Del Rey To Cease Publishing Manga, Restore Licenses To Kodansha USA

By Ishaan . October 9, 2010 . 5:00pm


In a surprise announcement, book publisher Random House, who have been publishing manga under their Del Rey imprint for seven years now, recently revealed that they would cease to continue publishing manga in-house.


Instead, all of Del Rey’s manga licenses, originally acquired from Japanese manga publisher, Kodansha, will be diverted to Kodansha USA, who will be publishing their parent company’s series directly in the U.S. This is part of a sales and distribution arrangement with Random House, and will take effect in December.


However, as CEO of Kodansha USA, Yoshio Irie, revealed to Publishers Weekly, Random House will still be heavily involved in the overall publishing process, such as editorial, production, sales and marketing of Kodansha USA’s manga. Additionally, Kodansha in Japan will continue to license their series to other American publishers as per usual.


Del Rey are well-known for publishing a wide range of manga, from Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei to School Rumble to Basilisk. They’re remaining mum on the subject of their staff, although they have specified that the arrangement with Kodansha will not affect their non-manga publications.

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  • Arcm

    Just as long as they will still bring out the last few volumes of Rave Master I will be happy.

    • Its time to move on to the superior FairyTail! Plue!!!!

      • Arcm

        I actually own all the Fairy Tail releases so far, but I have all the tokyopop releases of Rave and they stooped 3 freaking volumes from finishing. They did the same to Samurai Deeeper Kyo which thankfully delray finished. I really hate tokyopop.

        • Wow thats pretty tough. They never said what they would do for Rave?

          I hope Tokyopop stays with Qwaser of Stigmate and brings out each volume and does not stop at just volume 1 :(

        • Vino (Tim N)

          Yeah, I try not to pick up any more series tokyopop brings out anymore. I hated how they stopped the ones you mentioned, Beck, and several others.

  • I loved their translation of Genshiken.

    Shame that Random House is pulling out of the market.

  • Well I know one thing! They better continue to bring out Fairytail. I can not imagine being unable to experience one of my favorite and most hilarious manga series to date, lol. I cant get enough of Natsu and Gray in it.

    I havent read any of their other series, looking at my collection.

  • This worries, I hope that at least three things happen. That no series stop being published, that the same care goes into translation and that each volume keeps getting extras like with Del Rey.

  • Soma

    I hope that this movie will both benefit Del Rey and Kondansha USA. Maybe Kondansha will keep releasing Yozakura Quartet since Del Rey seemed to have stopped their release of the series at book 5. =D

    Also, here’s hoping that no ones job will be affected. But, reading “… Random House will still be heavily involved in the overall publishing process, such as editorial, production, sales and marketing of Kodansha USA’s manga.” makes me think that everyone will be ok!

  • Is is it due to monetary reasons, does anyone know?

  • Roses4Aria

    Off the top of my head I can’t think of any series that Del Rey released that I followed in the past couple of years. I think the only one they had on their upcoming schedule that I was interested in was Koko ni Iru yo, but they hadn’t released the first volume yet. I sincerely hope this is a good thing, but it sure does seem like the face of the manga industry in the US is changing in a major way.

  • Hero_of_Hyrule

    this sucks, Del Rey was my favorite US manga publisher. i loved that they kept the honorifics in all of their translations and also included detailed translation notes.

    • Why so sad? Del Ray seems to still be doing the translations and such? (editorial?)

    • Joanna

      Same here. I hope this doesn’t change anything, but if Viz is anything to go by, the Japanese executives will think they need to westernize and chop off the honorifics. :(

      • Honorifics arent that major, though a large portion of my collection is Shonen Jump series from viz, and I hadnt noticed the lack there of until you mentioned it.

        But the article didnt say that Del Ray or anything was changing with translation and editorial, so Im guessing the Del Rey side is still doing that.

        • Joanna

          It really depends, I find. There are some manga series that you can drop the honorifics and nothing is lost, but there are others where something is lost. I’ll give you an example for both.Tsubasa – There is special significance placed on the fact that Sakura no longer calls Syaoran, “Syaoran” but instead calls him “Syaoran-kun” taking away this takes away an important part of the story, the special relationship between these two and how it is altered. Without the -kun, Syaoran walking out and crying after Sakura wakes up no longer makes sense, nor does the fight between him and the Evil Sorcerer, where Syaoran realizes the Sakura there is a illusion because she calls out to him without the -kun.Fushigi Yugi – The relationships are so obvious and simple that excluding honorifics does not leave out any information (or at least as far as I have read).So in conclusion, I am not against dropping honorifics, but I would wish that North American publishers actually make good decisions with these and preserve honorifics where it makes sense (i.e. – a joke relying on them, subtle relationships that rely on honorifics, etc.).

          • Good examples…

            I’ve never noticed an issue, but that’s a lot of the manga I read, and since I generally read only official things, of course I couldn’t find something without discovering it in comparison…

            I really like Viz, simply because of the series they do. Naoki Urusawa’s stuff, One Piece, Takehiko Inoue’s stuff, Biomega, Golgo 13, the works…

          • Joanna

            It’s probably also because most of the time honorifics can be dropped without a loss of information. There’s only a handful of series that I read that I would personally say need them to retain relationships/story.

            Yeah, I love a bunch of Viz titles but I can’t help but be annoyed at how nonuniform their translations are, even within the same imprints. Naruto has a pretty nice localization but Bleach, horrible. Same with their shoujo imprint. I hate having to hope that the localization team that gets my favourite manga is the decent one. I really wish they would have a uniform standard. I think that’s what I liked about Del Rey, other than the honorific retention, they had a very uniform localization procedure and I always knew what to expect from them.

          • Whats wrong with Bleach, I think its a pretty great job

          • Joanna

            What’s wrong with Viz’s Bleach (mind you this is info I’ve gotten from friends awhile ago and because of it decided not to purchase the Viz volumes):

            1. Honorifics: Viz drops honorifics and I think Bleach is one of these rare manga that actually benefits from it. Here’s a few things that get lost because of no honorifics: How Ichigo is rude to Ishida by calling him is surname without the -san, the gender joke for Yoruichi since -san is gender neutral but Mr./Ms. is not, and it’s just plain weird for Rukia to be calling Byakuya, brother, and not onii-sama (they could have at least made it Lord Brother, but I guess that would sound too weird for most people).

            2. Cero, which they call by some weird name for half the manga and then revert to calling it Cero later. Inconsistent.

            3. Grimmjaw flipping the bird is removed. Censorship.

            That’s all I remember from the conversation.

          • I guess I never noticed. I still think it is a quality series that theyre doing and I love how theyve done it. I guess Im just used to it with volume 32 already and still chugging along, lol.

  • I just noticed this includes the Higurashi manga. *cry*

    • countupyoursins

      When they cry?

    • SolidusSnake

      Not sure how that is possible, considering Higurashi is published by Yen Press.

      • Yea, I realized that a while ago. My mistake. Thank you. Oh the joy. When They Cry shall continue.

  • countupyoursins

    This has left me in despair!

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