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San Diego Comic-Con International 2009
Yen Press

by Carlo Santos,

Panelists: Kurt Hassler, JuYoun Lee, Tania Biswas

The Comic-Con panel for manga publisher Yen Press began with a rundown of recent licensing announcements. First up was Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji), a dark Victorian fantasy that recently began running in Yen Plus magazine. Also newly licensed is sci-fi title Darker than Black, based on the anime by Studio BONES. Also in the adapted-from-anime category is Romeo X Juliet, based on the Gonzo series that plays off the Shakespeare classic.

Other new licenses include Yumi Unita's family drama Bunny Drop, high school sports drama Sasameke by Ryuji Gotsubo, comedy series Omamori Himari by Milan Matra, and romantic comedy My Girlfriend's a Geek (Fujoshi Kanojo) by PENTABU and Rize Shinba. The novel that My Girlfriend's a Geek is based on, also by PENTABU, has been licensed as well. Other upcoming titles include school comedies Otome by Yuuki Fujinari and Dragon Girl by Toru Fujieda, and heartwarming short story collection Natsukashi Machi no Rozione by Sumomo Yumeka (also known for Same Cell Organism).

The most enthusiastic cheer went up for the announcement of CLAMP's Kobato., a light fantasy-magical title about a girl who heals the sufferings of others. This translation will be a new edition with no reference to the original ADV Manga translation that ran in Newtype USA magazine.

After these announcements, the panel was opened up to questions. One question was about the seemingly late October 2010 release date for Soul Eater; this is due to the business situation in which creator Atsushi Ōkubo is having his previous series B. Ichi published in the US first. There is also interest in the Twilight graphic novel adaptation, but there is no formal announcement as to its release date or further details yet. Also, regarding original manga projects such as Nightschool, the company is always open to submissions but is highly selective.

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