co.jp/english

VIZ Release Schedule Updated Through January 2011

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with information with listings for VIZ manga releases extending through January 2011. Along with many volumes (and cover art!) for continuing series, several debuts appear as well. I think most of these have been announced, but it’s nice to see it made official anyway.

Grand Guignol Orchestra by Kaori Yuki — October 5, 2010
Lucille and his orchestra encounter a town overrun with the worst kind of audience: the Living Dead! Well, not really. They’re people who have been turned into doll-like zombies. And they are definitely not a crowd to take lightly. Can a group of roving musicians use their skills to calm the beasts? Or is this curtains for the Royal Orchestra?!

Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi — October 12, 2010
Cross Game is a moving drama that is heartfelt and true, yet in the brilliant hands of manga artist Mitsuru Adachi, delightfully flows with a light and amusing touch. The series centers around a boy named Ko, the family of four sisters who live down the street and the game of baseball. This poignant coming-of-age story will change your perception of what shonen manga can be.

Kurozakuro by Yoshinori Natsumi — November 2, 2010
Mikito wakes up with superstrength. But there’s a catch. He may look the same on the outside, but deep inside lurks a monster that craves ultraviolence and the taste of human flesh. “I used to hate the sight of blood,” says Mikito to himself, “but now it looks so beautiful to me.”

Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki — December 7, 2010
Nanami has all kinds of new responsibilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?

Psyren by Iwashiro Toshiaki — December 7, 2010
People are going missing. And rumor has it that the Secret Society Psyren is behind it. But what is Psyren? Just an urban legend? Or could such a conspiracy be for real? Ageha Yoshina’s going to find out. And it’s not what he’s expecting at all. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime – where a telephone calling card is your ticket to chaos!

Itsuwaribito by Yuuki Iinuma — December 14, 2010
Utsuho’s truthfulness as a child resulted in an enormous catastrophe, and he decided to lie from that day forward. Raised in a village of orphans by a monk, Utsuho is an unrepentant troublemaker. The monk eventually inspires him to help people, but there’s no way Utsuho’s going to lead an honest life! Instead, he’s going to use his talents for mischief and deception for good!

Missing from this list is The Story of Saiunkoku, which appeared briefly on the Simon and Schuster site with a November release date but which has since been removed. Assuming it will be released as previously indicated, that means that a new Shojo Beat title has debuted or will debut in each month of 2010 with the exception of September. I’m willing to be VIZ has something slated for that slot, too; we just don’t know about it yet!