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Kodansha USA to Release Hozuki's Coolheadedness, Altair, Museum, Blame! Academy Manga Digitally

posted on by Karen Ressler
Digital volumes slated for March 21

Kodansha Comics' digital content distributor Kodansha Advanced Media will release the first volumes of Natsumi Eguchi's Hozuki's Coolheadedness, Kotono Katō's Altair: A Record of Battles, and Ryōsuke Tomoe's Museum manga digitally on March 21. The company will also release Tsutomu Nihei's single-volume manga Blame! Academy and So On digitally on the same day.

Kodansha Comics posted the first chapters of Altair: A Record of Battles and Blame! Academy and So On on its website. The company also plans to post preview chapters for the other two titles.

Kodansha Comics confirmed with ANN that the titles are digital-first releases, and it plans to complete all digital-first titles. Digital-first titles can potentially receive print releases in the future.

Kodansha Comics describes Hozuki's Coolheadedness (Hozuki no Reitetsu):

In the afterlife, there exists Heaven and Hell. Hell consists of the Eight Greater Hells and the Eight Cold Hells, which are further divided into 272 subdivisions. Spearheading the seemingly endless, multifarious affairs in this gargantuan Hell is but one Fierce God, King Enma's first aide, Hozuki. Between this cool-headed sadist and his colorful band of peers, every day is a riot in Hell! And though this book might make Hell seem like a happening place, please try to behave during life!

Eguchi launched the manga in Kodansha's Morning magazine in 2011. Monaka Shiba launched a four-panel spinoff series titled Hozuki no Reitetsu ~Shiro no Ashiato~ (Hozuki's Coolheadedness: Shiro's Footprints) in Kodansha's Nakayoshi magazine in December 2015.

The manga inspired a 13-episode television anime series that premiered in January 2014. Crunchyroll streamed the anime as it aired, and Sentai Filmworks released the series on home video in February 2015. The manga also inspired three OADs that shipped with the 17th, 18th, and 19th volumes of the manga in 2015. Advance screenings of the three OADs were held in theaters in Japan in December 2014. The new OAD will ship with a limited edition of the manga's 24th volume on March 23. A second television anime season will premiere in October.

Altair: A Record of Battles (Shōkoku no Altair) centers on Mahmut, a young member of Türkiye Stratocracy's council who holds the political and military title of Pasha. The council's combination of warmongers and pacifists divide it. The threat of war and danger from the belligerent Empire put Türkiye's safety at risk. As the country's youngest military leader, Mahmut is determined to keep the peace. But with so much at stake, a long history of enemies and alliances draws the young man far into a political world he hopes to keep in check. The Pasha's journey is not easy, and war may prevail despite his efforts.

Katō launched the manga in Kodansha's Monthly Shonen Sirius magazine in 2007, and the 18th compiled book volume shipped on January 17. The series inspired the Shōkoku no! four-panel manga on Sirius' official website in 2012. The magazine serialized Shiina Soga's Shōkoku no Altair-san (Altair of the Tiny Nation) spinoff manga from 2012 to 2013, and Hirokazu Kobayashi and Chika Katō's Shōkoku no Altair Kaiden Tōkoku no Subaru spinoff series launched in January 2016.

An anime adaptation is slated for this year.

Blame! Academy and So On (Blame! Gakuen! And So On) originally serialized irregularly in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine, and Kodansha published the series in one compiled volume in 2008. The parody spinoff features various characters from Nihei's Blame! manga.

Nihei launched the science-fiction action story Blame! as his first manga series in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon magazine in 1997, and ended it in 2003. Tokyopop published the 10-volume manga in North America. Kodansha published a new "master's edition" of the manga in Japan in 2015 that had six volumes. Vertical is releasing this new version of the manga in English, and it will ship the third volume on March 21.

The Blame! anime film is premiering this year as a Netflix Original film.

Tomoe's Museum suspense horror manga centers on a series of bizarre murders by a man wearing a frog mask. The man calls himself a vigilante and performs the murders based on themes such as "dogfood punishment," or "punishment of knowing a mother's pain." Detective Sawamura is leading the investigation, but becomes aware that his wife is one of the killer's targets.

Tomoe serialized the manga in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine from 2013 to 2014, and Kodansha published the manga's third and final compiled book volume in April 2014.

The manga inspired a live-action film adaptation, which premiered in Japan on November 12. A four-episode live-action drama series prequel preceded the film in October.

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