Kodansha to Publish, Sell Manga in U.S. in September (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
The Japanese publisher Kodansha has established the Kodansha USA holding company, with the intent of setting up a New York subsidiary within it to publish and directly sell manga volumes starting this September. Kodansha USA has been established on July 1 with US$2,000,000 in capital. Yoshinobu Noma, senior vice president of Kodansha, will serve as president of Kodansha USA.
Kodansha intends to transfer its copyrights to this local subsidiary to enter the overseas publishing industry directly. The Japanese manga industry has become very competitive and entrenched, but the popularity of manga has grown in the American marketplace. Kodansha has already been publishing bilingual dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference materials, but these books are actually published in Japan and then exported overseas.
Almost a decade ago, Kodansha experimented with a line of Kodansha Bilingual Comics that included Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura, Ken Akamatsu's Love Hina, and Yōzaburō Kanari and Fumiya Sato's The New Kindaichi Files (Kindaichi Case Files). Kodansha stopped publishing those titles when Tokyopop licensed the right to publish English editions of many of them. Del Rey Manga now publishes most of the recently translated manga from Kodansha, such as Akamatsu's Negima! Magister Negi Magi and Hiro Mashima's Fairy Tail.
In Japan, Kodansha publishes Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Monthly Shonen Magazine, Young Magazine, Morning, Morning 2, Afternoon, Magazine Special, Magazine Z, Evening, Monthly Shonen Sirius, Monthly Shōnen Rival, Nakayoshi, Bessatsu Friend, Be•Love, Kiss, Dessert, and The Dessert manga magazines. It also publishes official file magazines for specific franchises, such as Clamp no Kiseki, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Ultraman, Mobile Suit Z Gundam Historica, Kamen Rider, and Tokusatsu Hero Magazine.
Update: Del Rey Manga Associate Publisher Dallas Middaugh confirms that Kodansha has not pulled any of Del Rey's existing manga licenses. Del Rey is licensing new manga titles for 2009 and working on more titles for 2010. It will announce some of them at Comic-Con International this month and at New York Anime Festival in September.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history