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Kodansha USA Delays Spring, Summer Print Manga Releases

posted on by Jennifer Sherman & Crystalyn Hodgkins
Seven Seas' May paperbacks delayed but digital still on time; more events in Japan cancelled

Kodansha USA Publishing, which handles the Kodansha Comics and Vertical imprints, announced on Friday that it is delaying many of its print releases scheduled for spring and summer 2020 to later in the year due to the impact of the current "global health crisis." All previously scheduled Kodansha Comics and Vertical titles will continue to debut digitally on their original release dates.

The company added that "frontlist releases" such as Wave, Listen to Me!, Tales of Berseria (manga volume 3), and Drifting Dragons (volume 4) are retaining their original sale dates. The company's distribution partner Penguin Random House will also continue to fill orders for backlist titles.

Seven Seas Entertainment said on Twitter on Friday that all of its Seven Seas April releases have shipped to retailers through its distributor Macmillan. Therefore, the company expects those print volumes to be available as scheduled "or only slightly late, since chains could be slowed." However, print releases from the company's Ghost Ship imprint "will likely reach stores late" because of Diamond Comic Distributors' halt on shipments of new releases. Diamond Comic Distributors announced on March 23 that it will halt all shipments to retailers of products slated for release on or after April 1 until further notice.

The company added that "almost all" of its May paperbacks will be delayed. But Seven Seas added it will still release "basically all" of its May books on time digitally. The company stated it is not yet sure about paperback delays for June and later.

Organizers of the Crunchyroll Expo event stated on Friday that they are planning to hold this year's convention as planned at San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California from September 4 to 6. The organizers stated that they have been consulting with the city of San Jose, and noted that "it is too early to make an assessment as to how COVID-19 will impact events throughout the country in early September."

Funimation also confirmed on Friday that the English dub for the Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story is delayed starting with episode 9. The company had announced last month that it has temporarily paused its production of its seasonal simuldubs for anime.

Konami announced on Friday regarding its Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game that due to its product manufacturers being impacted, the company is delaying the distribution and official release of the game's "Eternity Code" booster pack. The premiere event for the booster is also delayed.

Other related event news includes:

  • Intelligent Systems announced on Friday that it has canceled the Fire Emblem Expo II event due to concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus disease. The event was scheduled to be held at Zepp Namba in Osaka from May 5 to 6.

  • The Otaku Summit event slated to be held on June 27-28 in Ikebukuro in Tokyo is postponed.

  • The Osaka leg of the Weathering With You Exhibition is cancelled. The event was scheduled for April 29-May 11.

  • The Sports Hochi website reported on Friday that the Johnny's & Associates agency is halting all public performances through the end of April.

  • Bandai Namco Entertainment has removed events in April, May, and June worldwide from its planned Tekken and Soulcalibur World Tours.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on March 11 that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Friday, the WHO reported that there are 972,303 infected individuals worldwide. 50,322 individuals have died from the disease.

As of Friday, the WHO reported that Japan has 2,617 cases of COVID-19 with 65 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths.

Sources: Kodansha USA press release, Seven Seas Entertainment's Twitter account, Crunchyroll Expo's Twitter account, Intelligent Systems via Siliconera, Otaku Summit, Weathering With You exhibition's Twitter account, Sports Hochi via Hachima Kikō, Funimation's Twitter account, Bandai Namco Entertainment press release, Konami press release

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