San Diego Comic-Con International 2013
Kodansha Comics

by Bamboo Dong,

The Kodansha Comics panel started strong on Thursday, showing a promo for Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan manga. Although the title is wildly popular now, Director of Publishing Services at Random House, Dallas Middaugh, had an interesting story to share about its North American debut. The first volume of the Attack on Titan manga was first released stateside in October 2012, but although the manga was selling very well in Japan at the time, it was not doing well here. In fact, some distributors had begun shipping volumes back to the publisher, but popularity exploded when the anime debuted on Crunchyroll. In order to keep up with demand, the first few volumes are headed back into print.

Currently the North American release of Attack on Titan is several volumes behind the Japanese release schedule, but it will be pushed to an accelerated schedule starting this August. One new volume will be released every month until late January, which will see the release of volume 11. At that point, the North American version will almost be up to date with the Japanese release (volume 12 is being released this December in Japan), with the twelfth volume hitting shelves no later than April 2014.

New acquisitions announced during the panel started with Robico's My Little Monster, the first volume of which will be released March 2014. The subsequent volumes will be released every two months. The next announcement was Say “I Love You” by Kanae Hazuki, which will start April 2014, followed by Hiro Mashima's two-volume Monster Soul, which is slated to be released in May 2014. The last licensing announcement was CLAMP's new title, xxxHOLiC Rei, which has a release date of 2013, but no further details are available at this time.

With regards to other CLAMP titles, Kodansha will also be re-releasing Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC as omnibuses, with the titles being made available in Summer 2014. The omnibuses will combine three volumes in one, and will carry an MSRP of $19.99.

The panelists then talked about some of their upcoming titles, starting with the second Sailor Moon box set. Containing volumes seven through twelve, the box will be released October 29, 2013. This fall will also see the release of both Sailor Moon Short Stories 1 and 2, which will be released Sept 10 and Nov 26, 2013, respectively. Both will be reprints of the original Kodansha compilations. While there is still no release date or further news about the planned Sailor Moon artbook that's been in the works, Kodansha is aiming for a 2014 release.

Other upcoming releases from Kodansha Comics includes titles like Hiro Mashima's Fairy Tail, Makoto Yukimura's Vinland Saga, Atsuko Asano and Hinoki Kino's No. 6, and Mitsuru Hattori's Sankarea: Undying Love.

For readers who prefer to read their manga as e-books, Kodansha will also be releasing many of their titles digitally, which was first announced at Anime Expo earlier this month. Supported platforms include Apple's iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Google Play. The program launched earlier this week, on July 16, and included titles like Fairy Tail, Genshiken, Missions of Love, and Attack on Titan.

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