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Yen Adds Hero Tales, Wakaba-Soh, Spice & Wolf Novels (Update 2)

posted on by Egan Loo
Sources for Hero Tales, Spice and Wolf fantasy anime; manga from sola artist

The North American manga publisher Yen Press has announced at its New York Anime Festival 2008 panel on Sunday that it acquired Hiromu Arakawa's Hero Tales manga, Chako Abeno's Welcome to Wakaba-soh manga, and Isuna Hasekura and Jū Ayakura's Spice and Wolf novels. Arakawa began drawing Jyūshin Enbu - Hero Tales in Square Enix's bimonthly Shonen Gangan Powered magazine in 2006 while she was still working on her hit Fullmetal Alchemist manga. In the Chinese-mythology-inspired story, the prophesied seventh star of the Hokuto (the Big Dipper) is a boy named Taitō who must journey with his sister and friend to recover a legendary sword. The anime version ran in Japan from October 2007 to March 2008.

Abeno, the illustrator of the sola, White Album, and My-Otome Zwei manga, created Welcome to Wakaba-soh as both a school romance story and a slapstick comedy. The story revolves around a transfer student named Kentarō Sawai and Karen, a beautiful girl who happens to be the granddaughter of the board chairperson for Kentarō's new school. The manga ran in Houbunsha's Manga Time Kirara Max magazine from 2007 to 2008 and was compiled into two volumes.

Spice and Wolf (Ōkami to Kōshinryō) is the acclaimed novel series that avoids the usual sword-and-sorcery trappings of fantasy stories and focuses on how business (and religion) gets done in a medieval world — with a wolf girl. A peddler discovers a wolf girl who wants to return to her northern home after serving as a town's goddess of harvest for many years. The peddler strikes a deal to bring the wolf girl north, and she brings him both prosperity and unwanted attention from the church. The novels are being published in Japan by MediaWorks, and they were animated for television from January to March 2008.

Update: More background details and event report link added.

Update 2: Yen Press also acquired two Korean manhwa: GooGoo Gong's Sugarholic and Sang-Eun Lee's 13th Boy.

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